Not All Influencers Have A Loyal Following
In the world of social media, most of us assume the more followers you have, the more of an influence you have…but that’s not always true.
Sure, people like the Kardashian family, who have hundreds of millions of followers, probably have a bigger influencer than almost anyone in the world, but that principal doesn’t apply to everyone and their follower counts. Being an influencer isn’t just about having the most followers, but having loyal followers who are actually interested in what you’re doing–and this one influencer learned that the hard way.
Meet Arii, the “influencer” everyone is talking about right now. The 18-year-old has a whopping 2.6 million followers on Instagram and decided to launch a clothing brand to sell to those seemingly loyal followers.
In a now-deleted post, Arii came clean revealing why she’s shutting down her recently-launched line, citing poor sales. According to her caption, the clothing company she was working with had rules around her first sales, which included selling at least 36 pieces from her line.
If even one percent of her followers (an extremely low estimate) purchased something from her brand when it launched, Arii would have sold at least 20,000 pieces–so it seems like a fair assumption that 36 pieces wouldn’t be a problem. But that’s not what ended up happening for this influencer. She announced that those who did order from the initial drop would be receiving a refund, because she didn’t end up selling the minimum number of pieces.
What had to hurt even more than the initial failure of her business, Arii racked up 35,000 likes on a post about how she couldn’t sell 36 shirts. This was a huge shock to a lot of people who associate followers with success, and sends a message about thoughtfully launching brands that actually engage your audience rather than just trying to capitalize on the numbers you see on your profile.
Rapper Wale even weighed in on this thread, saying he understands this same exact disappointment when he drops music and his millions of followers aren’t actually buying or streaming it.
A lot of her followers have stated that Arii never really promoted her brand or that the aesthetic of the clothing didn’t really match her own–but there are a lot of things that could have contributed to her follower count not translating into customers.
The moral of the story: not everyone with followers can sell products….and learning that has been a real wake up call to a lot of influencers who thought the opposite.