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Elaine Jasmine: The Struggle of Being a Truly Influential Influencer

Elaine Jasmine: The Struggle of Being a Truly Influential Influencer

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It must be hard being Elaine Jasmine these past few days.

A jewellery business owner recently called out the social media influencer’s shoddy work ethics in a FB post. In the comments section, more business owners proceeded to share their own cautionary tales and screenshots of her snarky replies to them.

I empathise with Elaine Jasmine. I may not have even one percent of her 83.6K followers, but I understand the pains of being a Truly Influential Influencer.  

You see, I am also a Truly Influential Influencer. As such, I have a Busy Schedule™.

Within the next couple of months, I am expected to travel to Bali, Gold Coast, and Norway.

At each of these places, I must post to my Instagram feed at least thrice a day, and to Instagram Stories at least five times. Every time I engage with my followers, I must include heart emojis to appear friendly and mask my incompetence.

I must also take enough photos so that I can continue posting them a month after returning to Singapore, giving my young followers the impression that I don’t have to work to afford my holidays.

Some of these travel posts can feature sponsored products. With Instagram slideshows, I make sure that the client’s product never appears on the first slide. That slide is for my face.

Outside of my hectic travel schedule, I’ve started filming a series for Toggle. I am required to publicise the show with screengrabs or behind-the-scenes photos twice a week. Honestly, they don’t gel with my feed’s aesthetic, but they help me appear well-rounded.

Now I am more than a Truly Influential Influencer, I am also an Artiste.

Basically I am a very busy person.

I know I am a Truly Influential Influencer, but with great power comes great responsibility.

Naturally, life is tough.

As a Truly Influential Influencer and Accomplished Multi-hyphenate, I can’t be expected to keep up with trivial responsibilities, such as remembering which brand’s product I have yet to create a sponsored post for. I don’t even have time to pretend I actually care about most of the products I feature, much less tell brands I don’t like their product after finding out they want me to actually work for the money they’re paying me.

I know I am a Truly Influential Influencer, but with great power comes great responsibility.

Simply put, I am overwhelmed by being the only reason why any of the brands I work with become successful at all.

Why do companies always approach me? Why do they insist on asking me to promote their brands? Don’t they know how exhausting it is to receive more than 500 brand requests everyday?

I’m sure there are other skinny Singaporean Chinese girls who they can approach.

Like Elaine Jasmine.

I don’t feel like I deserve the popularity I’ve gotten for the work I haven’t done.

Now, I want to be honest with everyone.

Sometimes, I’m struck by imposter syndrome. Basically, I don’t feel like I deserve the popularity I’ve gotten for the work I haven’t done. I’m constantly terrified that business owners will see through my facade one day when they ask me to conceptualise an Instagram caption without their press release.

When this fear strikes, I flake on them. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is what Elaine Jasmine had to suffer too.

Instead of sympathising with Truly Influential Influencers like us, brands resort to texting me strongly worded constant reminders. Who do they think they are? Hardworking and responsible entrepreneurs with a business to run?

If they hate us so much, why work with us?

Once, after a business owner chided me for my slipshod attitude, I replied, “Lol.”

Another time, I said, “Jokes”, before adding a laughing-crying emoji.

It was a mistake; I meant to use the middle finger.

Recently, a client published screenshots of our private messages online after I repeatedly delayed posting about her product past the agreed deadlines. Her post went viral, which affected my ‘likes’ on Instagram for a few hours.

She needs to chill, it’s not as though I procrastinated for a year. Neither did I plan to run away with her money.

In any case, it was only $900.35. I have transferred the money back to her and returned the expired product after five months.

I apologise and will try to come up with more believable excuses next time.

That said, the Elaine Jasmine saga has made me realise how similar our situations are.

I’ve thought about who I really am and who I want to be as a Truly Influential Influencer. I have made many mistakes, so I’ve emailed a formal apology to all my previous clients who dropped me because of my work ethic.

It took me just over three hours. Here’s what I wrote:

“Firstly, I acknowledge having a busy schedule on my part does not warrant a delay in payments. For this, I apologise and will try to come up with more believable excuses next time.  

Secondly, I should have handled conflict with a better attitude. I was angry and hurt but I should not have responded in such a spiteful manner. In future, I will do away with the emoji. I apologise, my SHIT English got the better of me.

Thirdly, I am truly sorry none of you have a sense of humour. It was all jokes. Lol. It hurts me so much to see my follower count drop.

Thank you to those of you who have encouraged and advised me during this period, as well as clients who continue to engage me so I can continue to travel twice a month while doing zero work.

I will do my utmost best not to damage my own personal brand again.

Love,
Grace Yeoh”

I’ve also posted the apology to my Instagram with an accompanying picture of a stunning sunset without any filter. I chose it because it matches my feed’s warm aesthetic. It doesn’t have my face, but the post’s engagement is great.

Like me, I believe Elaine Jasmine has truly learnt her lesson: not every photo needs a filter.

To be clear, none of us are or want to be Truly Influential Influencers. But we’re down for sponsored content. Write to us at advertising@ricemedia.co.

Author

Grace Yeoh Senior staff writer