They say if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. And that certainly seems to be the case for those lucky enough to make it big on Instagram. With over 200 million active monthly users, sharing millions of images and racking up billions of likes daily, Instagram is one of the most popular social networking sites on the planet. Since it’s inception its become more than just a place to share holiday snaps and selfies with friends. Today Instagram is a serious audience building and content marketing tool for everyone from big companies, to individuals, and for some it’s become a career path, letting them lead the kind of lives that we all dream of.
Thanks to social media, the fame paradigm is changing, the myriad of new platforms has overturned the conventions that once determined what constituted fame. The concept of celebrity is diversifying, no longer only representing pop stars, actors or catwalk models. People who would have once been overlooked by agencies have been given their own platform. Vloggers, trainers, artists, entrepreneurs, the list of young and creative individuals who have eschewed the traditional path of agents and PR companies to build their own followings and success on social media is long, and the lives of the ‘instafamous’ have been setting fashion agendas, steering nutrition trends, and garnering thousands of likes and comments, every time they show a snippet of their day. And all while getting paid.
Prominent social media influencers can earn thousands in sponsorships and endorsements. Users with a few million followers, like David Michigan, who has more than five million followers on Instagram and Facebook combined, can earn up to $9,000 US for a single post.
David Michigan is a worldwide actor and model, although you might remember him best for his saucy gladiator photoshoot in front of the Louvre in Paris. Most recently he’s been involved with helping chair the Miss Tattoo France & World competitions. He’s been interviewed about his success and approach to life in magazines like Muscle and Men’s Fitness.
But despite what the pictures may make us think, It’s not all glitz and glamour either, many Instagram celebrities in the world of fitness, or fashion, have spoken out about the toxic side of Instagram culture. Some have come clean about struggling with mental health issues or developing eating disorders, highlighting the harmful side-effects that come from the pressure of having millions of strangers watching.
For Michigan, and many others, being catapulted into the world of the instafamous, they’re embracing the positives, and looking at it as an opportunity to give back. David tries to take advantage of his status to help others achieve their goals. His mission is to help people train both body and mind, as a world renowned motivational speaker, life and fitness coach. Other’s like blogger, Shea Marie, use their platforms to encourage their audiences to give back to worthy causes, like Christmas toy-drives or meals for the homeless.
Shining in the social media spotlight has its pros and cons. But as long as there’s likes, fame on Instagram can still be anyone’s game.
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