Social Media Scoop: Insiders Dish On How Some Influencers Really Are Behind The Scenes

By Vukosi M January 8, 2024

This article was originally published on docjournals

Influencers are known for their picture-perfect social media pages, sponsored trips, gorgeous PR products, and fancy endorsement deals, among other things at least.

Thanks to platforms like Instagram, global stardom is right at your fingertips. That’s why, nowadays, it can be a little hard to tell who’s an A-list celebrity and who’s not. You only need to know what to do with that mobile device of yours, and in no time, your face will be recognizable all over.

That said, going global might’ve become easier, but we’re not sure staying grounded is just as simple. Our article today looks at the experiences of 40 people who’ve encountered influencers at some point. If their accounts are anything to go by, we might have a global influencer pandemic on our hands!

1. He really is nice

Thanks to millions and millions of people having access to and using social media every day, influencers can now niche down to very specific areas, whether it’s food, gaming, music, politics, or even health. One area that has become particularly popular is skincare.

Image courtesy of doctorly/Instagram

In that realm, one of the most beloved TikTokers is DermDoctor. According to someone whose brother is apparently the influencer’s bestie, the guy is quite lovely. Based on his videos, we didn’t even doubt that for a second. Good to know!

2. Breakup

The thing about knowing an influencer closely is that, one way or another, people will know you because of them. For those who have no problem with being recognized or tagged everywhere, that’s fine. However, some people prefer to be private.

Image courtesy of Halay Alex/Shutterstock

And if your influencer friend doesn’t care about that, it ruins everything. One person shared that they had a friend who was a travel blogger. During her birthday, the influencer filmed the entire outing and posted it online without her consent. That led to a friendship breakup.

3. Goofy Disney star

Next, we have someone who said they worked with a Disney influencer whose theatrical demeanor got under their skin. They simply couldn’t stand the influencer’s theatre kid mannerisms. That said, his ton of followers seemed to like his Disney content. 

Image courtesy of Leopold Kristjansson/Unspalsh

Rumour has it he apparently got in trouble when he was eighteen for apparently getting up to no good with someone younger. Thanks to his family’s money, they paid off the minor’s family, and he got a chance to start over in college, where no one knew him. 

4. A pleasant experience

One person recounted how they’d teamed up with numerous high-profile influencers during their studies at a West Hollywood podcast network. As head of the creative department, they conducted roughly two-hour promotional shoots with notable guests at the studio. 

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Most of the people present were pleasant individuals. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the influencers who posed challenges. In fact, it was the former C-listers and A-listers, such as a female American Idol host, who really made the job difficult. Sad, seeing as we adore some of these people.

5. Entitlement problems

At this point, we almost feel sorry for employees who have to work with some of these influencers. Another poster said a friend who owned a marketing company had a negative experience with influencers and now avoids working with them at all costs.

Image courtesy of Alexander Suhorucov/Pexels

He once proposed a campaign for influencers to either accept or decline, and he quickly learned that aside from influencers, their management teams are also not to be trusted. They shamelessly tried to extort more money from the deal, each stating in one way or another that their client was a superstar.

6. Follower count can be misleading

This one is fairly obvious. Follower count is something that can be easily faked, and people have been buying fake followers for years. An artist spoke about how this greatly affects people who choose to be honest about their work.

Image courtesy of Erik Brolin/Unsplash

Brands and companies decide who to work with based on these numbers, so if you don’t have a big audience, you’re left out. For artists especially, they don’t often get brand deals or pricey vacations, as they often choose to remain anonymous.

7. 1M followers

Speaking of influencers with lots of followers, one person said they had collaborated with a few influencers, most of whom had modest followings except for one, who boasted that they had a million followers. Unfortunately, that came with a lot of baggage.

Image courtesy of Liza Summer/Pexels

Although the other influencers often required a lot of hand-holding and follow-ups, they were pleasant to work with. The 1M follower account was the worst, constantly making excuses for delays. Terrible way to treat people, especially when most of your work depends on people liking you and your content.

8. Dogfluencers

If you are anything like us, you are a sucker for animal content, especially pets. Once you discover the little corner of the internet that is cat videos and dog reels, you will never be the same! Some of these accounts have thousands, if not millions, of followers.

Image courtesy of eva_blanco/Shutterstock

As such, the people who run them have to always be on their toes filming content constantly. One person said they knew a dogfluencer who never had a day off. Even while she was on vacation, she had to ask her dog sitter to send photos and videos daily so she could post them.

9. Absent-minded but kind

A prominent local retailer set up a photo shoot and opened a tab for the models, who would visit a restaurant to place orders at the company’s cost. The person who posted about this said that although most were polite, they seemed somewhat absent-minded.

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As their contracts concluded, some of the models from different countries came through to say goodbye and thank them for helping them, especially with translations. Their kindness was quite memorable. It’s sad that although this is quite commendable, it’s the exception, not the rule.

10. Monstrous influencer

And we are back to bad experiences. Our next contributor once collaborated with an influencer, a decision they regretted. She arrived half an hour late, shamelessly declaring that she wanted to sleep in. At the restaurant, she was entitled and unpleasant, exemplifying the stereotypical persona.

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She ordered a bacon salad but vehemently protested when it arrived with bacon. The most shocking incident occurred at an event where she was pleasant on camera but transformed into a monstrous figure when the cameras were off, throwing cupcakes at the people on set.

11. Influencers don’t pay rent

If you know anything about influencers and content creators, you know that they get a lot of freebies from companies in an effort to market their products. That’s why things like unboxing videos and PR products are commonplace in this industry.

Image courtesy of Blue Bird/Pexels

However, we didn’t know that extended to bills! One person said she knew an influencer who somehow always knew how to get away with not paying for things. From evading dinner bills to not paying her share of the rent, her money rarely ever paid for anything.

12. Divas

As we’ve seen, influencers can be quite the divas when they want to. One person remembered working with an influencer who seemed convinced she was a “girl boss” with a massive following of girls who looked up to her – which didn’t help the situation.

Image courtesy of Inspired By This/Pinterest

Even with a persona centered around “hustle culture,” the influencer didn’t seem keen to do the actual work. She’d come to work just to pout for her camera and take selfies before calling it a day. Well, perhaps that was her ideal nine to…twelve maybe?

13. Canceled Influencer

The next person attended the same high school as an individual who gained almost 200K followers primarily due to their child. This woman consistently displayed disrespectful behavior towards others unless they benefited from gaining attention or popularity. Basically, she was the worst!

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During the BLM protests, she faced significant backlash and condemnation for engaging in racist behavior, which led to her being called out and criticized by society. It was satisfying to witness karma in action, and the person couldn’t help but feel a sense of validation.

14. Out of touch

Though Twitch is mostly known for being popular among gamers, its main feature is that it allows you to livestream whatever it is you are doing. This person had the unfortunate experience of working with a couple of these streamers.

Image courtesy of Grigvovan/Shutterstock

The influencer in question joined an airline as a flight attendant. She and most of the rest would constantly take photos and livestream during flights, even when they weren’t supposed to. They also seemed out of touch and had zero work ethic.

15. ‘High-end’ business coach

One person said they lived close to an influencer who portrayed herself as a high-end business coach and entrepreneur with about 30K followers. Unsurprisingly, she didn’t reveal that she still went to her office job and depended on her parents to pay her expenses.

Image courtesy of Itsmexhien85/Pinterest

What you see online, especially with influencers, is often fake, and this was just more proof of that. Despite branding herself as a successful businesswoman, this influencer could barely support herself. However, she would still get herself something like an expensive purse to keep up appearances.

16. All about freebies

The next contributor worked as an assistant to an influencer. Like most content creators, she received an enormous amount of free products, many of which they never used. That’s where working for these kinds of bosses comes in handy because the assistant got most of these as gifts.

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The influencer occasionally reached out to big companies to request specific free items, and unsurprisingly, they often indulged her. Despite this, they were humble, with a humorous quirk of being out of touch at times. That doesn’t sound too bad.

17. Freebies and entitlement don’t always go hand in hand

One person said they were acquainted with someone from school who had around ten thousand followers on social media. Regardless of their low engagement, they regularly requested freebies from different places, which is, for lack of a better word, brave.

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Alternatively, at their workplace, they knew a different influencer with 3.2 million followers who made a booking without asking for any complimentary services. She did those popular room tour videos and even posted about the establishment on her stories without any expectations.

18. Desperate for freebies

It seems like the influencer culture has cultivated a sense of entitlement, where some people expect free products in return for “exposure.” It used to be artists being asked to perform for free to gain exposure, but oh my, how the tables have turned.

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One jewelry designer said they’d crafted pieces for prominent celebrities and influencers. Strangely enough, she discovered that influencers were the most demanding. Also, the amount of DMs she’d receive from individuals claiming to be influencers with no posts or minimal followers was astonishing.

19. Dangerous beauty standards

This next slide is about the pressure that comes from having a social media brand. Someone said they worked with fitness influencers at a popular spin studio. One who is a former beauty queen stood out as genuinely charming. She was courageous, graceful, and had a generally friendly demeanor.

Image courtesy of Fatima Nasnas/Pinterest

Sadly, it looked like her kind nature had been overshadowed by an excessive focus on her appearance. Despite her role as a fitness instructor who promoted an attainable body image, the reality was quite different, as she often fainted due to hunger.

20. Disclaimer: Paid advertising

Most honorable influencers always ensure to tag or mention that some products or services are ads. However, not all of them do. An influencer someone knew conveniently showcased items from her husband’s company as her top purchases without disclosing the connection.

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Apparently, a couple of these content creators promote products or services connected to people they know. For instance, in a top five video, they might subtly feature the item they are promoting without categorizing it as paid advertising. Though it may sound innocent, they know it’s wrong.

21. Lipstick influencer

Someone said they once worked in a cosmetics retail shop, where L’Oréal partnered with a French-speaking influencer who had around one to two million followers to create a lipstick “line.” Apparently, the lipsticks were disappointing, as they were simply rebranded from the regular collection. 

Image courtesy of Sam Lion/Pexels

Despite a big launch event, where the influencer was expected to take photos with fans for the whole vibe, the line still failed to take off. The unsold stock was returned to L’Oréal, whose reps weren’t so happy. The influencer has since released a lip collection. Bold!

22. Awkward family dynamics

If you are a fan of YouTube families, you definitely know about the Ace Family. Although they have been riddled with controversy for years, they are the epitome of the assertion that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Some of their biggest scandals have revolved around Austin cheating.

Image courtesy of austinmcbroom/Instagram

One person’s close friend knew the family well and once visited their house after Austin had just come back from cheating over the weekend. Weirdly, Austin falsely accused the friend of being involved with the girl he cheated with after he was confronted by his wife! The poor friend was immediately kicked out.

23. Not the nicest

These days, it feels like you are constantly being forced to be aggressively for or against something. As such, there’s a lot of content online that’s either extremely right-wing or extremely conservative to the point of concern. Though some people don’t know, this has made numerous influencers.

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Someone said a former friend of theirs decided to embrace extreme right-wing views, questioning things like voting rights and marriage equality. Though he’s building a following, he’s extremely unpleasant, hasn’t been able to keep a job for some years, and solely relies on his spouse.

24. Cool but annoying

We’ve all encountered someone who some people consider awesome but we find annoying. Someone’s friend, who happens to be gay, grew up with Serena Kerrigan. Apparently, Serena had been trying to hook up with him since high school, regardless. The friend also said she’s cool but a bit annoying.

Image courtesy of serenakerrigan/Instagram

Another interesting influencer they have met through mutual friends is Roma Abdessalam. She is quite sweet, with a good sense of humor, despite her somewhat controversial lifestyle. Like most people, they appreciate that she acknowledges her privilege, seeing as she brands herself as the stay-at-home daughter.

25. Nice but jealous

Jealousy is a feeling most of us can relate to. It is never pretty. Our next contributor’s gay friends had a close friendship with Sean – Trisha Payta’s ex-boyfriend, long before he came out of the closet. They said although she was a nice person, she was apparently jealous where Sean was concerned.

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According to them, Trisha once nearly walked away from dinner because she was convinced Sean was texting another girl. She is no longer part of the friendship circle because of the way she reacted to Sean going to a gay club.

26. Anti-social YouTuber

This one is just nasty! This person said a pal of theirs once dated the brother-in-law of a YouTuber. The friend said the YouTuber’s house was a jungle with rabbits roaming around and pooping all over the house. Wild, right?

Image courtesy of malcolm_and_melody/Instagram

The YouTuber was also a bit anti-social, often staying in his bedroom during visits. Occasionally, the brother-in-law’s mom would come to clean up after the rabbits. We have so many questions about this arrangement. Anyway, we guess this is one of the few influencers who can’t film a house tour.

27. It’s all about the snaps

Snapchat enthusiasts can be quite exhausted with their constant filming, light-seeking, endless photo requests, and consistent editing. Sometimes, it feels like you are simply a backdrop when hanging out with them. Every moment is an opportunity to take a snap. It’s tiring.

Image courtesy of kyliejenner/Instagram

When someone asked their friend to unplug for a bit, she said they were crazy. While not all influencers are like this, the ones most people have encountered will never miss a chance for a photo. Going on a random walk? Click! A simple outing at a coffee shop? Perfect!

28. Worse than celebrities

This contributor said that compared to musicians, actors, and other public figures, influencers were the worst to deal with. As an entertainment attorney, she’s taken on many influencers as clients, and based on her interactions with them, she’s convinced they’re not her cup of tea. 

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Although she couldn’t share their names or specific details due to attorney-client privilege, she said most of her influencer clients are very entitled, with bloated egos to back up their entitlement. She doubts she’ll take on more influencers going forward.

29. Random request

People working in freelance and other gig-related industries know that cold-emailing is one of the most popular ways to get clients. However, before venturing into this taxing endeavor, one of the most important things you have to do is research.

Image courtesy of thechristycarlsonromano/Instagram

Someone said they once got a random email from Christy Carlson Romano, who is an actress and influencer. Christy was asking the person’s PR agency to consider collaborating with her. However, the person’s agency didn’t work with influencers, and she’d know that had she been keen.

30. Overconfident or just charismatic?

Another person said they worked with a minor influencer at their desk job, and influencing had proven to be a worthwhile side hustle for her. While she was not unkind, she did exhibit a clear sense of self-importance and seemingly overestimated her intelligence. 

Image courtesy of Liza Summer/Pexels

The influencer colleague believed her Instagram following stemmed from her savvy business skills despite having limited social media knowledge. At the risk of sounding bitter, the contributor said they were convinced the aging process would be a little hard on the influencer and those like her. 

31. YouTubers are the worst

The term ‘influencer’ is relatively new in the digital space. Before everyone had a camera phone and ring lights, YouTubers were the most common kind of content creators. One of our contributors said that even though they had worked with people on various platforms, YouTubers were never fun to work with.

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For example, they knew someone who worked with Tyler Oakley, who they said was quite unpleasant. Unfortunately, they never gave a reason or at least a theory of why that was the case. They were, however, quick to state that not all of them were terrible.

32. Too filtered

Being famous sometimes comes with an unsettling sense of paranoia around saying the wrong thing in public or even around friends since ‘cancel culture’ is such a huge thing these days. You have to contend with the pressure of always being friendly and politically correct.

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Someone who has a friend with over two hundred thousand followers said that while the influencer is nice, she’s a little too careful about everything she says. Her overly thought-out responses make it difficult to tell whether she’s being real, which is sad.

33. Not my sister!

It’s a common rule among guys that you should never ever cross the line when it comes to someone’s sister. Our next contributor knew a really nice guy who used to run Vanilla Ice’s website and fan club several years ago.

Image courtesy of vanillaiceofficial/Instagram

The guy said a lot of good things about the artist and how he treated everyone well. However, he was known to lose his cool if ever anyone complimented his hot sister. Well, we don’t know where that came from, but we kind of get it.

34. Mommy blogger

The whole idea of filming kids and making the center of attention on your page has been controversial for years, and rightfully so. Some parents even go to the extent of manipulating their children all in the name of creating content.

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These adults often get perks, freebies, and money for this kind of content, and sadly, sometimes, the kids don’t benefit in any way. One of our contributors said they knew a mommy blogger who did this and never forgot anything, especially if it was useful to her projects. Otherwise, she was a bit scatterbrained.

35. Cool model

Unlike most of our contributors, some people have actually had pleasant experiences meeting famous people like this girl. She hung out with a well-known model whom she met through mutual friends and thought was actually quite kind. Gorgeous and cool, quite the combination.

Image courtesy of La Bottega Dello Stille Via Doberdo/Facebook

As expected, when some of the people at the party they were at got wind of her identity, they started being a bit strange, but seeing as she was used to it, she kept her cool. They kept parting hard, but she never once lost her composure.

36. Admirable work ethic

OG Viners must know Sarah Schauer. She was quite famous on the platform, and when it shut down, she moved to YouTube and, later, TikTok. Someone who worked with her closely came out to say that she was actually quite funny and hardworking.

Image courtesy of sarahschauer/Instagram

Unfortunately, they lost touch when she got a new opportunity and moved to a different state. However, she is still quite active on the socials. It’s always refreshing to meet influencers who aren’t controlled by their social media stardom, and Sarah is a perfect example.

37. Spoiled and ill-mannered

Next, we have someone who we doubt follows any of these guys. They said they have collaborated with numerous influencers in recent years and can undoubtedly say that none of them are polite, professional, or even hardworking. Sad but true, according to him.

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Additionally, he added that several of them are unrecognizable without all the filters and Photoshop. Their managers are just as horrible to work with. It’s just too bad that so many businesses these days heavily rely on them for marketing.

38. A Micro-influencer

We begin with someone who said she once had a friend whose micro-influencer social behavior reminded her of Taylor from Ingrid Goes West. Although the friend occasionally got free makeup and haircuts, she wasn’t sure she ever made money from her Instagram page. 

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She added that being an influencer’s friend was quite interesting, especially since she also benefitted from having a gorgeous friend. Sadly, she lost a lot of followers when she had a child. That friendship reportedly opened her eyes to the effects of pretty privilege.

39. Try serving an influencer

Influencers rarely enjoy and savor the moment. It’s really all about the optics for them. One person recounted how they remembered meeting one of their in-law’s siblings, who happened to be an influencer with 100 thousand followers on Instagram. You’ll never guess what they did!

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Picture this: they were in the middle of a conversation when the influencer suddenly decided to put the phone down, only to start filming mid-chat. The person was even more choked to find the video posted on social media the next day!

40. No manners

Looks like nothing good will ever come out of introducing kids to social media at a young age. Aside from the exploitation allegations leveled against some of the parents and guardians, there is another consequence someone witnessed during a social gathering.

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The person is related to a famous YouTube family. Apparently, during a funeral for one of their relatives, the kids from the channel could be heard telling other children that they were only there because their parents told them they should be nice to fans. Unbelievable!