The Influencer Series; What Being an Influencer Really Means

by Brittiany Ralls

Everywhere you tap now on social media there is an influencer or a public figure glaring back at you from the screen. This is common for every industry, including the cannabis industry. There are a ton of people who are worthy of the title and those that are not. Since it can be difficult to tell who you really should or shouldn’t be listening to, I thought it would be great to do a 3-part series on “influencers,” and what that actually means to patients and business owners alike, including what research to do.

In the second part of our three part series we will also discuss what public figures are worth your time, and why or why not. A new industry being created can leave those who are not familiar feeling foolish for listening to someone who has labeled themselves an influencer, not realizing that person doesn’t have actual knowledge or isn’t in representation of the ideals of the community. The amount of “influencers” who are in representation of cannabis companies out there are staggering, and we aren’t even federally legal yet.

Influencer…….

What does that word mean to you? When I think of an influencer, I picture someone who has knowledge in a subject and has been able to prove or show that they have that knowledge backed by experience. Coupled with followers who feel that your opinion or knowledge is worth listening to. Some would label this person a specialist, an expert, or a dignitary even. The primary thought is that it’s a person who has knowledge and is wanting to “influence” those around them. The idea of wanting to gain the power of influence seems to be the main determining factor when someone has labeled themselves an influencer, especially on social media platforms.

Influencer

As a consumer, and a business owner you have more to think about when it comes to whether you should follow or hire someone who is labeled an influencer or public figure. Which we will discuss in the third part of the three part series. While doing research on what an influencer really means, I have come across very differing opinions, but the most consistent aspect is the want of understanding the impact a person can have on another.

Whether it’s in a good or bad way.

Looking for who we SHOULD be influenced by is a question all of us need to start asking. Cannabis is a medicine that is consumed in multiple different ways, processed in multitudes of ways, and marketed to the public in many different ways. The larger, federally legal medical industry has already taught us that not everyone can be trusted. Sometimes those that are even knowledgeable are out there looking to make a quick buck. Does this mean that even if you do your research you may still be fooled? Yeah, it does. But, in my opinion at least you can say you tried. You tried to find out what public figure you should be supporting instead of just following anyone. The future of real influencers is just that, about them being real in all aspects.

Honesty, transparency, and organic interaction will be the future for those looking to call themselves influencers.

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