“I made more money this year, in 2020, as an influencer than I made as an interior designer. There is that much demand, that much need for midlife women influencers. "
“2020 was not at all the year I was expecting it to be. I had several major interior design projects in the works, my third annual Influencers of Midlife Summit was set for March, and I was managing my career as an over-60 influencer.
When people hear “midlife influencer”, they are a little confused because they think of social media influencers as being young 20-somethings. The marketing opportunity for midlife brands is huge, though. The tail end of the Boomers and the top end of Gen X has a lot of consumer power, particularly because they often have more money at their disposal that 20-somethings who are just starting out and paying off college loans. People over 50 have savings and money to spend, so we are a great target audience. And those companies need social media influencers to attract people to their brands.
An influencer is someone who has: the power to affect others' purchasing decisions because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with their audience; and a following in a distinct niche, with whom they actively engage. The size of the following depends on the popularity of their niche. Influencers in social media have built a reputation for their knowledge and expertise on a specific topic.
I get paid to promote companies to our age demographics. And I am not alone. The over-50 age group is the fastest growing group on Instagram.
In 2018, at the age of 62, I created a conference for midlife influencers and bloggers focusing on educating and mentoring new midlife influencers. The first conference was in 2019 and was attended by 100 midlife influencers.
Our 2020 Influencers of Midlife Summit was scheduled for the last week of March. We had 150 women registered to attend, midlife social media influencers, creatives, and entrepreneurs. It was meant to be a mentorship conference, with workshops and seminars teaching women the skills they need to establish and extend their business and influencer status. How to do Instagram, how to write a blog, how to update your website with SEO content marketing. And how to make sure you get paid. Companies won’t work with you if you're treating it like a hobby. There are so many women out there on Instagram who are killing it and we need them to help the ones who are still learning.
When February was hitting, I was very aware that COVID was coming. I had a couple of women reach out to me at the end of January saying their doctor recommended against traveling and being in a big crowd. Those were some of the red flags I was getting. Also, my brothers who are pilots were having symptoms before the government said anything. When I called the hotel to tell them I was canceling, they were shocked I was canceling the event without even waiting for the president to announce that we had a problem. Of course, by March we were in lockdown.
But there was still such a need for the content the summit was going to provide. I polled the women about what they wanted to do and it was clear they wanted us to find a way to continue to provide advice and content. So in July 2020, I started the Influencers of Midlife Magazine. A lot is unfolding behind the scenes as we speak, collaborating with writers, influencers, setting up a teaching website. In 2021, we probably will just stick with the magazine and not have a conference. The magazine is doing very well because we have a lot more time to read these days.
For me, being an influencer is a natural extension of being an interior designer. I made more money this year, in 2020, as an influencer than I made as an interior designer. There is that much demand, that much need for midlife women influencers. We are a target audience for so many companies.
I’ve noticed in the last three years, as well as during COVID, that I’m doing more and more sponsorships with companies. They seem to be reaching out to the influencers more because they have lower budgets for agencies and models. There aren’t that many over 50 models. So guess who gets the business? Us. We're not as expensive as the models, and we are a large group with discretionary funds.
I was shocked, honestly, that companies were still wanting us during COVID. The clothing companies switched to stay at home style and they wanted us to promote loungewear, which I don't do. But I did do a lot of athletic wear in the spring. We did see a lot of clothing brands go into bankruptcy. And the ones that are surviving are still using us as influencers and paying us for our value and influence. And I'm very pleasantly pleased that I'm in high demand even though we're in COVID.
I truly think, for me, as somebody who's over 50, the opportunities are enormous. And whether it's writing, or whether you're taking up art or writing a book, you know, writing your life story, now is the time and we actually have more time to be more creative, because we're at home. We can find so many things to do at our age, and be passionate about it, because we're not concerned about family and young children. We have that freedom now and it's our time to shine, you know, as women. We kind of sit on the back burner as the wife or the mother, we don't take time for us. And now is our time. I mean, I think that's our motto. Now it's our time." -- Robin LaMonte #Georgia #SouthCarolina #Utah
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