Something funny (as in peculiar) happened to me this month. I had (what I thought) was an easy project from a client: to find influencers for a hunting campaign in November. There were some restrictions placed on me, but still, I assumed this would be an easy task as hunting influencers are a-plenty. #AmIRight?
There are gobs (technical math term) of hunting influencers on the socials, turns out most of them are young women. They are possibly married, maybe have a (very) young kid, probably rural and already have their sponsors/partners listed in their bios. I found several ladies who fit the needs of my client.
With the (minor) restrictions placed upon me, I was unable to find any men who could represent. This leads me to a conundrum of:
- Do I lower my bar and find someone who will “just do.” Or
- Do I turn in all ladies to the client and explain the why’s and how’s I could not, for the life of me, find a male hunting influencer?
- (Option 1 isn’t really an option, FYI.)
Besides my woes of fulfilling a client’s wish, I started asking around: why is there a limited amount of male hunting influencers? Sure, I could easily find guys who are into guns and tactical gear. YouTube and Instagram are full of videos of reviews, lessons and trick shots from male influencers using every gun imaginable. But the focus on guns was not my task – the focus is on hunting.
I started Googling this and learned that yes, overall, there are more female than male influencers and guess what? The ladies get paid less than their male counterparts! #Shocker. But really, the reason is a good lesson on supply and demand. If the DEMAND for male influencers is there, but there is LESS OF A SUPPLY, then of course the guys are going to charge more for the same work.
I also chatted with a few of my colleagues who agreed with me that yes, there are more female than male hunting influencers (especially those in the micro-influencer range of less than 10k followers) and we agree it is not only because women are more apt to share openly on social media, but also that Instagram FAVORS the ladies. Yes, favors. Just read this story here about how a study found Instagram’s algorithm to favor semi-nude pictures of women. (I need to table this part of the discussion for another time as I think we all can go off on a rant on this little find.) And we’ve all heard of the term “Instagram boyfriend.” He’s the one behind the camera, taking pictures while the girl poses. I’m telling you guys right now, hand her camera/phone back to her and tell her to invest in a Gorilla Pod Tripod and take her own pics. I mean, this is 2020 after all.
Nonetheless, even with all these insights, I am back to square one of not having a diverse influencer list to show my client. I am confident in the ladies I have found will do a wonderful job for the campaign in question. However, there is a blank space for a male micro-influencer in the hunting space. So if you are up for the challenge, you have something to share in the hunting community, and you are a guy who feels comfortable being in front of the camera, I would say you could very well have a new side hustle to consider. Call me to represent you. #KiddingNotKidding
-- Michelle Scheuermann, editor, Archery Wire