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Let My Embarrassing Story Serve You Well.
I’m telling this embarrassing story so I can spare someone else from having to go through this.
Earlier this year, an Instagram influencer (she posts selfies. That’s it) reached out to me in my DMs and asked if she could interview me for her YouTube channel. At the time, she had about 90K followers on Insta. I clicked the link in her bio for the YouTube channel and was not impressed. Not very many subscribers. The content was poor quality; and juvenile.
I agreed to do the interview. Why? She had this huge follower count on Instagram that I thought could translate into a few potential new followers or fans for me. Simple. But I ignored so many red flags.
So I’m going to articulate the red flags so you can look for them when you’re tempted to waste your time for someone who isn’t serious.
She has very few posts (74) for how many followers she has (99K) and of those 74, there are zero books (unless she’s posing with one)
The YouTube channel has a low follower count and no bookish content. It’s all about video gaming
When she asked to interview me, she name-dropped other horror fiction professionals she previously interviewed (I didn’t find those but figured she was new at this and building content)
She told me email was slow and antiquated and wanted to communicate with me via WhatsApp. I said no. “Email is fine too btw , I just find it awkward and delayed so I avoid it hahahaha”
She asked me to provide her with a bio and headshot. Exactly five hours later, she reminded me that she needed the bio and headshot. “Any update on this?” she demanded.
She sent me questions to my email and asked me to film my answers in order. She would be recording herself asking the questions and then stitch them together so that we didn’t have to coordinate a time to record together. At this point, I’m over it. I’m annoyed and skeptical.
I film my responses to her questions. I felt like an idiot. I already knew this would never see the light of day. I just had a strong feeling I was being toyed with.
In the meantime, she DMs me three times to ask when I would be done.
I gave her my video on April 29th. Then she ghosted me. On May 12th, I asked about the interview because she made it seem like time was of the essence right?
On May 25th she responded it would take about a month, and she had a lot of videos to upload. But when I looked at her YouTube, there are never any new content or interviews.
I just received this message from her today:
I feel so stupid. She’s right. It was extremely unprofessional and a colossal waste of time. I don’t believe she ever had a sponsor, I just think she realized the amount of work that goes into editing video content. So the lesson I learned that I’m passing on to you now is not to be dazzled by big follower counts. They aren’t shit. Your time is way more fucking valuable. I had half a mind to tell her I charge $100.00 an hour and she owes me $300.