Are Influencers the Entrepreneurs of the Digital Age?

Dan Nicholson

Social media has ushered in a unique era, introducing us to individuals who command massive followings and possess substantial sway over their audiences. Known as social media influencers, these digital trendsetters and thought leaders have the remarkable ability to mold consumer preferences with their endorsements. Embodying true entrepreneurial spirit, these influencers are fueled by ambition, creativity, and a drive to leave an indelible impact. They are constantly seeking new opportunities to expand their reach, grow their audience, and monetize their influence.

What Traits Do Influencers Share With Entrepreneurs?

Not everyone can become a successful influencer. Just like entrepreneurs, influencers possess several key traits and skills that enable them to thrive in a competitive landscape. Here are some of the ingredients that contribute to their success:

  • Creativity and Innovation: Influencers are constantly coming up with new and innovative ways to connect with their audience and stay ahead of the curve. They are always experimenting with new formats, platforms, and strategies to engage their followers and drive their brand.
  • Passion and Enthusiasm: Influencers are passionate about their niche or industry, and their enthusiasm is contagious. This passion is evident in their content, which is often authentic and engaging.
  • Communication and Persuasion: Influencers are skilled communicators who can effectively convey their message to their audience. They are able to connect with people on a personal level and build trust, which is essential for influencing their purchasing decisions.
  • Relationship Building: Influencers are adept at building relationships with their audience, as well as with brands and other influencers. These relationships are crucial for their success, as they provide access to new opportunities and collaborations.
  • Proactiveness and Risk-Taking: Influencers are willing to take calculated risks and step out of their comfort zones to achieve their goals. They are proactive in identifying opportunities and seizing them, even when faced with uncertainty. This willingness to take risks and embrace challenges is essential for their success in the ever-changing digital landscape.

In fact, a study titled “Entrepreneurs of Social Media” found that social media influencers consistently scored higher on many of the entrepreneurial traits listed above than the average social media user. It is fair to say that influencers are likely to possess an entrepreneurial mindset and a drive to succeed on their own terms.

How Do Influencers Become Entrepreneurs?

In recent years, many influencers have taken their entrepreneurial ambitions further by launching their own businesses. They may create and sell their own products, offer services, or partner with other businesses to develop joint ventures. 

Influencers who start their own businesses have the great advantage of a pre-existing audience, who can become their customer base. As explained in an article on BlueCart, “Customers are actually more likely to buy products that an influencer suggests simply because they trust their word. So, it’s no surprise that many influencers use this to their advantage and start a business they might have been dreaming of for a while.”

Nonetheless, like entrepreneurs, influencers need to conduct market research, plan their strategies, and gather funding before launching their companies. They face the same risks that every entrepreneur faces when starting their businesses.

There are numerous examples of influencers who have successfully transitioned into entrepreneurs. A few notable cases include:

  • Michelle Phan: The makeup artist and YouTuber has built a multi-million dollar empire with her beauty brands, Ipsy and EM Cosmetics.
  • Casey Neistat: The filmmaker and vlogger created a video-sharing social media app, Beme, which was later bought by CNN.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk: The entrepreneur and internet personality has built a consulting business, VaynerMedia, and launched a popular wine club.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the role of influencers is likely to expand. They are already becoming more involved in product development, marketing strategy, and brand management. Additionally, they are increasingly leveraging emerging technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality to create immersive experiences for their followers.


Influencers are not just social media stars; many of them are also entrepreneurs who are shaping the future of the digital economy. Their ability to connect with consumers, create engaging content, and drive business growth gives them an advantage when entering the entrepreneurial world. Because of their focus on innovative strategies and audience relationships, the reach of influencers is likely to grow in the years to come. Influencers may play an important role in shaping the way companies interact with audiences and promote products in the future.



Diva Portal 


Wall Street Journal

Business Insider

Dan Nicholson is the author of “Rigging the Game: How to Achieve Financial Certainty, Navigate Risk and Make Money on Your Own Terms,” deemed a best-seller by USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to founding the award-winning accounting and financial consulting firm Nth Degree CPAs, Dan has created and run multiple small businesses, including Certainty U and the Certified Certainty Advisor program.

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