Under the Influencers October 31, 2021 While I work I like to listen to audiobooks and podcasts, something I've mentioned before, and while listening to one podcast in particular my eyes were opened. They were opened to the rise of so called influencers on social media within the decorating trade. Now I shouldn't really be shocked to this as it's something that's gone on for a few years but until it was mentioned on this podcast I hadn't realised how many accounts I follow do this. Mainly I'm just impressed by the workmanship and often wonder how they manage to be able to spend the time required on jobs to achieve this, then I started to look deeper and I noticed a trend on a lot of them. A trend that was mentioned on this podcast and I'll go a bit further on that in a moment. I should give a shout out to the podcast before I carry on, its the Brothers of The Brush podcast. Just one decorator chatting to another chewing the fat over everything about running a business, the trade and life in general. I'd recommend it to all decorators to listen to.A few years ago I wrote a review and a blog on Isomat Paint after being approached by Decorators Forum on Facebook. All paint was supplied and my opinion on the products were not influenced in anyway. If I found some of it rubbish I said so with no fear of retribution. The same way I will say if a Dulux product doesn't meet my standards, regardless of myself being a Dulux Select member. Now listening to the podcast a few points were raised, namely getting paid to promote and advertise products on your social media channels. The conversation ventured on to products getting delivered to the interviewee, then him having to post x amount of content about the said products daily or weekly. Didn't matter if it was good or crap, you just had to sing its praises then a couple of weeks another company would ask the same. He said that was enough for him and he dropped out, stepping back from social media. When I heard that I thought I've seen a few posts by a couple of accounts doing just this so I spent ten minutes or so scrolling through instagram and sure enough there they were. One account, who is loosely referred to on the podcast, is shocking for it. This was an account I followed because I originally thought was good at their job (probably is still), then I see the amount of products they are using, the names constantly getting dropped and the amount of daily content put out there. God knows how they get the time! But once you see it you see it on other accounts. The hashtag bombs at the end of each post listing so many companies, the casual tags in posts of companies names even if its something silly like a free hat they've put on that day. Winning competition after competition that people didn't even know was being run, singing the praises of similar products by rival companies weeks after declaring the other was the best and so on. It makes you question who you can believe on what product is worth using, as I find word of mouth between decorators a good way to find out what works best. It's important to know not every product works for every decorator. I swear by Dulux Heritage Velvet Matt and Benjamin Moore Scuff X this year and have used them on most jobs, but others will say Johnstones Durable Matt and Aqua Guard are better products at a cheaper price. I don't say they are wrong because it works for them, what I use works best for me. Same is with brushes, rollers, spray guns etc, we all use what is best for us. What the podcast has done is made me to question what I see is actually a genuine opinion or a paid promotion. Also its made me wonder how many more products I've brought over the years I've got duped into buying by taking someones paid for opinion for. Anyway, better charge my iPhone and AirPods up for tomorrow, not forgetting my Apple Watch and iPad and turn the iMac off when I've finished up on this. Duped? Turns out I'm already a sheep!!