One brave influencer, Lissette Calveiro, with a following of over 37,000 on Instagram, has opened up about how trying to keep up with the online persona she created for herself, ultimately left her in $10,000 worth of debt (roughly ₹ 620000).
Writing candidly for The Metro's Debt Diaries series, Lissette revealed how she first became hooked on the Insta-world after moving to New York to become an intern at a press agency. "Every day, I found myself refreshing my social media news feeds to see what the next trend was, where were the latest influencers eating and hanging out, and what were they wearing?" She then started adopting that lifestyle herself and growing her own following.
But her influencer lifestyle came at a cost, explains Lissette. Her expenditures included "constant online shopping for a closet that enabled me to ‘never repeat an outfit’ for a picture, endless Açai bowls and brunches and a need to feed my newly acquired travel bug without consideration of the potential risks of being in debt – all to show off to my newfound followers."
LIKE this post if you are OK with Likes going away 👀 I’ve gotten this question a hundred times over the last week and it’s been so interesting to hear everyone’s perspective. I am totally indifferent with @instagram hiding likes. . INFLUENCER POV: If you have self esteem issues with your likes, the problem isn’t actually addressed since YOU can still see how many likes you’re getting. And trust me, it will go down even harder. Doesn’t seem like it’s fixing the problem, but it is eliminating the comparison game so there’s a plus up on that. . MARKETER POV: We are not going to stop working with influencers because Likes go away. In fact, Likes are probably on the lower end of the totem pole of what we care about. The “media value” of a Like is 11 cents, compared to the value of a Comment or Save which is $4+!! A Like is such a passive way of engaging that it can’t say much about the consumer. I am also looking at Reach and Impressions to see how much of your audience we’re actually capturing. Stories are a different ballgame, but we’ll save that for another day. . USER POV: As a leisurely user of the platform, I wish that Likes functioned like @tiktok where a tap meant that content was essentially bookmarked so I can come back and see what I liked. I also want them to bring back being able to see what others are liking as it helped for discovery of content and new accounts. . TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS 👇🏽
A post shared by Lissette Calveiro | Biz Coach (@lissettecalv) on
Despite having a seemingly glamorous, jet set lifestyle, the social media favourite was funding it through her internship salary, savings and credit cards (as well as posting about any free trips, events or products she received), giving little thought to the consequences. It was only after three years that Lissette says she stepped back and realised exactly how high a bill she'd run up, saying she was "shocked, scared, and disappointed".
Realising the extent of her money woes forced Lissette to scale back and move to a cheaper apartment, until she was able to pay off the debts. She also changed her online persona to be more honest about her financial situation, sharing money-saving tips along the way, while making use of the brand endorsements, to live a debt-free, more authentic life.