Article by Hannah Moore /
Daily Mail /
March 14, 2017 /
Click here to view original /
With followers sometimes in the millions, and platforms all across social media, an Instagram star is a hard thing to go a day without seeing.
But while their presence may appear to be increasing, young people have been warned to avoid falling into the trap of believing they can make a career from their own followings.
Dr Lauren Rosewarne from Melbourne University told Mamamia there had been a huge surge in the amount of people who had focused their future on the idea of becoming famous.
She called the idea ‘unrealistic’, adding: ‘Young people are aspiring to be famous in numbers that were simply not there 20 years ago’.
People like Pia Muehlenbeck, who traded in a career as a corporate lawyer to monetise her social media following a few years ago have become incredibly successful.
She boasts a following of 1.7million and has deals with online clothing retailer Showpo among other designers, as well as companies selling beauty products and health drinks.
However the social media star previously told Daily Mail Australia her hours as an Instagram model were longer than her hours as a lawyer ever were.
She and her boyfriend, photographer Kane Vato shoot the images, which can often take hours, before editing them and uploading them. Her many business deals also see her filming in the Showpo office on what appears to be a regular basis.
The model also works as a market editor for Grazia and has designed a luxury activewear line.
She and Mr Vato are now focusing on expanding their reach on YouTube, which involves even more hours filled with shooting and editing.
Alex Hayes, who only finished high school in 2015, boasts a following of more than 500,000.
He rose to fame after he and his friends photoshopped a shark lurking just underneath his surfboard, Mashable reported.
The teenager lapped up the attention before revealing it was all a hoax.
In 2014, he says he was paid $5,000 by Nutri-Grain for helping boost their marketing campaign’s hashtag #fuelon with some posts of him being active outdoors.
He received the money in return for 40 pictures, equaling $125 per post.
While those numbers are enticing, there is a science behind social media success which makes it much harder to achieve, especially in such a saturated market.
Andrew Green, director of marketing agency Konichigram told Mashable successful influencers must have at least 10,000 followers.
In addition, to capture a brand’s attention, at least two per cent of those people must be interacting with posts, by either commenting on or liking the picture.
Dr Toni Eager, a researcher based at the Australian National University, said there was a big difference between a traditional celebrity, whose personal life was often hidden away, and a social media star.
‘On Instagram, what people are doing is leveraging the private life first,’ she said.
‘So where do they go from there in trying to separate the life people see on Instagram to their actual normal life?
‘All of a sudden, people own your private life.’