I’m highly sceptical about the entire “influencer” cottage industry. If you claim to be an “influencer”, what I’m hearing is that your opinion is for sale, and at that point, I’ve lost all respect for you, and you’ve lost all credibility in my mind.
I’m most certainly NOT an “influencer”!
What you will get from me is the truth, as I see it. No airs, no graces, and no pretending. If I know something, I’ll tell you, and if I don’t know, I’ll admit it.
I have received exactly two things to review, without having to pay for either. The first was Andrew P Sykes’ first book, which I’m eternally grateful for, as it introduced me to his work. You can read my review of that book here, and my subsequent review of another of his books here. I bought that second book, and it certainly is worth every penny I paid for it.
The second item I didn’t pay for is my much-loved AeroPress Go! I accepted the AeroPress Go! on the basis that I would do an honest, warts and all review on it, which you can read here. I already owned an AeroPress I bought earlier, which from the start I thought was a brilliant piece of kit. You will find all AeroPress owners rave about theirs, and with a view towards cycle touring and camping, the AeroPress Go! is simply and improvement on an already excellent piece of kit.
Would I suggest you buy Andrew’s book, and get an AeroPress Go!? Absolutely, but that’s because I 100% believe you’ll love it as much as I do, and has nothing to do with the fact that I got it for free.
And no, that doesn’t make me an influencer. Instead, it makes me an honest person, giving you my (unsolicited) advice. You’re obviously free to take, or leave any advice I offer, but you have the reassurance that it’s my honestly-held opinion.
Influencers are a by-product of everything that is wrong with society. There’s a staggering difference between listening to the experience of someone else, who used the product/service you’re considering, and blindly accepting the word of someone who is paid to sell a product, just because they somehow amassed a million followers on social media.
Influencers try to get you to buy more tat, and consume more. I actively ask you to buy less, and to buy second-hand when possible.
Influencers are shills. They’ve sold their opinions, their credibility, their souls. Why would you listen to them?
I can absolutely guarantee you that buying an AeroPress Go! won’t suddenly give you a life filled with adventure, nor will reading Andrew’s books do that. However, it will enable you to make damn good coffee, even when in the middle of nowhere, while the books will make you want to go cycle touring yourself.
If you’re a brand and even for a minute considered asking me to review anything, I’d be happy to oblige, but on the firm understanding that I give brutally honest reviews. If I like your product, and think it’s money well spent, I’d happily say so. Equally, if I think your product is poor value for money, then that’s what I’d say in my review.
My opinions are not for sale.