Ex-influencer Katharina Weber: “I was only concerned with the posts”

Catherine Weber
Social media with a difference

© Kite_rin / Shutterstock

As a lifestyle influencer, Katharina Weberden lived the dream of many young people. But chasing likes made her unhappier.

To this day I still miss a few things, such as attention! You post something and it interests thousands, the cell phone explodes with messages. Then the privileges: free haircuts; my girls and I were preferred in clubs as VIPs. I was invited to openings and get together events. But as an influencer, it’s not just the red carpet; you have to be online every day. The amount of work is underestimated – and so is the pressure. Luckily I never got hate comments, but losing likes also hurt.

That’s how it started

The impulse for self-promotion came from “Germany’s Next Topmodel”, among other things. But at 1.58 meters, I’m much too short to model. That’s one of the reasons why I signed up for Instagram during my high school years; I enjoyed showing myself off. After school I flew to Florida and Australia. This is how travel content was added – and 2000 new followers. I received an e-mail: would you like to present a tea? I had. I got the tea for that.

At first I could design my pictures however I wanted. But as soon as you have customers, of course they also decide: motif, atmosphere, filter, time, day, accompanying text, hashtags. On Sundays I planned the next two weeks, 14 posts: me in a bikini, me in my apartment – too private? How could I connect my lifestyle to advertisers? Some briefings were eleven pages long.

During the bachelor thesis I couldn’t post anything for months, the numbers went down, instead of 3000 I only got 600 likes. The algorithm apparently classifies you as unimportant if you are not active for a few days. Then you will no longer be displayed to everyone. This reduces reach and comments, but these are crucial for advertising partners.

The essential moves into the background

Then I traveled to Mexico. Sun, palm trees, white beach. But I was only concerned with the posts: content, photos, stories, edit, write, upload. But despite my best efforts, the numbers just didn’t get any better. I was sad and frustrated. After six months I gave up my account – and the money: up to 2500 euros a month.

If I go on holiday today, I have to pay for everything myself. But I enjoy being completely free. Sometimes I give lectures to students. I show them the changes that can be made through image processing. Is the water really turquoise? Are there really mountains? It’s worth googling places. And to realize that influencers’ job is to recommend products or travel destinations.

I work full-time in quality management, am self-employed and only online on the side. My school friend Daria and I went live with them in 2021, we sell dried flowers. And I’m planning my wedding right now. It’s a lot, but it’s recreational fun.


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