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Social media influencer Sabrina Tan, right, poses with a shopper during a Sip n Shop event.

What an Instagram influencer won’t tell you about reality

Jeena Sharma
Member exclusive by Jeena Sharma

Instagram influencers have the power to make or break cultural trends, and brands are aware.

Companies pay influencers with up to 1 million followers close to $10,000 per post, according to an interview with one influencer agency. They pay influencers with more than 1 million followers about $100,000 per post. On top of this cash, top influencers also enjoy free designer clothes, products, and stays at the best hotels across the world, all provided by brands hoping to pop up in their feeds.

From the outside, it all looks quite glamorous. But in reality, “influencing” is a business, and a competitive one. We spoke with influencers about the part of their jobs that they don’t always broadcast.