Passion Seekers: It’s Your Time to Shine

Posted on Nisan 1, 2016

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Melina Papadopoulos yazdı…

There’s been some talk recently about how the new networked economy is going to shape our future. MIT’s Technology Review published a great article on the topic, as did Forbes recently. Both these articles focus on the opportunities that will be created for both businesses and people, and how this economy will continue to shift the way we interact, live and work.

Before we get too deep, let’s start by defining what we mean by the networked economy so we can understand how passion seekers are going to shine in this new economy.

A network is a group or system of interconnected people or things. Everything around us is based on a network. Let’s just start with the first hour or so of your day. You wake up, and chances are you’re checking your phone thanks to the satellite network. Then, you wash your face using the plumbing network. You make yourself a cup of coffee, thanks to the food distribution network. Finally, you drive to work (or take the subway, ride your bike, or walk) via the transportation network.

The networked economy is all about the complex, highly interactive, real-time global networks that are forming and being leveraged thanks to technology and the digitalization of our lives.

Social Media and The Networked Economy

Social media is the embodiment of this networked economy. Everything in social media is based on networks. Facebook is the Friendship network, Twitter, the news network, LinkedIn, the company network. And Instagram is the creatives’ network. This group has flocked to Instagram in particular because of how simple and effective it is for them to share their passion with the world through the posting of a photo.

Most of us on social media platforms are contributors in some way. Some of us are passive contributors — we share and like content. Others, create or produce content. And a small subset of these content creators are creating some really amazing content and have amassed a vast following as a result. This high quality content is engaging and influencing others in some interesting ways. It’s influencing what we buy, where we travel and what we eat.

How Passion Seekers Will Thrive in this New Economy

Creatives and creators are having a Renaissance moment in this economy. Just read this and this. I like using the word passion seekers for this group because what they embody is an authentic pursuit of their passion. Whether a recipe creator, musician, style trend setter, photographer or coffee aficionado what they all share is a passion for that one particular thing they love. And that passion is infectious. It’s hard not to want to follow them. It’s hard not to want to engage with other people that follow them. And it’s really easy to trust their opinion, especially on the particular topic they are passionate about.

This new way of interacting is changing the way brands and companies are thinking about marketing and advertising. It’s opening up a whole new channel for brands to connect with consumers more directly and more organically. And its allowing these influencing passion seekers in particular to benefit from this digital economy in a new way. While these influencing content creators have been digitally laboring for free, their dedication and efforts have been rewarded with vast numbers of highly engaged followers. And now, brands want to capitalize on that following.

Brands and companies are constantly seeking fresh content and new ways of reaching and engaging with their target audiences. More and more, brands are finding and collaborating with these influencers for specific campaigns and they are willing to pay top dollar.

The best part is that influencers are in the drivers seat and get to choose which collaborations they want to accept. More importantly, they have to be prudent that the brands they choose to collaborate with reflect authentically on who their followers know and trust. In this way, it’s a self regulating economy. And just like in any new-ish economy, the arbitrage opportunity here is also quite apparent. Over time as supply catches up to demand, prices will likely normalize. Yet for those top notch influencers, there’s no reason why their celebrity status will not continue to be rewarded handsomely.

What I love most about this new collaboration model is the idea that following your passion is no longer some crazy, foolish venture. If you do it in a smart, disciplined way and have something to offer the world that others value and are inspired by, good things can and will happen. Your passion no longer needs to be relegated to a side hustle or a hobby, if you don’t want it to be. It will start out that way for sure. But just like in the “real world”, hard work does eventually pay off.

 

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