Online they feature in glossy posts as the epitome of cool. But that is often worlds apart from how they live their lives
Standing amid the reeds and staring pensively into the distance, Jordan Bunker looks every part the moody model, dressed head to toe in black in a direct contrast with the setting. Another image from his portfolio shows him in industrial environs, sporting a minimalist brown trench coat as he looks directly at the camera.
However, the reality for the 24-year-old is far from the glamour associated with the fashion world. In his pyjamas in bed hes fighting a cold at the home he shares with his parents in Leicester, Bunker says his set-up is worlds apart from the pensive street-style glossy shots of him kitted out in designers Paul Smith, Grenson and Joseph on his Instagram page, which has amassed 17,500 followers.
All isnt how it is perceived on Instagram, he says. People assume I have a great life and everything is handed to me. I live with my parents and I work from a desk in my room; its not like I have a separate working space or office.
Bunker is one of a growing army of micro-influencers, social media personalities with a following of between 10,000 and 100,000.
The growth of social media has resulted in the rise of the influencer who, at the top end, can make millions a year through the endorsement of products.
But these high earners are a very small minority: those like Bunker earn significantly less, while still maintaining the attention of thousands of young people.
While regularly seen dressed in on-trend menswear, Bunker is actually on a modest freelance income of about 30,000, with most stemming from social media, blog posts and guest talks.
Its quite a humble salary but Im quite proud of it, he admits. He charges between 500 and 1,000 to promote a brand on his Instagram feed or blog.
The scale of the industry is substantial and growing market research firm Statista says the value of the global Instagram influencer market is set to reach $2.38bn in 2019 from $1.07bn in 2017.
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