07 Dec 2012
Social media influencers are a hot commodity in the marketing and PR world right now. Bloggers, are perhaps the most in demand of them all seeing PR and marketing pitches daily to share a new product, service or an event experience. The idea is simple – offering the blogger something in exchange for hopeful coverage on their platform and reach the bloggers audience.
As a blogger and incredibly active social media user, I have received a lot from brands looking for exposure and generally I’m willing to share. But, one of the things I keep telling people is that you can’t base a life on social media influence. But perhaps that was my own internal limitations saying “no”, maybe the thought scares me and I’d rather deny it is possible? Well, I’ve always been willing to challenge my own beliefs and explore possibilities.
So, I have decided to challenge myself. I’ve decided to challenge my own opinion and see what happens. I am going to conduct a year long social experiment to determine if you can in fact base a life on social media influence! But in order to do this right, I really need to commit to it… which means plenty of sacrifices and personal risk. So here’s how it will go down…
- On January 1st 2013, my apartment will be completely moved out. This means everything from my clothes, furniture, dishes, food, electronics and everything else in between. I even intend to remove every light bulb. My entire apartment will be devoid of any personal possessions.
- I will pack one suitcase of possessions to help me get started. The contents of the suitcase will be shown in an initial YouTube video. I suspect some of the seed items I’ll be packing will include a toothbrush, some toothpaste, a change or two of clothes, a laptop, some TTC tokens, some food, a pillow and blanket – Truly limited to the basics of everyday life.
- I will also put aside $1200 cash of emergency money to help pay for items I may need in a pinch – this may allow me to extend food/toiletries by a month or two, which I figure is crucial as dying of starvation or uncleanliness is not ideal.
- I won’t be including rent or hydro in this, and instead will pay for those things myself as I have determined they are both crucial to this experiment. (Oh, and my landlord said ‘no’ to removing the fridge/oven.)
- The rest of my life will be in the hands of the social media world and what it provides.
Now, along the way I’ll be doing plenty to document the adventure. Brands who provide items will receive different benefits, including blog posts, images and in some cases a YouTube video. There may be a short podcast where I will provide an update on what’s going on, the challenges and other fun stuff.
Oh, and while this social experiment is going on, I’m going to be doing as much social good as I reasonably can!
- For every 15 sponsored items, I’ll be sponsoring a child for a month through PlanCanada.*
- In December, I will be going through everything and donating appropriate items to Toy Mountain, the Red Door Shelter and the Daily Bread Food Bank.
- I may also host an auction on site in December, with money going to both PlanCanada and Red Door Shelter - but that is a long ways from now, and logistics will be figured out by then.
Regardless of what happens, it will be a great learning and living experience for myself and for people reading. Not going to lie though, the thought of sleeping on the ground is not one I’m too amped about. But alas, it has to be done, and I’m excited for the challenge!
*To a current max of 180 months, but will increase if financially possible.