The best way to learn anything is from the people who lived it, and with everyone living their lives a little more online these days, there are a lot of lessons to learn. At nofilter, we’re not just covering the latest influencer drama (although there’s a lot of that, too), we’re also bringing you essays and interviews from people in the industry who have first-hand experience—and solutions—to some of influencing’s biggest problems. This week, we interviewed member EcoVeganGirl and learned about brand horror stories and her advice for negotiating rates, and Instagram made some big moves when it comes to battling misinformation on the platform.

Here are the top tips for influencers we learned this week. 

Twitter is not real life

Writer Maya Kosoff, who worked as a tech reporter at Vanity Fair before leaving media, wrote about the battle scars she still has from the industry. Namely, that she’s invented a fictional Twitter troll who lives in her brain and criticizes everything she does. 

“People with wider audiences, deeper pockets, and worse politics than me might be quick to misidentify what I’m talking about as ‘cancel culture’ or a vicious ‘online mob,’ but I want to be clear: the only person cancelling me here is myself,” she writes. “The Twitter troll in my head is nothing more than a caricature serving as a reflection of my own self-doubts: as a writer, as someone with a sizable social media following, as someone who very literally grew up online.”

The key to engagement is . . . not wanting engagement

“The problem is that now that authenticity has been talked about for so many years, some people fake authenticity,” Whitney Lauritsen, the influencer behind @EcoVeganGirl, explained in an interview with us. “So it has to be true authenticity, like really coming from the heart. But if you're doing that just to get engagement, it's not going to last that long.”

Instagram is cracking down on misinformation

Tired of all those influencers spreading QAnon misinformation? So is Instagram. One prominent account, @little.miss.patriot, was suspended along with a handful of others earlier this week after promoting COVID conspiracy theories. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to nofilter that this move was tied to an announcement they made about violent organizations on the platform back in August

Instagram giveaways are more meaningful than you might think

The internet was quick to joke about the donor sperm giveaway held by lesbian influencers Allie and Sam Conway as just another mockable influencer quirk. However, New York Magazine writer Madison Malone Kircher wrote for us about the deeper importance of this type of giveaway in the LGBTQ+ community. 

“The cost of starting a family for queer people—or anybody who requires medical intervention—can be incredibly high,” she writes. “A single round of reciprocal IVF runs around $15,000. And that’s assuming you only need one. I don’t think it’s particularly strange when an influencer in my feed is giving away clothing or a scented candle or a weekend trip to some hyper-minimalist cabin in the woods. Why should this be any different?"