It’s estimated that the influencer marketing industry will be worth up to $15 billion by 2022, up from as much as $8 billion in 2019, according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates. And when it seems like it can’t get any higher, some self-proclaimed social media gurus want an even larger piece of the pie.

You’ve probably heard of choosing beggars who feel no shame in begging for free goodies from businesses in return for, well, a video. If it doesn’t sound like a fair transaction, it’s because it’s not.

And one small business owner got seriously fed up with teen TikTok stars nagging him to send over free items. He shared it on r/ChoosingBeggars and got a lot of advice on how to shut them down. Sooner than you know it, he was back with a smart shut-down offer that no influenster would dare to accept.

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And this is what Reddit users had to say

Influencer marketing has been a buzzword for a while now, but many are still confused about what it actually means. Well, it basically combines old and modern marketing tools like celebrity endorsement and places it in a content-driven marketing campaign.

It is supposed to be a collaboration between a brand and a social media star, which benefits both sides. On the side of the brand, it creates much-needed exposure, while the influencer is given a monetary or non-monetary reward, attracts larger audiences and builds their portfolio, and boosts their “influence” value.

One Redditor even suggested the business owner try out an exposure promo offer that would shut them down

The guy tried it out on a TikTok influencer and it worked like magic

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However, as big brands are willing to engage in lengthy collaborations with chosen social media stars, small businesses are struggling to keep up with the influencers’ demands. It has partly to do with some people wrongly assuming that influencer marketing is a form of transaction.

On the contrary, such a collaboration can only work if both the brand and the influencer are on the same page, have a clear vision, and meet on the conditions that benefit them both.

Most importantly, the content that the influencer creates for the brand or the business must be genuine, authentic, and engaging. Thus, it takes way more than filming a two-minute video and pressing the share button.

And this is how people reacted