'If you are an influencer, please don’t feel entitled to whatever you want. Some people would rather be paid for their time and treated with respect.'
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on January 17, 2022. It has since been updated.
U.K.-based musician Jamie Mathias is quite familiar with those who offer exposure in return for his services. Having gained a substantial following on social media by writing, composing and recording original songs for people's special days, Mathias has had to deal with a fair share of such entitled individuals. In 2022, he shared screenshots of some of the conversations he's had with opportunistic people who wanted him to work for free and we thought we'd seen the worst. However, proving there's always room to lower the bar, an influencer couple got in touch with Mathias.
"2 big influencers want me at their wedding next summer. Take a wild guess how they want to pay me," he tweeted, sharing screenshots of the influencer—whose name Mathias prefers not to reveal—blatantly asking him to not only write a personal song for their wedding in Ibiza but also perform an hour-long set... in exchange for promo posts. "Hey bro. Me and **** are getting married in Ibiza and we love your personal songs. If you're free, do you fancy flying out?" the first message reads. Responding to the message with enthusiasm, Mathias replied that he'd send them some pricing options if they could give him more details about the gig. He even offered 50% off if they confirmed the booking before New Year's.
2 big influencers want me at their wedding next summer. Take a wild guess how they want to pay me 😂😂😂— Jamie Mathias (@JamieMathias) December 31, 2021
Influencer culture can get in the 🗑
(No I’m not going to name and shame) pic.twitter.com/N0AHTBWZDE
However, the influencer replied: "We want one of your songs written for us and maybe an hour set too. But nah G, we're not really paying the suppliers. We'll do promo posts and what we charge for promo is worth way more than any track." Mathias informed the influencer that he would rather take the payment, but upon being pushed more reminded of the "reach" he would get from other influencers who would attend the wedding, ended the conversation with a perfectly sassy response. "Ah excellent, a wedding full of other people with lots of money that want me to do s*** for them for free promo! Sign me up bro," he replied sarcastically.
Exposers taste good with a side referral links in the description— forthe lackof (@forthelackof) January 1, 2022
Mathias got a lot of reach from this hilarious encounter inadvertently as his tweet about the experience gained attention on Twitter. He later reached out to the influencer, offering a free song but was turned down. "Bro, you have no idea how much issues this has caused," they wrote. "We are going to have to change the wedding date because of your post... I don't think it'll be a good idea you being at the wedding cos I think people might catch on and we don't want that sh*t but appreciate it."
Speaking to Bored Panda about why he calls out entitled people wanting free services and products, Mathias explained that although it might not have a direct effect on such individuals, it sheds light on how much work creators have to put into their business. "I think there is a perception that because someone enjoys what they do for a job, they shouldn't be compensated for that because it's a hobby. If it's taking time to complete and it's something you're requesting, accept that it costs money and if it's not in your budget, then that's okay," he said.
As a plumber you would be surprised how many people expect you to do this. Perhaps not for free but a huge discount.— The Gas Man Cometh (@GasManGod) January 1, 2022
It never works for them however!
Its the fist bump for me 😂😂😂😂😂 Like Friend.. please is that meant to make it any less insulting 😭😭😭— FourteenToast2 (@FourteenToast2) January 1, 2022
Influencer culture has to be the modern day snake oil phenomenon. Imagine believing your own self importance and that of those around you to think you no longer have to pay for things because your existence is value in itself. I hereby label myself a discourager.— Action Herbert (@ActionHerbert) January 1, 2022
"In a lot of cases, the lifestyle these people portray is far from reality and try not to compare yourself," Mathias added. "But if you are an influencer, please don’t feel entitled to whatever you want. Some people would rather be paid for their time and treated with respect than be told their hard work is only worth a shout-out on your page."