Truth Bombs, Authenticity and the Influencer Life

Truth Bombs, Authenticity and the Influencer Life
The Wellness Experience
The Wellness Experience

Who remembers this? Before the internet, self-care and wellness were largely seen as self-indulgent, and not something “serious” people did. Now, mid-Covid, and in the middle of the most turbulent economic and political climate in more than a decade, people of all ages, but especially young people, now see wellness and self-care as essential.

One place where people find the products and practices that help them thrive is through influencers. Our 2019 Wellness Festival in Cincinnati brought together three of the best known influencers to discuss “How to Build an Online Audience While Keeping Authenticity Top of Mind”. Perez Hilton, Jen Widerstrom and Shanicia Boswell discussed the speed of the internet, how to get paid to sell products and still maintain your authenticity, and share their counterintuitive advice for how to become an influencer. If you’ve ever considered becoming an influencer, or wondered what it takes to be one, this a good spend of an hour. Our panelists really let their guard down in this one. In fact, you could even say they all overshared. We’ve collected some of the key takeaways for you, that, in our opinion, are worth remembering. Have a pen handy because you’ll want to take notes!


Perez Hilton began blogging and creating an online presence and community in 2004, when the internet was still in its infancy. He points out one thing that hasn’t changed since then is the speed of the internet. And while he thinks it’s OK to get paid for selling things you may not believe in, in the end, you have to care about people.

Jen Widerstrom leads an online fitness empire. She delivers perhaps the most profound quote of the day, one that literally stopped the entire panel in its tracks when she opened her phone to read it, and show them she keeps it on her lock screen.

“To gain your voice, forget about it being heard.”

Shanicia Boswell began her internet career with a mom blog. She’s serious about authenticity and integrity, and even maintains it’s possible as an influencer to take on a product you don’t necessarily believe in, and still stay in the good graces of the client. Her advice is not to get into influencing to be an influencer, but rather to find something you care about, and share that with the world. Above all, she insists,

“There’s a way to get paid and still have integrity.”

Near the end of the panel, Sanicia drops another truth bomb on the group about discipline. We won’t spoil it – watch until the end and see it for yourself.

This panel is a great way to get inside the minds of three online giants. While they each come from different corners of the internet, they all agree, that being an influencer is not at all as glamorous as it looks, and that indeed, it is possible to market to your audience, and still maintain your integrity.

Please feel free to bookmark this page to refer to later, or share with your friends and colleagues! And use the hashtag #ShineOn to connect with our wider community of like-minded people interested in health and wellness.

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