Looking For a Remote Job? Watch Out For These Red Flags!
With remote jobs and education skyrocketing after the pandemic, working from home sounds like an opportunity to do something you enjoy and manage your own time, without compromising your income. If you have found yourself watching video after video on how to get started in your career to maximize profits and have better flexibility, you probably have wondered if it’s all too good to be true, and with numerous individuals promoting different career paths, it’s better to analyze with caution everything they have to say. We are here to make sure you don’t have to wonder if a remote job is something you can aspire to, or if it’s just another scam to watch out for, helping you discern valuable advice from clickbait.
So, what are these hustle influencers?
Hustle influencers are people in social media that have a substantial following on social media platforms to which they promote alternative lifestyles, different from the already known 9 to 5. Some influencers are self-proclaimed lifestyle coaches, becoming almost guru-like to their followers. Depending on what hustle influencer we are talking about, some claim you don’t need a degree or special skills to get started in the career of your dreams, just a laptop and maybe a phone. Hustle influencers tend to promote starting your own business and base their advice on their own life stories and experiences. These influencers might give you tips on entrepreneurship, personal development, academic objectives, productivity hacks, etc. While some people resonate with this type of messages and the lifestyle that hustle influencers represent, that being working from home, starting your own business or completely shifting to an online job, others have raised concern over the possibility of some individuals taking advantage of their audiences by self-promotion, shady businesses, and setting unrealistic expectations.
Like in most industries, it is important to differentiate the truth from the fantasy in order to make good decisions, whether that is going back to college and getting a degree at 40 or enrolling in online programs that promise career advancement. Now, hustle influencers can be found in an array of industries. Where there is a job opportunity, you are likely to find a hustle influencer telling you how to get it. However, we are especially concerned with hustle influencers that promote remote jobs and business ideas through the first step of online education, whether that means an online course, a masterclass, a subscription, coaching sessions, or any online education offer. Our reason is quite simple, people who want to expand their education and get better opportunities are preys to people who know how to exploit that yearning for success.
Read about our eight tips to help you stay safe while you search for remote job opportunities.
#1: Differente a Niche from An Ad
Hustle influencers are supposed to shed light into alternative career paths or lifestyles, showcasing the possibilities of thinking beyond the 9 to 5 paradigm. Many of these influencers specialize in different niches, meaning they focus their content on particular subjects or career paths. For instance, one influencer might focus solely on content creation, while other targets online sales. Having a niche is not necessarily bad, quite the opposite in fact. It shows that the influencer knows about a particular subject and is probably equipped with the capability of giving good advice on the online careers, side hustles or remote jobs they highlight through their platform. However, beware of influencers that sell their product or services claiming that it is the only way to get the results they preach about. If an influencer is constantly referring to the same service or product, always think before you purchase and make sure you make an informed decision.
Many influencers are successful individuals that offer masterclasses, coaching or courses where they share their life’s path with you and show you how they got to where they are now, and though this is a fantastic way of learning about different lifestyles and stories, a great way of making sure you are purchasing something of value is to take a look at the influencer’s background and credentials before spending any money. A niche is a certain area of subject, NOT a step by step guide you must adhere to.
#2: A Smart Business is A Legal Business
Some content influencers see an opportunity of profit in numerous activities, and they are likely to share that same thought with you. After all, their content is based on making money and finding success. Having this in mind, always be careful of the type of business that the influencer is praising, what it sells, what its services are, and how it operates. Though our current times provide an array of industries and different paths, it is always important to confirm that every step you take towards your objective is within the legal possibilities. Always beware of business proposals that promise massive amounts of profits in a short amount of time, not because they are all dubious, but because ill-intentioned influencers might take advantage of hopeful audiences by promising the world and delivering everything but. Also make sure any activity you decide to take part in is allowed in your area, and don’t risk being caught in the middle of something you later realize was maybe not the best idea. Now, keeping in mind we are focusing on online opportunities, it’s easy for an influencer to present its product like something you can trust, but remember that anyone can create a webpage and a social media account. Just because something looks nice and well thought, it doesn’t mean you can trust it with your eyes closed. Always make sure anything you get into is in accordance with your local laws, businesses sell legal and real products, and services are allowed.
#3: Watch Out for Unsubstantiated Claims
Be cautious of any influencer that preaches any health, wealth or success claims without any scientific or verifiable evidence. Make sure you make an effort to differentiate a true business or career influencer that gives valuable advice from a scammer that will say anything that attracts more clicks and views. Always verify that whatever the influencer is saying, selling or promoting is licensed and compliant with local regulations. Checking for proof that verifies what your influencer is saying is a great way of ensuring you are really following a successful professional and not just a storyteller. Look for testimonials from others that have purchased what the influencer is selling, see what they think, how it went for them, and make a knowledgeable decision with the right previous research. The good thing about focusing on online jobs and opportunities is that there are multiple online communities where you can find information on the product or service you are interested in. Remember to always find out more about anything that seems too good to be true!
#4: Beware of Hidden Costs
If you find you trust your influencer and are interested in a specific product, always make sure you are aware of possible hidden costs like training fees, subscriptions, inventory requirements and more. If something feels too risky, trust your gut and walk away. There are plenty of legitimate career influencers out there, with careful investigation and understanding you will get to one. Don’t forget to have an exit strategy when investing money, so that whatever chances you take, you always have a Plan B to turn to. Start small, whether that means a small investment, small steps, or small commitment, so that you can minimize risks until you are confident of the advice you are receiving. Make sure that the influencer you are listening to is absolutely transparent in anything related to payments. With online purchases, it is easy to make what you think is a one-time payment and have it result in a subscription, or, if you decide on a subscription, make sure there you have the possibility to unsubscribe and walk away anytime and there is no minimum period. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises!
#5: There Are Plenty of Fish in The Sea
Say you have considered all our previous tips and still find that hustle influencers are something you admire and look up to, and you are seriously considering taking steps towards a remote job or career. If that is the case, make sure you don’t rely solely on one source of information! Whatever advice hooks you, make sure to check for reviews on similar subjects from other influencers and communities. For example, if you enjoy an influencer that speaks highly of the possibilities of being a virtual assistant, do some research on what that job means, how it works, success stories and testimonials, and more. Don’t take what any influencer says to heart, and make sure you always research, educate yourself, verify information and look for transparency. Remember, a perk of online education and online businesses is that you can most likely find information on different platforms and communities to confirm that the information you are receiving is, in fact, true and trustworthy. Consistent ideas or similar messages throughout different influencers and communities is an excellent way to verify facts, especially if it’s about something you are just learning about.
#6: A Big Following Does Not Make Them Trustworthy
We cannot stress this enough; a big following does not mean someone deserves your trust! Influencers with massive followers have come under fire for scamming their loyal followers out of their money. Take Austin McBroom, for example. A former college basketball player with following 6 million followers on Instagram, 18.5 million subscribers on YouTube, and credentials from different American universities. His content is rather varied, but he has praised the hustle culture in multiple occasions. A popular hustle influencer whose power and success attract millions of people around the world, McBroom has faced several accusations for scamming investors in his business ventures, misleading his followers and deceiving participants in some of his organized events. One of his criticized ventures involves a program which he claimed would help his audience achieve their dreams and master social media, something which he has done, which means people are likely to believe his advice. However, his course apparently had some hidden costs that subscribers were not aware of.
Another influencer that has faced scrutiny for illegally scamming their followers for almost $2 million dollars is Kayla Massa. The Instagram influencer was arrested as part of an investigation on a debit card scam. With hundreds of thousands of followers, Massa would post stories that showcased eye-catching piles of money, with a caption along the lines of “Message me if you want to make money.” With such a big following, it’s easy to see why people would trust Kayla Massa and message her in order to earn some cash. When they did, Massa would allegedly ask for their debit card information so that she could “help them better manage their money,” and then withdraw all their money. Both cases go to show that a big following does not, by any means, equal a professional individual. Their massive following means that there will be people talking about them online, so check what people are saying and get as much insight as you can. Remember, some influencers don’t really care about their followers, and you can’t be too cautious when delving into their proposals.
#7: Influencers Are Good Marketers.
Influencers have gained massive followings through strategies and tactics. They are no strangers to capturing an audience’s attention through carefully produced content. In other words, influencers are masters of knowing what to say to get you interested. Beware of phrases like “You will make $10k/month after 90 days if you start today,” or “Earn a 6-figure yearly salary with this online course.” Some will promise you will “earn thousands while you work from home,” which clearly sounds interesting but should be approached with caution. While such phrases can be a result of bad marketing, anything that promises you incredible results as long as you take a course, purchase a product, or join a subscription immediately can be the first red flag you see. There is a difference between convincing advertising and pressuring people into giving up their money. Again, we don’t want you to get discouraged. Working from home IS possible, earning a good income with flexible hours IS possible. You just need to be smart and careful about it.
#8: Stick to The Honest Ones
We repeat: Not all hustle influencers are scammers. In fact, many are proactive professionals who saw opportunities in a modern world. They are passionate about the remote job phenomenon and see the possibilities in it. Many online job advocates are mothers that saw the difficulty of sustaining a single income household but couldn’t afford to leave their children at home. These influencers are passionate about sharing their success with other mothers that might be in their same situation. An excellent example of an influencer motivated by a desire to empower mothers is Whitney Bonds. Not only does she shed light onto numerous different remote job areas, from virtual assistants to real estate preservation contractors and content creators, but she also provides her audience with access to a community of people in similar conditions. Yes, she promotes certain courses that promise to help individuals take their first steps towards a remote job or different career, but she promotes different courses depending on what career you are most interested in. She also is not the owner of all the courses she talks about, and actually shares multiple testimonies and experiences,
Similarly, Lauren Golden is a businesswoman and founder of Free Mama TV, where she aims to help moms start a successful virtual business. Like Whitney, Lauren identified a problem that many mothers face: being able to raise their kids while in the 9 to 5 model. Her purpose with her content is to help moms break free from the 9 to 5 grind and work from home. Lauren promotes her Free Mama Membership, but she also provides her audience with several testimonials and references from people that have actually taken the course. She also makes it clear that you can cancel your subscription any time. These are all green flags you can look for when choosing which influencer’s course you wish to take. Remember, not every influencer that promotes their own course is trying to scam you, and you can verify this with your own research! Another green flag is that Lauren does not limit her advice to her subscription only and you can find multiple well researched videos on her YouTube account.
Whether you are a mom who needs a job while spending time with your children, or a digital nomad that wants to travel the world, remote jobs are extremely attractive. Remote jobs might allow you to have flexible hours, work part time, work from home or anywhere in the world, but they have to be done correctly. If you are interested in how to find a job where you can work from home, hustle and career influencers are a great way to learn more about different opportunities and lifestyles to inspire you to work on your personal objectives. Many of them are legitimate business owners that aim to inspire and empower others so that they too can take reigns of their time and efforts. Many are passionate about what they do, following the mindset of “if they could do it, so can you.” Don’t turn away from these influencers just because you are scared of falling victim to a fake professional or a scammer. Instead, make sure you are careful in every step you take, double check credentials, look for reviews and different opinions, and always trust your gut. Remember, there are legitimate opportunities and valuable advice out there, but there are also wolves in sheep’s clothing, and you should always approach opportunities with a smart and critical mindset so that you can work on your goals while protecting yourself from potential scams.