AN MTV star has claimed that being a successful influencer is as hard as brain surgery.
Tor’i Brooks, 30, believes that making money online is “just as hard, if not harder” than any academic pursuit — including medicine.
Speaking to Jam Prime, he said it’s a “common misconception” that people think that “taking a few selfies” will make influencers millions.
Brooks said, “That couldn’t be further from the truth.”
In fact, he states that “constantly coming up with content… is incredibly difficult”.
He added: “So in terms of workload, quality and cognitive demand, I would rank success as an influencer at the top of any academic pursuit, including surgery.
“Some people may laugh at that, but they’ve never had to stand out from the crowd in an incredibly competitive market.”
Tor’i – who grew up in Michigan and now lives in LA – competed in the 2015 USA Track and Field Championships after graduating from Davenport University in 2016 with a degree in marketing.
He also played basketball for the Harlem Globetrotters and is on Chris Brown’s team in Crew League, a four-on-four basketball league that features a host of other stars.
After overcoming an injury and not making the basketball team for a year in high school, Brooks decided in 2018 to combine his love of sports and philanthropy.
He founded his non-profit organization “Beyond an Athlete” – which aims to educate student-athletes while preparing them for a future that may be beyond the profession of a professional athlete.
Tor’i – who starred in the first season of Ex on the Beach – runs all this alongside his marketing brand Bionic, which is named after his nickname.
“You are the controller of your own destiny – it’s all in your head,” he explained.
“If your mindset is that you want to quit and give up, then you’re probably going to quit and give up.
“But if you are determined and persistent enough, you can achieve any goal in your life.”
He explained that he became an influencer “as a by-product” of being an athlete, model and entrepreneur.
And because he knows the effect his posts have on impressionable young people, he says he’s taken a “socially responsible” approach.
“I’m an influential person, but I approach it differently than the traditional influencer,” he explains.
“I am very socially responsible and I want to get a bigger message out to more people. For me it’s about being creative and positive, not just promoting products that can make me money.
“I feel like a lot of influencers are people who just throw arrows at the wall – many don’t have a mission or don’t know what they want to achieve.
“They just want to be in the spotlight and make money.
“Their MO seems to be to get the public’s attention so they can monetize what they are trying to sell.
“That is the pinnacle and in my eyes this is not right.
“Unfortunately, many influencers will make money any way they can — even if the products are untested or unproven.
“They should be called out on this, but social media can be hard to regulate, especially when you have people live streaming or constantly posting.”
Tor’i — who was nicknamed “Bionic” after recovering from a devastating knee injury in college — says this influencer perception is why he gets “frustrated” with the term.
He believes being in the public eye gives them a “responsibility to steer people in the right direction.”
“But people are thinking about making a quick buck,” he added.
“I use social media to promote my advertising and marketing business and show people what I do daily in sports while creating content.”