A question I am asked all the time by small businesses and people hoping to get started working with an influencer. I thought I’d put together a little list of things that I believe are key when working with influencers.
This is a personal account, I’m not a marketing guru or professional but I know from my experience on the other side, what I do and don’t like! So take from it what you wish!
So here we go…
Have a Plan
I think first and formost it is important to have a plan going into it. Work out what you wish to achieve and decide if influencers are the right way for you to reach that.
Work out a brief of your ideal customer and try and match that to the influencers you want to work with.
If a bikini model only had men following her, does she sell bikinis?
Another thing you need to plan out is how you attack your influencer strategy?
Do you send the product to everyone at once, and over saturate the market? A flash in the pan? Or do you plan on using a few at a time and having longer brand partnerships with people?
Personally, I hate when people do the exact same thing at the same time! It’s frustrating for me when I sign onto a campaign, and then every man and his dog posts the SAME TIME ON THE SAME DAY?!
I will sometimes discontinue partnerships with brands who I feel are overdoing it and using too many people at once.
I would suggest keeping it small. Using the right people for you and building meaningful relationships with those people.
It gives them a chance to build trust and rapport with your product and their audience.
It doesn’t seem forced and “just for money” if you allow people the chance to get to you know the product and share that journey with their audience.
We all gotta make a $$$ but I’d rather work with someone who works with a few brands ongoing, than 10000 brands once!
Do Your Research
Once you have decided that is the avenue you wish to take. It’s important to work out who you should work with, and do some serious research!
Is that person the right fit for you? Or do you just want to work with them because they have a large following?
Do they have an engaged following? Are their likes and followers real? Are their followers located where I wish to sell to?
No point investing your time in money in someone who has followership or largely Men in Iran right?
Ask for analytics! See who is following them and where they’re from? Does this align with your brand?
This is a job for me, and when people invest and put trust in me I want them to know I am the best possible person for the job. So ask away!
Know how to pick fake likes and followers!
One of the easiest ways is when you scroll through the likes one someone post and you see some suspicious accounts, check if that “liker” actually follows that person.
Often, the fake likes come from accounts that don’t follow that person. And the way of the algorithm is these days we don’t often reach outside our audience, meaning the likes mostly come from people who follow and engage with us!
Same goes for fake followers. Scroll down a few hundred followers and if you start to see completely unrelated people to that person, they’re likely using bots to buy followers!
Using a program like Hype Auditor is also a great way to weed out fakies and pod groups.
You also need to decide if people who use Pod Groups are the right fit for you also. Just because they get dozens if not hundreds of comments, if they’re all from other influencers who have no intention to buy, is it worth it?
Be Honest and Transparent
It is always critical to manage expectations and be open with whoever you approach about what you are offering, and what you expect in return.
Are you gifting of the product? Do you expect a post in return? Are you paying in exchange for content? Is there a specific brief?
Often I find people are very vague in what they expect or don’t make it clear. And rather than a million back and forward emails, I prefer people are just upfront from the get-go.
I will straight up say no these days if it’s too vague. Because I find that it’s too hard to work out what people want and meet their expectation.
If it just a “gift” and there is no expectation to post unless you want to. Then say that!
If you want something for it, tell me exactly what you want and how you want it. And if I say no, don’t take it personally!
If it’s paid, then clarify that upfront and feel free to tell someones exactly what your budget is. Don’t go fishing for costs and then scoff when it’s not what you expected.
The more prepared you are, the more certain of your brief and expectations, the easier the whole process will be!
Another big thing for me is working together with a brand on what the best delivery is for their product.
People often do not realise the value of stories, especially with tagging and swipe up functions. I find a lot of people are way more engaged in my stories than my feed sometimes.
I like to work with people to create a multi-platform approach, over a period of time and when it’s ACTUALLY a good fit.
Things cannot be forced and I like to share a product as it naturally and organically fits in with my life.
Some amazing clients I work with who GET it are Nutra Organics and Esmi Skin Minerals. They trust me and the knowledge I have about my audience and don’t hover over me and want to edit my every word.
They just let the magic happen, and it works so well for both of us because people can see I genuinely love their products and the partnership is ongoing!
Letting creatives be just that is the best thing you can do for your business.
Don’t Be Deterred
As the world of “influencer’ marketing grows and it’s becoming such a popular way to promote your products, you will find there are a lot of no’s.
This is actually a great thing because it means people are not just taking things for the sake of it and actually have integrity.
You don’t want to work with someone who has worked with 50 products exactly like yours in the past. You want to find people who can honestly and authentically align themselves with your product and actually sell it for you!
If someone declines, don’t take it personally. Don’t let it get you down and keep going!!
Don’t Send DM’s
This may not apply to everyone, but I find DM’s a very lazy way of trying to do business. I always ask people to email me or sometimes I just don’t even see it!
DM’s get lost really quickly and often if I don’t follow you then it goes to that mystical other inbox no one looks at!
If anything, send a DM asking for their email. But a simple look in their bio or website should give you the information you are looking for.
A not for influencers as well, put your email in your bio! Make peoples lives easier.
Have An Amazing Product
Sounds simple. But honestly, if I told you some of the things I’ve been asked to share?!
Just because you work with the biggest fish in the IG sea, pay all this money and give them all this product, doesn’t always mean it’s going to work?!
You need to have something people want to buy!
A question I often ask myself when working with a brand is not
“what are they trying to sell” but more “what problem are they trying to solve” and with a lot of the small business contra opportunities I take, these hit the mark!
A great example is the Midnight Gang bed wetting mats I have shared for literally years now. Simply a gifting from the owner who identified it could be a product I needed based on stories she watched of mine!
A great example of how to do influencer marketing 😉