After building up your audience, increasing engagement and creating high quality content the next step as an influencer is to start collaborating with brands. For many this is easier said than done. The common questions are about getting started and making sure the first brand collaboration you get is a success to help you build your portfolio. The best place to start is with your mindset. Contrary to what other people might say about your ‘little Instagram hobby’ or ‘those pictures (or articles or videos) you post’ – as an influencer you are a digital entrepreneur trying to grow an online business and you need to treat it as such.
Here are some of our best tips and tricks for anyone who wants to start working with brands to help guide you from start to finish safely, smoothly and successfully.
Share all of your social media accounts
To show a brand the full value you can provide, you need to share with them all of the channels that you are actively sharing content on. Your brand contact is likely busy and it will make their job so much easier if they have easy and instant access to your entire social media portfolio. A key aspect of building positive brand relationships and securing long term partnerships is making their life as easy as possible when working with you.
You can seamlessly share your social media accounts by adding links to them in your email signature and always include them with some analytics in your media kit. The objective should be regardless of what happens to your details inside of the brand you are communicating with, a team needing to review your details or someone new being copied into an email chain, they can get caught up with who you are as quickly as possible.
Research the brand and their products
Many brands that reach out to you about working together will reach out about new products that you likely haven’t tried before. A lot of influencer content is based around product reviews and building brand awareness for new things. Focus your communication with the brand on your excitement to experiment with their product and any reasons why.
This is where research is important. If you can not only share your excitement but relay reasons why that are directly associated with a feature or benefit of their product, you will stand out even more. You can take it one step further by sharing why you think their brand/products will resonate with your audience and fit naturally into your content themes.
In the early stages, make sure that you aren’t sending generic responses. Reference the brand name, the person’s name and any other information you can include to show that you are communicating directly with them. When it comes time for your content, your personality and voice matters. Maintain consistency across all of your content whether it is sponsored or not. Your audience follows you for your unique perspective and style – don’t sacrifice that for a generic copy and pasted brand message that will decrease engagement and hurt potential future opportunities if your sponsored post performance is drastically different to your normal content.
Have a clear understanding
Nothing can throw off a brand collaboration and ruin what could have been a positive relationship more than unclear expectations between you and the brand. Brands (should) have some form of a campaign brief that outlines things like key messaging points, tagging and hashtags, etc. It is your job to make sure that you not only understand these guidelines but that you clarify any questions you have as well as confirm your content calendar and the rates the brand has agreed to pay you. The shared dashboard you can access with CreatorPilot to ensure everyone is on the same page from the start makes this much easier.
Go above and beyond
More influencers than ever before are competing to work with brands. It is important that you stand out. Like we said above, making the process of working with you as easy as possible for the brand goes a long way. Another way to add value and stand out from the pack is to surprise the brand with little add-ons throughout the process. Have a piece of content that isn’t part of the formal agreement but has their product in the image? Go ahead and tag the brand. List post on your blog? Work in a free mention. These little things can make a world of difference in the long run.
Looking to attract more brands on Instagram? Check out our article on finding brands to work with on Instagram to start taking action today!