You may not know this, but I actually spend most of my time on the other side of the brand/influencer relationship. I’m really lucky to work with some great brands, and with some really great influencers. I have to say that I’ve learned a lot working on this die, and I’d thought I’d share a couple insights!
Bloggers Working With Brands
Respond to Emails
This may seem really obvious, but please email back. A lot of the time we have to tell the client who we’re reaching out to, and they like to know who responds and why they say no. If we tell them that you didn’t respond, it looks like we didn’t do our jobs well. Here is a “canned” responses I recommend just having in your draft folders to respond to a brand that you don’t necessarily like.
Thank you so much for reaching out, I really appreciate you thinking of me! At this time, I don’t think that this is the right fit for my blog/Instagram/readership/brand. (pick one)
Thank you again for thinking of me.
You have no idea how much of my job is follow-up emails. I’ve followed up 3-4 times with an influencer and still not heard anything back. It’s so appreciated when you send just a canned email response.
Brands Set Guidelines for Us
Sometimes I really want to work with an influencer, but their numbers don’t always meet what the brand wants the influencers they work with to have. It’s not a personal affront when a brand doesn’t work with you, it’s got a lot to do with what the brand believes will work best. We could debate large influencers vs. micro-influencers, or even what micro-influencers are. But at the end of the day, it’s what the brand thinks will work and it has to be followed.
On a similar note, when brands/PR people ask for statistics, it’s to help prove ROI to their managers/clients. They aren’t trying to bust you or anything bad. It’s good for the industry as a whole when you can prove what your influence can deliver. Be proud of what you’ve grown!
Not Everyone Can Pay You & It’s Not Usually the Point Person’s Fault
This is a classic case of don’t shoot the messenger. Personally, I’d love to be able to pay and help everyone out because I know how much work goes into creating content. However, not every product/brand has the budget to do so. Most agencies who work regularly with influencers will ask to see if there is a budget.
I am perfectly happy to reply to an email asking if there is a budget with an honest answer. Personally, if the brand isn’t that small and I’ve seen some larger influencers do posts in the past I’ll ask to see if they have a budget. Here’s an example of how to ask:
Thank you so much for reaching out! I appreciate being considered for this opportunity. Do you have a budget for this partnership? Here’s my media kit attached so you have all of the relevant information.
Thank you again for thinking of me, I look forward to the possibility of working with you.
If they come back and say they don’t have a budget, consider what you’d be willing to do for the product. Know that a lot of brands reach out hoping you’ll like it, and if you do like it that you’ll share it with your followers. If you don’t like it, a lot of brands will just accept the loss.
I totally understand if you don’t want to only do posts for trade. Here’s something to consider in my next tip.
Content is King
Are you looking to do more sponsored posts? Do you have under 10,000 followers and want to work with brands? Take product for trade and make really great content with it (but only if you like it). If brands are able to use your content, they’re more likely to pay you in the future.
It doesn’t seem like it, but a lot of people who work on the brand side of the influencer/brand relationship know that influencers are really valuable. The content piece is huge because that means they’re able to use it on their own social channels, which makes it easier on the brand, and exposes them to your followers as well.
Build A Relationship
One of the best parts of my job has been building relationships with people in this industry. One of the influencer I partnered with for one of our clients, I ended up being able to include her in two other campaigns for clients. She’s also on a mental list of mine, and I try to include her when I think the fit is correct.
Being nice and building a relationship with PR contacts is more important than you think. We’ve pushed an influencer before because we know that they produce great content.
Information is key. When working brands, it would be really helpful if you sent over statistics from your posts, or any helpful insights. It helps us prove ROI to the brand, and keep them working with influencers and us!
Bottom line, you don’t know what one relationship with a brand or public relations person could lead you, so please be nice as possible.
Know Your Worth & Be Assertive
If you know that a brand is large and has the ability to pay you, hold out for it. Influencers are valuable to brands and knowing that is really important. I’ve not partnered with brands because I know that they can pay me, and just don’t value my audience. As you grow your followers, you can charge more!
It’s a balancing act, but realizing that people on the other end are people too, the process can be much better for everyone! Also, remember that in every profession there are people who don’t exactly act ethical, or know what they’re doing. If you can tell that’s the case, nicely educating them on working with influencers is completely justified in my opinion.
Do you enjoy working with brands? Have you ever worked with a brand? Any other advice for working with brands?
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