5 Tips to remember before working with a Blogger or Influencer.
Are you new to using social media for your brand communication? are you baffled by the sheer number of instagrammers who could become your future digital brand ambassador/marketer? do you struggle with understanding how to harness instagram’s powerful community for your business development? here are a few steps to help demystify the process of reaching out to influencers.
Do your research.
It is always better to reach out to less accounts and instead try to really connect with the local influencers you’ve pre-selected. Instead of simply looking at their instagram follower count, take a few minutes to browse their content, look at their stories, see how they engage with their community. What kind of community is the content creator trying to build ? Do the comments sound fake ? Does the amount of followers translate to their active community? I suggest using Hype Auditor as a beginner’s tool to better understand the numbers you see, to save yourself some time as well as unnecessary misunderstandings.
Take your time.
Write one well written direct message, or even better email, to the influencer you’ve chosen. Taking your time to think about your words really makes a huge difference. Respect their time by introducing yourself, simply saying hello.
Consider a DM as a formal email, taking some time to make clear & complete sentences. Ask questions instead of making demands, perhaps compliment the bloggers work and mention what drew you to their account. These points may seem obvious, but many forget that there is another human on the end of the line. Show that your respect their work and they will show you the same in return.
Let’s talk about money: before contacting your digital representatives (i.e. bloggers and influencers) think about how much you would be willing to invest in your print marketing vs. digital marketing.
Remember the impact a well chosen specialised and authentic blogger can have on your business before saying that you have no budget. Find a small budget -or hire Faces of the Frontier agency to help you develop your digital strategy and media budget for you - and decide how much you can allocate to using digital as part of your marketing strategy. Even if you can’t pay the influencer -although most would appreciate their time being valued with $ - make sure to open the compensation discussion, even in the first email.
Many bloggers get contacted constantly: show your seriousness by at least mentioning that you have given some thought to the topic of compensation. Be clear about your budget for marketing, an influencer can teach you some valuable tips for working with them efficiently, if you ask them for their pricing straight from the beginning. Some bloggers are hobbyists, and are happy with a gift, a product, an invite or complimentary meal. Others have developed their community over years and spend 3 hours or more for one article (from initial contact to final long form post and 2-3 stories after an in-person visit/tasting session/meal/event etc.
Manage your expectations.
This step is so important, and these three words are a main focus in my role as an intermediary between clients and their creative talent. It is also because of this crucial step that my role as a business consultant is as much geared to helping my creatives, as it is about educating my clients. That is also why i’m writing this article: I repeat myself constantly with clients who think tools such as instagrams are miracle makers.
As the creative duo from wandering aimfully points out, investing in digital is ..
“NOT a promise of overnight success. We're not about empty promises or selling the dream around here. We're about putting in the work, having the patience to see things through, and seeing REAL results.” -Caroline, Jason
LAstly, Contact their agent.
Figure out if they have representation and offer to contact their agent directly. Your time is precious and so is the time of the human who blogs. A blogger usually has an agent or PR manager, not out of pretentious reasoning, butto help them manage their numerous clients and various projects. Having an agent doesn’t make a blogger’s services more expensive, it just offers a layer of professionalism and makes it easier for you & for the influencer. Having representation just makes the blogger or content creator better at what they do, giving them the time to enjoy a sustainable work-life balance. By helping you contact the best adapted influencers to share your story with their hard earned digital community, you can go back to doing what you do best, passionately growing your business.
I hope this quick check list helped you in your process of selecting and contacting your future instagram influencers. At Faces of the Frontier we take the guessing out of the digital marketing process by putting you in contact with the right creatives who will connect with your work in a valuable way. Contact us to find out how we can help you integrate your brand seamlessly with talented local content creators.