7 Things Every Social Media Influencer Should Practice While Working With A Brand

influencers blog brand STUTI Ashok Gupta

There’s a lot that has been said against brands when it comes to influencer marketing – where influencers have talked at various lengths about how a brand should approach them, how a brand is disrupting the “safe” social media space and how brands should behave with influencers in general.

I am an influencer too, but you would not find me doing a lot of influencer campaigns because I already represent two important businesses – Amrutam and The Lost Tribe Hostels as a @bijniswoman [uh, I mean, Businesswoman].

DISCLAIMER: Amrutam has been reaching out to many influencers lately, and the list derived from the people we have genuinely followed and know at least a little about them – moreover, the influencers we truly love. It would be best to not disclose their identification details.

Some of these influencers have been a pleasure to work with, and added value and mutual respect to the work we put up, while some left us utterly disappointed with their lack of discipline, bad time management and forgetting commitments.

Being an influencer and also representing the brand – I am standing at the bridge where I have both parties’ perspective. This article aims to educate the influencers on adding simple practices in their work ethics can make this process smoother. In no way, I aim to demean anyone. I strongly believe that to each their own – so I would be happy to know your opinion on these pointers once I am finished writing these seven things every influencer must do while working with a brand.

1. Begin a conversation through a professional email

Amrutam, as a brand receives about 15-20 Instagram message requests for collaborations from influencers. It is a big turn off for us as a team, because we want to work with people who take this as serious work, and like to discuss it on a professional platform.

Make sure that your point of communication is initially through mails. Do not drop an Instagram message or a Facebook message. Email is the best means to communicate, discuss and document.

2. Quality over quantity

A lot of times, we have received emails and IG messages where a person simply talks about their numbers without giving an actual introduction of themselves or their niche of work. 

We are not looking for big numbers, we have worked with smaller influencers too, and accounts with only 3-4,000 followers as well – because we resonated with their work. Brands who truly want to use this space to reach out will not simply take you for your numbers if your work has no weightage. Engagement is one thing but if your work is meaningful, that will always have a big browny point over everything else.

3. Respond timely

If you receive an email from a brand, be quick to respond. As a brand, we shoot the emails to various influencers, but the ones to reply promptly [even if they can’t do the campaign for us], they genuinely stand out for us.

Replying quickly is a sign of how much you take this part of your work seriously. I mean, if being an influencer is not in your priority list, like mine – it is still acceptable for once that you are slow – but those who are doing this as their full time work, it is the least expected out of you.

If you have accepted the campaign, and received the goodies from a brand – let them know you have.

4. Give honest feedback

Brands would love you more if you take that extra few minutes to type out what you think about their services/products. Amrutam made sure that the practice of feedback was inculcated as a part of the process at various steps.

We did not move forward with discussing commercials or anything about the content – unless the feedback on our products given to us was authentic, detailed and had some sort of personal element to it.

This one time, we had an influencer telling us how a certain product helped them remember their childhood memories. We had another influencer dropping a long email to us about one of our malts – even before the time period we had assigned to her. Such gestures left a print on us as a team, and make us excited to work with them moreover.

5. Focus on being a part of the community

Once your campaign is over, always ask for the feedback first. If they were expecting a certain sales – try and get to know if your work was optimal. Ask them how you could improve as a content creator. Little feedback on your work can impact huge change. Focus on being a part of the community.

This point is valid for both parties – be it an influencer or a brand. Focus on building a relationship, a healthy community through such collaborations. Your personal relationship would last longer than a marketing campaign. Where the brand and influencers look out for one another and genuinely recommend one another to their peers and help each other grow in your own spaces.

Community as a concept, as an idea, as a feeling – has been a huge part of my life. It is very instrumental to everything I do. That has made all the difference. Your numbers may go up or down, the platforms may switch or shift – but the trust you develop with your audience or with the brands – it will always make you special no matter how many more influencers come in.

6. Learner’s attitude

I have noticed that some influencers hold an arrogance about their work, while some are always looking to learn from each experience. Be the latter one. You may be darn good at what you create – but it is always good to ask the brands – “what do you think about this?” “Would you like me to make any changes?” “Does this work for you?”

Being open to feedback will make the brand comfortable while working with you. Yes, there are times when some brands nag too much and may seem extremely restrictive in your creativity, but if you ask enough questions to get a brief about their concept, and their brand language – it becomes a win-win.

Once your campaign is over, don’t just rush into talking about money. Always ask for the feedback first. If they were expecting a certain sales – try and get to know if your work was optimal. Ask them how you could improve as a content creator. Little feedback on your work can impact huge change.

7. Emphasis on professionalism

When you are discussing your commercials, make sure you have done your market research. Raising an invoice makes a lot of difference for the brand when they are dealing with you. It not only makes the work easy for them, it also is a great sign of how well you are aware of this field and how things work.

Define some sort of work ethics for yourself and communicate well with the brands you are working with. At the same time, try and learn about the work ethics of the brand. Money is an important aspect of any paid project you do. It is important for you to learn when to bring that up, and the process you follow as an influencer.

I hope these points help you become better at your work. I felt it was really important to communicate my experience. If you can add any more points, or would like to carry forward this as a conversation, feel free to drop a comment here or ping me on IG.

You can follow me on Instagram for new blog post updates.

Always in love,

S
@bijniswoman

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Oh Autumn, You’re Already Here | Oct 2018

to-autumn-oak-leaves

I know we say this every year, that the year passed by so quickly but this Autumn feels like it arrived too early.

My heart is already sinking, there were so many goals I made, and I met them and now it’s almost time to celebrate, the year is ending and a new one awaits – there’s festivity of all sorts and genres – I can hear the sounds of Garba, and social media filled with unbelievably exotic Durga Pandals, Ravan statutes on every road waiting to be burnt, well-lit lanes, crowded streets with Bhandara [food cooked in large scale distributed to all the devotees that come by outside temples] and all the vehicles decorated in my small town with a garlands of Genda Phool.

The houses have started to get cleaned, Diwali is just around the corner and new clothes to be bought. Among the chaos, the weather has slowly moved from muddy monsoons to empty dusky evenings. Apples have ripened and plucked out, arranged symmetrically into crates.

Greens are turning red, brown and yellow.

There are more leaves under my feet than above my head. It’s transforming from grey clouds to grey wind, and among the festivities, amidst the sinking sky, my heart is sinking too.

It’d be unfair to say I’m not happy, because I really am happy – but love seems to feel lost, dropped out of my hand, and I don’t know what it feels like anymore. I want to feel loved, I want to feel love. As the trees are letting go of its leaves, I am letting go of something too. I don’t know how, I don’t know why.

I don’t know what I wanted to write about when I started typing my heart out, like my waxed feelings began to melt and poured out in letters. I don’t remember what I wanted to speak about.

There are only a few weeks left for me to turn 25, and fuck! it still seems like a joke. How did I grow up so much? When did I metamorphose into an adult? I don’t mean to say its bad, trust me when I say this – being an adult has its own perks, its own shade of freedom, yes there are responsibilities but you will always have a choice which ones you want to sign up for [even if society tells you otherwise]. I am just adapting to all of this. I am just learning to feel comfortable in my adult skin.

If childhood was the summer – full of mangoes and holidays,
teenage felt like the monsoons – you could jump in the dirt and not care,

starting of an adult life – autumn has arrived;

mid-life just like winters – its cozy and unending,
old age, perhaps spring,

what do you think?

All in love,
S

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Digital Detox: Spending a Week without Instagram

Digital Detox | Stuti Ashok Gupta

So, I know I was supposed to write about my Vipassana Course for the sequel of my last post How I lived in Ladakh for seventeen days.

However, I have kept that on hold, mainly for two reasons:

  1. My Vipassana Course was overwhelming. Imagine yourself in a dark room for years and suddenly to face the sunlight. You’d be struck by the light, and your eyes may lose sight because of too much exposure, and your words have fumble because you can see everything clearly and there would be too much stimulus to make sense out. I felt that way. Even though it happened 11 months ago, I am still making sense of my experience and I will definitely share my experience in this space – when I trust this space enough to contain it.
  2. I recently had decided to take a week off from Instagram and it was my first successful day without it. I want to articulate my thoughts so that I can document it.
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Note to self – Keep Writing

A picture from my solo trip to Mcleodganj, Nov 2015 | Stuti Ashok Gupta

Sundays are not usually eventful for me, but today went quite well. I started my day with seeing my client who comes for therapy in the morning – with electricity not cooperating, we had to switch the place twice in the 47 degrees heat. I couldn’t help but wonder the repercussions of it. Changing the spaces. Can every space feel safe with the same person or does it change? I kept ruminating about how spaces have an important role in a therapeutic relationship or any relationship for that matter.

Settings, certain rooms, light, time, furniture – can they contain you on various occasions?

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Summer has got me thinking – how to blog correctly?

Stuti Ashok Gupta

When I was only 16 or 17, I found a space where I could dump my emotions without worrying about anything – it was ‘internet’ and more specifically, my blog.

The first time I found out about blogger.com and I thought wow, I could speak my heart out and I called my blog – Worlds collide in Words. Perhaps, that name came out a few months of me writing my blog and I saw that this space had more people who came to dump their emotions, too. Words made my world collide with theirs in a fruitful way.

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Seekers of love

Stuti Ashok Gupta
artwork by Stuti for Inktober (2016)
How do you react when you think you need people’s love? Do you become a slave for their approval? Do you live an inauthentic life because you can’t bear the thought that they might disapprove of you? Do you try to figure out how they would like you to be, and then try to become that, like a chameleon?
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in between villages & cities

When i’m away in a remote village or a forest, climbing a tree or hiking onto a mountain, the little things, the colors and the flowers, the fresh water and the fresh wind, the sounds of the birds and those of the children speaking in a language that i cannot fathom; i realize that all of these things and all of the people at this moment are here without any human planning and yet they perfectly sync into each other’s beauty.
And then, i come back to a city where a building design takes ages and a tree plantation cannot sustain itself without a newspaper coverage of showing mr so & so with ms so & so planted these many trees. A city is full of planning, awful or good, but its symmetry makes me sick.
Nature, no matter how unplanned and unsymmetrical, fits perfectly with one another. It somehow blends everything in itself and bends itself to fit. While the “planned civilisations” continue to destroy everything around them to give them “a right shape”.
What do we think are we, humans, doing, really?
The above snippet has been written by stuti on 2nd september 2017 where she wonders about the ways of nature and cities. She is left in awe of how remote villages are so much in sync with nature while cities are stuck in haphazard-ous spirals of planning and human design.

 




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the shape of conversations

Some conversations are like water, they flow and they take many shapes and forms; they diverge, they converge and eventually they all merge into one. But it’s not the intention or the end that matters, it’s what they do while they go along, they dribble, they drizzle, they tickle.
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