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.
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Always in love,