What your influencer wants you to know about working with them
Whether you are a company thinking about working with influencers for the first time, or a seasoned veteran when it comes to running campaigns, influencer marketing can be a big learning curve. Because of that, we asked some influencers what they wished that brands knew about when it came to working with them. From advice to not be intimidated by an influencer to trusting your influencer with the content for their audience, there are some great tips here. Get your notebooks ready!
I am unique
The biggest thing I want brands to understand about working with me is that I come with a varied background of professional experience that makes working with me unique. I’ve previously worked as a magazine editor and as the content director at a tech startup and those experiences fuel my creative process and ensure that I’m meeting deadlines, responding to emails in a timely fashion and taking a professional and proactive approach to all of my brand partnerships. Content creation may seem easy but there is so much that goes into creating content and staying organized in that process and with my years of experience, I’m always up for the task.
Austen Tosone, NYC-based fashion and beauty content creator Keep Calm and Chiffon
See me for who I am as a person
As a creator, I want brands and companies to understand and see who I am as a person, from my audience to how I use my platforms. I hope that brands continue to use social media and all the tools that come with it as an educational force. While working with me, I hope that brands allow me to use my platforms and create content with creative freedom. Too often, [we] are restricted with creative freedom, which can hinder performance as it does not come off authentic to our audience.
Ciara Strickland, Photographer and Creative Director The New Mixx
Make sure we are aligned
As an influencer, I find it important to align myself with brands that have a mission that also aligns with mine. At the end of the day, endorsing your brand puts our brands directly together, so I’d love it if a brand has a similar mission, or supports the same causes I like to support.
There is also an element of, the majority of us have spent x years amount of time creating a platform valuable enough for you to want to advertise on it, and we really appreciate and value our followers. At the end of the day, we want to endorse brands that we truly love and enjoy! Authentic support is better than anything.
Shyla Day, Award-Winning Music Artist, TEDx Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Social Media Influencer and International Humanitarian, Shyladay.com
I know what content works with my audience
Influencers want partnerships to work both ways. For example, they want to ensure they help brands reach their campaign goals as well as the partnership being a good fit for them. I wish brands knew that the influencer is the best person to advise on what content will work in order to help to get them there. If brands lead with a budget and KPI’s, they should look to the influencer for direction on how it should be spent.
I also wish brands knew that the follower count doesn’t always guarantee success. I’ve seen insights from influencers that have half a million followers and have the same engagement as someone who has 20k followers. It’s important to do your research!
Stephanie O’Quigley, Influencer and podcast host.
I seek progression and change
I want brands to know that I’m all about accessibility, DEI, and opening doors for more Black women in tech and gaming. I’m not interested in exposure, I’m interested in progression and change. I will work with brands that are growing and doing work even if the rates are lower than what I’m asking. Giving back to the community is a priority. Everything I do and every brand I work for, there is a glimmer of how I can use it to uplift or share information with others!
Junae Benne, Esports/Games Journalist, Author, and Content Creator
Honesty in my reviews is important
As a book blogger, I’ve spoken to several brands in regards to working alongside them in the book influencer world. One of the things I would love for brands to know is that I cherish honesty in my book reviews and book postings, when I choose to work with you, I want to make sure we’re both honest with our viewers. Just because I may not have loved your book, doesn’t mean someone else might not take my review, read your book and absolutely love it!
Ashley, The Novel Thief
I am flexible on the content type
If I could say anything to a brand that wants to collaborate it is that I will go above and beyond to create the content the brand is looking for. I’m not afraid to step out of my comfort zone to try something new or learn something new. I am very flexible when it comes to what kind of content to create, what platforms to promote content on, etc. I am always looking for collaborations to be as mutually beneficial as possible!
Eva Keller from DiscoveringHiddenGems.com
Eva Keller from DiscoveringHiddenGems.com Eva Keller Discovering Hidden Gems
I am a business too
The one thing I want brands to know about working with me is that I too am a business which means I should be treated with the same level of respect and professionalism. A lot of times brands think because we’re individuals, they can delay our payments or lowball us when it comes to compensation, but that isn’t the case. My fees are what they are because it costs me money as a business to create the content they want, in addition to providing them with access to my audience.
Danasia Fantastic, Founder TheUrbanRealist
Please respect me
The one thing I want brands to know about working with me is that, I too am a business which means I should be treated with the same level of respect and professionalism. A lot of times brands think because we’re individuals, they can delay our payments or lowball us when it comes to compensation, but that isn’t the case. My fees are what they are because it costs me money as a business to create the content they want, in addition to providing them with access to my audience.
Vicky Smith, blogger More than a Mummy
Always opt for clarity
The better clarity in the brief you deliver to influencers, the better the content influencers will produce for you. You want to give just enough guidance that you’re clear on your expectations - including how the product is used and your expectations of deliverables - without being so rigid that it stifles creativity. One of the best things about working with influencers is that you are tapping into their creative brain and the uniqueness that makes them popular with their audience. They’re providing a door for you to access their audience, so you want to give them the freedom to do it in their style but also be really clear upfront about what you expect.
It’s not great to spend hours working on images and/or video only to be told that the whole thing needs to be reshot because the product wasn’t shown at the correct angle or in quite the right way. If you want the content to show a particular element of the product then be clear with the influencer about that upfront. A great brief will explain: Exactly what you want the influencer to create (number of posts, videos, stories, blog articles, and on which channels), any particular theme your campaign is focused on, how you want to see your products or services showcased, anything you don’t want to see in the ads, the deadline (including whether you want final approval before anything is posted online), and the fee. If all of this is agreed upfront then you will have a far better working relationship now and in the future!
Maria Juvakka, founder at Chic Pursuit
Too much salesy text won’t land with my audience
As an influencer I want brands to know they can trust influencers to know their own audience. Some collaborations I receive require paragraphs of salesy text that brands want included in the posts. While it is important to highlight the features of the product, too much of the salesy text doesn’t land well with audiences. I’ve found my best posts are ones where I have the flexibility to be my authentic self.
Krissy Hadick, owner of The Hadicks
It’s all about the detail
I would say that the one thing I would love brands to know about working with you is that I appreciate as many details as possible about a campaign and the company. In fact, I’m the kind to reply with all kinds of questions so that I know the ins and outs of what I’m talking about. Getting insider knowledge about the brand really makes the company stand out when I share my content. For instance, how the company got started or something unique about the company.
Jodie Filogomo Jodie’s Touch of Style
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box in terms of what you ask for. Maybe your favorite influencers don’t just promote you on Instagram. Maybe they take product photos for you too, or maybe they can even get your TikTok account off the ground.
Brock McGoff, Editor The Modest Man
More time is always better
It’s better for you to give me ample time to create quality images. Ultimately you’re going to get MANY more eyes on paying attention to your promotion this way.
Vikki Lenola, Influencer Vikki Lenola
It takes work for quality deliverables
We would love our clients and partners to know just how much work goes into creating quality deliverables! Influencer marketing is still such a new industry, not everyone sees the value in content created by influencers. They don’t understand how much time and skill goes into creating photo, video, and written content. As influencers we wear many hats. We are photographers, videographers, editors, copywriters, marketers, creative directors, and we are running our own businesses. We have built in audiences who trust us, that we have grown over years of consistent work. All of that is incredibly valuable and is reflected in our rates.
Steph and Katie Burlton Lez See the World
Be sure to keep these things in mind for your next influencer campaign.