How to make yourself the go-to influencer for brands
With over 15 years experience in the world of modelling, advertising and media, in 2016 WINK Models CEO and founder Taryn Williams decided to extend her entrepreneurial business skills further – launching online influencer and talent platform theright.fit. A two-sided marketplace that sees major brands and advertising agencies book campaigns using different creative talent such as influencers, bloggers, and photographers, the platform is expanding at a rapid pace – now hosting 6,500+ names on its books.
As the middle (wo)man between brands and influencers, Taryn has paid privy to A LOT of the behind-the-scenes negotiations when it comes to what brands are looking for when it comes to booking talent. Which is why we thought she was the perfect person to chat to about the different guidelines influencers should adopt when it comes to approaching brands for campaigns. Below, she outlines her 6 key tips for nailing the brief…
“When a brand looks for a social media influencer to do a campaign, what are they looking for? Sure, how many followers you have is one criteria, but there is a lot more to it than that. As demand from brands for influencers increases, so does the competition amongst the growing number of social media influencers. So how can you stand out and become an in-demand influencer for brands?
The answer is to give brands what they are looking for, before they even ask. Here are what brands want when they are choosing influencers:
It goes without saying that in order to be an influencer, you need to be influential. Prove this with numbers such as the amount of social media followers you have and the average number of comments and likes per post. But don’t stop there. Also share the types of comments you receive and how engaged your audience is, testimonials from brands you have worked with before, and consider including case studies that demonstrate how your posts have been influential for brands along with the brand sentiment of those sponsored posts.
Have this all put together in a well-presented kit with some background information about yourself and your profile. Include contact details plus headshots that they can share with their marketing and creative team. This will already make you stand out from many other influencers.
Brands don’t only want to know about you and your influence, they want to know who your audience is or at least who your target audience is. That way they can see if you are the right fit. Make sure you know your demographic breakdowns, and you can utilise free and easily available tools to access detailed follower information to provide to brands.
What interests do you share with your followers? For example, what do you tend to focus on (food, parenting, fashion, destinations to visit), and what types of brands are you happy to work with? This is not only important for brands to know if you are relevant to the campaign, but is helpful for you so you aren’t wasting time telling brands that you aren’t able to be genuinely enthusiastic about their product. Include examples of case studies of previous campaigns that you have been involved in so that brands can visualise what you can do for them and can also see what success can look like.
Be authentic! Your tone, personality, opinions, post content, and style of photos need to be consistent and in line with who you are. One of the main reasons a brand chooses to run an influencer campaign over a traditional advertisement is because they want to buy into an authentic person of influence – so only take on campaigns that are true to who you are and fit with your brand. And do not compromise to suit a brand. Authenticity is what followers and brands are drawn to.
What do brands get when they deal with you? For example, will you write your own words for posts (we recommend you do, so it is authentic!)? Do you come up with your own ideas for photos? What can you do to help promote their brand? For instance, can you suggest long-term campaigns with multiple posts, do you post on multiple platforms (Instagram, Facebook, blog posts etc), do you create videos, can you attend events, and can you feature in brand campaigns or do you only run your own?
The final piece to this puzzle is to be professional and easy to work with. Your posts might be playful, adventurous, and lighthearted, but when you are communicating with brands you need to remember that as potential clients you must be professional. Not only does this help get brands across the line, it also helps them come back for more when they are considering other campaigns in future. So be friendly, approachable, well-spoken and courteous in your communication. And importantly, make sure you have a sense of urgency when responding to brand enquiries – it could be the difference between you winning or losing a campaign.
Be very clear about your rates and don’t offer discounts (every brand will want a discount once you start, and this just leads to disappointment for you, them or both!). Make sure the brief is very clear so that expectations are managed and you and the brand are on the same page. Set dates for your activity and stick to them. Share results from your posts so they can see the return on their investment – it makes them more likely to work with you more than once.
Combining these keys with an impressive following will make you a go-to influencer and unlock the doors of profitable campaign opportunities. And that means you’ll be able to continue making money from doing what you love.”