Husskie Editor Yelena Fairfax talks top tips for influencers working with brands
With social media marketing more prominent than ever before, questions are being asked regularly on not only best practice tips for brands wanting to work with influencers – but also on influencers wanting to collaborate with brands. Having worked with influencers for over seven years in her role as Editor at Bauer Media’s BEAUTYDIRECTORY, late last year Yelena Fairfax left the company to launch her brand new website: www.husskie.com.
A fashion, beauty and lifestyle news site focused on the lives of influencers (as opposed to celebrities), Yelena has very much become an expert on the topic of social media influencers – having seen all sides of the equation from doing brand and agency campaigns with influencers, negotiating on behalf of influencers, and being approached herself as a micro-influencer (through her account @thebraidedlena). Below, the Founder of Husskie outlines her four top tips for influencers on working with brands.
- You are your own brand. Sell yourself!
With so many social media influencers out there, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get noticed and stand out from the pack (and secure those paid gigs). But that just means you need to work harder for it. If you want to work with a brand, you need to put together a media kit and you need to make it impressive. I’ve seen so many media kits that are just a one page pull together that doesn’t really sell who the influencer is and their POD (point of difference). With PRs and brand managers literally getting hundreds of media kits from influencers and bloggers each week, the ones that nail this are the ones that tend to get the job.
Things to think about including in the media kit:
- Your POD!
- Engagement rates
- Niche audience
- Level of integrity
- Commitment to deliverables
- Rates and numbers
Each media kit should also come with a carefully constructed email accompanying it that sells you as a brand long before the PR/brand manager has even opened the media kit. If you don’t have a killer introductory email, they’re not going to bother opening your media kit. This email should also be tailored directly to the brand you are working with. My suggestion would be to have a basic template for the majority of the email but to then just change the introductory paragraph each time.
- Respond as a timely as possible
Believe me when I say I’ve become very familiar with the terminology “time poor” since launching Husskie. But I’ve also now seen the other side of working with influencers – which is the waiting for a response before being able to move on. When a brand contacts you to collaborate (yes, even on the free things), there has been a lot of work going on behind the scenes on deciding who is the best fit for the brand and approach tactics. Unfortunately they are unable to target the next person until they have heard back from you – which often leaves them hanging in limbo.
I know as an influencer many of you will receive lots of approaches every single day – but I would have three emails in your drafts that you just cut and copy each time (making the process quick and easy).
The basic templates would be:
- Thank you so much for approaching me for this opportunity, however, unfortunately I don’t think this campaign is the right fit for me. Please do contact me for future opportunities that you think are a good alignment.
- Thank you so much for approaching me for this opportunity, however, unfortunately this falls beneath my normal payment terms. Please find attached my media kit and if there is any room for movement with your budget – I would love to chat to you some more about this.
- Thank you so much for approaching me for this opportunity. I’ve long been a fan of your brand and am so thrilled to be thought of for this campaign. Please let me know what you need from me and I look forward to working with you.
It’s a good idea to imply that you’re happy for them to think of you for further opportunities. A lot of brand managers and PRs will talk between each other and move around in their jobs – so while it might not be the right fit this time, it might lead to future work that is more suitable.
- State your case up front and stick to it
Never agree 100 per cent to doing a campaign without having first read through the proposal and contract. Once you say “yes”, it’s much harder to negotiate on the finer details. If a brand tells you they want you to say “This product gives you a 15 per cent discount” etc and you don’t want that messaging in your post – state this right upfront. It’s then up to the brand to decide whether or not they want to still work with you. If you do want to negotiate, you also have to be prepared to walk away with nothing. It’s a risk you have to be willing to take.
- Deliver above and beyond
I’ve recently been working with a brand on their influencer campaign, and all the ones I’ve recommended for them to work with again in the future are the ones that went above and beyond their contract. While they may have been paid for just one post – some of the influencers would go an extra step from doing things such as tagging the product in a secondary post, replying to their followers’ comments on how good the product was, and even popping the product in a post on their blog. Other influencers in the same campaign put little to no effort into their actual post and caption, and then never responded to followers’ comments on the product. Can you guess which influencers the brand will be looking to spend their budget on next time?!
I could talk on the topic of influencers all day, but hopefully this has helped some of you with best practice tips for working with brands. I often feature tips and tricks on Husskie for influencers (such as advice from top influencers on best times to post, when to give up your day job, and how to create the perfect flatlay), but please do let me know in a comment on the site or on our Instagram page (@husskiepress) if there is anything else you would like advice on.