Glamorous as it may seem, the lives of influencers are not always a walk in the park. The digital nomad lifestyle could mean an irregular revenue stream. If you’ve recently left your full-time job to be an influencer, it’s tempting to jump the gun with the first brand that wants to sign you. However, one thing to keep in mind is that you are what you post.
Making money is, of course a definite priority, however, sometimes as influencers you fail to realize that your choice of brands to represent might hurt your personal branding and in the long run discourage other potential partners. Here are a few tools we’ve gathered from our GetCraft creators that will help you when choosing which brands to sign with.
Category mapping is a favorite tool among marketers. It involves jotting down categories with similar attributes that coincide with your brand.I know you must be thinking, “how is this relevant to what I do?” As an influencer, you are also a brand. This marketing process provides a bird’s eye view of the categories (maybe even possible blue oceans!) you may want to associate your personal brand with.
Being a travel blogger, for example, does not mean you can only work with travel brands. You might also have opportunities to work with appropriate fashion brands, for example. In addition to providing clarity as to where you are, the category map is also an effective tool for those move towards a desired future position. You may want to move from being a trendsetter towards a fashion expert or a health advocate to a fitness expert.
Influencers we’ve spoken to in the Philippines and Indonesia cited unclear client briefs as one of their greatest frustrations. Let’s be honest: Inspiring briefs don’t write themselves. Only a few a mainstay items are provided for such as the campaign background, key message and mandatories which aren’t really catalysts for creativity.
Keeping in mind that influencer marketing involves the co-creation of content with clients, we encourage you take a more proactive approach that will afford you more creative freedom while being faithful to the campaign message. Asking for these additional information may give you a clearer perspective before signing with them:
1. Mood Board
Rarely do clients provide more than a document brief, that’s why visual examples can be really helpful. Both sides will benefit from going this extra mile since having a mood board will not only establish the aesthetic feel, at the same time it also answers several questions that may not be found in the brief.
At the end of the day, all clients care about are metrics. This is reasonable since they will invest heavily on your service. Key performance indicators is how they measure returns. However, on most occasions clients may fail to mention the specific metrics they are looking for which may result in a dissatisfied or an irate customer.
It would save everyone significant time and energy to clarify at the get-go which performance indicators you will be able to provide. Some influencers on Instagram have yet to shift to “Instagram for Business” which could limit their analytics. Simply put, you need to know the yardstick against which your performance is measured to better manage expectations and help ensure client satisfaction–and maybe repeat business.
3. Creative freedom
Research suggests that 8 in every 10 people globally trust recommendations from people they know, highlighting how crucial it is for you to remain true to the person your followers know. Your clients also need to understand that your power as an influencer lies in your authenticity, and once you start acting like a billboard instead of a real person, you lose audience trust.
“I’ve come across brands who want me to do hard sell but it doesn’t mean I have to give in to their demands,” says Erika Rabara, who has worked with GetCraft for lots of campaigns. “As a way of pushing back, I tell them that this is my line of work and I know what works and what doesn’t. My followers trust me, and if I start creating content that look more like ads then I’ll no longer be believable,” she explains.
As consumers, despite all the information we have about a product, we sometimes still revert to our intuition. We’re drawn to products that just feel right. When you think about it, influencers are consumers who influence other consumers. So go ahead and listen to what your gut is telling you, bearing in mind that you’re thinking not only about yourself but also the people you might nudge into buying.
Vern Enciso, for example, has had to decline an offer for her to promote a skincare product because she developed rashes after using it herself. “I have really sensitive skin so it’s possible that it’s just my skin that’s reacting. Even so, I didn’t want to tell my followers to buy a product that didn’t work on me. I didn’t tell people I had rashes, but I also didn’t promote the product,” she told an audience at a GetCRAFT event.
Your gut is also a good compass when it comes to business transactions. If you find a brief too rigid, push back. Tell them about your audience and what you know they like. This is a value we at GetCraft offer to influencers on our platform–the ability to ask questions about briefs and to pitch creative ideas. When it comes down to it, don’t be afraid to say no. By being mindful of the brands you choose, you also position yourself as an expert rather than just a billboard for ads.