Not too long ago, I started working for Tremo Books, a start-up based in London, where we print your memories and turn them into beautiful Photo Books. It’s been a hell of a journey, where I took over a whole new project, with little experience in Digital Marketing or Business.
I did everything starting with Customer Support, Content on Social Media, Blogging and Influencer Marketing, mostly campaigns within Australia. Now I want to share a few lessons regarding Influencers, what I’ve learned in the past 7 months.
- Persistence is key
- Negotiate every penny
- Find relevant Influencers for your brand
- Key Metrics to ask for before you close a deal
- Measure the success after each campaign
- Maintain a relationship with an Influencer in order to benefit in the future
I am going to write a few basic things, how to reach out, why negotiating every penny could make a difference in the long run or how to maintain a close relationship with them in order to benefit in the future as well, followed by some more technical details like important metrics.
Lesson 1 – Persistence is key
Depending on the no. of followers or if they have an agent representing them, some Influencers might be harder to reach out. For me, personally, I tried to approach them with different tactics.
Some of them might answer to a simple Instagram message, if the no. of followers is not too big, but just in case they have lots of followers, mostly from 200k +, they receive tons of messages, so reaching out this way might be harder than you think. Some of them contacted me after one month, or even longer since I reached out to them, just because they simply do not have the time to go through the messages. Which gets me to the second approach. Reaching out via email. Most of them have their address on the profile, just visit their profile and you will see the “email” button on the top right. I got a bigger reply rate through this method when dealing with bigger Influencers, they are most likely to connect this way, since this is a full time Business for them and certainly keep their emails very neat and organized.
Even if their following is smaller, email is a very good way of reaching out. Depending on your time and priorities, contacting each one of them via individual email is a lot of work, so if you’re looking to work with more than 50 Influencers, I would suggest using a Email Automation Tool like PersistIQ, it will save you some precious time. Although, most of these tools are for sales, I found them pretty useful as well. Just make sure to craft a personalized email, keep a friendly tone and straight to the point.
Don’t get discouraged if you found someone you think it will make your brand famous and they are not replying back to you. First, you need to raise awareness, to let them know about your brand and intentions, in order to do this try approaching them on all available channels and if you don’t get a reply this week, that’s ok, try again in a couple of days, worst case scenario, if they really don’t want to work with you, they will make it clear.
Lesson 2 – Negotiate every single penny
Every single one, for real.
This applies for start-ups in general or small businesses, I am not sure about big companies. They might have huge budgets, so they don’t really care about how much they spend on a campaign. If that’s your case, you can skip this section. For the rest of us, let’s keep it simple with some basic math. Let’s say you are planning to work with 10 Influencers this month in order to generate content. So far, so good. Think of just saving 50 USD from each one of them. From my own experience, if you approach them on a more friendly, relaxed tone and try to make a bit of personal connection with them, they will be more likely to consider a small fee discount, especially as a small Business. 50 USD saved from each one of them, multiplied by 10 this month, it will save you 500 USD, budget you can use for Advertising, another Influencer or other Business expenses.
This might be a rule you can easily apply in other areas of your life, I know it is pretty easy to neglect small expenses, but I just looked on my bank account. Oh boy, spending $4 everyday for the past month, lead to a total of $120 in 30 days. Multiply that by 12 months, apply the same rule for your other small expenses and voilà, one of the main reasons some of us are poor and proudly say “money is not everything”. (it is not, though)
Lesson 3 – Find relevant Influencers for your brand
There is no secret recipe when trying to find relevant Influencers to collaborate with for your brand. First things first, let’s talk about audience.
Who is your target audience? This is the first question you need to ask yourself and you probably know the answer. You might sell pet products, so your target audience is made of pet owners, in a specific area (depending if your business is local, national or international) age between 25 and 45, 60% men and 40% women. In our case, we sell Photo Books, so our public is represented by 90% women, age 25 – 45, located anywhere in the world, usually moms who want to print family memories, celebrations and so on. For this specific case, we talk about Australia, as location.
Now, having your public in mind, you will look for Influencers with the same following. Our case scenario, the Influencer needs to have a target audience made of women mostly (it does not have to be the same percentage, but the closer the better), located in Australia, age 25-45. Having this in mind, it’s time to search for relevant Influencers and there’s a few ways of doing that.
- Social Media
Easy as it sounds. Doing a simple search on Instagram, Facebook or digging for some blogs related to your Business to see who is talking about your industry or even your brand and engage with them if they meet the criteria.
- Using #hashtags
This is another simple yet effective way of finding relevant people to work with. A simple search on Instagram for relevant hashtags will reveal potential partners.
Example – a simple search with the hashtag #mommyblogger will reveal a lot of potential Influencers relevant for us.
- Influencer Marketing Platforms
These platforms can provide hundreds of promising collaborations opportunities, even better, you can filter them by reach, category, social platform or engagement rates. The only downside here is that you need to pay for a monthly subscription in order to get full access. Or, you can get in touch with this platform, for a free sample.
In my opinion, if you are a small brand, it is easy to find suitable Influencers either by Social Media, Blogs or hashtags, at least at this point, I don’t see paying for platform as a must.
Stay tuned for part ll, where we talk about relevant metrics, how to measure if a campaign was successful or not and how to maintain a close relationship with your Influencers in order to benefit in the future.