I’ve recently entered the world of influencing and collaborating through social media. By NO means am I a huge influence, but I’ve learned a couple things that I wanted to share with anyone looking to start working with other brands.
- SEEK MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIPS. This is of course number one. No brand is actively seeking to send free product with nothing in return, and no influencer is going to put in work for free. This doesn’t necessarily mean you, the influencer, will be paid in cash, but there should always be an exchange – for example, product for post. If you feel your work holds monetary value, be up front and negotiate your terms. Some brands may low ball you (as expected) but know your worth and stand your ground. If you don’t feel comfortable agreeing to their terms, you may need to let that collaboration opportunity pass, but always be cordial incase they decide to reach out again in the future.
- Do a little brand research. Anytime you’re going to be working with another brand, you should always check their socials. You want to spot any possible red flags before associating yourself with a brand, since you will be promoting their products/services to your loyal followers. Read reviews, comments, etc to gage the sentiment of their followers and costumers to help you make a more informed decision.
- Make sure you love the products/ service you’re promoting. I know it can be exciting when a brand reaches out and offers you FREE STUFF!! But hold off and make sure you love the product they’re offering. Check their website or social media for reviews to ensure that you’ll be satisfied with the quality. If you don’t like the specific product, but would like to promote for their brand, suggest a different product that you can get excited about! Keep your audience in mind! Odds are they trust your judgment and value your recommendations. Only promote products you love yourself, or you think your audience would love!
- Stay on brand. ALWAYS. This fits right in with tips number 2 and 3. Know your brand and treat it as your empire. Establish your brand values, code of conduct, mission statement, aesthetic, etc and make sure collaborations align with your brand. If a company offers you product that doesn’t fit your aesthetic, or their brand values don’t align with yours, you may need to decline. When you find a brand that DOES fit your standards, the collaboration will be effortless.
- Conduct yourself as a professional. Working on projects over the internet does have its challenges, one being communication. Establish relationships with brands and be understanding of any issues or miscommunications. Most interactions are done over email or phone call. If you have concerns, try to resolve them before making any decisions to terminate an agreement or back out last minute. Treat any brand collabs or affiliations as you would your job. Try to be timely, accurate, and meticulous in your work. Each of these collaborations can and should go onto your resume at some point as either references or examples of your work. Always be cordial and welcoming, this will reflect well on you, and you will better your chances of being considered again in the future, or recommended to other brands!