WHY INFLUENCERS AREN’T GETTING BRAND COLLABORATIONS - The most honest blog we have wrote
Let’s talk about landing a collaboration and how we can all assist in landing amazing jobs.
Because influencer marketing is still rather new, when a brand takes that leap to work with an influencer for the first time, there is often hesitation, uncertainty, and blurry expectations, (unless the brand is working with an influencer marketing agency, which is why the Global Influencer Agency is here to support you). If you are going after a collaboration alone, your job as the influencer is to under-promise and over-deliver.
Like any other industry, in blogging there is entitlement, inexperience, and inadequacy which ruins it for those of us who have the gratitude, experience, and ROI brands are looking for.
So what’s the solution?
Well, for starters you can share this blog post with as many influencers as you know, but more importantly implement the strategies necessary to gain your favorite brand’s trust in influencers to create more collaborations for all influencers. There is more than enough to go around for everyone. So don’t start pitching until you are ready. Which means professionalism, high quality content, high quality photos, being on time and pitching as a professional. SO MANY INFLUENCERS pitch early, making the hard working influencer have to work even harder to land a collaboration because brands simply don’t trust the influencers – as they have seen hundreds if not thousands of unprofessional influencers pitch. So, work hard, invest in yourself, spend the money you need to get started so you can make money off of doing what you love.
Here’s what you can do right now to help:
IS YOUR TALENT UNIQUE? WHAT IS YOUR SKILL?
Just because you’re a self proclaimed influencer with an Instagram doesn’t mean you automatically have a special skill or gift. There is a lot that goes into being an influencer/blogger. First and foremost you have to have talent, you have to have that “it factor” and then you have to know how to use it. It’s a very complicated thing, being talented and knowing what strategy will take you to that next level. Talent alone can’t carry you but it’s definitely a must-have in this industry.
Brands may not be giving you collabs because you haven’t fine tuned your talent. You may just be posting pictures on IG hoping and praying it’s good enough but it’s only good enough if you have an audience that thinks it is. Maybe pictures on IG aren’t your strong suite but instead YouTube videos are your jam. Maybe your talent lies in IG stories, memes, events, podcasts, Facebook/IG ads, etc. And the only way to find out is to test the waters. If your pictures on IG aren’t gaining traction, it’s time to test other mediums (ways to create content).
Identifying your talent requires you to get honest with yourself. It takes an extremely self-aware person to step back and say “photography isn’t for me” or “talking on camera just doesn’t convert the way XYZ does”. And trust me if you can’t say it, you’ll hear it from brands, maybe not directly but you’ll hear it from their silence.
Being a paid influencer is a job. Just like you would make a resume with your skills for a position at a corporate office you will need to know your skills as an influencer. You will want to ‘sell’ those skills just as you would sell yourself in an interview. If you aren’t good at speaking, you would not apply for a speaking position. It is no different in our industry. If you are not good at something – blogging, photos, etc. make that the point in your pitch and show off your skill!
DON’T BE GREEDY OR ENTITLED
This is an obvious one but I feel like it needs to be said anyway. Don’t be greedy. Don’t be entitled.
If you’re an entitled and greedy influencer who doesn’t want to buy the cow (put in the work) because you’re getting the milk for free (free products, being overpaid for under-qualified work), your “success” will be short lived. Trust me.
Being greedy puts a bad taste in brands’ mouths and therefore they’ll be hesitant to work with micro-influencers. You are not owed anything. Again, just because you make an IG and deem yourself an “influencer”, doesn’t mean you actually are one. The proof has to be in the pudding which requires you to establish relationships and put in the work, both of which take time.
Being greedy and entitled will do nothing but give you a bad rep. in the industry and that’s definitely not what will get you collaborations. People want to work with pleasant and grateful people so the more pleasant, professional, and talented you are, the more brand collabs you’ll get.
YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND TIMELINES
Unless stated otherwise by the brand, collaborations usually have a strict deadline or timeline for when you’re expected to deliver/post. There’s a reason you’re asked to post “within one week of receiving product” or “on this day at this time” or “between these dates”. Brands don’t just make these timelines up, there’s a rhyme and reason behind every marketing effort.
For example your IG post could be part of a nation-wide, $200,000 campaign to promote the launch of a new product, the brand could be testing different strategies with multiple influencers and dissecting the data, or the products you’re promoting are available for a limited time only so posting before or after the timeline would derail the entire campaign.
Collaborations can’t be done on a “when you feel like it basis”. The industry doesn’t care if you’re traveling, in a different time zone, logged out of Instagram, at an event, running late… this is a no excuse zone. The minute you say yes is when you commit to the terms and conditions of the partnership and more often than not those terms and conditions are time sensitive.
Once influencers start to recognize the value of timelines and deliver on schedule, they’ll be much more likely to land brand collaborations over and over again.
YOU LACK WITH FOLLOWING THROUGH & CREATING RELATIONSHIPS – INVEST!
Following through and understanding timelines go hand in hand. Basically what it comes down to is professionalism. When you give your word, whether written or verbal, you are expected to see it through with integrity. Too often micro-bloggers agree to collaborations whether gifted or paid and don’t follow through with what they say they’re going to do.
Part of the follow through process is maintaining a solid relationship with a brand or PR company before, during, and after a collaboration. This means checking in to see if the brand has any upcoming projects you can be a part of, wishing your contact happy holidays/birthday, sending random gifts of appreciation (can be physical or a shoutout on IG), engaging with them on social media, and going above and beyond to make sure you’re helping them achieve success because at the end of the day it’s not about you, it’s about them. A brand is your client and should be treated as such, with tender love and care. When you lack this quality, you become an insignificant number in the influencer space – just another influencer, another careless freeloader trying to get by doing the bare minimum. I know I’m being harsh, but come on, you gotta’ put in that WORK.
You need to email everyone and anyone who is willing to accept your emails. Our agency provides SO MANY LIST that will give you direct access to designers yet so many influencers do not take the time to email them. If they do email them, it is once. You need to revisit them – over and over. Do not let them forget you. Let them see you follow through and will continue to do so even with silence.
I can’t stress it enough: under-promise and over-deliver. This will shoot you to the top of any brand’s list. You know, the exclusive and highly curated list of influencers brands and PR companies can actually depend on because they know these guys will do what they say they’re going to do… and then some! Always throw in something extra to surprise them!
Do you want to start emailing designers? What about resorts? Let us help you!
Go ahead and start by emailing Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Calvin Klein & more.
After, begin to email the 130 FOUR SEASONS RESORTS marketing directors we have provided in a list.
Within months you can have 500 or more emails going out introducing yourself to not only designers but resorts. INVEST IN YOURSELF so the payoff can come!
Thanks for the read! I am looking forward to seeing you grow!
This article was inspired by Brittany from NYC.