For those who have been reading my blog, watching my videos, and endlessly preaching on true influencer marketing; this is no different of a write up than those.
On today’s blog post, I actually would like to touch base on “ATTITUDE” and “APPROACH” in influencers. I truly feel like these 2 factors play a vital role in why there is a massive hate on influencers and why the influx of this mindset is ruining the industry and the power of true influence.
P.S. Being an influencer does not make you a marketer; it makes you a spokesperson. The influencer strategy is only one of the tools being used in Marketing a brand’s product/service to a specific targeted audience.
The fundamental purpose of wanting to be an influencer should begin with the question of “WHY?”
“Why do I want to become an influencer?”
If the first answer that pops in to your head is something along the lines of money, free products/services, followers, ego boost…etc then you are in it for the wrong reasons.
The power of influence should benefit the audience you are influencing first, not your pocket, self-esteem, and your free chachkies.
Back in the day, pre-influencer era + early influencer era, people used those products thoroughly, got the first hand experience, and had a true and transparent partnership with the brand as well as their audience. As part of the viewer group, you would have the chance to see the process and results of this influencer’s experience without paying a single penny which would result in your own decision making process to be solidified on a purchase or a non-purchase.
Nowadays, this first hand experience and the exchange of information have turned more into an egotistical brand partnership where people are racing each other to get these brands on their portfolio, boost their self-esteem, and show off to the “world”. Influencing is not about you, it is about others. Would you listen and trust a cocky person?
The whole idea of “paid partnership” is ridiculous to begin with, although it pays well, as these influencers are paid to find good things to say and show. There is no genuine information out there let alone almost everybody is in it to influence each other and not be influenced.
The approach is the other side of the coin that ruins the concept of “influencers” as many of these individuals neither have the education nor the professional etiquette. (Note: Education is not limited to a college degree)
Most brands are at the point of puking their brains out when they hear the word “influencer” and we are exposed to such news on different articles in which a brand happens to have a feud with an influencer.
REMEMBER BRANDS ARE BUSINESSES THAT NEED TO MAKE MONEY TO LIVE and SURVIVE.
Many influencers do not know the approach in writing up a handshake email and get to business straight up. Do you even know the brand you are writing to? You are one of hundreds writing to this brand. What makes you so different and stand out? What makes you more valuable as opposed to influencer A, B, and C. What makes you believe that this brand should work with you?
I am copying the influencer tips I’ve written on March 25th below for your convenience because this really pisses me off.
INFLUENCER TIP #1: Have a detailed and professional pitch. Don’t just expect brands to give you free products/services because you have X amount of followers. Remember, there are tons of influencers out there. It is competitive. Set yourself apart!
INFLUENCER TIP #2: Communicate fluently and effectively with the brand to deliver on what was agreed upon in order to facilitate and invest for future relationship with brand.
INFLUENCER TIP #3: Leave the payment/product/service talk second. See if the brand is interested in you first. Demands can be deal breakers if you present them at the first email. They don't know you. How can they trust you? Establish communication grounds first.
INFLUENCER TIP #4: Never start your outreach to brands with “Hey babes” because not everyone handling such communication will like that, and probably is not a babe. It really comes off stupid to be honest. Try something more formal and respectful such as “Dear Sir/Madam, To Whom this may concern, or a simple Hello would do”
INFLUENCER TIP #5: Don’t forget your role. You are trying to influence an audience with your creative vision and engaging lifestyle. Brands need content and ROI (Return on Investment). They don’t need followers who don’t engage and don’t buy their product/service. Marketing is only as good as its ROI. Show solid and honest results that actually show how much marginal revenue you’ve gained to a brand via your channel.
INFLUENCER TIP #6: AT LEAST FOLLOW THE BRAND FIRST BEFORE MESSAGING THEM ASKING FOR PRODUCT/MONEY. Don’t be an influencer who pretends to show interest in a brand but still not follow the brand to begin with while sending them a message. That is just FAKE!
INFLUENCER TIP #7: ALWAYS BE TRANSPARENT When giving your professional pitch to a brand make sure to include non-altered statistical information to your media kit. Always keep record of your past partnerships with solid examples and data.
INFLUENCER TIP #8: USE ORIGINAL WRITING Is there a website from which influencers copy their email templates from? All I see in every email I get is “I think your products reflect my style”. Let the brand decide on that, NOT YOU!
Change your “ATTITUDE” and “APPROACH” and you will see more benefit than harm in your work process and brand relations.
One thing that I also happen to observe with various brands and agencies out there is changing their attitude and approach on influencers in a strategical way. Sperry, for instance, is one of those brands that doesn’t care about your follower count. They care about the quality of content you can come up with that could be used in evergreen and/or seasonal campaigns. There are agencies out there who value the level of engagement you can bring to the table as opposed to a simple mirror selfie. The change has to happen with brands first as they will be the ones requiring certain standards to be met by these influential stars of our age.