Influencer Tips to Make You the One All Brands Want to Hire

Honing Your Influence: Influencer Tips to Make You the One All Brands Want to Hire

Influencer Tips to Make You the One All Brands Want to Hire

Being an influencer wasn’t even a thing ten years ago.

In fact, if someone asked you what you do for a living and your answer was “I’m an influencer” you would sound like a pretty nefarious person out to do some pretty nefarious things.

In today’s landscape, however, being an influencer means that you are a powerful and engaging member of the online marketing community making bank for getting things done!

It is a job title many are actively aspiring to.

But how do they get there?

For some, their ascension to influencer greatness is quick and large and spurned on by some viral photo or video shared across countless platforms.

But this is not the norm.

The average influencer works at their craft as meticulously and consistently as any aspiring professional –they are calculated with their movements, they are conscientious with their choices, they are educated about their field, and they pick their partnerships with care.

A lot goes into the development of their influence and they are protective of it at every turn.

Honing Your Influence: Influencer Tips to Make You The One All Brands Want to Hire

Looking for sure-fire ways to make the invite list and get the gig when it comes to hiring influencers? These tips can help you get there.

Stand and Deliver

Deliverables are an integral part of any influencer campaign. The key messaging the brand has hired you to bring to life is as important to their bottom line as your compensation is to yours. Stay true to it. Meet the requirements –include the messaging they provided you with, provide edits when asked, publish when you’re expected to, and promote as agreed upon. This doesn’t mean to sacrifice your voice, provide countless edits, or uncompensated promotion. This means the opposite in fact! The brand wants your voice to deliver their message under the terms of your agreed upon contract.

And remember, communication is key to every relationship and that includes the ones you’re in because of your online influence. If you’re expected to put up an Instagram post or attend an event, make every effort to do so on time and as expected. Of course, things come up from time to time, but standard professionalism says you pick up the phone and call or shoot your contact an email just to say something came up and you need an extension.

Which brings us to out next point…

Be Professional

Because once you start charging for your services, that is what you are. Doesn’t matter if you have another job, doesn’t matter if you’re also a mom, if you’d like to be hired, as a professional influencer, you have to act like one. That means meeting deadlines, responding to emails, negotiating contracts, knowing your space, and behaving like you mean business –because ultimately, you do!

Be Engaging

Your content, your imagery, you! Of course, reach is important when it comes to being an influencer, but engagement plays a major role too. A brand wants an audience that’s listening, one that is talking back, one that is a part of the story that you are bringing to life. Take time to interact with your audience in meaningful ways. Get to know them, what they want, what they like, and what they respond to. Then, when you bring a brand into the equation, your audience will be there for it.

Keep It Real

Authenticity, authenticity, authenticity –it’s like the location of real estate. It’s how you encourage engagement, how you grow your audience, how you differentiate yourself as unique in the sea of influential voices. And being authentic doesn’t mean being an open book –it means speaking your truth, sharing your story in a real way, and putting yourself into your content.

Know Your Audience

What your audience responds to is maybe not going to be anything like what another influencer’s audience is here for. Even if you’re in the same genre, connecting to the same demographic, what your audience expects from you is possibly not what that same audience expects from someone else. You have to learn that. And then, you have to figure out the best way for a brand to become a part of that conversation.

Be Creative

Brands love it when influencers take their basic idea and make it magical. Going above and beyond certainly isn’t a requirement, but if you want to stand apart, make an impact, and ensure that you are first on the list for their next activation, give them something memorable. Your best photos, your best storytelling, a new idea, an awesome video. All of those things make a brand think you’re worth the investment, and maybe more!

Your ability to be a successful influencer rests on your ability to build an engaged, committed audience with a meaningful, impactful story –your influence infrastructure, so to speak.

Work on the infrastructure and your road to success will be paved!

Reasons Why Your Influencer Marketing Isn’t Working

influencer-marketing-isnt-working

With over 100 billion active users on Facebook, and one million people using Instagram monthly, social media is a definitive part of our communication culture.

Among the average daily users wanting just to connect with friends and share fun pics of their kids, are what we call influencers, individuals with large, vibrant communities and audiences who tune in to connect with them on a regular basis.

And they are powerful.

With millions of followers and countless brands clamoring to get their endorsements, they have the ability to make a significant difference in the marketplace.

Influencer marketing has emerged as a more scientific way to capitalize on the influencer phenomenon. And, it has indeed become quite an effective way for brands to expand their client base to new audiences in a more engaging, authentic way. This is why it is now an integral part of many well-designed marketing campaigns.

So why isn’t everyone doing it? And why are so many people doing it wrong?

The answer isn’t necessarily simple, yet it’s not complex either. We’ve found that there are few reasons why your efforts may not be paying off.

Why Your Influencer Marketing Isn’t Working

#1: You Don’t Know the Rules

For starters, influencer marketing is regulated by the FCC, and they aren’t playing around. If you want to avoid huge fines and major scandal (yes, major: please don’t be Lord & Taylor), you need to become intimate with the rules that apply to your brand as well as those that apply to your influencers.

Beyond that, you need to know the “unofficial rules” of the game. You need to know what influencers expect, what they desire, what something as basic as the word “partnership” means (hint: it doesn’t mean you’re doing the influencer a favor by working with them). A lot of this knowledge can be found just spending time on blogs, talking to influencers (go to a conference!), and being a real part of the conversation about your industry. (see reason #5)

#2: You Don’t Have a Budget

Influencer marketing could be considered media or public relations, but it is vastly different from the earned media you might be used to working with. Attempting to treat it similarly means you’re destined for failure.

Most successful, prominent influencers are also savvy business people. And, as you know, savvy business people don’t usually do their business for free. You need to come into the partnership with something to offer –and a chance to win product or be featured on your social channels is generally not what we’re talking about.

That’s not to say you can only get this done with a massive monetary budget at your disposal; it’s just to say that, like anything else, you get what you pay for. How you pay is only limited by your creativity and ability to build relationships with the people in the space you want your brand to be a part of.

#3: You Don’t Choose People, You Push Messaging

Influencers are people –each one unique, each one with their own special voice and platform where they use it. You can’t go into a campaign with a template and expect your influencers to cookie cutter create it across the board. And, really, why would you want to?

The beauty of the influencer is that they are authentic. That with their personal story and personal brand, they can reach their audience in a way you can’t. These are sacred parts of the influencer-audience relationship and, when you try to control those, your campaign falls flat.

Take some time to read blogs, find ones that touch you as a human, outside of your role as a marketer, and then figure out how to get your message to that person so they can put the feels on it for their readers.

#4: You Don’t Do Your Homework

Just like influencers need to choose brands they have a connection to, it’s important that brands choose influencers who are a good fit for their brand. I recently received an email, from someone who “loves my blog,” offering me an opportunity to review their “mom and me dresses” with my daughter.

I have three sons. No girl. My blog is about raising boys. Not a good fit for their brand. You want to work with influencers who can bring your brand’s story to life and you find those influencers by truly getting to know them, their sites, and their topic.

#5: You Haven’t Built a Relationship

Influencers rely a lot on relationships –relationships with their audience, relationships with the brands they work with, relationships with the other people who play roles in the stories they bring to life online.

A large part of an influencer’s ability to be successful has to do with their ability to build engaging connections among people. You want influencers to want your brand to be a part of their story, and to do that you need to build a relationship with your influencers. Get to know their process, learn about their inspiration, and then you can help them find a creative way to bring your story to life, alongside theirs.

Influencer marketing has the potential to be the most powerful part of your marketing campaign, but it’s important that it’s done right if you want it to have a positive impact on your bottom line. Take time to cultivate relationships, engage with your influencers as people, and align your goals properly to ensure you, your influencers, and their audience have a positive experience.

Are you struggling with your influencer marketing strategy? We’d love to help!

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4 Sought-After Instagram Influencers

4 Sought-After Instagram Influencers

4 Sought-After Instagram Influencers

Reaching out to respected influencers on any social media platform is a good way to build awareness and credibility for your brand. Many major brands have discovered the benefits of developing relationships with Instagram influentials; these top photogs have the creativity to produce appealing photographs for their brand clients. And bonus: their high follower counts may help you boost your Instagram followers, too, when they show off their work for your brand to their audience.

Here are four Instagram influencers who are among the most sought-after by well-known brands.

1. Brian DiFeo @bridif

@bridif instagram influencer working with brands

This Instagrammer is a co-founder of The Mobile Media Lab, a creative agency focused on Instagram marketing. Boasting nearly 130,000 followers, DiFeo started out with Instagram in 2010, not long after the photo-sharing site was launched.

In 2011, he offered to take over the Newport Folk Festival’s Instagram account, asking only for backstage passes in return. Since then, he has had his hand in everything from fashion show photographs to Instagram campaigns for the likes of Honda, Armani Exchange and Evian.

2. Anthony Danielle @takinyerphoto

@takinyerphoto - Instagram influencer working with brands

Danielle, also a co-founder of The Mobile Media Lab, joined Instagram soon after its launch as well. But just eight months after opening his account, during which he slowly gained followers, he earned the status of suggested user. Danielle has been named one of “15 Stylish People to Follow on Instagram.”

Danielle is known for taking candid photographs of New Yorkers, but in late 2011, brands began seeking Danielle’s help, and Puma flew him to the Volvo Ocean Race in Abu Dhabi. He has also completed projects for Evian, Armani Exchange, Delta, and Michael Kors. He has more than 190,000 followers.

3. Bex Finch @bexfinch

@bexfinch instagram influencer who works with brands

Freelance photographer and sought-after Instagrammer Finch got started with Instagram in December 2010. She created the widely-known hashtag #fromwhereistand, which is associated with looking at life from while looking down at feet (hers and others’). Since building a following on Instagram, she’s toured with the band Grizzly Bear, traveling to countries like Denmark, France, and Germany. She’s also photographed the band Bon Iver and traveled to Haiti with Artists for Peace and Justice. Thanks to her Instagram presence, which includes nearly 200,000 followers, she’s also been offered editorial jobs in California and had the opportunity to wield her camera on other international trips.

4. Steph Goralnick @sgoralnick

@sgoralnick instagram influencer working with brands

Goralnick expresses her creative calling as both a freelance photographer and a graphic designer. Like many of the top influencers on Instagram, she joined in October 2010. Goralnick primarily uses her account, which has more than 350,000 followers, to document her life and share photographs she finds interesting or beautiful. She also enjoys traveling and taking photographs during her adventures and explorations.

Delta took notice of her penchant for sharing great photographs and her interest in traveling, inviting her on one of its trips in an effort to promote its non-stop flights from New York to Los Angeles, providing such perks as good food, wine, entertainment, and accommodations at a Beverly Hills Hotel. Goralnick has also worked with such brands as TheDaily and Evian.

Working with outside creative professionals can benefit many social media and content marketing efforts, from Instagram to YouTube to your blog. Have you worked with creative influencers in your marketing? Please share your experiences in the comments.

 

What's Wrong With Your Customer Service?

What’s Wrong With Your Customer Service?

What's Wrong With Your Customer Service?

Poor customer service is among the primary complaints customers have when dealing with
companies of all sizes. And it’s far from just an annoyance. Some customers will stop patronizing a company completely after a poor customer service experience. Wondering what’s most likely to go wrong? Here are 5 of the main things likely to go wrong with your customer service:

  1. Customers cannot reach a live person when they’re in need of help. Undoubtedly, automated phone systems make routing calls and sharing information easier, but customers tend to hate them when they feel the need for human help. In fact, according to a Consumer Reports survey, more than 70 percent of respondents feel very annoyed when they cannot reach an actual person.
  2. Your customer service reps lack customer service skills. You really want your most conscientious and personable people in this position. You’ll lose customers quickly if your reps sound bored, disinterested, or uniformed. Even worse is the rude customer service rep, and these days, it seems many companies have them on board.
  3. Your customer service staff lacks training. When customers contact your company, they expect to reach someone who can help them with their issues, who understands what they are talking about, and who has the authority to make decisions or take action. Customers become frustrated when they must wait long periods of time for customer service reps to figure things out (often by going to other company employees for the information they should have readily at hand) or worse, provide incorrect information. Then there is the customer service rep who makes promises he can’t keep. When the customer attempts to follow up, he’s told the original rep was wrong or the solution originally provided is against company policy.
  4. Your reps don’t fully understand your products or services. No matter how personable and efficient a customer service rep may seem, he won’t do your business justice if he doesn’t understand your products and services and how they are supposed to work. Before communicating with customers, your rep should be well trained and understand how your offerings work and what might go wrong with them. Only then can he or she  provide your customers with reliable help.
  5. You don’t track and monitor customer service contact. How can you hope to improve your services and keep your customers satisfied if you have no idea why they’re contacting you, what type of help they need, which solutions your reps have provided, and how content your customers were with the results of their contact. You need a system in place for monitoring customer service contact and results, so you can evaluate the effectiveness of your company’s reps and policies and make changes when necessary.

What steps are you taking to improve your company’s customer service in 2013? Share with us!