The terms 'influencer' and 'influencer marketing' have fast become the buzzwords everyone in the social media and digital advertising space is talking about. It seems every brand is now on the hunt for the right social media influencers to promote their services and products. As an influencer you are starting to be presented with brand endorsements and realize this is your opportunity to earn real money and maybe quit that 'day job'.
However you need to be careful! As an influencer your followers on Instagram, Youtube and Facebook have become a valuable commodity and brands want to share their story with them. That audience has taken you a lot of hard effort to build up posting about the things you love and are passionate about. You don't want to damage that effort with careless posts about products you don't like or have no real affinity with.
It's true that consumers are more likely to engage with content from a someone they know and can relate to...aka you. But they are also quick to detect when a post from someone they love is just a grab for cash and doesn't really reflect that persons style or interests.
As an influencer the opportunity to take every brand endorsement that comes along can be tempting, particularly when the money being offered is good...after all you need to pay the rent! But you need to put that temptation for immediate financial gratification aside and think long term. Your influence and what you post and share about is your brand and you don't want to damage that with in-genuine brand endorsements. Doing so makes you look greedy, risks your credibility with your audience, and ultimately will result in you loosing followers and the very thing you have worked so hard to build.
So how do you stay true to yourself whilst still making the most out of the opportunity being presented to you as a social media influencer?
1. Be Authentic!
Always work with brands you feel you have a strong affinity with. This helps you create authentic content that stays true to who you are and resonates well with your followers. You need to be honest about who you are and what products you would use. Saying things about a product that you don't actually believe in tends to stand out like a sore thumb.
Remember you have built your following by sharing content you are passionate about. Your loyal followers will notice if you choose to post about a product that isn't in line with your style and you are clearly disinterested in. Building a loyal audience is difficult, you don't want to lose them!
2. Be Creative
Share your creative ideas on the content you will produce for the brand and let them know the extra length you will go to to get the photo or video post right. Putting that extra effort into creating your content will be a win-win for both you and the brand. It will resonate well with your followers, and brands weigh this information heavily when selecting influencers to work with, helping you justify a higher rate.
If you have built you feed up by posting carefully curated content you don't want to disrupt that balance and post uninspired content. Whether it is a post about yourself or a sponsored post you are doing for a brand, it's all about standing out from the crowd!
3. Treat the brand fairly!
Look for conflicts of interest that will stand out and make your promotion of a brand seem disingenuous. It's hard to look authentic when your talking up your favorite range of skincare products one day, and the very next promote a competitor. It's your reputation at stake here and you want to treat the brand and your followers with the same level of respect.
Once you've found the right brand be responsive in your efforts and communications with them. Brands hate nothing more than influencers that say they will post for them then don't follow through in a timely manner. If you are busy then clearly communicate with the brand a realistic time frame for you to complete the job. If there are any hold ups along the way, let them know. Most brands will be happy to accommodate changes as long as you are keeping them in the loop.
To the brand your post and it's results are a big part of what makes their brand succeed or fail. They are passionate about their product and want their influencers to share the same level of excitement they have. If you want to work with the brand again, make sure the content you create for them is high quality, authentic and engaging. Brands love it when they can see the influencer has really put in the effort.
4. Don't be afraid to say 'No'.
As much as the money will be a temptation, don't sell yourself out on a job that is not you. Probably your biggest asset as an influencer is the integrity you have in dealing with your fans and followers. The short term gain from endorsing a brand you normally wouldn't use won't win you long term fans and in the end your long term earnings will suffer.
As a blogger think about whether the product you are actually promoting matches your own brand and is something you genuinely would promote to others. Using your social status to influence a person and what they will buy is a responsibility that should be taken seriously. If you don't respect that then ultimately you won't respect yourself.
5. Remember You Are Your Own Brand!
The content you create and post about is your product, so if you make sure you produce great photo and video content for brands you are in effect building your own brand and guaranteeing better future earnings more brand endorsements.
Stick with these principles and the brands out there are sure to love you as much as your followers do, and your earning potential will skyrocket.
More about BrandSnob:
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