Influencer Relations from an Influencer’s POV

January 5, 2018

Influencer Relations from an Influencer’s POV

I started getting serious about my fashion blog around the same time I started interning at Barokas. I had no idea that three months later I’d be receiving pitches at the same pace  I was sending them. Even with a small following, my in(stagram)box is always filled with messages from companies hoping I will promote their products.

I’ve definitely been that influencer every PR person hates who doesn’t respond to an email. On the flip side, I’ve been that influencer every PR person loves who agrees to two Instagram posts and, instead, creates three and writes a blog post to boot! For me, the actual product, service or event plays a really small part in my decision whether or not to move forward with the offer in a pitch. But, more often than not, what makes me hit “delete” instead of “reply” is a poor PR approach.

Here are the top three things I’ve seen companies do wrong when they pitch influencers  and how you can avoid making the same mistakes.

They ask me to write about a product without offering anything in return.

Unless a brand pays me for a post, I don’t make money like a reporter. I never signed an employment contract that guarantees me $40,000 a year to write on my blog. The worst thing a company can do is ask me to write about them for free . I don’t care if a new line of striped sweaters can say the alphabet backwards; I don’t have time to write about a brand if I can’t benefit from the deal in some economical way, no matter how great the product, service or event is.

Since it’s usually unrealistic for most young brands to pay an influencer, there are ways to reimburse them that don’t involve cash. First, you can offer to send the influencer a free product. This is the best and easiest route, because the influencer will likely include pictures of the product on their blog and social media. If your client’s product isn’t tangible, you can offer to share the influencer’s post on the brand’s social media channels. No influencer would turn down the chance to expand their social reach. A social share could do wonders for their numbers and your client’s.

Sometimes, though, you’re not asking an influencer to write about a product at all. If you’re inviting an influencer to attend an event, it’s good measure to ask that they share the event on social media in advance to boost attendance. It’s also smart to offer the influencer a plus one, since nobody wants to attend an event alone.

They aren’t clear about what they need from me.

I’ve had companies send me free products and never tell me what they want in return. Free, no-obligation products aren’t the worst things in the world for me, but it’s a terrible idea for the company. By never discussing with me what they wanted me to post, they lose money and time. On the influencer side, having products I don’t know what to do with is stressful. I don’t want the company to blacklist me for not posting, but I also don’t know what to post.

It can feel uncomfortable at first to tell an influencer, “in exchange for your entry to these events, we ask that you tag us in a Facebook photo at the event and hyperlink to our website in a blog post afterwards.” When you pitch reporters, there’s an unspoken agreement that they will (hopefully) write an article about whatever you’re offering them, because that’s their job. With influencers, you have to be a little more straightforward and spell out your ask from the get-go.

They ask me to promote a product that has nothing to do with the focus of my blog.

You would never send a pitch about fashion  to an agriculture reporter. Same goes for influencers. It’s important to do your research on an influencer before pitching them. Browse their blog archives to see if they’ve written about similar products or companies. Pitching an influencer about a topic they don’t cover will only make them annoyed and make you seem disingenuous.  

As I support my clients on the influencer relations front, I am excited to apply everything I’ve learned as an influencer to create pitches that make influencers hit “reply” instead of “delete.”

-Kayla K.

Comments are closed.

Let's Work Together

Give us a holler, we'd love to connect.

Latest Tweet