5 Things Influencers Wish You Knew About How to Partner with Them

Influencer talking to camera

Teaming up with influencers and content creators can help you reach a broader audience for your services, but there are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind. We asked two of our favorite content creators—Tinsley Erin and Rachel Ann Jensen—for their tips for nailing social media partnerships, and here’s what they said.

1. Do: Set Clear Expectations

Influencer Tinsley Erin's product post

Photo by Tinsley Erin

Great social media campaigns start with clear goals. Do you want more bookings? More followers? When discussing a campaign, you need to be open about those goals, and ask questions to find out if they are reasonable.

“It’s difficult to effectively generate content when brands don’t have specific expectations for our collaboration,” Tinsley said. “Give me a clear picture of what you want as far as deliverables. This way I can give my followers a full experience of your product/service, and they have what they need to make a decision about becoming a customer.”

Once you’ve established what the expectations are, make sure you can measure the campaign’s success. For example, if your goal is increased bookings, you should have a trackable booking link or promo code associated with the campaign.

2. Don’t: Script Influencer Content

The Influencers, a social media marketing agency, suggests setting parameters for a campaign rather than specifics. “Avoid word-for-word scripts that stifle creativity,” they advised. “Instead, identify your key pointers and pull together a visual mood board. This is enough to inspire your influencer; remember, they are creatives after all.”

(If there are certain terms that must be included or avoided in the sponsored content, those should be discussed up front, and included in a written agreement.)

Another way to foster authenticity is to let the influencer select the products or services they believe will appeal to their audience.

“I love when companies let me choose products or treatments that I am most interested in. This only results in a win-win for content because the posts and shares will be authentic,” NYC-based influencer Rachel said.

3. Do: Give an Influencer Creative Control

Influencer Rachel Ann Jensen story post on getting Botox and filler

Photo by Rachel Ann Jensen

Successful influencers have built their online following over time by communicating their distinct point of view, and they need creative control in a campaign to maintain credibility and deliver the best results for business partners.

Creative control battles are one of the most common hiccups in brand-influencer deals, but experts and influencers alike say that brands need to trust the influencers they’re working with.

“I absolutely welcome and understand when a brand is looking for something specific, but sometimes they also should welcome some creative control to the influencer who has experience with content and what produces views and engagement,” Rachel said.

“Of course companies should always provide details, and a brief about their vision of the campaign, but letting the influencer organically create content gives the campaign a much more authentic feel,” Tinsley added. “Most importantly, the content lands much better as the influencers know their followership best and will curate content to reach them accordingly.”

4. Don’t: Underestimate an Influencer’s Value

For many influencers, maintaining a robust social media presence is a full-time job. When you engage an influencer for a campaign, you’re not just paying someone to post a photo or video.

“Sometimes companies don’t realize how many jobs an influencer takes on for one project,” Rachel said. Influencers are responsible for their own photography, art directing, styling, and copywriting. “When you commission an influencer, you are getting the benefit of essentially having all of these in one. An influencer does or pays for around four jobs.”

5. Do: Share Feedback

What went right with the campaign? What could be better? Once the campaign is live, make time for a debrief.

“I love clear communication and feedback, because—at the end of the day—I just really want to keep great partnerships going. My goal is to make you happy ultimately so I’m always open to any communication,” Rachel said. “SkinSpirit is always telling me what they really like about my content, so this helps me to continue in that direction!”

Research shows that Millennial and Gen Z consumers don’t respond to traditional advertising like Gen X and Boomers do. Influencer marketing, on the other hand, continues to grow. Want to bring new clients in the door?  An influencer campaign could be the solution for connecting with your target audience.

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