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How to Work with Influencers (our 7-Step Process)

How to work with influencers - our 7 step process title image

We’ve learned a lot about what to look for when you’re searching for influencers to partner with over the last ten years. Today, we’re sharing our 7-step process for finding influencers to work with.

We all know that working with influencers can be incredibly beneficial for a brand. We’ve been on both sides of the coin – both as influencers AND as a company working with other influencers.

Our 7-Step Process to Work with Influencers

Get Clear on Who Your Ideal Customer Is.

I know, I know, we say this all the time, but really, if you’re going to work with somebody else to promote your company, you want to make sure you REALLY know who your ideal customer is.

You’ll want to find an influencer who has the SAME or SIMILAR ideal customer. The more crossover you and your dream influencer’s avatar have in common, the better the collab will work.

Know what YOU want out of the campaign.

Are you looking for a one-and-done deal to get the word out about your company? Or are you looking for more of a continued relationship?

Most of the time as a small business, you’ll do FAR BETTER when you focus on building relationships vs just sending out a bunch of products.

A blast campaign is better for bigger businesses with deeper pockets and large advertising budgets. If you’re smaller, we’d recommend finding people to work with on your own. You cut out a lot of fees that way without an agency, and the relationship is more personal.

Research research research.

Next, start looking at a bunch of different accounts to narrow down your search.

If you’re not sure where to start, ask your customers who they like to follow. A great question to ask is what accounts they love to follow that they feel are underrated. Trust us, you’ll get some good responses with that question.

You can also search niche-specific hashtags that relate to your company.

When you find an account, look at how they post, what their content style is, how often they have sponsored content, and the voice they use. Does the *VIBE* of their page match your brand?

Make sure who you choose to work with is *actually* a good fit for your business.

Start building relationships.

One of the cringiest things you can do is start cold-emailing or cold-DMing someone you want to work with.

We get a few handfuls of those every single day and we don’t every say yes to ANY of them.

Pick 3-5 influencers that you think would be a great fit and start *actually* following them. Leave thoughtful comments on their posts, share their content that your customers will relate to.

Then, after a few weeks, if those comments and shares have warmed that relationship up a little, send them an email saying that you would love to work with them to gauge their interest.

If your comments, shares, or interactions don’t get any response, it’s a good sign to not to pursue that relationship.

It can literally be something as simple as “Hi _________, my name is ________ from _________. I’ve been following along with your Instagram account, and I think your account would be a great fit for my brand. I’d love to discuss how we can work together if you’re open to it.”

Sweeten the deal.

Influencer marketing is a 13.8 BILLION dollar industry as of 2021, and it’s only going to continue to grow.

If you’re not looking to PAY for posting in 2022, you’re not going to get very far. You’re going to need a budget to work with most influencers these days.

In addition to a budget, think of ways you can draw them in to work with you. Affiliate programs or incentive programs can go a long way in building continued relationships.

Don’t be afraid to try again.

You may be shocked when you reach out to someone and they ghost you or never respond. Maybe they’ll come back with a rate that’s not in your budget, or maybe their editorial calendar is full. This happens all the time. Don’t take it personally.

Don’t rush into an influencer relationship just because you feel like you need to, wait until you find the right influencers to pair with.

It’s like dating – it’s going to take a while until you find the right one, but with each “date” or collab, you’ll learn something that you can take with you moving forward

Get it Done the Right Way

There is no “quick fix” to finding an influencer that will fit well with your brand – it takes work! At the end of the day, influencer marketing can be very beneficial for your business – if you do it the right way.

If you’re planning on working with influencers, you’re going to want a contract to  PROTECT both of you! If you’re looking to be legally protected without the hefty fees, we recommend Brittany Ratelle’s legal templates to make sure all your ducks are in a row.

Her Influencer/Brand Agreement covers everything you need to keep your business relationships locked down. Use the code StartupSpark15 for 15% off any legal template on her website, creativecontracts.co.

We hope you found this process helpful if you want to work with influencers! Good luck!

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