Be An Influencer Companies Love Working With

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Becoming a social media influencer is all the rage these days.  It seems everyone is trying to get a little taste of the action.  As you’ve probably noticed, we also occasionally work with companies to help spread the word about their awesome products.  We do it because we love finding you guys newer, cooler, and healthier options.  We aren’t making any money working with these companies and the companies we do work with we sincerely love and believe in. We like to think of working with other companies as a concept of “abundance” – there is always room for ONE MORE! And the more we come together and work together the more abundance we can all share. While we aren’t going to get in to the how to become an influencer part, we do have the unique insight of also being on the business side of the company/influencer relationship.

When you work with a company, you want to show you are passionate about their products or their mission.  Explain why you are excited, what you love about the item/topic you are discussing.  You want your followers to leave your post (social or blog) knowing what the product is and why they need it.  Simply saying ‘Thanks for this super cute package ___ isn’t going to work unfortunately, and you are going to make your sponsor really sad.

Keep in mind too, if you are working with a small business, especially one that is handmade products, they put their heart and soul into making whatever it is that they sent you.  They probably can’t afford to give it to you (which is why they need you to do your best promotion), and they probably didn’t have the time to make it, send it, or follow up with you.  After all, they are probably doing the job of 10 people.

It may not seem like posting something you need to rush to do, but  try to be respectful and at least get your post up within a week or two.  At the very least, just do an insta stories when the package arrives to give a little love.  It will also buy you a little time to get your post up. : )  Don’t forget to tag the company in the stories and explain what the items are.  Please do not make them hunt you down for your post.  Especially if YOU were the one to reach out to the company for free product. You can’t believe how many small business owners we hear having this happen to them.

When you go to do the actual post, here are some things you definitely want to do:

– Start by taking a great photo, keep in mind which of your photos usually do best. Is it your face? A flatlay?
– Write the handle of the company in the caption AND tag them on the photo.
– Describe what the product is in the photo. Sometimes you can’t tell by looking at it.
– Explain why you love the product and why people should love it too.  What are the benefits?
– If you were given a promo code… use it.  You’d be surprised how many don’t.
– Don’t forget the hashtags.  And make them meaningul (aka search friendly). Your sponsor wants to be found.
– If you have a blog too, why not post it there too, you will make their day!

People charge for sponsored posts, it’s not surprising in this day and age, but some of the rates would shock you.

From the business side, we will tell you, we don’t just look at your follower number.  You want to engage with your followers so you get comments and meaningful interaction, and those usually come from honest reviews or educational product post.  And trust us when we say we know when you purchased your followers.  : )

Here are a few examples of what we would consider “good” influential post when working with a company for free product or paid sponsorship:

Here are some examples of “unsuccessful” social media post — and by unsuccessful we just mean that these post did not educate followers on product benefits or what the post was about.  A little confusing, did not turn into sales or followers. Don’t waste a stunning photo with a bad caption.

I (Jo right now) actually started my marketing career in public relations which also included a heavy side of product placement… like getting a water bottle on an episode of
Keeping Up With the Khardashians, or sponsoring gifting suites at the Oscars.  I’ve worked with influencers ALL OVER the spectrum.  But guess what those two really cool sounding placements were MAJORLY lacking… passion, information, and the people actually putting any effort in.  Not surprisingly, no one cared.

So please be passionate about the products or companies you work with.   Guess what, you are allowed to say no.  You don’t have to promote products you don’t think you will love so much you can’t wait to tell the world.  You don’t have to take on another project if you are already to busy.  Companies will completely understand.  We’d rather you say no upfront than it become an issue down the line.

Last little bit… never ever ask a company for free product, have it arrive, and then BLOCK the company.  I mean really??

So fellow small business owners, tell us what you think in the comments below.  Any other suggestions for influencers out there?

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