How To Get More Brand Collaborations as An Influencer
So your ‘gram is on point, your page views are through the roof, but one thing’s not quite clicking…where’s the money? If you’re an influencer who has done everything right but you don’t seem to be getting many sponsored opportunities from brands, here are some things that may be getting in your way.
1. Your contact details are hidden
I can understand the appeal of avoiding spammers through a deconstructed email address or hiding behind a contact form, but if us advertisers can’t see a clear way to communicate we may just give up. Keep in mind that most outreach will be using some kind of CRM or system to track communication – using a form especially throws this off – it’s a manual spanner in the works of an automated machine! And just like we have systems to help manage our email communications, we also have tools to speed up saving contact details. Our little chrome extensions may not be able to understand the cryptics!
2. You haven’t listed a location
Both manual searches for relevant influencers and prospecting tools will usually feature location criteria. Most influencer opportunities are nationally restrictive, and events or highly targeted campaigns will be location dependent. You might not have given it a second thought, but it’s essential that your city-level location is visible in your blog bio, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Due to the way influencer prospecting software works, the Twitter location is usually the most commonly used to filter and identify bloggers in a set local. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve searched for bloggers by city, so having this front and center on your homepage is also key!
3. You only have one channel
There’s been a massive shift in the past year from blogger to Instagram only influencers, however, while everyone loves the ‘gram, it doesn’t always deliver the kinds of assets brands want to see. The issue some businesses have with commissioning a single Instagram post is high depreciation rate combined with the comparatively high cost per impression compared to other marketing tactics. Having a multichannel audience can make you more appealing to brands as they know your audience will have a long and varied journey with you and them, and it also means that the discovery period of this content may be longer. A blog post or video has the ability to deliver views much longer to new users, not just your followers.
4. Your engagement rates are low
If you have a business account on Instagram you’ll be able to see more detail insights on how your posts perform, but for brands, they are left having to do their own calculations, the standard being the engagement percentage based on average likes/followers (x100). So if you have 15,000 followers but 100 average likes for a post, your engagement rate would be 0.66*%. Due to Instagram’s algorithm, it can be hard for engagement rates to stay level as follower numbers grow, but really low levels can be a red flag – usually that the follower numbers may be the result of buying bots. At the end of the day, the main thing brands are looking for is to work with someone who resonates with an audience they are looking to reach, so a perceived ‘good engagement rate’ can go a long way.
5. Your profile URL isn’t your website
With the growth of affiliate platforms such as LikeToKnowIt more and more influencers are keen to utilise their social profiles as revenue streams. There’s nothing wrong about this at all, but just keep in mind it means you may not be picked up by prospecting tools or have your accurate details saved into PR databases. Influencer outreach is an admin heavy process so we try to streamline processes as much as possible, and one is extracting details from profiles so the more accurate this is, the more likely you’ll be top of mind for relevant opportunities.
6. You don’t have your own domain
If marketers are looking to work with influencers for SEO value primarily or on top of other factors, having a self-hosted (i.e. your own domain) is paramount. Even if you wish to only use nofollow links for brands, a wordpress or blogspot site is often discounted from consideration due to the lower value or just professional bias. On ‘this side’ we can get a lot more data about an individual domain so it’s a lot more appealing.
7. You’ve *too professional*
This might be controversial, but influencers who have a singing and dancing media kit can sometimes be off-putting. For years, bloggers have been told that having a media kit with all their stats and rates means that PR opportunities will come calling, but in my experience working at agencies or in-house it’s actually the opposite. There’s a presumption (rightly or not) that the influencer may not be flexible or budget or briefing, or that the end result will be a cookie-cutter ‘sponsored post’ with no personal flair. There can also be cases where the media kit stats and rates don’t line up to what agencies and brands would expect. While stats are always handy to help provide some facts behind the fun, it can highlight that the cost per impression is staggeringly higher than other channels like paid social or even tv ads.
We understand that putting together a blog post, Instagram photography or a youtube video can be time intensive and all work deserves fair pay, however paying an influencer £1 per page view is just not going to be signed off by the majority of businesses. So what’s the alternative? Should influencers accept below fair rates for their time just because the stats don’t compare? I would say no – have a clear idea of what you’re willing to accept for your work (not just for your follower numbers) and be happy to walk around if you’re not comfortable. Everyone should have the right to monetise the platform they have created for the world, but advertisers have the right to say “ok, that’s great, but it’s not going to work for what we want to achieve” too.
Comment below if you are an influencer who is looking for more sponsored collaborations this year!