"Influencers" Outreaching to Brands are Doing it Wrong.

I currently find myself as a sort of gatekeeper for a popular consumer brand; receiving about one to two inquiries from so-called influencers looking to work with us. Most of the time, these messages go something like this: “Hello, I love your products and would love to do something with you. Thank you.” Almost always those type of messages go in the trash. I’m a busy guy so I don’t have the time to track down a reason for why we would want to work with you in return.

On the occasion I click through to check out the social profiles, here is out it goes.

  • The number of followers the influencer has is just in the four-figures and there is no sign the person uses our product. Deleted.
  • Four-figure followers, but he or she actually uses the product. However the quality of their posts are too low to bother with. Delete
  • Four-figure followers, uses the product and the quality go the posts are really great. Honestly this is pretty much a white whale; people consistently posting great content are going to have strong following. However, finding someone in the category can be an opportunity of “getting in on the ground floor” in terms of economically creating interesting content together. Follow-up and see what they might be like to work with.
  • Six to seven figures of followers, but no sign they use the product. Ugh, they’re just looking for a pay cheque and probably have an agent. I say ‘ugh’ because these types of influencers can just be a pain to work with, however thats not to say they’re not worth it. Working with this level of influencers can be great for a outreach campaign to target customers. Reach out and get an idea of their rates and their process for negotiating; then adding them to a list for future campaign plans.

The messages from influencers pretty much guaranteed to get a response layout he or she is a fan of the brand and uses the products, what kind of engagement they have and specifically what they are interested in working on with the brand. Even better yet, these messages should show example(s) of their work and what we can expect.

I’m working with an influencer right now that did just those things. She demonstrated being an brand fan, showed an example of a video she had already done and requested an interest of making a video for another product in our lineup. The video example was fantastic and although her follower numbers were low, it was obvious her video editing skills were promising. We immediately send of the product she was interested in and waited to see the results. Again, the resulting video was a strong showing; easily worth our investment of time and product.

I can tell you know, she is at the top of our list for future plans and I’m looking forward to seeing the relationship grow and develop. The experience also sets the bar for the messages I receive daily from ‘influencers’ reaching out. Those one-line messages are filling up my trash can.