When we talked about the biggest mistakes influencers make, we talked about how Influencers can fall victim to a competition mindset versus building a community with their peers. We also talked ways influencers tend to undervalue themselves and how brands take advantage of that at times.
However, one of the key messages from that blog was that not all brands take advantage of the situation to get free advertising and promotion. In this post, we are taking a closer look at amazing partners there are out there.
Many influencers have a goal of working with brands on brand collaborations to earn an income. We are diving into how to work with brands as an influencer or content creator. However, many brands hire PR agencies to run their collaborations, so we are also addressing how to work with PR agencies on brand collaborations.
It can be an incredible experience working with a brand or PR agency who truly values your talents as a creator/influencer of your community. When you get an opportunity to work with them, you want to make sure you deliver.
Diving deeper into our money talk about when to charge, how to charge, and how much to charge, I am going to dive deeper into over delivering, especially when it is for a brand or PR partner who truly values you, your time, and your efforts. Out of respect for brands, PR agencies, influencers, and the relationships built, I am not naming names here.
As an manager and the owner of Boost Society, I have worked with countless brands and PR agencies who have been nothing but spectacular from the very beginning. This normally results in long lasting relationships between myself, the influencer and the brand/PR agency which benefits all involved.
Let’s dive into tips for how to find and build those long lasting relationships as an influencer, blogger, or content creator.
WHY WORK WITH BRANDS DIRECTLY?
The bonuses to working directly with a brand is that it allows you to build a deeper relationship as there is no middle man involved. There are a lot of benefits to this, as you can speak to the brand directly.
They listen to your feedback and provide you with valuable feedback as well. You can give them feedback, understand their vision/ideas for the collaboration directly, but also get their feedback for you as well.
Having a constant stream of communication is so key. Working directly with a brand is so perfect for that.
I have worked with a few brands who are just SO invested in their relationships and who truly want to get to know you as a creator. You can tell they want the partnership to be equal because they see you know your audience and respect you as the creative genius you are.
As a result of all this, they are usually open to working together to find an awesome creative brief that fits both parties needs and wants. This is usually the start of a wonderful partnership that can turn into a long-lasting relationship.
TIPS FOR WORKING WITH BRANDS
The key with these good relationships, is you want to over deliver, EVERY TIME! Show the brand that you truly love them, their products, and their support. Trust me, they will notice and be very appreciative for it. This is how you build a strong relationship and shows the brand you want something long term.
After a collaboration, send them that Final Report Email (click here to see what to include in our money talk post). They will be amazed, and you never know where it could go from there.
To show you are invested, brainstorm some collaborative ideas for a long term partnership. Throw an out of the box awesome idea in there to really show off your value and drive home that long term partnership.
The only problem is that for long term brand partnership opportunities, many brands are moving towards working with full marketing agencies who handle all their advertising needs from top to bottom. However, the brands who are doing it in house see the value in building great relationships that positively enhance their business moving forward.
WHY WORK WITH A PR AGENCY
A PR agency is a marketing agency who has multiple clients looking for influencer marketing. Because of this, relationships with PR agencies are just as important but for different reasons!
Picture something like a team running the marketing and advertising for Nike, Coca Cola, and Samsung, all under one roof. Now having a connection with a place like that would be INSANE!
Most PR agencies operate like this. They represent and run full marketing campaigns for multiple clients (brands), so there is a HUGE opportunity for you. Building a great relationship with somebody at an agency can open up an array of one-off collaborations for yourself with different brands.
A lot of agencies are also starting to drive home the power behind long term partnerships to their clients, so there will be more potential for those through PR agencies as time passes.
TIPS FOR WORKING WITH A PR AGENCY FOR BRAND COLLABORATIONS
From my experience, I have worked with multiple agencies that I have been able to build strong relationships with. We have now run multiple campaigns through a number of their clients. This has made life a lot easier for both sides. So let me share our secret for success…
If you can supply them with:
- Great content
- Strong exposure
- Quick responses
- Being proactive with sending them everything they need
- AND, they do not have to follow up and chase you
…you will be building yourself a strong partnership.
If you follow this simple checklist, you can trust me they are going to keep coming back to you because you run a smooth campaign and make them look good to the brand.
Try and even discuss doing monthly or quarterly calls with your contact so that you stay at the top of their mind. Follow your contact on socials and send emails about a trip they went on or something they saw or did. Build a strong relationship with that person, and I am sure they will want to keep choosing you.
TIPS TO CREATE CONTACTS FOR A LIFETIME
I can tell you that this industry, marketing and advertising in general, has a lot of turn over. These amazing people work long hours and are often at the office long after you have submitted your content for approval.
This can lead to them getting burnt out, but trust me, they are going to end up somewhere else, where you can most likely continue to work with them and in turn expand your opportunities and relationships to another agency.
If you hear of one of your connections leaving their current position, reach out to them. Tell them congrats on their new endeavor, get their new contact info, and make sure you ask to be introduced to who is replacing them.
You have spent months building on a relationship with a brand, so you do not want all of that to go down the drain when that person leaves. It is even more important when it comes to a PR agency, because you do not have direct relationships with the brands themselves.
MAKE SURE you get those contacts and follow up with your old one once they get to their new location/job. Doing this ensures you keep your current brand relationships and have a chance to make new ones.
These people are killing it and working HARD all day everyday, so give them the recognition they deserve at the end of a partnership or every once and a while. They spend long hours communicating the brands and influencers, often with little thanks for what they do.
If you find yourself lucky enough to have a strong connection with someone who you work with a lot, or even someone who just made things so easy for a great campaign, do NOT be afraid to send them a little thank you at their office. Letting someone know you appreciate them and recognize their hard work will go along way, but also will boost your relationship with them moving forward.
THE REALITY OF WORKING WITH BRANDS & PR AGENCIES
After my blog post about influencer mistakes, I wanted to show the good side of working with brands and PR agencies. Yes, there are some that exploit creators, especially newer and smaller influencers, but there are so many amazing people at brands and PR agencies who see your value and are amazing to work with.
To clarify, there is a clear distinction between the financial side of the job and the relationship side. Nine times out of ten, you will have the opportunity to work with an amazing person at a brand or PR agency.
The reality is, from the top down perspective, financially it makes sense for a brand/PR agency to take advantage of/exploit the industry. But, let me be clear, this is not to discredit the hard working people from the brands or PR agency and all the potential incredible partnerships that will come from those people.
Remember to always treat them well, because they have the power to keep bringing you back. It will also help make every partnership go better if you put yourself in their shoes and find a way to make things work.
Let me know in the comments some amazing brand or PR agencies you have worked with, and why your experience with them was/is so special!
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For more Influencer tips, check out these posts:
- 14 Things to Influencers and Content Creators to Work on When at Home
- Money Talk: When to Charge, How, and How Much
- Influencer Marketing Explained
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