Tips for Working with Brands as an Influencer from Pura Vida

Find tips for working with brands on Instagram or as a content creator from Pura Vida, a top lifestyle brand.

If you are an influencer, whether established or aspiring, you have probably heard of Pura Vida. They work with influencers of all sizes, and their bracelets show up on posts and ads throughout social media.

If you haven’t heard of Pura Vida, they are a Southern California based jewelry and lifestyle brand that started after the co-founders went on a surfing trip to Costa Rica. Their business pillars include giving back and helping charities as well as working with influencers and content creators to create a wanderlust tight-knit Pura Vida community.

Pura Vida is a brand that understands the importance of social media and influencers. While some brands want to stick with old methods that worked for advertising, Pura Vida tends to test new things and see what works.

This includes working with influencers for sponsored posts on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, hiring content creators to create content for their social channels and ads, and even establishing long term partnerships to create influencer packs of bracelets and jewelry.

Recently I sat down with Annie from Pura Vida, a content specialist who manages influencer relationships and their content creation as well as helps plan their catalogs and influencer trips and photoshoots. She opened up to us about what Pura Vida looks for in influencers and how to stand out (in a good way and a bad way) to brands.

HOW DOES PURA VIDA WORK WITH INFLUENCERS?

In a couple of different ways – there is no one size fits all model. There is always a different approach you can take when working with an influencer. The first would be content creation and then we also work with influencers for sponsored posting on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and things like that. The third way would be larger scale influencer partnerships where they create their own packs. They design it and we sell it and build out a larger scale partnership that way.

With content creation, influencers create the content and then Pura Vida can use it for socials and marketing materials. It’s a huge strategy for us that separates us from other brands. We focus on the lifestyle aspect and work with influencers and content creators to build out our feed instead of just focusing on product shots or things like that.

We try to partner with influencers who fit our brand and who have an audience that would be interested in Pura Vida. One of our OG influencers was Hailey from @dreaming_outloud.  With Hailey, for example, we just launched our third pack with her and this time it was a jewelry set. She was one of our OG influencers who really represents our brand.

WHAT IS PURA VIDA LOOKING FOR WITH INFLUENCERS?

It depends.

For content creation, we want someone who will elevate our brand whether that be with high quality content or personality or even a niche we are trying to tap into. All of the influencers we have worked with have a uniqueness, and we want them to stand out on our feed.

Brands want influencers who elevate their brand through high quality content, a new niche, personality, etc.

HOW DOES RELATIONSHIP BUILDING WORK WITH PURA VIDA FROM REACHING OUT TO MOVING INTO LONG-TERM PARTNERSHIPS LIKE PACKS?

We really try to make a personal connection. A lot of our closeness comes with some of our trips and always trying to be genuinely interested in making a connection with our influencers.

We always want the influencer to trust us and know that we have their best interest at heart. I think once you get to that point, anything you do moving forward just makes sense, and you’re able to build on that relationship. Then larger-scale partnerships flow naturally from that.

WHAT CAN INFLUENCERS DO TO BUILD THE BEST RELATIONSHIP WITH A BRAND?

A big thing is just checking in from time to time. If it’s the first time you are working with a brand, just keep us updated. Messages like, “Hey, I got the package. Hey, I just shot my content and will get that over to you soon” are a great way to stay in touch. I think it’s nice to just know they are focused on creating the content and that they are taking it seriously and working hard.

I think on the other hand if we have worked together in the past, just checking in to let us know things like, “I’ll be traveling here and I think this would be great for summer and I can create this type of content for you.”

Keep the line of communication open and not just when there is a partnership happening. It’s a great way to build a relationship with a brand and with an individual who could move around one day.

To work with brands as an influencer, keep the line of communication open and not just when there is a partnership happening.

HOW SHOULD INFLUENCERS BEST APPROACH A BRAND WHEN THEY ARE INTERESTED IN WORKING TOGETHER?

Initially, give as much information as you can. That’s really helpful.

One of the best ways I’ve been approached was by someone who had specific ideas as far as content creation. They went as far as to make a mood board and to show products that would fit nicely. You can’t do that for every brand, but if it’s a brand you love and you really want to work with them, position yourself as “you really need this content from us”. Then it flows naturally from there.

That goes both ways though. The brand reaching out to content creators should be just as thoughtful.

In general, just give as much detail as you can about what you have in mind for the partnership. From the brand perspective, when you see it all laid out, it makes sense and is easy from there.

WHAT SHOULD AN INFLUENCER OFFER A BRAND TO ENTICE THEM TO START A PARTNERSHIP FOR THE FIRST TIME?

I think it varies based on the deal you have in mind. It needs to make sense for both parties though. You don’t want to offer something so small that it looks like an afterthought, but you don’t want to come in with a huge ask because a lot of those really big decisions are made a year or more prior.

Find a happy medium instead of it sounding like an afterthought. For example, don’t send one that’s like, “I could send in pictures – I’m already here shooting for this other brand.” Come in with a decent package.

HOW SHOULD AN INFLUENCER DEAL WITH BRAND REJECTION AND OVERCOME IT?

That can be a tough one, but don’t take anything personally. That’s one of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned. Everything happens because of a factor that goes way beyond anything personal against you unless someone has a weird personal vendetta, but then that wouldn’t have been a great match anyways.

Rejection could be for any number of reasons. Maybe it’s budget or maybe they just shot something that is super similar to your style of content. Maybe they have similar influencers in the same niche already.

See what you can learn from it and then move on. Most of the time you land something that pays more or is more long term or a better fit. Rejection isn’t fun, but there is always something you can learn from it. Don’t take it personally. There are always so many things you don’t know or understand on the other side of it that 99% of the time it has nothing to do with you personally. 

You can always ask for feedback too. Just ask if there is anything specifically that the brand is looking for so you’ll know for future reference. People are usually happy to give feedback.

Don't take rejection from a brand personally. There are lots of other factors going on behind the scenes.

IS THERE ANYTHING SPECIFIC IN PITCHES THAT STANDS OUT?

Enthusiasm is a big part of it. The brand knowing that you are willing and open to figure something out to make the partnership work is big. You need to be able to pivot if the brand has something in mind and be able to talk through things and figure something out. In other words, leave it open ended instead of saying this is the only way I’ll work with you.

WHAT ARE IMMEDIATE TURN OFFS FOR INFLUENCERS WHEN PITCHING?

I haven’t had too many immediate turn offs. One was with a manager instead of the influencer which was unfortunate for the influencer. There are a million different brands the influencer can work with and a million different influencers the brand can work with, so being professional and kind and just being really transparent with everything are the main things. Not a specific turn off but I’ve had some not be the nicest.

With you rates, know your worth but be reasonable.

Brands love pitches from influencers that show enthusiasm, professionalism, kindness, and transparency.

WHAT ARE SOME REASONS YOU DECIDE NOT TO WORK WITH SOMEONE AGAIN OR NOT TO WORK WITH THEM LONG TERM?

It could be a lot of things. One is the flow of things – if it was hard to track them down or get things in or maybe the content just didn’t perform as well as you expected, things like that. It could be that we found someone else similar or who performed better. 

We test a lot of things. We have some strategies nailed down but we have a lot of things we are looking to test. If things don’t work as well as we hoped, we have to pass on moving forward with that.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WITH INFLUENCERS FROM THE TIME PERIOD BETWEEN THE END OF THE FIRST CONTRACT TO BEING ABLE TO WORK TOGETHER AGAIN?

A big thing we like to see throughout is transparency. There are so many times we get content months later or never at all and it turns out they had a lot of personal stuff going on. If we don’t know, we as a brand assume you just don’t care. Be open and honest throughout the process.

In terms of locking down a deal for the next time, go to the page and see how your content performed. Reach out and say, “I saw my content performed best for the last month.” Share personal insights from your own posts. Go and see how your content performed on the brand page too though.

WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT STATS A BRAND IS LOOKING FOR? DO THOSE PLAY A ROLE IN WHICH INFLUENCERS YOU WORK WITH? DO YOU NEED A CERTAIN NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS?

No, there isn’t a certain number of followers. Engagement rate is pretty important though. If it’s a content relationship, we want high quality content. We have a lot of influencers with over 500K and a lot under 20K.

If it’s sponsored like YouTube, view count and CPM come into play. Sponsored posts are very conversion driven and there are specific goals we are trying to hit. Working with content creators to supplement our feed and website is very based on quality though. For content creation, it truly does not matter the size. We work with nano influencers with 1000 or under if the quality is good.

Engagement rate and quality content are more important than follower counts when it comes to working with brands

*****

Thank you to Annie from Pura Vida for taking the time to sit down and talk with us. If you’ve been struggling with reaching out to brands or with being rejected by brands, hopefully you found some value here.

 

If you want more tips for pitching, we have a few blog posts that might help including tips for pitching as a microinfluencer, how to pitch the RIGHT brands, influencer best practices from our interview with Collectively, tips for working with brands and PR agencies as an influencer, and an interview with one of our influencers, Catarina of @professionaltraveler, about working with brands.

Looking for a coach to help you learn more about the business side of being an influencer? Boost Society now offers business and Influencer coaching in a one-on-one setting. If you are interested in learning more (or need help getting yourself and your business organized), contact Boost Society here and tell us a little bit about yourself and your coaching needs. 

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Find tips for working with brands on Instagram or as a content creator from Pura Vida, a top lifestyle brand. #influencer #influencermarketing #brandcollaborations | how to work with brands | influencer marketing | brand collaborations social media | how to make money on Instagram | how to work with brands on Instagram | how to get brands to work with you | how to work with brands as a blogger | how to get brand collaborations | how to get paid brand collaborations | micro influencer marketing

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