As an influencer, you often get contacted to work on campaigns from all different types of agencies, sometimes even multiple agencies claiming to be working on a campaign for the same brand.
This can be confusing and frustrating, and can lead to hurt feelings, which is certainly understandable. From where you sit, all of these different agencies complicate things. You just want to share brands you love with the community you have created, while being paid for your time and effort on their behalf.
Let’s Look at an Example: PR Agencies
You might have a long-standing relationship with an internal person at a company. The person has always been fair to you and has gotten to know you and your pet over a period of time. Along comes a PR person with a pitch for a product, event, cause, etc., from that same company. Maybe “it” would work for you. Maybe not. Maybe they are offering you the opportunity to share their new unicorn food and you only have dragons. And, instead of your normal deal with the company, the PR rep offers a high-res photo or a can of the new food to check out.
Before you get offended, understand that it is the sole job of the PR agency to create a story and get as much editorial coverage for that story as possible for the company they are working for.
That means mass emails in what can only be described as “spray and pray,” hoping that they eventually meet their goal. Their only responsibility to their client is earned (or free) media. This has not changed over the years, and while you might be able to negotiate a deal once in a while, the status quo isn’t going to change. If you want to work with a PR agency and want them to pay, you will need to bring your best pitch to the game. How will their paying you generate earned media for their client? Numbers are key here so be ready to back up your ask with some impressive ones.
On the other hand, maybe you do want to try that new unicorn food because your sister’s unicorn hasn’t been doing well on their old diet, and this sounds like a good option. Figure out what you are willing to offer in exchange for the product, and if that exchange makes sense for you.
Let’s Look at Another Example: Digital Marketing Agencies
Let’s say you were contacted by a Digital Marketing Agency. This agency is asking you to share content for their client. Maybe they are even offering you a small amount of compensation. They likely took a little bit of time to read a blog post or two and even got your name and the name of your pet right. You email your Media Kit to see if you can come to an agreement.
What they need to do is take a look at your numbers and figure out what sort of ROI (return on investment) you will deliver and if your higher rate will give them a better return. Remember, they have a set budget that they need to use to get as much return as possible for their client’s overall investment.
As a Digital Marketing Agency, they will pay more attention to whether you are the right fit for their client and if you can convey the message the brand is looking for. They are still going to want to know the size of your community and if they are the target audience for the product. Be prepared to explain exactly what you will be delivering and when. Under-delivering is not an option, so be open and honest with what you will and will not do on their behalf. This is your opportunity to get in the door with this Agency and become one of their go-to people for future campaigns.
Are You Detecting a Pattern?
Both agencies want to know how you will contribute and the impact you will make overall. This is why it is so important that you are clean and polished in your communication with any agency. You need to present yourself as an influencer with a community that the brand would be remiss not to be able to get in front of.
That means you need to know your community. What do they need? What do they want? What issues or problems do they face that this company can solve? What will you do for the agency that will help them get their client in front of as many QUALIFIED people as possible?
Work on your influencer elevator pitch. Be able to promote yourself as the right one for the job in three minutes or less. If you are unsure of your influencer status or are not polished and professional, that will come across to the person on the other end of the email or phone call. Find a buddy to practice on. Use each pitch you receive as real-world experience to get you closer to YES!
Be open and honest. Use these chances as opportunities to grow as an influencer. The more you understand the business you are in, the more “YES! We want to work with you!” you will receive.
Felissa Elfenbein is the Director of Influencer Marketing for BlogPaws. During the day Felissa can be found creating proposals for new campaigns, on the phone with brands, working on VIP events for the conference, and Skyping with the Pet360 Media Sales Team. Felissa lives in the Northeast Georgia Mountains and has two senior Cavalier King Charles Spaniels better known as the Two Little Cavaliers.