3 Massive Mistakes That Influencers Make

typewriter_smallThis isn’t a post about little mistakes that nobody notices, or mistakes that happen on accident. This is about three colossal mistakes that might cost an influencer a campaign, their audience or even a partnership with a brand, or advertising agency. So pay attention and try to not to let any of these three mistakes be your fate.

 

1. Not paying attention to Google updates

if you’re a working influencer, you probably already have at least a basic knowledge of SEO. That’s great. The thing about SEO is it’s highly dependent on Google algorithm updates, which occur regularly.

 

It’s crucial to pay attention as soon as these updates happen. Set a Google alert for “Google algorithm update” or make sure you have a tech publication in your reader. The key is to make sure you find out immediately, and then quickly learn if it means anything to your blog.

 

In theory, Google is often updating their algorithm so that they can provide their users with a better search experience—better content, more relevant content, less spam. However these updates aren’t foolproof, so it’s possible you’re doing something on your blog that Google is filtering for. And this is why the effect could be colossal.

 

If you’re blog includes some sort of linking or tactic that Google has deemed negative, you could see your site traffic plummet. Really, it could plummet.

 

For instance, one of Google’s recent updates was to their Payday loan algorithm. This algorithm itself helps filter out spammy sites, however the latest update is scanning for sites with spammy queries.  With this update, if you happen to link to a payday loan company on your site, your search traffic might have completely dropped off the face of the digital earth.

 

Stay aware of updates and make changes to your blog fast.

 

2. Not paying attention tothe social media campaign instructions

So your site is performing well and you’re partnering with brands and you’re feeling pretty confident about your influencer growth and status. Pretty cool, huh? But your new ego results in a bit of carelessness.

 

A campaign offer comes in. Since you’ve done this a million times, you could read campaign specs in your sleep. So you quickly scan over the instructions, skim the blog prompt and grab the hashtag. Easy peasy. You’ll have this campaign done in no time.

 

Flash forward two weeks and you’re suddenly receiving hate mail from a brand you thought would LOVE your content. What gives? Turns out those instructions you just skimmed were pretty important and you forgot one crucial step.

 

Could this really be a colossal mistakes? Yes. Brands are trusting you to follow instructions and act professionally so that they can accurately track the performance of the campaign. A missed instruction could screw everything up.

 

We’ve seen bloggers forget a special link, no-follow tags, a special content instruction, to announce an event or to meet a certain deadline. These mishaps can burn bridges. Frankly, brands work fast and depend on campaign performance. If they don’t feel like you did your job, they’ll move on to a different influencer.

 

3. Writing low-quality content

This one seems obvious but we see it every day. Bloggers are creating content constantly. Some are juggling many brands and many requirements. It can get hectic, and it’s tempting to rush assignments. Hey, it might be even be tempting to write your post quickly so you’re getting paid more an hour. Bad choice.

 

If your blog is thrown together, it’s obvious. It’s obvious to everyone involved—the brand, your fans and the communities you’re working with. A poor-quality post could mean you never work with that brand again. But what’s worse, is you could lose your fans and connections.

 

Sure, your fans might forgive 1-2 poor-quality posts. But string a few together, and you’ll see your readership start to dwindle. A dwindling readership can have a domino effect on your partnerships and connections. So be weary.

 

Treat each campaign with respect, think about what the prompt really means to you, and write a high-quality post. It’s as simple as that.

 

If you need help, we hope you’ll check out what Find Your Influence (FYI) has to offer. FYI helps influencers of all levels connect with brands and manage their campaigns more efficiently. We even provide an easy way to move up in our marketplace as your success grows. If you’d like to see how we could help you, we encourage you to sign up. It’s completely free for influencers to join. Always.

 

 

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How to set your prices as a content creator or influencer

teeshirtsOne of the hardest and most uncomfortable things to determine is how much you should be charging as an influencer. You can likely get by for a while just letting brands pitch a price to you. But eventually, if you really want to start treating content creation as a business, you’ve got to set up pricing.

 

If you think about your craft as a business, it seems simple. You’re selling something. That something is your content, voice and influence. Just like every other business in the world, your goods need a set price.

 

True, price negotiations will often take place between brands and influencers. If you want to participate in price negotiations, maybe you’d give a discount to a brand you love, then that is completely up to you. But negotiations need a starting point, and more importantly, a stopping point. Here’s what you need to consider.

 

1. Your experience

Just like any job, the more experience you have, the more money you can make. So if you’re just starting out, you probably can’t ask for the same amount as your favorite blogger who has 500,000 followers and ten years of experience working with brands. You’ve got to be realistic and fair. What would you be willing to pay you for a post?

 

The good thing about starting out low is that you can likely build your experience quickly. Reach out to brands who likely have a smaller budget, and start building your client base. Once you have a few campaigns under your belt, raise your price by 20-30%. Every time you’ve gained a substantial amount of new experience and expertise, raise your prices again until you reach your goal.

 

2. Your expenses

Based on your experience level that you identified in the step above, determine your starting wage. Your pricing really comes down to your expectations and needs. What would you expect to be paid if you were starting a brand new job in a brand new industry?

 

Consider looking at average salaries for copywriters and content writers in your area, and use that as a starting point. Keep in mind you’re self employed, you need to bake in some extra dollars for the time you spend finding your own clients, managing your own payments, making your own coffee, paying special taxes, taking a vacation now and then, etc.

 

So for instance, if entry-level writers in your state make around $30,000 a year, your starting hourly wage could be $15/hour. But you’re self-employed, so you need to bake in about $10 more an hour to get by. So now you’re looking at $25/hour to start.

 

3. Your time

Next, you need to consider how long it takes you to do your work. It’s really important to be realistic and fair. Don’t inflate these numbers, and don’t skimp on them either. If you have no idea, do some detailed time-keeping for 2-3 weeks. Record how long it takes you to write a blog, research, update your social profiles, get your readers engaged, etc. After 2-3 weeks, take an average for each task. Some gigs will take longer than others, and that’s fine. It should work out at the end of the year (if it doesn’t, you need to reevaluate your prices).

 

So let’s take our starting wage from #3. You’re currently thinking you can start at $25/hour. But most brands are going to ask for price per campaign or post. After 2-3 weeks of detailed time-keeping, you know that on average, it takes you 2 hours to research and write a blog post. So you’re starting price for a sponsored blog post is now $50. Easy easy.

 

4. Your numbers

Ultimately, brands are looking for influencers with high numbers. They’ll be more likely to pay more if you have a strong KPI (Key Performance Indicator: marketing speak for the most important metric used to evaluate the performance of an initiative or campaign).

 

They’re looking at things like your: followership, site traffic, social followers, social and blog engagement and more. If you’re numbers aren’t incredibly high yet, that’s fine. Just make sure that’s reflected in your prices.

 

Similar to the impact of your experience, start small and increase your pricing by 10% or so as your numbers gain strength.

 

Setting your prices takes a little time and research, but the good news is you have the ability to change them whenever you need to. If you think you started to low, adjust for next time. If you think your high pricing is hurting your ability to get clients, lower them and see what happens.

 

Of course, if you join Find Your Influence, we can help you figure out all of this stuff and make sure you get paid appropriately. Check it out for free.

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How to get your blog brand ready: A guide to optimizing your blog for influencer marketing

smallpicBlogs are born for a variety of reasons — to share a passion, to track a goal, to journal, to educate.What you don’t see is blogs being started for the sole purpose of grabbing advertisers’ attention (okay maybe those exist – but no one reads ‘em!). But somewhere between the first post and the 500th, bloggers start to wonder how to make their passion profitable.

 

The problem is, making the jump from a blogger to promoted blogger is a big, difficult and sometimes confusing jump! If you’re interested in working with brands, you have to first make sure that you have the type of blog that catches a brand’s attention. Here’s what you need to do:

 

Create a strong “About Me” page

 

This part of your blog shouldn’t just be a quick snippet about your love for froyo and pugs. This is your opportunity to tell brands why they should work with you. This is your chance to tell brands your inspiration, vision and purpose for writing.

 

First, make sure your “about me” page is easy to find. You don’t have to call it “about me,” but make sure the purpose of the page is clear. Then, spend some time crafting a quality post about yourself. Tell your readers why you got started, what the purpose of your blog is and your vision for your blogging future.

 

Most importantly, state that you’re interested in working with brands and include contact information. Even better? Give them links to your social sites (only the ones you keep updated and don’t mind sharing with the public).

 

This is a great way to enable brands to learn about you and contact you without having to reach out to them first.

 

Stay focused and develop a strong voice
A lot of new writers are tempted to appeal to everyone. They avoid controversy, disagreements and will include information for readers in all walks of life. This is almost always ineffective.

 

Instead, stay focused on the purpose of your blog (the things you outlined in your about me statement). Don’t stray from those topics very often. You’ll gain a more passionate readership if you show passion and consistency in your topics.

 

More importantly, work on developing a strong voice. Spend time crafting posts that really let your personality and opinions shine. This is a blog post we’re talking about — your personality is what differentiates it from an article. So learn how to express your quirks in type and try to be consistent.

 

If you’re having trouble developing your voice, or don’t even know what that really means, consider joining a writing workshop or picking up a writing development book. The prompts and activities will help you discover the power in your voice.

 

Create high-quality content only
Once you’ve been writing for a while, you’ll start to realize you can write fast. That’s a great talent — use it for good instead of evil. Don’t skimp on good research and proofreading. And try to avoid too many thrown together posts published only so that you can stay on schedule. If you want to be a highly sought after blogger, high-quality content should be your number one focus. Research, plan, write, edit, edit, edit.

 

Show an interest in marketing

 

A good way to catch a brand’s attention is to show an interest in marketing your blog and growing your readership. Luckily, the ways to do that are also beneficial to your blog. Consider adding a subscriber plugin to your blog with a strong call to action. Then, take the next step. Use your new subscriber list to launch a weekly newsletter or tips and tricks page.

 

Another great way to market your site is to do a giveaway or contest that encourages growth. Have people enter the contest by subscribing to your mailing list or sharing your post. Just make sure the item you’re giving away is closely related to your blog’s focus.

 

Build and integrate your social media profiles

 

When brands are looking for influencers, they’re looking at total reach across platforms. They might want a blogger who also has a huge social media reach and has a strong following on Facebook or who is really active on Twitter. You don’t have to be on every network. In fact, it’s probably better that you aren’t.

 

Just focus on building an active following on at least one or two social platforms  whichever ones you really enjoy using. Once you have your platforms up and running, integrate them into your blog. There are dozens of plugins and tools that will allow you to do this. Give people the opportunity to both engage with posts via social and follow you on social.

 

Don’t overlook design

 

Finally, the design of your blog really matters. If a brand doesn’t think you blog looks professional, they won’t think your professional.  Plus, brands are thinking about how their products placements will look on your site. So put your best foot forward and keep your blog design clean and profession.

 

Focus on readability — dark type on a light background, wider columns, etc. Make sure your blog is clean and easy to navigate. If you’re not happy with the free options on your blogging platform, there are dozens of sites out there offering design templates for under $100. Some of them even have free options. Themeforest is a great place to start.

 

Above all, be yourself at all times. One of the most appealing parts about influencer marketing is that brands get to connect with their customers in a more authentic way. So they’re looking for bloggers that have that authentic, natural voice. So never compromise your personality and beliefs to appeal to brands. It’s not worth it!

 

If you’d like to learn more about working with brands and our influencer marketing platform, head to Find Your Influence.

 

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Why all brands should be launching evergreen influencer campaigns

evergreen

My dear fellow advertisers, let’s face it. We’re impatient. You can’t blame us. We’re results-driven, but somewhere along the way that starts to translate as ASAP-driven. We don’t have time for anything that doesn’t show a positive ROI within weeks. And so we mosey from campaign to promotion to launch to campaign without looking at the big picture. How do all of these initiatives align? Do our customers really know what our brand is all about?

 

A lot of brands come to Find Your Influence because they want to promote a product, event or promotion. Influencer marketing campaigns are a great way to spread your messaging fast, so that makes sense. But influencer marketing can be so much more than a fast and affordable way to increase conversion.

 

Evergreen influencer campaigns are a great way to optimize your brand messaging and generate a loyal following of fans. What’s an evergreen influencer campaign? Simple. Choose a group of influencers that will be creating multiple pieces of content for your brand over the course of at least several months — regardless of whether or not you’re running a promotion. Ensure your influencers are creating some content that’s not time-sensitive. In a nutshell, that’s it.

 

Skeptical? Here’s 5 reasons you should launch an evergreen influencer marketing campaign right now.

1. Do a better job of promoting the messaging themes on your marketing calendar

 

Most brands have some form of a marketing calendar. If it’s not in calendar format, it might simply be detailed in your team’s goals and scheduled tasks. The point is you have initiatives, themes, promotions and plans scheduled throughout the entire year. So you approach each item one a time so they can exist in an easily-measurable vacuum. Wrong.

 

An influencer campaign can be the string that holds your calendar together. Your influencers will be writing content about you year long. They know your brand voice, mission and messaging, and they’ll be educating their fans with these things in mind. These influencers and their fans really get you. So you share pieces of your marketing calendar with your influencers, and they help you promote these initiatives in a natural way.

 

You can plan different content requirements for different initiatives, or you can build up to one big initiative at the end of the year. Since these influencers have been talking about you consistently, their loyal fans are more inclined to become your customers. And finally, your brand messaging stays consistent throughout the year. Your initiatives are no longer existing in a vacuum.

 

2. Develop valuable relationships

 

Managing an evergreen influencer campaign means you’ll be working with the same influencers all year. You’ll get to know them and they’ll get to know you. Even better? Their fans are getting to know you too.

 

By building a strong relationship with your influencers, you’ll likely be able ask their help to promote a product, drive last-minute reach goals or participate in your events. As your influencers write content about you, their fans slowly begin to love you. Suddenly you’re looking at not only new customers, but new brand advocates. Once they start tweeting and sharing your content, your brand message has been amplified.

 

3. Brand awareness is a slow game

 

When you’re trying to reach a new set of customers, it’s not always about direct conversion. Some of your potential customers are simply not yet ready to buy. They need more information, they need to ask their peers, and they need to get to know you. Unfortunately, brand awareness is a slow game. We marketers don’t like slow games. And how does one track the slow game?

You guessed it! With influencer marketing. Have your influencers educate their customers about your product over the course of the year, and make sure you use the same KPI with the same links or hashtag over the entire year. As your influencers’ fans get to know you, they’ll start converting, and you’ll be able to track it with your influencer marketing measurements.

 

4. Get new, shareable content every month

 

Brands are often challenged with finding enough new content to promote on social. You don’t want to rely too heavily on other people’s content because then you’re driving potential customers to other people’s websites. If you have an evergreen influencer marketing campaign in place, you’ll have a continual flow of content being generated. That’s content you can share and promote to your own fans — amplifying your reach. Your influencers will be happy that you’re sharing their content and promoting their blogs. And since you’ve provided your influencers with trackable links, you’ll still reap the benefits of sharing their content.

 

5. It’s a lot cheaper than a media sponsorship

 

Think of an evergreen social campaign like a sponsorship. You see brands sponsoring celebrity athletes, large events or even venues. Those kind of sponsorships can be extremely expensive. Influencer marketing is a lot like a sponsorship but it’s better.

 

Think of it like you’re sponsoring a blogger. But you don’t just have that blogger promoting your content (which is fantastic as is), but that blogger is also educating their fans about your brand and industry. So you’re getting more bang for your buck than you would in a traditional sponsorship, and you’re spending less bucks. On top of that, you’re influencers are recruiting brand advocates out of their followers. Your “sponsorship” reach is then multiplied. Pretty great investment, huh?

 

If you’d like to learn more about how to launch an evergreen influencer marketing campaign, send a quick email to ust at Find Your Influence at  info@findyourinfluence.com. We’ll get back to you ASAP to explain to you the concept more in depth.

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Influencer Marketing Podcast: Episode 1

We are pleased to announce a brand new podcast by FYI designed to help advertisers launch successful influencer marketing campaigns. In our inaugural episode, the Influencer Marketing Podcast starts with the basics: What is influencer marketing? What is an influencer? Is influencer marketing effective? Join Lyndsey Jones and Kelsey Havens of Find Your Influence as they answer these questions and discuss how influencer marketing has worked for other brands.

Influencer Marketing: The Basics

 

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Why marketing agencies should be using Find Your Influence to manage influencer campaigns

agenciesIt seems like overnight influencer marketing became a buzzword. Bloggers want in. Brands and advertisers want in. Agencies are struggling to effectively manage multiple influencer marketing campaigns for multiple brands. It’s overwhelming.

 

We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately from agencies trying to figure out how to manage influencer campaigns for multiple brands at once. Juggling all the pieces requires a lot of time, which agencies don’t have a lot of to spare. Plus that inefficient time adds up to extra billable hours, ultimately costing agencies money. So how do agencies provide influencer marketing services to their clients without sacrificing employee time and impacting overhead costs?

 

We don’t like to talk about ourselves here too often, but this is a topic that’s been coming up regularly. It deserves a detailed explanation. So we’d like to take this opportunity to explain how the Find Your Influence influencer marketing platform is the ideal solution for marketing agencies.  Here’s why:

 

1. It’s a self-service platform

One of our favorite things about the Find Your Influence platform is that it’s completely self service. You don’t have to pay extra or wait weeks to have software set up and strategies completed. Sure, we can do all that for the brands that want it. But we find that agencies prefer to use Find Your Influence because it serves as a influencer marketing tool.

 

You don’t need an influencer marketing service—after all you’re offering influencer marketing services to brands. You need a tool to help you more efficiently manage your influencer marketing campaigns and clients. Find Your Influence can do just that.

 

With one login, you can set up multiple campaigns for different brands. You set them up exactly how you want them and shop our influencer marketplace for the right content creators for each brand.

 

2. It’s affordable

Because Find Your Influence is a self-service platform, it’s completely affordable. You don’t have to pay for setup, strategies or consultation. Again, you’re an expert so you don’t need all of that. A lot of companies charge thousands of dollars to get things running. Our prices are similar to common social media management platforms and other industry tools. You can get started managing multiple campaigns for as little as $600/month. Since your streamlining your influencer marketing campaign management, you’ll likely end up saving thousands of dollars just in billable hours.

 

3. It’s an all-in-one package

The best part is that the Find Your Influence platform isn’t just for managing influencers. It’s for managing entire campaigns. That means you can do everything within the platform. Create specifications and requirements, shop the influencer marketplace, launch campaigns, track results, archive influencer content, export data and even send payment to your influencers. This is huge for agencies. You don’t have to juggle multiple contracts, invoices, hashtags and data. It’s all there for you. Easy peasy.

 

The bottom line: The Find Your Influence platform can help agencies save time and money by allowing them to manage multiple campaigns for multiple clients all in one platform. It’s affordable, easy and comprehensive. What’s not to love?
If you’re an agency struggling to juggle multiple influencer campaigns or wanting to offer influencer marketing to clients but don’t have enough resources, we encourage you to check out the platform. Set up an account or shoot us an email. We’d love to answer your questions and show you how Find Your Influence can help.

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How to start an influencer campaign: Your 101 guide

bubbles_small

So you’d like to try influencer marketing. You understand the benefits and you’d like to see how it can help your brand spread its message. Great. So now what? How does one actually go about launching a campaign? Let’s start with the basics.

Step 1: Identify your goals, budget + measurements

First things first, figure out what you’re trying to do. There are a variety of ways influencer marketing can help your brand, but it’s smart to focus on one or two at most. This will help you target the right influencers and craft campaign requirements that are concise and focused.

Here is a limited list of common influencer marketing goals:

- Increase brand awareness
- Bring more traffic to your website
- Expand your mailing list
- Launch and promote a new product
- Drive sales conversion

Once you’ve landed on a goal, it’s time to think about measurement. For a more detailed look at measurement, check out this blog post written by an FYI co-founder.

Make sure it’s something you can accurately track. Most campaigns will have a corresponding hashtag — that’s a great way to track brand awareness. You can also provide your influencers with trackable links so that you can easily see how many people are clicking to your site or signing up for your mailing list. Another great way to track your campaign is with a promo code for a discount on your product.

With these measurements in mind, the same list of goals would look like this:

- Increase brand awareness by expanding social reach by 30% using the hashtag #HavensCoInfluencer
- Bring 3,000 new clicks to a product-focused landing page
- Attract 3,000 new email subscribers
- Launch new product with the goal of reaching 500,000 consumers with the hashtag #HavensCoProducts
- Increase sales of your product by 3%

Finally, figure out your budget. Influencer marketing can be a really affordable marketing option with a great ROI. But you have to pay your influencers. So set a budget before you reach out to them. Successful influencers have a brand of their own that they’re working to grow and maintain. In other words, treat your influencers like the businesspeople they are. Make an offer and negotiate a rate.

Influencers with a smaller following might start at $100/post. More experienced influencers might be looking for $500/post. It varies on the expertise, followership and engagement rates. If setting a rate without proof of efficacy makes you uncomfortable, ask for the numbers. Influencers should be able to provide data points like traffic per day, social engagement rate, average reach, etc.

 

Step 2: Find and contact the right influencers

Now that you’ve got the backend work done, it’s time to find the right influencers for the job. How do you find influencers? Start searching, clicking and reading. You’re looking for bloggers, social media superstars, video hosts and the like. This part can take some time. Plus, you’re going to want to identify more influencers that you’ll be using as it’s likely that not all of them will agree to the campaign.

There are a few things to consider when you start contacting influencers. First of all, you want influencers that are already writing about topics that relate to your brand or industry. For instance if you’re selling high heels, you probably shouldn’t be partnering with a blogger that writes primarily about sports — even if that blogger has a massive following. Partnering with influencers that don’t make sense for your brand can have a substantially negative impact on the success of your campaign.

While you’re looking for the right influencers, consider your goals. If you’re measuring reach, look for influencers that have a big following on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re hoping to drive engagement, look for influencers that have a lot of comments on their blog and profiles. Surprising to some, these two traits don’t neccessarily go hand in hand. An influencer with a smaller following might have much better engagement than an influencer with a massive following. Both have their value.

 

Step 3:  Creating a campaign brief

Once you have a list of influencers that are interested in working with your brand, it’s time to send them the campaign details (If your company requires contracts, legal approval and/or paperwork, this is also the time to get that worked out). What kind of campaign do you want to launch? Here are a few common methods:

- Launch a series of sponsored blog posts
- Have a variety of influencers take over your Instagram for a short time
- Throw a Twitter Party
- Get several influencers to tweet about your products during the same time period
- A combination of all of these

When you’re creating the campaign brief, you should include deadlines, hashtags, goals, messaging requirements and suggestions, legal requirements and anything else you can think of that might be helpful to your influencer. The more information the better.

Send your creative brief to your influencers and tell them when to start!

 

Step 4: Track results + distribute payments

By this time you’ve either launched your campaign or you’re ready to launch. Great work! But you’re not done yet. Now it’s time for tracking. Based on the detailed goals you’ve put together (see #1) and the metrics discussed in this post, you know exactly how you’re going to be tracking the campaign.

Make sure your campaign has fully run its course before you start reporting on the data. Combine data points and try to gather some key insights. Once you have it gathered, if there are any influencers that you think did an especially great job, let ‘em know! This is also a good time to decide what you think worked well and what you think could have been done better so that you can improve your campaign next time.

Finally, don’t forget to send out payments to your influencers in a timely matter. They’re businesspeople too and are expecting to get paid on time for their great work. Be sure to pay them all around the same time.

 

Finally…

Seem like a lot of work? It is. That’s why we created a platform that helps you efficiently manage all of these steps and more. By using the Find Your Influence platform, you can search for influencers with keywords and other filters, draft campaign briefs, launch campaigns, track results and make one-click payments—all in one platform. We’ll save you time and money, and you’ll be working with industry experts who can help you launch a successful campaign.

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3 Things Bloggers Misunderstand About Brands When Trying To Build a Business

bloggersmisunderstand

Two weeks ago we wrote about the things that brands misunderstand about bloggers. Our goal is to bridge the communication gap between the two so you can find common ground (we’re matchmakers, remember?). But let’s be clear: we’re not taking sides.

 

The Find Your Influence team has experience in both in-house marketing and working with bloggers. We’ve been on both sides of the tracks. We love you bloggies, but what we’ve found is that there are a lot of incorrect assumptions made about brands by bloggers, resulting in a lost opportunity or simply a frustrating experience. So bloggers, open yours ears (our mom’s use to say that). Here are three things bloggers misunderstand about brands.

 

1. Big or small, not all brands have a huge budget

 

When a major brand reaches out to you, you’re probably seeing dollar signs. You’re envisioning working with the people of Mad Men. They have dollars to burn and scotch to sip. And for some brands, maybe that’s not far from the truth. But the reality is budgets are distributed differently in every company, and there are several reasons a marketing team might not have an endless budget (or any budget) to fund an influencer campaign. To name a few:

- Influencer marketing is a brand new program to this organization and they have to prove it works before they allocate a lot of money to the initiative.

- The business-to-business division is a lot bigger than the consumer division (or vice versa). You think you’re working with a giant, but in reality it’s more like a start up.

- The executives don’t think influencer marketing has a good return on investment so the marketer you’re working with gets a limited budget to work with. Ouch.

 

This doesn’t mean that advertisers shouldn’t pay you. It does mean that you shouldn’t always expect them to have an endless amount. If a brand with a small budget wants to work with you, that means they think you’re really special. Try to approach the situation professionally rather than scoffing at the amount offered or assuming the brand is reaching out to hundreds of other bloggers like you. Take your offers seriously—even the ones you decline.

 

2. Advertisers hate the bureaucracy, too. But it’s a reality.

 

Most larger brands have either a strict branding policy a strict legal policy, or both. This can result in a brand asking you to edit your work—reword this, delete this and a trademark here. It can also result in you having to put a long disclaimer on your post. I assure you, no marketer on the planet wants a disclaimer on your work. And marketers don’t want to edit your work either. That’s awkward for everybody. But legal restrictions and branding guidelines exist for a reason. They protect brands (and consumers). Try not to be defensive, and consider working with the brand on messaging that will better fit their guidelines.

 

3. Businesses are people, too

 

Okay, not exactly. But the marketers that are designing and managing influencer campaigns are people. They are not the brand. They are people working for a brand. They have bad days, they have good days and most importantly, they probably report to a supervisor. So when they’re worried about CRMs, ROI, CTCs (okay we made that last one up), it’s likely because a supervisor is asking for it. So when it takes you days to respond or if you disregard the request completely, you’re putting pressure on a real person.

 

The bottom line is to be professional and respectful of people’s time. If a brand reaches out to you, it’s because they think your work is awesome. If it’s not a good fit for you, that’s fine. But decline politely.

 

Of course, here at FYI, we make it easy for you. We ensure that our bloggers have the easiest experience possible. Since everything from connecting with brands to getting paid is handled within the platform, you don’t have to worry about the frustrating details.

 

Gone are the days of reaching out to brands, emailing back and forth, finding ways to track your success, repeatedly asking for payments, etc. We handle all of that stuff for you. Join our influencer marketing platform for free and see for yourself!

 

 

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3 Things Brands Misunderstand When Choosing Influencers For Their Campaigns

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We get the privilege of being in the middle of both brands and influencers. We’re kind of like matchmakers. And as matchmakers, we like our suitors to know what they’re getting into.

 

The problem is we see a lot of brands misunderstanding what makes influencer marketing campaigns special—which is totally understandable. Brands have to worry about reporting numbers, making budget, etc. (we see a part 2 in our future: 3 things influencers misunderstand about brands).

 

It’s easy to bypass some of the details. But like in every good relationship, you’ve got to take the time to get to know what influencers have to offer if you want the relationship (or campaign) to be successful. So without further ado…

 

3 things brands misunderstand about influencers:

 

1. It’s not just about blog views
The special thing about influencer marketing is, well, influence. These bloggers aren’t only blogging. They’re tweeting, pinning, gramming and more. And if they’re running a campaign for your brand, they’re also sharing information about your brand on their favorite social platforms.

 

The point? If you’re trying to find the right influencers to launch your campaign, don’t only look at their blog views. You have to consider their total reach and social footprint. After all, sharing on social is what gives a campaign reach, shares and scale.

 

2. It’s not just about reach, either
Think you can just take number 1 and run? Not so fast. Remember, this is a relationship. You want an influencer who can really fall in love with your brand (or already has). So look for influencers that are compatible with your brand message and who have followers who would love your product.

 

The most successful influencer campaigns occur when the campaign fits into the influencer’s overall themes, style and messaging.

 

3. Blogging is a business, too
Just because bloggers often write about their personal lives does not mean that their blogs are considered a hobby. Influencers often have editorial calendars, marketing kits, brand guidelines and standard pricing.They’re organized, and they’re analyzing data.

 

Most importantly, an influencer has a personal brand that he/she takes very seriously.You’ve got to consider that when finding an influencer and pitching a campaign.

 

Instead of focusing on how the influencer can drive results for your brand, ask yourself what your brand can do for the influencer. We hate to go there again, but hey, in every good relationship there’s a little bit of give and take.

 

If you’re interested in influencer marketing but don’t know where to start, the best thing you can do is call an expert. We recommend  simply shooting us an email. We’ll set you up with an influencer marketing expert who will help you find the right influencer for your campaign.

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7 Free Tools You Should be Using To Help You Manage Your Blog

clockBlogging should be fun, right? After all, it’s all about you and your interests. But when you’re balancing kids, a full-time job, dinners and more, keeping your blog updated can start to feel like a burden. Find Your Influence to the rescue! We’ve gathered some of our favorite apps, tools and programs that can help you manage your blog and social presence more efficiently, and hopefully, more enjoyably.

1. Feedly

A big part of creating great blog content is keeping up with what’s popular on the web. But who has time to read the entire internet? You do. If you’re not already using a reader, start now. By putting all of your favorite links into Feedly, you can get your daily reading done all in one place. You can easily see who has new posts and what’s popular. You can also divide your content into different categories—like mom blogs or recipes.

2. Editorial Calendar Plugin

If you have a WordPress blog, this one is for you. Instead of using spreadsheets or logging in to other apps, you can manage your editorial calendar directly in WordPress. The free plugin offers drag and drop functionality in a easy-to-use calendar where you can see all of your posts at once.

3. Buffer

You already know having a social media marketing is important, but geez louise it’s hard to keep up with. Buffer can help. First of all, the web app is pretty. Good design is always a major plus. You can schedule posts, copy them to other platforms and easily add their suggested content.

4. iDashboard app

This free mobile app is a great way to keep track of your blog data. Simply connect your Google Analytics account and then you can easily view your key performance indicators whenever you want.

5. Evernote

This app has become extremely popular so you’re likely already using it, but it’s definitely worth the mention in case you’re not. Evernote is like a digital filing cabinet. You can use it to store and organize anything from recipes to last year’s taxes. If you use their web clipper, you can easily grab articles you see on the web, add some helpful tags and save—all without leaving the page. You can also use it to store blog images, graphics and ideas.

6. Easy Tweet Embed

Another WordPress plugin, Easy Tweet Embed does exactly what you’d think. It makes sharing your blog post on Twitter easy. You can add prepopulated text to the share button so that when someone wants to tweet your post, most of the work is already done for them.

7. Easel.ly

Good visual content is often just as important as the words on the page. But hey, we can’t all be professional designers! Easel.ly is an easy-to-use tool for building beautiful graphics. You can build a graphic from one of their templates,  add features to your liking, save as an image or pdf, and voila! You’ve got great graphics to share with your followers.
There are tons of other tools out there that can make managing your blog easy and more enjoyable. What are some of your favorites?

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