The Good, The Bad and The Tips – Influencer Edition!

Being an Instagram influencer is challenging – It comes with responsibility not only to your followers but the businesses you collaborate with. Just a few clicks on the ‘ol google machine leaves us scratching our head on what Influencers actually do and if they are worth it! If you are wondering that yourself, you can read our story about Influencer Nightmares and our post on if influencers are even really worth it.

So I thought it would be a good idea to look at the Good, The Bad and Tips to working with and managing Influencers – using real life stories and information from those that have been around the block a couple of times with influencers!

The Good

Dawna Boone, Owner, Sugar Smart Box

My best successes have come from influencers who post on social media and  have a blog as well. This creates searchable content and is a win-win for  the influencer and the brand.

Sophie Miles, CEO & Co-Founder of CalculatorBuddy.com;

A micro-influencers strategy is useful depending on the size of  your company. For instance, if your company is very small (one or two  people) the amount of extra work involved is difficult to handle. But, in  big companies, many different departments should have to work in a transversal way and not by the regular areas (marketing, accounting, IT).

In our circle of entrepreneurs, we believe micro-influencers are really  useful for retail sales, but it will depend on the needs of each business.

Alicia Ward, a Digital Marketing Strategist at Flauk;

I recently wrapped up a promotion with a running influencer on Instagram to  promote one of our clients’ products (a running medal holder). We were  really happy with the results and the work that the influencer put forward.

We felt she went above and beyond for our clients product giveaway, making some very high quality videos and taking great pictures, as well as  engaging with all those interested in the product in her comment section.

The key things that made working with this influencer great were: vetting  her ahead of time, active communication throughout the project and clear  responsibilities and expectations for both parties outlined in the  agreement.

The Bad

Dawna Boone, Owner, Sugar Smart Box

My worst experience has been working with influencers who may post  beautiful pictures and get a lot of likes but not result in any sales.  While raising brand awareness is important, so is seeing a return on my  investment of either paying for a post, giving free product, or both.

Sophie Miles, CEO & Co-Founder of CalculatorBuddy.com;

The problem is dealing with all these new service providers instead of only with one vendor; the payments are *tedious*, and it is not easy to  make sure that all the content has been published in all the accounts.

Alicia Ward, a Digital Marketing Strategist at Flauk;

In a previous job, I was once contacted by a micro interior design  influencer who wanted to work with us to promote our product. I was  skeptical because she had done some work for a competitor in the past and  had previously shown interest in collaborating then changed her mind.

When  she asked to re-engage, I asked her for a media kit or at least her latest  numbers (she had recently pivoted her business) and she became upset and  thought I should know everything I need to since we spoke about a previous  collaboration.

In the end I chose not to work with her because I didn’t  feel she was reliable or forthcoming. Those were huge red flags. In the  end, I think I made the right decision because she ended up working with  multiple competitors in our space at the same time and giving advice to her  clients that we would disagree with.

The Tips

Dawna Boone, Owner, Sugar Smart Box

I would advise others to make sure that they set the expectations for the  collaboration up front. For example, there must be a permanent post and it  must stay up for a specific period of time. Many influencers will want to just post in their IG story or will delete their Instagram post all  together.

Kali Ventresca, CCO, Impish Lee ;

My sister and I own customizable lingerie and loungewear brand, Impish Lee (www.impishlee.com). We have been using influencers since we started our business in 2015.

We have had many successful partnerships and a few duds as well. Most influencers want to be compensated for their time so as a small business, with no funding, we have to choose influencers wisely. Mostly we look for influencers who will be passionate about what we do and see the value in our work.

One thing I would recommend to all brands looking to work with influencers is to make formal signed agreements. Outline everything that you expect clearly and make sure both parties are on the same page.

Alicia Ward, a Digital Marketing Strategist at Flauk;

My advice for anyone interested in working with influencers is to:

Vet your influence – look at their other profile links, check their  alexa ranking if they’re a blogger, Google them, ask for a media kit and  speak to them on the phone at least once. You can even ask for references,  most influencers would be happy to provide them.
Set clear expectations about what each party is responsible for
– Make sure your brands are aligned to begin with, just because you’re  in the same industry doesn’t necessarily mean your values are aligned
– Make sure your communication lines are open and set clear expectations  with each other about communication (when to send things, how much notice  is needed, preferred methods)
Trust your gut – Intuition can be a powerful and misunderstood tool.  If you spot red flags or feel uneasy about working with the influencer  early on, there’s a reason for that.

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