Eight strategies for pitching to brands

Eight strategies for pitching to brands

by Gordon Glenister, global head of influencer marketing at the BCMA

Why it’s important to pitch to brands

Build it and they will come. It’s a well known expression, but nowadays it’s not enough to have the best product – you’ve got to have the best pitch. Suki Thompson, CEO of Let’sReset, says Agencies and creators need to be very clear about their proposition when they pitch to brands. They need to clearly demonstrate what they can offer and how they can deliver it safely and effectively during these unprecedented times. We are all in the same storm but individuals and brands have different sized boats, so agencies and creators need to know how to work collaboratively to navigate their way through the storm.

Understand your potential client’s needs

This isn’t rocket science, but some of the best presentations and pitches fail to convert because they are not specifically matching a problem. The reality is customers really don’t care about you they care about themselves. Ideally, if there is a way you can find out more from a brand, follow their Instagram, Twitter and YouTube profiles. Take notice of what they are doing and sharing. People give a lot of information on social media and their websites. 

Even when you are in early stage conversations, listen to everything and gather as much information as possible. This will enable you to tailor your pitch to help the client deliver on their objectives. Compile a number of ‘open’ questions ahead of a pitch. What are you trying to achieve with a brand collaboration or campaign? Make sure you understand the brand’s purpose and mission.

Reach out on social media

One of the things you want to do is to have a high quality and relevant network of targeted clients. I often look at the speakers at a conference I’m also speaking at and reach out to them on social media, normally LinkedIn, to set up a meeting.  I have met numerous people this way. If you’re going to be a successful influencer you need to be your biggest cheerleader. Creating amazing content isn’t enough on its own, you also need to be confident in selling and pitching yourself to brands. 

If you are looking to reach out to a brand, don’t email an info inbox hoping for a response. Rosalind Weinberg, founder of the Influencers Diary, says that before approaching brands you should figure out whether your content and audience align with the brand’s target market. If your content is mainly minimal fashion and luxury high street pieces, and your audience is mainly female, a brand like Reiss would be the perfect fit but Primark probably wouldn’t.

Make your email personal and include a print screen of your audience analytics to prove that what you’re saying about your followers is true. Brands only really care about three things – where your followers are based, their age range and the gender split. If you have an Instagram business account, this is all provided for you. Also make sure you don’t overuse Influencer language that some brands don’t know about like ‘Shout outs’.

An example direct email/message pitch could look like this

Hey Xxx (make sure you know the right person to contact)  

Ive used Xxx for some time now and it has worked really well for my skin. I particularly like your acne fighting gel aloe and your acne fighting foundation.  I know your audience is 100% female entrepreneurs who love your products.

My blog XX.com achieves over 43,000 average views per month with a 30% engagement rate and my Instagram @Xxx has about 6% engagement, generating thousands of views per month.

With summer ending soon, I would love to share your products with my readers on repairing sun damage. In fact, I already shared one of your posts on my Instagram recently and got some very positive feedback.

I would love to partner with you perhaps if you have a new product launch or a potential promotion we could work together on. I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a look at my social media handles so you can see an example of some of the way I support my community and brands.

     Personal sign off

Establish rapport and trust

Cold calling is harder and harder, so finding mutual friends who can connect you with the right person is helpful. Sometimes my best work has come from people who initially turned me down but, after I built a rapport with them, wanted to do something with me. Remember that on average it takes six touch points to convert a prospect into a paying customer . You need to make sure you mirror the style of your target, so if you are super casually dressed and invited to a meeting in a bank you may need to reconsider how you look and dress. If this is online then make sure you have an appropriate background for the camera, it’s amazing what your background can say about you. 

Be mindful that you need to give people time to consider proposals, so don’t hound them two days after you’ve made the pitch. Also be aware of any changes to the business that might impact the success of your pitch. I once made the error of beginning a pitch to an agency without realising that the CEO had let go of a lot of staff that week. Whilst he was interested in what I had to say his mindset was not there.

Make sure that when you have an online or face-to-face meeting you take notes so that you can paraphrase exactly what you’ve heard, the follow up steps and your deadline to deliver.

Acknowledge their pain points

Remind the brand of their current challenges – from what they’ve told you and from what you believe is a pain point they don’t know they have. For example, where competitors are performing better than them.

It’s common for agencies to have pitch decks and influencers to have media kits. Have a real hard look at yours and make sure you include case studies, your key skills (target markets, brands worked with, accreditations, imagery showing likes/comments) and a little about your personal story.  Show your average likes, reach, subscribers and engagement rate. If you are worried your numbers are low, look at different ways to show your impact. It might be worth offering some pro-bono work with a leading brand to get a superb case study you can use. If you can personalise the deck to each pitch, even better. Remember, above all, what your USP- unique selling proposition – is.

You are going to tell a brand story in your unique way, so don’t forget that. No one can tell it like you can. During your pitch, it’s very important that you also come up with ideas of how a campaign may work. This shows you are listening to them and already excited for the collaboration. You could prepare an example post for them with a watermark (SAMPLE) over it so they can’t use it without your permission.

Have a supportive team

In Justin Cohens book, Pitch to Win, he refers to the fact that rarely is a pitch won by one person alone. The chances are that if you’ve had kick back from a pitch, others maybe able to give you some valuable feedback or help you refine the pitch deck. The most successful pitchers have heard no more times than anyone else. A series of failed pitches can be very disheartening, so having people around you that support you is very important. I’ve increasingly been asked to mentor people which I have to say is very rewarding. Sometimes all we need is someone who will tell us where we are going wrong.

Respond to pitch requests

I heard a stat recently suggesting that 65% of inbound pitches to content creators are ignored. I was alarmed at that. I know that some content creators are super busy, but it takes nothing to send a response back to someone to say thank you and politely decline.

 Just as you may be pitching to brands, take notice of how they pitch to you, what is it you like and what is it you don’t like.  Refine your pitches to reflect this. Also bare in mind the person you ignored may be well connected to other people who you would like to work with.

Be sure of your value

This is a big one. Some creators over-sell themselves but the vast majority UNDER-sell themselves.  I’ve been impressed by many creators I have met who are multi-talented. They offer so many skills and operate more like a boutique design agency, yet don’t charge like one. On average the cost of a TV commercial for a major brand can be from £25,000-£250,000 and sometimes more. Brands want sales, so what you can do is show them the impact a call to action on your Instagram or blog can have. This will give them an idea of the sales value you provide, alongside the content value.  Here’s is an example of a range of services a typical blogger might do in their day job that a brand not using you would typically outsource:

  • Average cost of a photographer is £50-100 per hour, plus travel costs

Average cost of videographer is £350-650 per day, plus travel costs

Average cost of a copywriter is £342 per day

Average cost of a community manager is £17.30 per hour

Average cost of a producer (of content) is £17 per hour

Average cost to build a small ecommerce website is from £1000-2500

Average cost to buy data for company name and address, contact person and their function – from 10p and +15p for email address

If your customer wasn’t using a blogger they would have to consider many of these costs, so remember your value, speed and professionalism.  

Try and get the brand to give you a budget. You could approach this by breaking down each task and providing a cost estimate for each. Remember to always have a ‘gold bar’ option up your sleeve, something you know the brand really wants.  For example, you could explain that for the price they suggest you can do two posts and one story on Instagram but for a slightly higher price you can do that plus a one minute YouTube video and blog post. You could even offer to survey your followers and give a whole range of feedback on their products or services.

ABC – Always be closing

One of the biggest challenges that many have is closing the deal and creating urgency. The call to action is the most important part of this process. An objection to your proposal is often disguised as a request for more information. It’s not that they don’t want to work with you but there is something that has created uncertainty in your pitch, which is why you should always offer a way to continue the conversation. For example:

  • How do you see us moving forwards
  • Have I answered all your questions? What might still need to clarified for us to move forwards?
  • I have a availability to do this but I am also waiting on another campaign, when will you be able to let me know?
  • If you want it for that price, then I will need to reduce to 1 Instagram post or you will need to increase the affiliate commission to 15%

Lastly, enter Pitch Influence, our global competition that gives you the opportunity to record a one minute video pitch on why a brand should work with you. For more information vsit the BCMA website.

Gordon Glennister, BCMA founder
Gordon Glenister is the founder and global head of influencer marketing at BCMA Influence – part of the Branded Content Marketing Association – whose aims are to promote the value of influencer marketing through its global network and to create a hub of best practice for the industry at large.

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Influencer Weekly Update – #15

Influencer Weekly Update – #15

Welcome to our weekly update on all things influencer marketing, social media and content creation. We like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to influencer-related things, and instead of keeping all of our findings to ourselves we thought we would share the stories, reports and announcements that we find most fascinating each week. This week Instagram will now offer advertising on IGTV, how ‘FitTok’ influencers are using the platform to improve lives and the 4k camera created with influencers in mind.

Carry on reading to find out more…

Instagram ads are coming to IGTV

Instagram have been slow to offer advertising alongside creator’s content until recently. They announced on Wednesday that they would begin to show advertising on the IGTV video app, with the revenue split between creators and the platform.

‘FitTok’ influencers are using their platforms for positive change

TikTok might be all about 15 second videos, but some of the ‘FitTok’ influencers on the platform are looking to have a more meaningful impact on their audience. They’re using their content to make living an active lifestyle more accessible and fun for their viewers.

The 4K camera created just for influencers

The Sony ZV-1 has been created solely to meet the needs of video content creators. It’s capable of taking photos and video shots with a bokeh effect, which sharpens the subject and blurs the background. It also has in-body image stabilisation technology, which allows steady 4k video footage to be captured. These features make it perfect for creators who want to be able to soot high quality content with minimal effort.

Meet some of the 2020 #SephoraSquad

This is the second year Sephora have run their beauty influencer programme and this year there is a noticeable shift towards greater diversity in the creators picked to take part. Squad members are paid for their involvement and will take part in various projects and opportunities with the beauty retailer throughout the year.

Opera Event offers Esports influencers a platform for payday

Growing an engage audience can be hard work for influencers, but that doesn’t mean that smaller channels can’t monetise their content. Opera Event allows Esports influencers to team up with their peers on campaigns, giving advertisers the opportunity to reach a wider audience than if they worked with just one individual.

 

Six props you can use while shooting content at home

Six props you can use while shooting content at home

Not sure how to pose for photos? Here’s six props you can use to make you feel less awkward (and they can all be found within your home)!

When it comes to shooting content at home, knowing how to pose (or where to take your photos) can be tricky. Using props can be a great way to make you feel less awkward and add some variation to the content you’re shooting. Here’s six props that you can use to make your content more interesting and, bonus points, they can all be found within your home.

Mug – Whether tea or coffee is your vibe, using a mug can be a great way to make posing for photos feel a lot more natural. It also adds a cosy element to your images that’s great for cloudy or rainy days. You can fill your mug with your favourite hot drink (or leave it empty if you’re clumsy and don’t want to spill anything!) then start snapping away using your self-timer. Mugs can also make for great props to use in flatlay images. There’s nothing quite like a fresh foamy latte, magazine and pair of sunglasses on crisp white bedsheets for an instagrammable set up.

Book – Not only does using books in your content give you the opportunity to share what you’re reading with your followers, but they make great props for self-portraits and flatlays. Why not hold your favourite book in front of your face or pose as if you’re in the middle of reading an especially gripping chapter? Stacks of books can be a good way to add dimension to your flatlays, especially if you stick to a colour theme.

Newspaper – In a similar way to using a book, newspapers can be a great prop for photoshoots. Pretending to read them, or using them to obscure part of your face or body can instantly make a photo more interesting. They can also be used as backdrops for flatlays, just pick the pages that work best for what you’re trying to shoot and snap away.

Perfume – If you want to take more beauty shots at home, perfume bottles can be the perfect pretty accessory for your photos. Most perfume bottles are very instagrammable, and you can use them to pretend to spritz your neck or wrists while you shoot. You can also use them in flatlays alongside products with the same colour scheme. Perfumes can also be great for detail shots. If you’ve got a smaller, or more square shaped bottle, why not put it in your jeans pocket for an interesting detail shot?

Phone – It’s something that we all have (and some of us are glued to ours for most of the day) so why not include it in your photos? You could fake a mirror selfie by using your camera to shoot yourself holding your phone pretending to take a selfie, or pretend to check your notifications for a more natural shot. Phones can also work well in flatlays. If you’ve got a great phone case why not show it off in your photos? Or, you could pull up your Instagram feed on your screen and shoot a flatlay with it on display for some meta content.

Food – Whether you’re a non-stop snacker or three square meals a day type of person, we all have food in our cupboards and it can make for the perfect (and most natural) prop when shooting. Whether it’s a bag of Doritos or a bowl of blueberries, food can be used to give your self-portraits a more ‘real’ feel. Fruit (especially oranges and lemons) also look great in seasonal flatlays.

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Influencer Weekly Update – #14

Influencer Weekly Update – #14

Photo by Uby Yanes on Unsplash

Welcome to our weekly update on all things influencer marketing, social media and content creation. We like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to influencer-related things, and instead of keeping all of our findings to ourselves we thought we would share the stories, reports and announcements that we find most fascinating each week. This week how to measure the impact of influencer marketing, Pinterest makes a push for shoppable content and why social media influencers need to pivot.

Carry on reading to find out more…

Measuring the impact of influencer marketing

While it may be easy to track link clicks or direct sales from working with influencers, what often isn’t measured are the changes in consumer perceptions, offline purchases or brand recall that campaigns can result in. Influencer have created an in-house impact score to measure the true value of each partnership.

Pinterest makes a push for shoppable content

Pinterest have launched a new feature, Shopping Spotlights, which allows users to buy from curations put together by guest editors. These editors include influencers and publishers, such as Who What Wear, Refinery29 and Blair Eadie. The guest editors will make commission on the sales of the products they feature.

Social media influencers need to pivot

While some lockdowns across the globe are being lifted, it is unlikely things will return to normal for quite a while. Therefore, it is necessary for most influencers to pivot their content to ensure it appeals to an audience who are unable to travel and who may have limited funds. That could be sharing more home lifestyle content, rather than luxury travel reviews, or creating cheap meal recipes instead of their usual reviews of restaurants.

Meet TikTok’s new CEO

Kevin Mayer has been announced as the new CEO of TikTok. Until recently Mayer was head of streaming at Disney, where he launched Disney+. It is hoped that he will help the app to rebuild trust with US regulators.

YouTube announces new feature that will remind you when it’s bedtime

YouTube are now giving viewers the option to turn on bedtime reminders. These reminders can be set to interrupt videos that are being watched or go off once the video has ended. Users can also choose to snooze the reminder or dismiss it entirely if they wish. It is hoped that these reminders will help people to take a break from the platform when they need it.

Six TikTok trends to pay attention to

Six TikTok trends to pay attention to

Photo by Amanda Vick on Unsplash

When it comes to TikTok, it can be hard to keep up with what is trending and how others are creating and editing their videos. There are some key TikTok trends that we think are worth paying attention to, and incorporating into your videos. So, once you’re comfortable creating TikTok videos, here’s six trends that are worth jumping on…

Dance challenges

These are one of the TikTok trends you just can’t ignore, dance challenges are all over the platform! Not only are they really fun to take part in, but they’re a great way to quickly gain an audience as the hashtags for each of them are very active.

Follow a few of the most popular dancers on the platform so you can keep up to date with the latest challenges and take part in them yourself.

Lipsyncs

You may think that lipsyncing is just for songs, but comedy lipsyncs are also really popular on the platform. If you’re a pop culture lover, why not give some of the Gemma Collins or Kardashian clips a go for yourself? These lipsyncs are really fun to do and there’s no pressure for the content to look perfect.

Why not go all out with props and characterisation? The most popular videos do this, and it’s a great way to keep people’s attention for the duration of your clip.

Transitions

A great way to be creative with your content on TikTok is to learn how to do some of the most impressive transitions. Whether you’re filming a lipsync, styling video or makeup tutorial, the transitions are what will make your content a compelling view that people just can’t resist watching again and again.

Follow the creators who are producing videos similar to yours and look at the transitions they are doing. Then give them a go for yourself! The key is editing your clips really precisely and making sure you stay in the same position while filming so the transitions look seamless. This is one of the TikTok trends we don’t see losing popularity for a long time!

Tutorials

When it comes to TikTok creators, some of the most popular are very niche with the content that they share. Whether you’re a painter, baker, builder or seamstress, there’s an audience for everything and showing the process of your creations can make for some great videos!

If you’re a blogger or Instagrammer, why not show people your photo editing process or the behind-the-scenes of your photoshoots and the final images? Tutorials are an easy way to give people an insight into what you do and are something you can repeatedly film and share.

Daily life

Most of us love having an insight into other people’s lives, and sharing some aspects of your daily life can be an easy way to share content that has the potential to be seen by a large audience. This could be your Sunday morning routine, some books that are on your ‘to-be-read’ list or what you’ve recently bought from Amazon.

Use general popular hashtags for your content to be seen by a wider audience, especially #houseofTikTok as this is for content that is filmed at home.

Pop culture

A big part of TikTok is pop culture, and audio clips from iconic reality TV moments will quickly gain popularity overnight. Jumping on pop culture trends is an easy way to create content for TikTok that will likely be seen by lots of people. Our most recent favourite trend was the Tiger King themed content that was shared across the platform.

If there’s a pop culture moment you want to create content around, but you can’t find the relevant audio on the platform, why not upload it yourself? If it gains traction this can be a great way to be a part of TikTok trends and also boost your followers.

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Influencer Weekly Update – #13

Influencer Weekly Update – #13

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

Welcome to our weekly update on all things influencer marketing, social media and content creation. We like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to influencer-related things, and instead of keeping all of our findings to ourselves we thought we would share the stories, reports and announcements that we find most fascinating each week. This week influencers could be used to encourage people to follow social distancing guidelines, fitness influencers encourage home workouts and how brands can work with influencers to recession-proof their image.

Carry on reading to find out more…

Influencers could encourage people to follow social distancing guidelines

Public health bodies could begin using influencers to encourage their followers to follow social distancing guidelines. As people’s resolve to follow the guidelines beings to wane, a peer-to-peer campaign that utilises relatable social media influencers could be the best way to quickly change attitudes.

Fitness influencers encourage home workouts during lockdown

As gyms continue to remain closed, fitness influencers are encouraging their followers to try at-home workouts to keep fit and healthy during lockdown. Simple exercises like burpees, jumping jacks and skipping can be done in the comfort of most people’s homes and don’t require any exercise.

How brands can work with influencers to recession-proof their image

Lots of brands are looking at how COVID-19 will impact future campaign plans, such as summer sales and back-to-school promotions. Historically, it has been show that keeping ad spend up during a recession is best practice and influencers could be a great way for brands to authentically advertise to consumers.

TikTok’s highest paid influencers

It’s no secret that popular creators on YouTube and Instagram can earn an impressive income from their engaging content, and as TikTok has boomed since the beginning of lockdown it’s no surprise that their top creators are also monetising their videos. This list of highest paid TikTok influencers includes Loren Gray, Zach King, BabyAriel and Spencer X.

How two young influencer marketing entrepreneurs have tapped into TikTok

Marketing budgets have been squeezed due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity for certain creators. Yoke Network, launched by Jidé Maduako and Mustafa Mohamed in 2018, connects TikTok creators with apps to boost their downloads.

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Meet our speakers: Nour Brahimi, Algerian travel vlogger

Meet our speakers: Nour Brahimi, Algerian travel vlogger

Nour is an Algerian travel vlogger and one of the top 100 influential young Africans. She shares travel hacks and vlogs on her channel with her 161,000+ subscribers and her videos have had 4.4 million views to date. 

When did you first start creating content, and why?
I started making content three years ago, growing up I used to love making small videos for fun. But I never really thought about creating content for the web until I saw Algerian creators actually sharing content on YouTube. For the longest time the only Algerian women who were present online were beauty or food YouTubers, and unconsciously it was sending a message that women should only care about that. I felt like I needed to change that, and so I became the first Algerian female travel vlogger. I mostly joined the content creation world to change the narrative and break stereotypes. Being a Hijabi who travels alone in multiple countries around the world, but also in Algeria, has changed a lot of biased thoughts, and people are starting to realise that women actually can be safe when travelling alone.

What makes a compelling YouTube video?
For me it all comes down to emotions. When the visuals serve the script they can make your viewers feel certain emotions. Also being real and showing your personality are both things that people can relate to. For decades people used to watch scripted shows where the characters spoke in a certain way, but the internet has changed that! People want to watch real people!

What do you enjoy the most about social media?
As a creator, social media gave me the opportunity to start something from nothing. The sky IS the limit for creativity. Thirty years ago it was impossible for someone to became famous just by sharing content from their room and that fascinates me and also makes me so grateful.

How can vlogging be used to break stereotypes?

By showing otherwise, the traditional media has created many stereotypes that people started taking for the truth. And when I hear ‘that country is dangerous, its people are dangerous and unwelcoming’ I go, live experiences, and show the TRUTH. The truth can be different from what we think and I believe it’s very important to share the things that make people think again.
One of the examples I can think of is the ‘degree stereotype’, especially for people in my country where a common idea is that you can only be successful if you have a degree and success mostly means having money, a house and a car. I quit my physics studies right before graduation and started my own business that enabled me to travel. As I shared this more people started to really believe in their dreams. Yes, someone’s dream might be to be a doctor,  but other people want to be artists. You don’t have to leave your passion as a side hustle.

If you could change one thing about YouTube what would it be, and why?
Probably the algorithm. I believe YouTube is an amazing platform, but it puts a lot of pressure on creators when the algorithm changes constantly, especially for full-time content creators. I personally came to peace with that, as long as I’m happy with the content I’m making.

What has been your biggest achievement as a content creator so far?
I wouldn’t say it’s the awards, or nominations. It’s knowing someone’s life changed because of a video I made. I get hundreds of messages from girls telling me they travelled for the first time ever because they saw me doing it. Other girls say they stopped spending money on makeup they didn’t need and started saving to start a small business. At the end of the day, knowing someone decided to do a positive thing in their life is my biggest achievement.

Want to hear Nour speak at BorderlessLive 2020? Make sure you get your ticket now so you don’t miss out!

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Meet some more of our 2020 speakers…

How to shoot aesthetically pleasing content at home

How to shoot aesthetically pleasing content at home

Photo by Kirill on Unsplash 

They say there’s no place like home…but when it comes to shooting content that often isn’t true! So, if you’re stuck for ideas when it comes to shooting aesthetically pleasing content while we’re cooped up indoors, here’s four ways you can create Instagram-worthy content from the comfort of your own home.

Use your bedsheets as a backdrop

This is a tip that we’ve seen circulating a lot recently, and there’s no denying that it makes for some amazing, gorgeous content. If your house isn’t the most Instagrammable, then using some duct tape to create a bedsheet backdrop can instantly transform your room into a photo studio. We love Ruby Keyvani’s set up, and like her you could add a chair and houseplant to your setup to make it more interesting.

You don’t have to have crisp, white bedsheets for this technique to work, bright colours will be equally as good (especially if your feed is more colourful)!

Fake a mirror selfie

If you don’t have a full-length mirror, or there’s only one corner of your room that you feel is aesthetically pleasing, then faking a mirror selfie can be a great way to shoot some content at home. Maria J Blogs has nailed this technique and she frequently shares other people’s posts that are tagged #fakemirrorselfie.

Setting up for this is quite easy, put your camera on your tripod and set it to self-timer. Then, once you’re in position, hold your phone as if you were taking a selfie in a mirror and use your self-timer to get some amazing photos. Change the height and angle at which you’re holding your phone to whatever feels the most natural for each shot. This works equally well for full-length and cropped images.

Take more detail shots

One of the best ways to shoot aesthetically pleasing content at home is to focus more on detail shots. Closer crops mean that the background won’t matter as much and you can give your followers a more intimate look at your current lifestyle, beauty favourites or jewellery pieces. Play with aperture and angles for some gorgeous photos that will look great on your feed. We love Gabriela’s content right now, the detail shots are amazing.

If you’re more of a travel blogger, why not place some plane tickets from your favourite trip in your jeans pocket and shoot that? This can be a great way to create travel-focused content that doesn’t require you actually visiting new destinations. You could also photograph trinkets from your travels and use the captions to tell the story behind each item.

Get creative with your editing

If you’re really not feeling your content right now, why not shift your focus to what you can create during the editing process? There’s a variety of apps that are great for adding some extra magic to your images.

One of our favourites is Template. This app, founded by Zoe Sugg, is great for inserting your images into templates that give more of a creative feel to what you’re posting. They have lots of options within the app, including journal, film and minimal layouts. You can even create galleries that will then be saved as three square images that you can post as a carousel or share one after the other for a strip of connected images on your Instagram profile.

Another favourite of ours is Meitu. This app has a tool called ‘mosaic’ that allows you to paint various different backgrounds or effects onto your images. For example, you can add sparkles to areas of your images, or replace your background with marble or sky. This can be really useful if you have things you want to emphasise or hide in your images, and the app is free and easy to use.

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Influencer Weekly Update – #12

Influencer Weekly Update – #12

Welcome to our weekly update on all things influencer marketing, social media and content creation. We like to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to influencer-related things, and instead of keeping all of our findings to ourselves we thought we would share the stories, reports and announcements that we find most fascinating each week. This week why influencer marketing is more than just the influencer, DIY fashion takes off in lockdown and why content is emperor today.

Carry on reading to find out more…

Why influencer marketing is more than just the influencer

While studios and offices are currently closed, many brands are using creators to generate high quality content for them from their homes. This adds a new element to the influencer industry, where engagement and driving sales have previously been the main focus of campaigns.

DIY fashion takes off in lockdown

The fashion industry may have temporarily slowed down due to COVID-19, but Gen Z are keeping busy by upcycling and selling their clothes. Designers, such as Alexander McQueen, Dior and Ganni have also pivoted their usual marketing in favour of Instagram tutorials or challenges, aimed at inspiring consumers to embroider, sketch or style garments at home.

‘If content was king yesterday, it’s emperor today’

Although many influencers are feeling the impact of lockdown on their income, some experts believe we may be entering a golden age of influencer marketing. As many of us spend the majority of our days indoors, social media usage has spiked and consumers are looking for content to watch. This puts influencers in a great position to help brands continue to communicate with their customers during the lockdown.

Could the pandemic push influencer marketing towards virtual avatars?

While some influencers will be able to navigate their way through lockdown and continue to secure brand deals, we may see a rise in virtual avatars being used for campaigns. When living room photoshoots won’t cut it, virtual influencers provide the opportunity to create visuals that aren’t so limited.

Is your digital media ‘earned’ or ‘owned’?

Social media has blurred the lines when it comes to digital media, and it’s now a lot easier for brands to share their message via blog posts, Tweets or Instagram Lives. The important thing is to set your end goal and then decide on whether ‘earned’ or ‘owned’ media will work best for you.

Want to connect with some of the UK’s best influencers and learn more about how to make your mark on social media? Find out how you can showcase at BorderlessLive 2020

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How to secure brand collaborations as an influencer

How to secure brand collaborations as an influencer

When it comes to working with brands, knowing how to connect with them and discuss collaborations can be tricky. From contacting the right person to writing a compelling pitch email, here’s our easy-to-follow guide for securing brand collaborations as an influencer.

How do I find the right brand contact?

The first thing to do when reaching out to a brand you want to work with is to find the right person to contact. It may be a lot easier to just fire off an email to the generic info address listed on their website, or send them a DM, but both of these methods risk your message getting lost in the noise.

If you want to find the exact right contact, LinkedIn is your best friend. Search for the brands you are most interested in working with and see who has a job title that includes the phrase ‘influencer marketing’ or ‘digital marketing’. Once you’ve found the right person, why not send them a request to connect with a message asking for the best email to contact them on about potential brand collaborations? Using LinkedIn keeps your approach professional and makes it more likely that you’ll find the exact right person to speak to.

If you really can’t find a suitable contact via LinkedIn, then your best bet is to send a DM on one of their social media platforms. In your message ask who the best person is to contact about collaborations. This way, when you do send an email you’ll be sending it directly to the right person rather than hoping they stumble across it in the general company inbox.

What should I include in my pitch email?

When it comes to pitch emails, you want to keep it short and sweet. Including too much information could make them less likely to read the full email, and really all you want to do with your first email is gauge their interest in a collaboration.

The key to a good pitch email is concisely explaining how a collaboration will benefit both the brand and yourself.

Begin with a brief intro about why you love the brand and feel you would be a good fit for a collaboration. It’s worth mentioning if you’re already a fan of the brand, and providing links to posts where you’ve featured them.

Once you’ve made it clear why you want to work with them, it’s time to make a case for why they should want to work with you. Here you can share some of your stats and audience demographics. Pick a few (3-4) key ones so it’s not too wordy.

As a sign off say you look forward to their response and working with them in the future. Make sure you attach your media kit to this email so they can find more info about your audience, stats and previous brand collaborations easily.

What should I do if my email is ignored?

We’ve all experienced inbox fatigue and had days where the idea of replying to every message fills us with dread. It’s important to remember that no response doesn’t mean they’re not interested, it might just mean that they had more urgent tasks to deal with that week.

Make sure you wait at least a few days before following up on your initial email. Nobody likes being chased less than 24 hours after the original email was sent!

Keep your follow up email short and concise. Simply ask if they would be interested in a collaboration and express your interest in getting the ball rolling.

If there’s still no response, it may be worth moving on to another brand. You can always reach out again in a couple of months when it may be a less busy period of time for them.

The brand is interested! How do I negotiate a fee for my content?

Negotiating fees for brand collaborations can feel tricky, especially when you’re the one to reach out, but it’s important you do to ensure you’re not undercutting other influencers. If a brand is interested in working with you, the next step would be to decide exactly what the collaboration will look like.

Be upfront about your fees. You can give specific prices for each thing you offer (static Instagram post, YouTube video ad slot, Instagram Stories etc) or you can provide packages that they can choose from. It’s really up to you how you approach it, but make sure you’re clear about expecting a fee for your work from the start so there’s no surprises down the line!

Have a set fee in your mind that is the absolute minimum that you will accept, and start at a higher price than this so you have the space to negotiate if they only have a limited budget available.

Once you’ve agreed on a set amount of content and fee for it, make sure you both sign a contract agreeing to the terms. This ensures the brand can’t request additional content once the collaboration begins and you’re clear on what content needs to be delivered, and when it needs to be delivered by.

What can I do to keep the brands I work with happy?

Once you’ve completed your first collaboration, you’ll want to maintain the relationship with them to make future brand collaborations more likely.

Follow up with them once the collaboration has been completed and ask them for some feedback. Provide them with as many analytics as you can so they can accurately measure the ROI of the collaboration. It may even be worth screenshotting the comments and responses from your followers to give them an insight into how the content was received.

You can also offer ‘extra value’ so the brands you work with feel you go above and beyond for them. This could be a couple of extra Instagram Stories, a tweet or maybe even an organic mention of the brand in one of your videos. This helps to really build your relationship with a brand and will make them feel highly valued.

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