How to work with Influencers to grow your Lady Startup
Kee Reece is the Senior Influencer Marketing Manager at Social Squad, Mamamia’s internal influencer agency. In other words, she knows their world back to front, and then some.
For a small business, a post from an influencer with a large following can seem like the answer to your prayers, but according to Kee, there’s a bit more to it than just Product + Post = Instant Success.
Here’s the inside scoop on how to work with Influencers to grow your Lady Startup, and how to get the most out of these partnerships that have brands falling over themselves to get.
So, what is an influencer, and why should Lady Startup businesses care?
An influencer is an individual on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. They have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position or relationship with their audience.
For a business (particularly a small startup) partnering with an influencer can be a great way to get your messaging out and give your product immediate exposure. It also offers context and credibility that may have otherwise taken multiple campaigns to build if you were to do it alone.
Partner with Influencers who fit with your brand
Here’s where it takes a little time to sift through, as you want to partner strategically. Whether you’re fielding incoming requests from influencers, or you’re going out seeking collaboration opportunities, find those who have a clear connection with your brand. Kee recommends the following for finding that perfect fit:
- look at people who are already talking about you and tagging you in products. Why? Because they’re already liking what you’re about, which makes it a) easier to start the conversation, and b) a more organic partnership – their followers won’t be confused when they see your products appearing in their feed – this is a huge plus.
- Look at people who align with your brand story and ethos – pretty self explanatory!
- Look at who your audience follows.
- Look at Influencers who are tagging your competitors (maybe they haven’t heard of you yet – there could be an opportunity here!)
- Finally – think about who your dream ambassador is, and go after them!
The less-sexy details
Look, there’s no denying it that most influencers have a way with images- they make everything look amazing, and your product could easily be one of them.
Before you hand over your $$, there are some details you need to take care of first.
Are you getting your money’s worth? Kee recommends doing some digging into these details to ensure you’re partnering with someone who is going to put you in the hands of your ideal customer:
- Request their profile insights. It can feel awkward, but think of this as asking for their CV – you’re asking for their ‘background’ to make sure their following is your target audience. Pay attention to their audience breakdown of gender, location and age.
- Check their engagement rate. Remember, a huge following isn’t what you’re after – you want strong engagement. What’s your ideal figure? 3% or above is Kee’s recommendation.
So, now you’ve done your homework, you’ve found the one, but how do you get the ball rolling?
Working day in, day out with Influencers, Kee has the whole process down:
1) Have a budget in mind, and know what you’re hoping to achieve (sales, brand exposure etc.) Don’t be too quick to give away what your budget is, let them give you their starting point first.
2) It’s great if you go in with an idea of what you’re wanting to create, but you want this to be a collaborative project, so don’t be too rigid – remember that you’re working with them for a reason.
3) Have a written agreement so you both know where you stand. Include details like content usage (where and when they will share on their channels) licensing for your usage (where you can use their images and when) any account tagging or hashtags you want used, whether it’s a paid partnership (in which case this needs to be clear on the posts)
Kee also has a tip for accessing the golden nugget – their inventory of unused photos. For every image that gets posted, 100 more don’t make the cut. She says it’s worth negotiating for these assets which often go for a cheaper rate, which then gives you extra content to use on your page!
Whilst this is a business transaction, remember to be respectful of the talent you’re working with. This is their job, and everything works smoother if you maintain a mutually beneficial relationship. If in doubt about usage, always ask for explicit permission.
And here’s a final word of wisdom from Kee – remember that you want to find a tribe of ambassadors who will continue to work with you, so rather than working on a constantly rotating calendar with a bunch of individuals for 1-2 posts at a time, your goal should be building a long term relationship with a couple of them.
If you want to hear more from Kee, tune into Mamamia’s new daily podcast, The Spill. Together with Laura Brodnik, Kee talks all things entertainment, every day.
While you’re there, check out the other new podcast that looks behind the scenes of what the life of an Influencer is really like. Listen to Social Squad, hosted by Tully Smyth, right here.
Been thinking about taking control of your life and becoming your own boss? Interested in becoming a Lady Startup yourself, or do you know someone ready to chase their dreams of owning their own business? You’re invited to join Mia Freedman for this online course where she will personally take you through every step and give you every resource to go from idea to launch. Join the waitlist to be first to know when doors open. Find out all about the Lady Startup Activation Plan here.