Brand Biz: Are You Ready for an Influencer Manager or Agency?

food blogger

If you Google “How to work with brands,” there are over 932 million search results that show up. When you consider the amount of new influencers that pop up on a daily basis, the number of search results isn’t shocking at all. So as an influencer, you’re probably feeling the pressure to compete with your fellow influencers for sponsored content. You’re probably also searching for the answer as to why brands aren’t answering your pitches.

We get it.

It can be extremely frustrating not hearing back from a brand or not receiving any feedback as to why you weren’t selected. You may have heard an influencer manager or agency will solve all your pitching problems, and that they’ll magically provide you with ALL the sponsored posts. But not every influencer is ready to take that step.

What do you need to know and do in order to be ready? Here’s our tip sheet:

You know that an influencer manager or agency isn’t a quick-fix solution.

Many influencers will seek out someone to pitch brands on their behalf for a few different reasons. The reasons can range from a not liking pitching to not having the time or the right contacts. Usually, the expectation is that sponsored opportunities will begin to roll in regularly. For influencers who’ve grown their audience, consistently produce high-quality content, and are engaging that audience, this can be true. For others, they may need to put in the effort behind-the-scenes to build their brand.

You have a clear strategy for your brand.

Before you start your search for an influencer manager or agency, ask yourself if you actually know your brand story and how it differentiates you from everyone else. Also ask yourself if you think you’re creating the best content possible, with a content strategy based on your brand story. Brands see numerous pitches from influencers, so your first impression counts.

Want to identify your unique opportunity in the marketplace? Drop us a line!

You’ve worked with brands previously.

When you have a few brand partnerships under your belt, you’re telling an influencer manager or agency some important things about you: You’re willing to work hard; you get good results; and you’re most likely reliable. Having these past partnerships in place will only help your influencer manager or agency pitch you to more brands and land you more partnerships.

You’re ready to go beyond influencer networks.

Ask yourself this: Who is an influencer network’s client? Is it you, the influencer or the brand? It’s the brand. So opportunities provided for influencers are going to skew in favor of the brand. Plus, you don’t have someone in your corner who’s working specifically for you. That leads to our next point…

You want someone to be on your team and advocate for you.

How many times have you felt like it’s difficult to negotiate with a brand with your rates? It’s pretty common, especially if you’re using influencer networks. Having an influencer manager or agency puts someone on your team. They’re looking out for you and you’re their #1—not the brand.

The Brand Biz: What’s Your Story?

brand biz

At CookIt, we talk about “story” all the time. As consultants working to help you define your brand, crafting your story is our first step. Without that key piece, you are rudderless in a vast ocean of competition.

The good news is that, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you always had the answer. Finding your story is the process of seeing that it was there all along.

Crazy talk, right? Don’t just take our word for it, try it. Follow this road, and let us know how it goes.

Picture your readers.

Who are they? What’s important to them? What’s really hard for them? What keeps them up at night? Once you feel like you know these things about your audience, go to the next step.

How can you help them?

Within your area of expertise, how can you help them? How can you solve a problem for them? What do you have to offer them that others don’t? Answer those questions, and go to the next step.

Why you?

What is it about you that qualifies you to be the authority your reader needs? Is it education? Life experiences? Values? Find that answer, and you will better understand your role in the story we’re writing. And then…

What’s so important?

Once you have a better understanding of who you’re talking to, how you’re helping them, and what it is about you that they trust and value, it’s much easier to grasp the importance of what you do. It may sound simple — it may be that they look to you for inspiration, for the motivation they need to stick to their goals. But that’s big for them. And that’s where you’ll find your story, and your opportunity!

The Brand Biz: Meet Your Reader

gathering
Photo by Ditte Isager

When it comes right down to it, there’s really only one thing you need to know about creating a successful brand: You need to know who you’re doing it for. We like to call this your Target Audience.

Without a strong sense of who your reader is, and what their problems (or “pain points”) are, it’s hard to know who you are. The trick is to understand your value through the lens of your reader, delivering content that both informs and inspires them.

But how do you find your Target Audience? Here’s how we like to do it!

4 TIPS FOR FINDING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE

1. Check out your competitive set

Get to know the brands and blogs that share content similar to yours. Who are their readers, and how are they helping those individuals solve their problems?

  1. Determine what makes you unique

How are you different from the brands in your competitive set? Can you create a niche for yourself and envision an audience that needs you and your unique skills/perspective?

  1. Get to know your current readers

Study, stalk and talk to your loyal fans, the ones who subscribe to your emails and follow you on your social networks. What do they love about you? What do they ask you for more of?

  1. Create a persona

Combining characteristics of your loyal fans with those of your potential readers (those who will appreciate you for what makes you unique!), draw up a profile of your target reader, including the kinds of details that help you identify why she needs you!