First of all, let me apologise if you think this sounds a bit ranty. It’s something that I think needs addressed.

Wait, who am I even apologising to? I pay for the hosting for this place so I can write whatever I want. Today’s topic: You’re not entitled!

Working on both sides of the Influencer Marketing industry, as an influencer and as an outreach programme through my other Brand ELLEfluence (influencers sign up here). I have a pretty solid understanding of how it works for both parties. Brands and Influencers.

What is Influencer Marketing? Influencer marketing is a name given to the stem of marketing that focuses on using key leaders within a niche to drive a brand’s message to a larger more targeted and aligned market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers. Instead, influencers are gifted or paid to promote a brand.

Over the last week or so I’ve started to get incredibly shocked by the amount of ‘self-entitlement’ and childlike tantrums I’ve witnessed from bloggers and influencers not receiving invites to events or been chosen for campaigns.

I obviously don’t know how much these bloggers understand about digital marketing as a whole and their impact on the marketing and advertising industry. I’m going to break it down into what I take into account when I search for influencers for campaigns.

Niche

First of all, your niche is the most important factor to consider. Please tell me if you write a Beauty only blog what value you have to a restaurant?

Your content won’t fit, you don’t know that audience like you know your beauty audience. Similarly to myself. I’d never write about children’s toys or the best pushchair for twins. Simply because my audience and demographic here at Elle Blonde don’t want to read about that. The fact that if I hadn’t been chosen to attend the newest Sophie Giraffe press launch it really wouldn’t bother me. I wouldn’t have a case of FOMO because it’s not my niche!

If you’re specialising in one area and are extremely focused on that specific area (let’s take beauty for example) then for a brand it’s not a great return on their investment to invite beauty bloggers to review a restaurant. Unless of course, they were doing their make up with the food! Likewise, a food blogger would be the wrong candidate to review a 60 piece makeup brush set. A 60 piece knife set though, totally different story!

Marketing = Mon£y

For any brand, any form of marketing costs resources whether that be money, product or time. The question is, do you feel that you as a blogger or influencer are of any value to the brand? They are paying you for your service regardless if it is money, product or services. There is an exchange here your advertising and marketing service for their currency of whatever it is in the exchange.

As a ‘blogger’ are not entitled to anything, if you think this, please refer to yourself as a blagger. Similarly, if you go to events or take a product and over promise your services then never carry them out then you too are a blagger and you technically are a thief!

If you’re a blagger please appreciate you’re undermining the rest of the industry. So shut the page now if that’s you and let me just say bye Felicia!

Social stats & engagement

Influencer Marketing doesn’t come cheap. Any form of marketing for that matter isn’t cheap. On Instagram alone businesses are spending over £250million per month on Influencer Marketing. It costs businesses to run marketing campaigns regardless if it is menu launches, giving products or services or paid for content.

Due to this brands need to look specifically at statistics of bloggers and influencers.

I get it growing your following doesn’t happen overnight but you have to be prepared to do a lot off your own back before the good campaigns head your way. If you have great statistics then you’re more likely to be selected over those who blog with no impact. I’m not talking quantity here, I’m talking about building an engaged audience.

You are not the right fit

I put out a request for influencers for an event with a strict stipulation of audience size and engagement percentage. There were people with only 10% of the specified following and with a negligible engagement rate complaining they hadn’t been selected. They didn’t just complain, they took it as a personal attack and got vicious.

Similarly, on another campaign, people demanding the contact details for the event hosts as they hadn’t been invited and wanted to attend. Even though their site didn’t compliment the brand’s campaign. Just because you write a blog or have a banging Insta feed does not entitle you to the service exchange.

What can you do?

What do you do that others don’t? Can you offer additional exposure? Do you frequently share your old posts?

Think about it, you’re offering an advertising service the same way glossy magazines do. As a brand, you’d rather be in a publication like Vogue with a print circulation of 1.2m this year and online monthly unique users of 2.5m instead of an unknown with a minuscule circulation if a brand was offering the same terms for both businesses.

If it costs your business the same you’re going to go for the larger reach.

Perhaps your stats aren’t great. Instead of being disheartened switch up your strategy and work on improving them. Analyse and plan, come up with a plan of action for the next year. Create measurable goals. It could be a goal like The Social Media Virgin to hit 300 Instagram followers or generate £50 in their first month of blogging. They’re measurable goals to assess performance. It takes resilience and patience!

Content curation

This links nicely with the previous point. Content that is written with a purpose, that offers a perspective with an evergreen aim is going to appeal to brands wanting to work with you. This is rather than posts that have no format, have poorly formulated sentences and even have multiple spelling and grammar issues.

I highly recommend Grammarly for checking your work before posting. Brands want to work with those who conduct themselves in a professional manner. Like it or not, if you’re working with brands on your blog, you’re running a business. Start thinking more about your blog as a business if you’re offering your marketing services in an exchange with the brand.

Keep it professional

Another point which is especially relevant is the aesthetic of your site. Make sure you keep a clean, professional look to your site. Ensure all of the buttons click to the right places and your contact details are correct (and easy to find!)

You aren’t entitled to ‘freebies’ – in an exchange of goods or money, you are providing an advertising service for these brands. Remember that.

In addition to this if you SEO optimise your posts this is even more beneficial for brands. Especially those with a great marketing strategy, who understand digital marketing. Brands want their posts to be found time and time again. Add longevity to your content so that they receive long-term promotion which in turn will have the brands coming back for further work.

Discoverability.

Make yourself discoverable, by being in the forefront with great content, fantastic imagery and also be social. In all sense of the word. Be seen both on and offline, ensure that you post things that are authentic. Been somewhere you loved? Write about it. Bought a product and hated it? Write about it. The more authentic you are the quicker you’ll grow traction.

Nobody wants to read that everything you write about is the ‘best thing ever’ or the ‘greatest thing on the planet’ it’s not authentic. It’s not real and it’s not going to build you an audience. Yes, it may keep you sweet with the PR company, however, you’re selling yourself out here as just another freeloader. People value you when you’re honest.

Push out high-quality content that you want to post so that brands in your niche can find you online. Monitor the posts that are receiving the most traffic and create content similar to that. You will then receive further work if you’re discovered based on your previous content.

Further promotion

If you just post once about the event or review it’s just another post, forgotten about, lost in a vortex of posts. Especially if you’re failing to drive traffic to it. Use a plugin like Revive Old Posts to reshare your blog articles from the past, giving the Brand additional exposure from something you have already created. Repost photos at a later date from your favourite brands to show them they too haven’t been forgotten about.

If you provide a great service for a Brand, chances are they’ll want to work together time and time again.  If you’re not providing much value, you probably won’t make their list for future events.

Here are my top 6 reasons that could be preventing you from being invited or selected for campaigns

  • Not being the specific niche for the campaign
  • Not having the correct social criteria in terms of size and/or engagement
  • Overpromising and underdelivering
  • Previous dealings and reputation – if you’re known to be awkward to work with or if you think you’re entitled to attend events and then fail to post
  • If the quality of your written work is poor or if there are errors. Alternatively, your images are of poor quality
  • If you don’t quite grasp what influencer marketing is and instead look like a freeloader

Solving problems

I know that the following advice has been the brutal truth, however, so many people take the huff and call out brands when they’re not invited to campaigns and it really needs to stop. You need to stop and question ‘what can I do to help solve the brand’s problem?’

The problem of the brand is to market their business to a wider audience. Another question to ask yourself is ‘am I in the top 10 influencers I know suitable for this role?’

If you can come up with a valid point as to how you could help market the business and you feature in the top the then you may be one step closer to working with a brand.

Never think you’re entitled ‘just because you have a blog’. You’re not.

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Elle Blonde

Laura is an award-winning entrepreneur with a passion for all things luxury. With a penchant for travel, her favourite destinations are Vegas and Ibiza. Catch her at the latest bar opening with a cocktail in hand followed by mornings in the gym. She dotes on her little Jack Russell, Ziggy and has an unhealthy Instagram obsession. Home interiors continue to grow as a passion and she absolutely loves shopping for all things fashion and beauty too.

11 Comments

Faye · October 25, 2017 at 11:17 am

This really made me smile reading this I’m not a blogger but I am interested in those that blog and are influencers as a small business owner. I have saved this as should I ever work with influencers these are exactly the types of things I would need to know! Thanks Laura

Gemma jamieson · October 25, 2017 at 11:20 am

I bloody love this post. I think bloggers that new on the scene couldn’t benefit from this.hell I would have loved to read this before I got into blogging. I find that it’s easy to pick up bad habits of other bloggers because you look up to them and think they are great. Well actually they are just a BLAGGER

Alice Fairweather · October 25, 2017 at 11:55 am

Fantastic post Laura. Couldn’t have said it better. Who do some bloggers think they are?! x

saffi yusef · October 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm

Great post Laura! I write a blog because I am passionate about both creativity and writing. If a brand fits with what I do, then great but I don’t really go looking! I find myself missing out on opportunities because a brand will look directly at my niche – then they look at followers rather than engagement levels…

Mira · October 25, 2017 at 3:01 pm

Absolutely! Some need to hear the truth

Vidya Gupta · October 25, 2017 at 5:33 pm

That was an eye opener… Thanks! Makes a lot of sense!!

June · October 25, 2017 at 10:37 pm

Really great post Laura, I Love the way you tell it as it is! I totally agree about niche and remember being invited to an event which was food/drink related but as it was a collaboration with a hotel I thought it’d be good to go along as it fitted with my travel blog, but to be honest, afterwards I realised it wasn’t the right fit for my blog and felt it hadn’t been worth while attending, so early on I realised the importance of being true to your niche as best you can 🙂

Diane Penelope · October 26, 2017 at 2:11 pm

Thanks for this. I am a designer and then I also blog. I don’t charge for posts, but I do sometimes get free stuff which I immediately write about, road test and then I promote the post on social media. I’m new to the blogging/influencer scene, but as a digital and print designer and the former art director of a cosmetics company, with an obsession for beauty as well as being former MUA, I am uniquely placed to blog about packaging, beauty, cosmetics etc. I don’t however expect anything. My blog is my passion, and if it one day makes money through advertising great. If not, I keep designing away, which I also love.

@newindoha · October 27, 2017 at 5:50 am

Loved reading this as a new kid on the blogging circuit. I am planning on doing an article on what I have learnt after 6 months of blogging and would love to link to this article.
Sometimes we all need to read these harsh truths!
Planning to share it on the blogging groups I part of also

Selena Arroyo · October 28, 2017 at 12:58 am

I love this! Completely agree! I also work for both sides of the market & I know how annoying it is when bloggers think they’re Beyonce haha

Aisha · October 30, 2017 at 3:55 am

Hi Laura,

Great post, and reminder to us all that sometimes it’s just not the right fit. We can’t take things so personally. I love the tip of re-sharing old content. Thanks for that, much needed on my side. I’d love to know your thoughts on how to respond/handle press releases sent to bloggers. I get sent so many and never sure of what to do with them.

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