Working with brands as an influencer can be incredibly exciting and a wonderful opportunity for you to reach a broader audience. Every collaboration is different, but we wanted to gather a list together that touches on what to do and what not to do when working with brands to ensure that your next brand collaboration is a complete success.
Authenticity is Everything
Your personality is the most powerful asset you have since it's what sets you apart from everyone else. We've all probably seen it — a collaboration between a brand and an influencer where the influencer begins to produce content for that brand that is completely different from what they usually create. This can cause a bit of disconnect among their audience, which is something you want to try to avoid. Instead, remember that if a brand is working with you, they want YOU. They've most likely completed research regarding your style, audience, and content and guess what? They like your style! So stay true to who you are throughout your collaboration by creating content that reflects your style and speaks to your audience.
"Your personality is the most powerful asset you have since it's what sets you apart from everyone else."
Create Thoughtful Content
While it's important to stay true to your voice and style, remember that you're working with a brand to promote a particular product, event, or service. Be sure to keep whatever it is that you've agreed to promote in mind when creating content for the collaboration. For example, if a brand has hired you to promote their most recent line of sunglasses, be sure to take photographs where the sunglasses are the main focus. If you're interested in creating content that the brand or company you're working with might repost or share on their feed — be sure to consider that. The reason for this is because you'll want to edit your photos in a style that still pairs beautifully with your feed but could work well with the brand's feed as well. Another thing you can do is provide the brand with a set of photos/content you've edited specifically to match their feed or style — that way if they want to share the content you created during the collaboration, they have a few options to select from that would work great for their Instagram.
Keep Things Professional
As an influencer, you're a representation of your brand, so it's incredibly crucial that you represent yourself in a professional manner. Approach your brand collaborations with a business mindset, and make sure you're aware of your requirements for the partnership by thoroughly reading any contract before you sign and agree. If the collaboration in question doesn't include a contract, it's your responsibility to make sure you know what you're agreeing to. Remember to ask questions and clarify all the details or scope of work. Don't be afraid to negotiate a bit — remember that brands want to work with you just as much as you want to work with them so if their deadline to submit content isn't realistic with your schedule, let them know and propose another date that is more convenient for you. Another way to remain professional during the duration of the collaboration with a brand is to submit content before publishing. This is a professional courtesy, that will show the brand that you take this collaboration just as seriously as they do. It's a thoughtful way to show that you have their best interest in mind, as well as yours. It also provides you with peace of mind that the content you've created is precisely what the brand has in mind before you post it on your social media channels.
Establish a Long-lasting Relationship
After your collaboration is complete, if you enjoyed working with a particular brand that you might want to work with again in the future — send an email their way thanking them for the opportunity. Remember their PR team works hard to create relationships with influencers, so thank them for their time and let them know you'd be interested in working with them again. As time passes, be sure to stay engaged with their social media account by liking and leaving comments on their posts. Remember as appealing as a collaboration may sound, sometimes it may be in your best interest to turn some opportunities down. If a brand that you're not interested in working with reaches out to you, take the time to kindly turn down the opportunity. And if you ever feel uncomfortable during a collaboration, speak up and inform the representative of the brand that you're working with and explain your concerns. Brands want collaborations to be a success so be responsive to their emails, be professional, and stay true to yourself.