Ask any influencer and they’ll tell you that brand partnerships in 2020 are incredibly important. So much so that we’ll venture to call it brand relationships because as influencers, you’re forming a lasting relationship with someone who has an impact on your business — and vice versa.
How should you create brand partnerships? Well, it won’t happen overnight, but it’ll happen. If you’re looking to start expanding your relationships, start with these five tips!
1. Go the extra mile
Whenever you get a new opportunity to work with a company, treat it as a new job. You’re looking to put your best foot forward here because the first impression could make or break the remainder of your time working together. So that means going the extra mile, stopping at nothing to deliver great work, asking lots of questions and being a self-starter. Most importantly, it means really understanding and loving their brand. This company is picking YOU to show it off — if you’re not enthusiastic, they may move on to someone else to celebrate them.
2. Add more than what they ask for
In the same vein of going the extra mile, another way to lock in a partnership is to add to the company. If someone is hiring you to represent their brand or mission, they’re looking for just that: representation, or influence. But if you come back by giving them even more than what they asked for? You’re on the path to a long-lasting relationship.
3. Be punctual and respectful
Again, treat this as a first job. You don’t have anything over these companies just because you’re representing them for something. You’re still working together, forming a partnership and exchanging your talents/resources to work together. That means being on time for meetings, delivering on time, being respectful and being eager to roll up your sleeves, work hard and collaborate.
4. Be a follow-up pro
What does it mean to be a follow-up pro? It means dotting those i’s and crossing all your t’s. It means sending a thank-you note after working together. It means sending an e-mail when you don’t hear back. In a word, it means being diligent. Partnerships are the backbone of many successful influencer businesses, so you should never slip into the trap of thinking you’re doing a company a “favor.” This is a two-way street, so you need to be a project manager for your own business.
5. Love and endorse the brand
This one may seem obvious, but if you’re representing a brand, you probably align with the company’s product and/or values, right? We sure hope so! A lot of people will tell you that being an influencer for brands you don’t care about is a fast way to burnout. There’s a lot of truth to that statement. If you work with brands you don’t care about, you’ll find yourself stretching the truth (or worse, lying), going way outside of your comfort zone and ultimately, distancing yourself from the craft you love. When you first start talking to potential brand partners, gauge your interest. Be real with yourself. Maybe even give yourself a list of questions to review before agreeing. Here are a few to get started:
- Do I agree with this company’s mission?
- Have I enjoyed our conversations and all of the people I’ve met at this company?
- Do I actually use their products/services?
- Am I excited to represent this company?
There are tons of other questions you can ask yourself to evaluate if you’re up for a brand partnership or not, but these are some to get you on your feet.
Despite all the dos and don’ts, the biggest takeaway is that creating a brand partnership = creating a brand relationship. Your job is important and energizing — so make sure your work reflects that! And remember, we’re there with you every step of the way.