ABOUT THE INFLUENCER MARKETING BLOG POST EDUCATION SERIESThis Influencer Marketing Education series by Linda Hoang is a 10-blog post series offering ethical, and effective influencer marketing advice aimed at educating would be and current influencers and content creators, the organizations that may work with them, and even the people who follow influencers. Topics around social media authenticity, influencer credibility and effective influencer marketing are ones social media strategist and influencer Linda Hoang is passionate about. Which is really just a nice way of saying she cannot stand fake influencers, fake engagement, fake followers, bad disclosure practices, partnerships that don’t make sense, misconceptions about the industry, and companies that don’t do enough research.
The intent of these posts is to help make the industry better, from all sides.
Want to learn more?
- Companies, you can hire Linda to help develop your influencer marketing strategies.
- Influencers, read these blog posts, do more research, and don’t use “I didn’t know” as an excuse for shady behaviour. If you’re trying to be a content creator, put the time and effort into educating yourself. And if you do engage in shady practices, stop, and start being honest with yourself.
Influencer marketing grew over the years as companies began to seek out social media users, bloggers, vloggers, content creators, ‘influencers’ to partner with in order to generate content and share messages around that particular company’s products or services.
But as the number of companies reaching out to influencers grew, and as more influencer / sponsored posts were shared, the number of people reaching out to companies for partnerships rose as well.
You’ve likely heard of some horrifying pitches “influencers” have sent companies.
There have been many examples of these bad pitches to companies shared online.
They’re truly cringe-worthy and delegitimize the influencers who are trying to do this type of work right.
As an influencer, or if you are trying to become one, there isn’t anything wrong with pitching yourself to companies. Don’t get me wrong. But there are many ways your pitch can be wrong.
In my line of work, I’m typically on the receiving end of pitches 90% of the time.
But there are instances where I’m pitching myself out to companies, and when I do, I always make sure to ask myself this very simple but very vital question:
Have I made it clear how the company can benefit from this partnership?
If I am trying to convince a company to work with me, you better bet I’m laying out all the reasons why.
Why should they care? Why should they do this? What’s in it for the company?
NOT what’s in it for you.
Too often, influencer pitches for companies sound like this:
“Hi, my name is _____. I have ____ followers. Do you want to give me ______ in exchange for some posts?”
That’s simply not enough.
Just as companies should do research and express why they want to work with a particular influencer, influencers need to do research and make a case for why a company should want to work with them.
When I wrote in Part Three: How NOT to Pitch an Influencer, that most influencer partnerships fail at the pitch, I meant it whether it’s the company pitching or the influencer pitching.
The company literally loses nothing by not working with you.
If they ignore your email, their business continues as if no pitch ever came in.
Check any entitlement you have at the door.
That’s a big one.
Whether you have 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 or 1 million followers, these companies owe you nothing.
Be humble and be grateful for the opportunity you’re requesting.
When you go into this with that humbling approach in mind, you’ll create a much more compelling pitch.
Here’s just a few things to consider as you’re developing an influencer pitch for a company:
- Be clear about what you’re asking for and what the company will get in exchange
- Articulate why you would be a good fit to partner with a company (why are you a “fit”)
- Go beyond just stating number of followers and detail your typical post engagement as well
- Explain how your audience is the company’s audience—emphasize the alignment
- Show relevant examples of what you’ve done in the past—legitimize yourself
- Elaborate on the type of content you will deliver in this specific case
- Ask them whether what you’ve proposed would benefit the company, and if not, ask what will
- Be humble and be grateful for the opportunity you’re requesting
- Thank them—and mean it—for their time and the opportunity
Ultimately, when pitching companies, it’s about ensuring they have all the information they need to decide whether or not they should work with you, whether or not you’ve made it clear what the benefit of working with you is.
Vague pitches won’t cut it.
Entitled pitches will not cut it.
Pitches that don’t focus on how the company benefits, won’t cut it.
In Part Five of this Influencer Marketing Education Blog Post Series, I’ll be veering off just a bit to write about tips for influencers sharing content during COVID-19. This post will also talk generally about influencer ethics, authenticity and responsibility.
ABOUT LINDA HOANG. Linda Hoang is an experienced Alberta, Canada-based social media strategist as well as a social media influencer and content creator. As a strategist she also regularly delivers social media training and develops strategies and content plans for a wide range of companies and individuals. As a social media influencer, she regularly works with companies to develop engaging content that helps reach their goals. This allows Linda to bring a dual perspective to influencer marketing and specifically, deliver an approach that focuses on authenticity and credibility.