Welcome to the land of influencer identification. It’s full of do’s and don’ts, trial and error, and if all goes well, finding influencers who are exactly what your brand is looking for.
Let me be your influencer identification spirit guide for these few paragraphs. The key here is if you know what you are looking for in an influencer, what you are not looking for will be easier to identify as well.
Finding the right influencer can be compared to searching for that perfect someone. Snap decisions and lack of research don’t work well for either quest.
1. You can’t make your influencer change
The principles of influencer identification are similar to dating: if your potential influencer’s work hasn’t been good for other brands, they won’t change it for you.
There is no amount of coaching an influencer that is going to make their poorly-designed website magically turn from a pumpkin into a carriage. What their previous work looks like is what their work will look like for you, regardless of what they promise you.
Brand matching is crucial because your influencer is an extension of your brand. You will be associated with what their work looks like. So stay in your league or go for the league above yours, but don’t settle for an influencer whose work isn’t good-looking.
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2. Your influencer’s audience will be your audience, for better or for worse
Get to know your influencer’s audience, because they will be your audience one day too. Like getting to know your potential in-laws, your influencer’s audience is a reflection of themselves.
If your brand is targeting young women in their 20s, why would you be looking at influencers whose primary audience is older moms? It is good to expand your brand’s audience, but that will happen naturally. Initially, stick to the ones you know would like your product or company, and then expand your influencer network from there.
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3. Communication, communication, communication
You think communication is important in a dating relationship? Try having an influencer who doesn’t communicate with you. It’s a very unproductive quality for your brand and their reputation as an influencer.
Influencers are people too. They will have life issues, setbacks, and confusion along the way. No big deal if they tell you what’s going on when it’s going on. Big deal if they shut down and decide to go rogue.
If your influencer has a bad response time and lack of detail early on in your communication with them, drop them like a hot potato. Not worth your time, honey.
Identifying good influencers who you want to keep relationships with for a long time is a process—not something that is going to happen overnight. Take your time, do your research, and enjoy the influencer identification ride. Who knows, maybe you will find your brand’s influencer soulmate along the way.
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