Is your brand looking to approach fashion influencers to help reach a broader audience? If so, you need to be carefully considering the best practices for getting that done. You don’t want to be the brand that gets blacklisted within the community of influencers because you lacked professionalism or the proper knowledge.
In order to provide some clarity around what exactly you should be doing when approaching influencers, we went straight to the source. We asked Kara Harms, an influencer based in San Francisco, what the ideal experience is for the brand-influencer relationship. Kara has 65K Instagram followers and has worked with several brands ranging from Starbucks to a local vineyard.
Here’s what Kara (@thewhimsysoul) had to say:
Treat influencers like your co-workers.
Where I see the biggest room for improvement on the brand side of influencer marketing is the lack of respect they give their influencer partners. You would never, ever email a new co-worker in your office to ask about a project and start that email with “Hey babe!” or “Hi beautiful, saw you on Instagram and I want to work with Y-O-U!” Influencers are professionals who take our personal brand seriously and we need to be treated with the same level of respect as you treat your co-workers. At the end of the day, we’re all working towards the same goal of helping you or your client meet KPIs and the best way to meet that goal is bringing professionalism to the table.
That means answering our emails on time, jumping on calls with us, being transparent about campaign goals and timeline, and, for the love of shoes, getting our real name right in emails. Influencers hate being called by our blog name. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve received emails addressed to “Whimsy” instead of my name. It’s not that hard to take two seconds to find it out! That’s the wrong way to start out a strong relationship.
Here’s a little secret — when brands are easy to work with and treat us with respect, we’re WAY more willing to give you extra for free as we know solid relationships aren’t built on pinching pennies. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. This can come in the form of an extra Instagram post on a paid campaign as a thank you, or long-term Stories mentions on unsponsored content. But if you were difficult to work with, there’s no reason for us to scratch your back as you didn’t scratch ours.