It’s easy to find yourself in a writer’s block when you are not comfortable with your surroundings and are trying to figure out how a new market works. This is especially true when you send your first email to an influencer. What’s the best way of contacting them? And what information should be included?
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process and provide you with our best tips on how to make a good first expression when contacting influencers that you want to work with.
Step 1 - Find Contact Information
What information do I need?
After you’ve decided which influencer you want to contact, you have to start the process. In most cases, the easiest way to get in contact with an influencer is through email and there are a few reasons why. As you probably already know, most influencers work on several projects simultaneously with erratic schedules and they are not always ready to take a phone call. Sometimes they might also be working with other companies and have partners that they need to double check things with before they can agree on anything. They should also want to take the time and check your company out before they get started.
The first email you send should contain details about the proposed project, and you want to give the influencer the opportunity to evaluate you and return with questions and answers. If you instead contact them over the phone it can be hard to find a time that works for both parties, but more importantly, it can be hard for the influencer to remember all the details regarding the project. Naturally, this often leads to confusion and misunderstandings and should, therefore, be avoided. In this case, it’s better to follow up with a phone call after the initial email has been sent.
Where do I find contact information?
Most influencers that are open for collaborations put their email addresses on their Instagram profiles or under an “About Me” tab on their website or YouTube account. Try and locate this to find all the necessary contact information.
If you for any reason don’t find an email address you can send a DM on Instagram where you describe what you want to start a paid collaboration with the said influencer. If you decide to send a DM, we also recommend commenting on the latest picture telling the influencer you sent a DM since many users tend to not check the inbox regularly. Also, many influencers know each other which means you can often ask influencers that you’ve already worked with to introduce you to others.
Most of the time it’s easy to find contact information and as long as you have your eyes set on the goal this step shouldn’t be an issue. Don’t assume that you’ll always get a response - sometimes you might have to write the same person several times and sometimes they
might not want to work with you at all.
Step 2 - Compose the Email
What’s the best way to write?
If you have located an email address, it’s time to start writing the first email. A good rule of thumb is to keep it professional, simple, clear, and personal. And don’t send the same email to everyone since it usually shows and gives a bad first impression. Instead, try to include something about the influencer or mention something you liked on one of their profiles. Just make sure you don’t get too personal since it can come off as weird. Try to write the email as if you were writing a good friend. Professional but clear! And don’t end the email with “hugs” or “XO” - this is a professional relationship you're initiating.
It’s also important to remember that many influencers get a lot of requests which means their inboxes tend to be full. Because of this, you want to be straightforward and tell them what you want in detail from the get-go. Provide the influencer with guidelines, goals, and other necessary information but also give them room to be creative and propose their own ideas. Influencers like to be a part of the creative process.
Here are some questions you should try and answer in the email:
- Who are you and what do you work with? Keep it short.
- Why do you want to work with this specific influencer?
- What are you selling? Are you launching a new product or running a summer campaign? What’s the purpose of the collaboration?
- Which channels are you interested in?
- What kind of collaboration are you looking for? How many channels, what kind of posts, and for how long? Most influencers prefer long-term collaborations.
- When would you expect the posts to be published?
- Discount codes and links. Make sure you let the influencer know if you want them to use your discount codes.
- How much are you willing to pay? Funds are always an important factor so either offer a price or ask what the influencer charges.
What Are You Expected to Pay?
Do you really need to pay influencers? Isn’t enough with free products? You’re asking the influencer to do a job for you and not paying is never an option, with a few exceptions. The
truth is that the influencer will have to put many hours of work into creating the posts you’re looking for and just like everyone else, they need money to survive. A goodie bag with free products is, of course, a nice bonus but it’s not enough to put food on anyone’s table.
Because of this, you should always assume that the influencer is looking to be paid. In fact, most influencers ignore proposals where they are asked to work for free so try to be smart here and don’t forget what you will get in return for the payment.
Also, don’t forget that the price tends to decrease if you buy several posts at once or if you’re looking for a longer collaboration. If you want to run a longer campaign, you can ask the influencer if they are willing to offer you a deal. A longer collaboration is a win-win, the influencer is guaranteed work and you get a better conversion rate from building trust among the influencer's followers.
Don’t be scared to offer a set price if you already have a good idea of how much an influencer should charge for a certain amount of work. Just make sure you do your research on the price point beforehand and that you consider markets, reach, engagement, etc. Low-balling an influencer will only scare them away. By offering a price from scratch, the influencer knows you’re willing to pay and is more likely to want to work with you.
In the odd case that you don’t know how much you should pay you to need to ask the influencer. They tend to not offer inflated prices since they run a brand on their own and have a reputation to uphold. Many of them even have a price list that they use for everyone.
Step 3 - Build a Relationship During the Collaboration
Professional and attentive
There is no difference in building and sustaining a good relationship with an influencer compared to doing the same with a friend or a colleague. For example, you should be quick to answer any questions, available to discuss ideas, and always be fair and honest. Your goal is to build mutual trust and respect. Consider the influencer a colleague that you’ve hired for their skill set and that has the possibility to perform tasks that you can’t.
Transparent and honest
Always strive to be as transparent as possible. You should obviously not disclose business secrets but neither should you abuse an influencer or not pay people what they’re worth. By treating people with respect, you will get respect back which will give you a better chance of succeeding together. Generally speaking, people get punished for treating others bad and if you’re cheap with an influencer they might seek revenge later on when they’ve grown and gotten more influence.
On the other hand, you need to be honest if you’re working with a limited budget and in that case, it’s up to the influencer to decide whether or not he or she wants to work with you.
Kick back and let the influencer do what they do best
As long as you provide the influencer with clear instructions and guidelines of what you want to achieve you should be able to kick back when the project is initiated. Influencers are highly creative people that have gotten to where they are because they’re good at what they do. Try to be there to provide support when they need it but give them the room they need to work. After all, the influencer knows their followers better than anyone and you’ve hired them to do a specific task that they are professionals at.
Give them free reins but be ready to guide them when needed!
Step 4 - Keep the Relationship Going After the Collaboration
Make influencers feel useful and involved.
The best way to maintain a good relationship is by making sure the influencer feels included and involved. Invite them to events that you’re hosting or let them come to an opening part of your new store. Are you planning to launch a new product? Let the influencer test it before it hits the stores. People always appreciate when you make them feel special and useful so try to keep that in mind!
Influencer marketing is a fun and exciting industry! Partly because it’s so fast-paced with constant changes, but also because it gives you the opportunity to work alongside competent and inspiring people that have developed their passions into a business. Finding an influencer that matches your brand can have a huge impact on both your business and the influencer!
Do you have any questions or would you like to share something with us? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org