You’ve made your research and found the influencers you want to collaborate with. Now what?

How can you ensure they’ll respond, and that the collaboration will be fruitful for you both?

To learn how to make the most of the relationships with influencers, we’ve asked influencers experts to share an advice from their own experience. Here are their useful tips:

Treat Influencers Like Clients

Ed Leake, Managing Director at Midas

Ed Leake“The single most important aspect is to treat influencers like clients. What do I mean by that? Clear communication of the brief and expectations.”

“If you want and expect your influencers to share the content, make them aware and set expectations that it’s a prerequisite to being part of the project.”

“The brief should be specific, such as the length and depth of their contribution.“

“It’s a two-way street, you should also make it clear when the project is due to go live and whether or not they’ll get to view the draft before hand.”

“Good, clear communication is paramount in any relationship; be it a client, a customer or an influencer.”

Don’t Scare Them With an Idea They Don’t Like

Nick Crompton, Head of Talent and Influencers, SocialChain

Nick Crompton“It’s important not to set an idea in stone before you speak with an influencer.”

“Once you’ve chosen your ideal influencer, you don’t want to scare them off with an idea that the influencer doesn’t want to run with.”

“What you’ll find is that they’ll most likely just not reply and then you waste a lot of time waiting for an email that you’re never going to receive.”

“At the same time, it’s also important not to go into the conversation with absolutely nothing. It comes across as unstructured and the influencer feels like they’re doing all the work and it’s really difficult for the influencer to see the clients vision.”

Influencer work always needs to be a collaborative process, otherwise it won’t work for anyone. The client understands their own core values and the key messaging that they are wanting to get across. The influencer is the expert when it comes to taking the key messaging and relaying it back to their audience in an organic, natural and entertaining way.”

“Only an influencer fully understands how they communicate with their audience and in what style of content it works best.”

“People often look at influencers as talentless, lucky kids, but building an audience and harnessing the influence you have is a talent in itself. It’s important to understand that you’re approaching influencers, not only for their audience but for their expertise in social media and content creation.”

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Meet the Influencer Face to Face

Naomi Snuggs, Head of Community Influencers, Five by Five

Naomi Snuggs“We always send an individual, bespoke email as a first step. The email will clearly outline what we like about the influencer’s blog in particular and what we think resonates with the brand we are representing.”

“We also make sure that we include a detailed summary of the opportunity we are offering and then encourage the influencer to get in touch if they are interested in getting involved.”

“As part of our influencer outreach we are always keen to meet face to face whenever we can, rather than just relying on email, as we feel a relationship is built much better this way. Sometimes the old fashioned methods still hold a lot of value, even in this digital age!”

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Give Them Creative Freedom

Mark Fidelman, Managing Director at Evolve!

Mark Fidelman“After you find the influencer, reach out to them on Twitter or find their email address and send them an email. Usually, however, they are represented by us or another firm and you need to deal with their agent.”

After the initial contact was made, how do you set the right expectations on both sides?

“A clear contract that outlines your goals and expectations. I’d give them a lot of creative freedom but ensure they follow the points you want to make.”

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Avoid Vanity Metrics

Oren Greenberg, Digital Strategist at Kurve

Oren Greenberg

Measuring the outreach and the campaign with influencers can be tricky. Here’s a short tip that will direct you to the right thing to measure:

“Try and work out a performance model with your influencer rather than vanity metrics such as views or CPM”.

Now, over to you: how do you set expectations with influencers? How do you make the best out of your relationship? Share your experience with us.

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