Influencers, man. Whether directly or indirectly, we all know one. Heck, you may even be one.
To put it simply, influencers are folks with specialised knowledge or insight into a specific field, holding a special sway over their target audiences. And/or wizards (as I always say).
In an age of these magical beings, taking to stage as the marketers of basically everything under the sun, a growing number of up and comers are raring to enter the fray themselves — and who can blame them?
But the savvy career comes with its fair share of red flags, the fine script at the bottom of the page per se, and if not heeded could result in drastic pitfalls.
For instance, have you…
- Considered a manager? Signing with an agency, especially if you aren’t a full-time creator yet, isn’t the most financially viable of options. Yet if that’s the route you want to pursue then you should probably…
- Is this a win-win? A manager-influencer relationship is hardly a stiff contract (except on paper, I guess). The pair, or the group must work in a mutually benefitting manner. The growth of one is the growth of all.
- Ask questions. Ask a lot of questions. Drive them up the wall. “How quickly do you respond to emails?” “What level of transparency can I expect?” “How many hours allotted to structure planning each week?” “Good lord, are those crocs?”
- Grab a reference or two. Asking for references is an important step but feel free to wander beyond the first impressions since they’re likely to recommend the most glowing names in their roster. Most agencies have a list of influencers, either as a document or filed on a website, that prospective influencers can reach out to. Chat them up. Oh, and ask them if they lied about the crocs.
- What’s the overall vibe here? An active, invigorating online presence is a be all, do all in the influencer biz. Well? Does the agency have one? Any articles about them or their work (that weren’t paid for)? Put your Sherlock hat on and get snooping, bud.
- Beware the spam duds in your inbox. Personalised email or riot. Ok, don’t actually, but you should definitely stray clear of the mass emailing crowds.
- Save the PayPal for dinner with the pals. Use of cash apps like Venmo or Zelle for salary upkeep is hardly ideal. Experts also say that it’s best to collect as much banking information as possible so that if needed, one can pursue legal action. You get it.
Influencers come in various shapes and sizes these days. There’s the ‘this always works’ celebrity route of course, but bloggers, micro-influencers, and industry experts are quickly climbing the chart to glory akin and beyond.
Brands working with influencers not only draw in instant access to their target markets but also build a relationship of trust and invite increased satisfaction from their customers. Not to mention the technicalities — you’ve got SEO’s and hashtags to go from baby crawl to jet-speed ahead of the competitors.
So hey, if you’re an influencer, keep knocking it out of the park. And if you’re brand, well, go catch already!