7 Things Influencers Want Brands to Know About Working With Them

by The Daily Front Row

On Monday at FN Platform in Las Vegas, The Daily Front Row’s Eddie Roche moderated a panel about how brands can best work with influencers — “I Sent a Blogger a Pair of Shoes… Now What? The Art of Influencer Collaborations.” The panel included blogger and influencer Julia Lang, A Fashion Nerd’s Amy Roiland, and Kristen Turner from Carpe Creative Studios, all of whom shelled out expert advice.

Here are a seven essential pearls of wisdom from the panel: 

1. Tips on Gifting
Amy Roiland: “When you are gifted something as a blogger, I want to shoot it. I feel so bad if I take a product from a designer and take it or give it to a friend. I would never do that. I want to make sure I have time to do a shoot with it. A lot of times it has to be paid because I have to go out and get a photographer.”

Kristen Turner: “If you are a brand and you’re interested in gifting a blogger, you should just be upfront that you’d like to gift something. I would suggest you tell them to pick something from your website or give a link to something you have in stock that you are willing to gift. Don’t send them something blindly and be upset when they don’t shoot with it or post it. There’s no guarantee that they ‘ll connect to that piece. You want it to be authentic.”

Eddie Roche, Julia Lang, Kristen Turner, Amy Roiland (Jenna Bascom)


2. What Brands Should Be Looking for in an Influencer
Julia Lang: “The aesthetic has to be right. The overall language of the branding and the way photos are edited. The language of the captions.”

Kristen Turner: “I think brands get caught up if another competitor is working with X,Y, and Z blogger and [they] need to be doing the same thing. That’s not necessarily the best case scenario. I would dig deep. Looks at the girls who are already liking and commenting on your photos. Look at girls who are wearing your product without having to send something to them. They’re genuinely liking it and wearing it. I would start there. They might only have 7,000 followers, but those 7,000 followers have already seen your product before.”

3. How to Find Influencers
Amy Roiland: “You can do a drop down on Instagram on someone’s profile and you can see similar profiles to them. You can see who they are following, too. I follow funky bloggers, not just brands…Brands can find influencers on Instagram, different blogs, there’s all kinds of stuff. TikTok is a fun one if you want video fun stuff.”

Kristen Turner: “If you are interested in reaching out to an influencer, you can reach out to them directly through email. If they have an agent, they’ll CC their agent and you’ll begin to feel that they’re taking all my coins now. Do not have that feeling. If your budget is $1000, tell them that your budget is $1000 and you’d love to work with their influencer. Can we negotiate? If the influencers connects with your stuff, they’ll find a way to work with you.”

(Jenna Bascom)

4. Money Issues
Julia Lang: “There’s always room for negotiation. You just have to be cautious and smart about it….It’s a very blurry line. I’ve done campaigns from $1000 to up to $15,000. It’s really up to how you negotiate, what you bring to the table.”

5. Working With Influencers
Kristen Turner: “Get creative with it. It doesn’t necessarily mean they have to post. Maybe you want them to come to your store. If you have a really cool factory, you might want them to come to do an InstaStory. Have them come to you. It’s another way to create content. It doesn’t  necessarily mean: wear this, put this on your feet.”

Amy Roiland: “A way that a brand can work with an influencer is a design collaboration. A lot of brands don’t think about it, but it’s so genius. If I owned a brand, I would do it hands down. If I find an influencer with a bunch of followers and I’m designing an eyewear line and they design three [styles], the [influencer] is going to post about it and post about it and promote it. It’s a genius way to get exposure and you can give the influencer a percentage of sales.”

(Jenna Bascom)

6. What Every Brand Should Know
Amy Roiland: “The biggest takeaway is when you hire an influencer or blogger, you’re not only hiring them to blast out about your line and give them exposure, you’re getting content. A lot of brands ask me to shoot 5 more pictures for them to use and they’ll use those pictures for ads, Instagram or their website. It’s good bang for their buck. If you were to hire a photographer, a location, a model, hair, makeup, you’d spend so much more. If you were to hire a blogger, the ROI is huge for a brand.”

Kristen Turner: “From a brand perspective, think outside of the box. Don’t get caught up on a [financial] number… Don’t let the money, don’t let the brandness of the influencer community scare you away from dipping your toe in and getting involved.”

Julia Lang: “Following isn’t everything. It’s so much more important when you come to a feed and see the overall flow. You can have 800,000 followers and have three comments. You can go to a micro influencer with 50,000 followers with 200 comments.”

7. Advice for the Aspiring Influencer
Kristen Turner: “Get you a boyfriend who takes your photos! [Laughs] It’s difficult because the market is so saturated right now. You have to find something that is uniquely you.”

(Jenna Bascom)

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