This blog post was originally written by Ruan Fourie.
You work hard at building a following. Right? The biggest thrill is watching how people engage with it. How people tune in daily to read, like, share, watch and comment on the content you created. But wouldn’t it be great if you could turn this passion into a business?
Once you know how to market to your audience (your readers and followers) and understand the value of your influence, it’s only a matter of time before brands start to notice. But the tricky thing as an influencer is finding the balance between running sponsored content and keeping your fan base happy. That’s why working with the right brands is essential, that’s why at Webfluential we give our influencers the opportunity to accept or reject jobs based on the brief. But what if you don’t want to wait for the job offers to come to your Webfluential inbox? What if you want to be pro-active and pitch your influence to brands?
If you’re that kind of Blogger, YouTuber, Instagrammer, Tweeter or Facebooker then you’re in the right place! The Webfluential team have put together a foolproof guide to landing more gigs as an influencer.
Remember this: nobody is better suited at marketing your online influence than you. This is your personal brand, your followers and your community. You know what makes them tick and you know what brands they are most likely to care about.
This guide is about helping you get in front of those brands, the ones you and your audience want to work with. If you follow the process below, and genuinely believe in your content – there is no doubt that turning your passion into a business could become a reality for you.
There are four steps below. All are equally important. Good luck!
STEP 1: Find the right person to pitch to (not just anyone who works in marketing)
Blindly sending an email to the first address you find on your favourite brand’s Contact Us page, isn’t going to land you any jobs. It’s going to make sure your email goes directly to the trash folder, along with all the other unknown emails the brand receives daily. You need to reach the people who have the power to sign-off on your campaign idea, or at least get it in front of the right people.
But how do I find the contact details I need?
Use tools like Viola Norbert and social networks like LinkedIn to not only find any email addresses, but the email addresses of the right members of the marketing team for the brand you have in mind. Check their Twitter profiles to see if they share any content related to the brands you’re trying to pitch to – marketers often share content from their own campaigns. If you get lucky, they might even have a personal website or a blog that has a contact page.
Once you have two names and two email addresses of members of the marketing team, move on to the PR department. This will give you four points of contact that you must use over the next few weeks.
But wait! Don’t fire off your emails to every address you’ve found right away. Hang onto them, because here’s where your strategy kicks in.
STEP 2: Use Twitter as an ice-breaker
People are more likely to respond to an email from someone they have an association to, someone they ‘know’. The beauty of the internet is that it gives us the opportunity to ‘get to know’ the right people without really meeting them. Twitter is the perfect medium to have a casual conversation with the marketer you want to pitch your idea to.
Follow them on Twitter, and engage with one of their tweets. A couple of days after that, you’re going to email them your campaign idea. No need to be overly aggressive, a few tweets where you add genuine value to a conversation will do. No one likes a stalker. Two responses that add value in one week will make you stick in the recipient’s mind for all the right reasons. By overdoing the tweets or if you don’t add something to the conversation with your reply, you’re going to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
The Twitter interaction simply introduces you to the marketer, so that the real introduction has already been made before you propose your campaign idea via email – it’s like making eye contact before you buy her a drink. Don’t be despondent if this process takes a week or two. Good things come to those who wait!
STEP 3: Polish your pitch, and make sure you have a CREDIBLE media kit
If you have a great idea and campaign strategy, it’s just a matter of landing it in the right inbox. Sometimes it takes a few tries but if you have the right balance of creative and persistence you might just strike it lucky!
Getting the email right is important though. Here’s what your email shouldn’t look like:
That doesn’t sound like the beginning of a mutually beneficial working relationship, does it? That sounds like an influencer pitching to a marketer that isn’t 100% credible. It makes it easy for the marketer to just hit ‘delete’.
What your introductory email should do is show what you, as a credible influencer, are capable of producing for the brand you’re pitching to. Whether you’re pitching an idea across your Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or even Snapchat – it’s important that you get the BIG idea across in the initial mail. Marketers like to see, and feel what you’re pitching.
It’s short, it speaks about the creative idea, and it ensures the marketer knows you’re a credible source.
Tip: when you attach the outline of your campaign to the email, remember that you only have five slides to get your idea across. Five slides, that’s it. Make sure they are five slides to remember!
STEP 4: Make closing the deal as easy as possible for you, and the brand
Filling out supplier forms, getting POs and following up on invoices are all necessary steps – but they also make closing deals harder. You want to give the marketer the impression that working with you is not only going to be successful, but also simple.
One way to make it easier for brands to work with you is to use the Booked By Webfluential tool. It gives influencers complete control to take bookings anywhere, anytime, from any brand. No paperwork, no invoices, no hassles.
You control your prices, which you can change at any time, and all payments are processed via PayPal – guaranteed by Webfluential. There is a one-on-one chat function and even automated reporting after your campaign is complete.
So there you have it, four steps to land you more gigs as an influencer – we told you it was foolproof! Liked what you read? Sign up to be an influencer with Webfluential today, and get your media kit and booking form – then get pitching!