As commerce moves online and out of bricks and mortar stores, the storytellers that steer web traffic between the digital watering holes are poised to benefit immensely. The principle of a brand ambassador selling the lifestyle benefits of a particular brand, and people sharing that product experience with their friends and family is not new. Now, it’s just captured in the format of a digital key opinion leader (KOL) acting as a brand ambassador, with digital influencers sharing the product experience with their audience online.
Given the scale of audiences, brands, and the limited number of influencers who authentically engage online every day, those that play their strategies right, stand to become the businesspeople of the next decade. At Webfluential, our business model is built on the basis of helping people market and monetise their digital publishing platforms, and add value to their audiences as well as brands.
We work with creators and brands each day, so we want to share some of the insights we’ve learned through these experiences that will benefit influencers in their quest to make a career from their passions of creative content. In a three part content piece, we’ll share:
- The principles to live by and succeed as a digital entrepreneur
- The software that makes being an entrepreneur easy
- A list of additional resources and content that could come in handy
It’s by no means exhaustive, but a starting point of things to consider. If you’ve grown a trusting and engaged audience, have a track record of content and now want to include brands and their messages in the conversion, these are some key guidelines to position you for success.
- Remain truthful
Remain true to your content and your audience. Your unique creativity is how you developed your audience. Make sure your branded content is relevant to your audience, even though this might mean turning away certain brands. Growing and sustaining your audience is the only sustainable way to grow as a brand collaborator.
- Sell value, not reach
We’ve seen so many influencers pitch their reach to brands, only to be shown the door. With the thousand pound gorillas of Facebook and Google in the room, reach is not an issue for brands, it’s the way that content has been created to extend the brand message to the right audience.
- Showcase your track record
For most marketers, there’s work to be done vetting a long list of potential KOLs into a shortlist of content that they can share with their brand. By making a showcase page or media kit easily available through links in your bio, you increase your chances of getting onto that shortlist.
- Share in the risk
Being precious about limiting what you’ll do in exchange for a product, fee, or combination of the two will scare off brands. Often, brands are “dating” a number of influencers to ultimately find and grow their long term ambassadors. Just by going the extra mile on content, engagement and additional posts will differentiate you from the crowd.
- Put lines in the water
Given the rapid growth in the industry, there are a number of influencer platforms that offer accessibility to brands and marketers. Create profiles on a number of these. Our favourites are Famebit, Tapinfluence, and ourselves, of course.
Pitching a proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org might help you sleep easier at night, but it’s not going to earn you that next cheque. Networking digitally and IRL with the brand strategists, buyers and other influencers. Often, the marketing or brand decision maker is a person who loves creative content as much as you do, if they don’t already follow you.
David Ogilvy had twenty tips to win clients. Given that you’ve started in the same place as he did, with a single idea to inspire audiences, you might find these tactics applicable to your efforts, too.
Let us know what tips you have that have found to be handy in the career of digital creator. Next time, we’ll share insights on our favourite software that will help you run your business as a digital entrepreneur.