Tips on Budgeting

Our two cents about campaign budgets.

Knowing what to spend on an influencer marketing campaign can be very challenging because there are so many different ways to measure success / assets gained.

Not only can influencer marketing help you achieve brand recognition and drive sales (among others), but it can also provide you with a depth of high quality content to use for your own channels.

You should be thinking of campaigns as achieving two things:
1 – marketing goals (awareness, sales, etc)
2 – content for your own business uses (images, videos, blogs)

Most campaigns achieve both of the above, but sometimes campaigns are run solely for one or the other.

Your first decision is to decide which of these you want to achieve, or perhaps both.

The information below will help you decide what your budget should be based on each type of campaign.

Content Creation Budgeting

Content comes in the form of images & videos, but the most common is images.

Content creation is a big part of influencers work, especially with the changing times we are facing post-COVID, with brands not being able to organize traditional photo shoots with dozens of people.

Sending creators products for them to shoot, or inviting them to experience something in real life (hotels, cuisine, adventure to name a few) are all great examples of ways brands are using creators to obtain content.

Content creation is most commonly built into a traditional influencer campaign, since it is the most economical in terms of the spend on products and the resources used to manage the campaign.

For example:
– 3 month campaign → deliverables = 1 post per month + 10 extra images sent to brands

These images come at a reduced cost in comparison to the posting component of the contract.

You may pay $350 for one post but $25 per image for extra content for ex.

These images come in handy in today’s content centric world.

You can use them:
– in email campaigns
– on your own social media accounts
– on your website
– on printed marketing materials, anywhere you need really, so long as you have full access rights. If a particular influencer doesn’t agree to full rights, you will need to negotiate with them as to what those images can be used for.

Other campaigns are content only, meaning no creator is asked to post to their account. This is great for new brands getting ready to launch or new product lines. Generally brands hire creators of smaller followings for this purpose, even as small as 1k, because it’s the quality of the content that matters (read: great styling, photography & editing), not the following count.

These campaigns work really well because they can be a huge cost savings when compared to organizing a photoshoot yourself.

Cost breakdowns of a photoshoot:
– Hiring a photographer (day rate could be $500-1K+)
– Hiring 5 models (min $1000/day)
– Renting a venue (min $250/day)
Total $1750-2750

Compare this to hiring a few micro-influencers to send you 25 images each, which may cost you $300 per influencer.

Aside from the costs being lower, you also benefit from having diverse content instead of all of the photos looking the same, which can be very monotonous and lacking inspiration for your customers especially if you are using them for your social feed mostly.

Traditional Influencer Campaign Budgeting

Traditional influencer campaigns are those that are largely focused on having the creator share your brand with their audience.

The deliverables can include posts, stories, videos & blogs.

Knowing what you should pay boils down to a mix of:
1) your budget
2) your goals
3) standard industry averages for the deliverables you are looking for

Depending on where your business is, you can take one of the approaches below to assess what your budget is.

The data driven approach

To be scientific about it requires some data about your business, specifically your conversion rate based on whichever lead magnet you use.

For example, let’s say you are a clothing brand:
– For every 1000 impressions (views) of influencer content, 5 people click through to your website (0.5% CTR)
– 5 in every 100 website visits turn into a paying customer (5% conversion rate)
– your average customer spends $100
– if you want to see sales of $10,000, you need 100 customers
– in order to do this, based on the above rates, you need 400,000 impressions which leads to 2000 web visitors and 100 paying customers
– this means the value of each impression is $0.025
– you can then easily determine how many impressions you need based on the volume of sales you want to generate

You need to figure out what you can pay in order to gain those visitors based on your overhead and product costs, among other things.

Can you spend $1? $0.50?

That is something you need to analyze so that you are left with the profit margin you want to see.

You can then reverse engineer your campaign budget.

If you want to see sales of $10,000:
– you know that you need to achieve 400,000 impressions
– yielding 2000 web visitors
– and if you are willing to spend $1 per
– your campaign spend can be $2000

The same calculation can be done for any success metric you are hoping to achieve (also known as a key performance indicator, or KPI)
– ie. social followers
– downloads of a free guide
– webinar registrations
– click throughs to your website
– general impressions
– and more

Whatever method introduces customers to your brand also houses the information for how many conversions to paid customers occur and it is here that you will find out which method is the most effective and how much you can spend on your influencer campaign (or any marketing campaign for that matter).

If you’ve already run influencer campaigns that you’ve found successful, a great way to figure out what you paid per asset (post, image, video) is to simply take the total amount spent and divide by the assets you received in combination of influencer posted content and non-posted content supplied to you as well as KPI’s you were tracking.

The best guess approach
What if you are a new business or don’t have any of the above information yet?

Sometimes trial and error is the most accessible approach with influencer marketing, especially if you don’t have certain data.

The best part is that you can easily test with a handful of influencers and with a limited budget, so you gain data for the next round of decisions.

So, where to begin? Start by thinking about your own internal budget and how much you can allocate comfortably to marketing. According to recent studies, it’s common for brands to spend 25% of their digital ad budget on influencer marketing.

A general rule of thumb is that influencers charge around $200 per 10,000 followers for an Instagram Post, and $150 for an Instagram Story. These rates can fluctuate up or down based on a myriad of factors but that’s a good average.

Once you know how much you are comfortable spending in total, you can do a numbers based calculation based on industry standard assumptions:

Step 1 – Choose an influencer you’d like to work with or at least have in mind a following size you are hoping for.

For this example we will use someone with 50k followers.

Step 2 – Estimate the number of conversions that will occur (conversion to whichever success metric you are looking for – sales, sign ups, downloads, etc).

You can use the influencers reach numbers found on their momfluence profile to project the number of people that will see your content.

Once you know this, you need to multiply their reach by the % of people you think will convert. Use a conservative 1% value for the conversion rate until you have worked with the influencer and have evidence to increase it.

So for our ex., 50k followers, average reach of 5k (as found on their profile), 1% conversion = 50 conversions.

Now that you know you can get 50 people to do your desired outcome, you need to put a value on that customer.

Two key calculations are important for this step:

Lifetime value (LTV)
– what the average person spends over their time as your customer
Cost of acquisition (CAC) – how much you spend in order to gain a new customer

To take this example further, let’s say you are hoping they subscribe to your monthly pilates classes.

The monthly price is $29/month, the profit margin on that is 80%, and the average customer is a subscriber for 6 months, meaning the average lifetime value (LTV) is $29×6= $174x.80 = $139.20.

A good CAC ratio is 1:3, meaning you should aim to spend $1 on attaining a customer for every $3 you profit.

In our above pilates subscription example, $139.20/3 = $46.40, meaning you can spend up to $46.40 on each customer acquisition. Of course, the lower this amount spent the better, but it provides a guidepost.

To finish off the estimate, if you have calculated that 50 people will become subscribers, meaning you can spend up to $2320 on this influencer campaign.

Knowing this information you can start to think about what your goals are and how to best use influencers, in terms of their follower size, to achieve your goals. (See our blog for more on goals).

We always encourage brands to book a consultation with us at the beginning of your influencer marketing journey so we can help guide you with the best strategy for your objectives and budget. It’s our favourite thing to do so please feel free to reach out anytime, even if you are a seasoned pro.





An Overview on the Different Types of Content

Content Types Explained

There are quite a few options when it comes to deciding what you want your creators to produce (also known as the deliverables). From posts to content, stories, IGTV, blogs…it can be overwhelming and to be honest, it’s such a creative decision that there is no right or wrong answer.

This is one area that we love to consult with brands on so don’t hesitate to reach out so we can help you pick the best for your goals.

In the meantime, here is some information to get you started.

First, a distinction between the types of images that can be created:

Images/ Content refer to images you want for your own purposes, on social channels, websites, printed materials, etc. These images are not posted by the creator on their own accounts.

Post / Images refer to the content you want the creator to post on their own account. These images can also be used by you in the other ways mentioned above, but these are the images you specifically want the influencer to use in your sponsored posts.

Types of Content:

Instagram Post:

In-feed posts (static images) are the bread and butter of Instagram influencing, however there has definitely been a shift in recent years to incorporate a more balanced set of deliverables.

That being said, in-feed images are great for a few reasons:
They live on the account for much longer than stories
Many contracts state that the in-feed post must remain for at least 90 days post campaign but it’s also very common for it to state that it must not ever be deleted
They provide space for a much longer caption and as a result of that, much deeper storytelling about your products

The drawback of in-feed posts is that it can be hard to drive an action from them as there is no option to provide a direct link (unlike stories, where anyone with above 10k followers can provide a direct “swipe up”).

There are a few ways of ensuring in-feed posts are still effective:
Giving the creator a promo code to include in the caption
Having the creator change their bio link to your brand / product page
Having the creator use another bio link tool like Linkin.bio by Later which turns their bio link into a shoppable/ linkable feed (this is one of our favourite tips & tricks – it’s a great way to drive conversions)

Content (Images):

It is very common for creators to include some bonus shots from their content production efforts. This is often accompanied by the in-feed post that they are hired for but you can also request a set number of shots or run entire campaigns that are purely for content, rather than including the creator to post.

For ex., if you are launching your brand or a new product, a content creation only campaign can be a really affordable way to get a lot of different content that you can use on your own social channels and website.

Either way, it’s always a good idea to get some extra shots with each influencer campaign you do. Creators never have an issue providing these and they are so useful for you to have.

Stories:

Stories have quickly become one of the most popular features on Instagram. Even though they only last 24 hours, they can also be saved to a Story Highlight indefinitely which lives on the creator’s account page.

Stories are much less expensive than in-feed posts because creators often post 5 or more “stories” each day, meaning there is more real estate for sponsored content.

They have just as much reach as in-feed posts in many cases and some people run entire campaigns with stories as the only deliverable, especially when the creator has above 10k followers (meaning they have the swipe up feature).

A minimum set of story slides should be 2-3 as one story slide often isn’t enough of an opportunity for your brand or product to be explained. You should also ensure the creator is writing out captions as well (even if they aren’t word for word) because most people don’t listen to stories with sound on.

Videos:

In-feed video: Posting a video instead of a static image is a great way to increase reach, as everyone loves video! These can be up to 60 seconds in length. Make sure that the cover of the video is visually appealing to increase viewership even more.

IGTV: This is an underutilized tool that can be one of the best ways to get your product / brand exposure. IGTV’s normally live under a different tab and often there aren’t many options for people to scroll through, meaning your sponsored content would be highly visible to the creator’s followers.

The IGTV can also be posted in-feed, showing 60 seconds of it before the audience is prompted to resume watching by switching to full screen video.

Live: Having a creator host a Live is a great idea when it’s something that requires demonstration, more storytelling or the ability for audience members to ask questions about the product. It can also be great for showing the product in use for example in a cooking show type production. Live’s can also be shared to IGTV for a more permanent home so you get the benefit of having engaging content but also while being able to save it for future viewership.

Blog Post:
In addition to the types of content found on Instagram (mentioned above), there are also blog posts. Blogs are a great way to maximize the SEO reach of your content and provide evergreen content (meaning it stays available via search, especially because you can’t google search for IG posts). This can be tacked on to any social media campaign you run.





Determining your Rate

What should I charge?

One of the hardest decisions for any entrepreneur is determining the cost of their services, and this is no different for content creators. While there is an average range based on follower size, there are still wide disparities between two creators with the same following.

It’s important to have a set starting price for their posts, stories, blogs, etc., but the ultimate price is always negotiated on a per campaign basis as there are so many variables.

These include:
– Length of campaign (longer campaigns come with a discount)
– Deliverables required
– Timeline (premium is often charged for rush content)
– Gifted product value (or your desire for it)
– Affiliate pay / commission being offered

When deciding your price for each campaign, you should keep this formula as a starting point – $200 per post and $150 per story (or story set) for every 10k followers.

So if you have 5k followers your base rates would be $100 per post and $75 per story set.
If you have 20k followers your base rates would be $400 per post and $300 per story set.

Increasing your rate if you have really good engagement or you know you drive sales for your collaborations (and can show proof to the brand) is also acceptable.

Keep in mind the following factors which change from campaign to campaign:
– Props you would need to purchase
– Cost of shooting location if other than your home
– Amount of time editing
– Cost of professional photographer if you require one
– Exclusivity if requested by the brand

A word about exclusivity – some brands ask for exclusivity especially if they are in a category where it would be hard for the creator to authentically to promote two brands simultaneously (kitchen appliances or breast pump for ex.).

However, this is a cost that can also be prohibitive at times to smaller brands who have limited marketing budgets. If you enjoy working with a brand or really like what they are all about, honouring exclusivity even if they aren’t paying you for it not only helps your relationship with them but it provides a greater sense of authenticity to your audience.

There are cases, for example with beauty products or food items where it is very common to use more than one brand, that exclusivity should be something you are paid for if the brand is adamant.

You don’t want to lose out on brand deals while not being paid for exclusivity but you also want to show the brands you are currently working with that you value the relationship. It’s a fine line and one that should be based on each particular situation.





Influencer Marketing 101

If you’re new to influencer marketing it can be a somewhat daunting task. Where do you start? We’ve got you. It’s not as complicated as you think – you really just need to know a few key points to get you started. What’s a collaboration? How do you write a creative brief? Do you need a contract? All important questions that we’re going to cover in this post.

What is a collaboration?

A collaboration (or collab as it’s also known by influencers), is a co-operation between a brand and influencer to create content and exposure. It’s beneficial for both parties because it not only presents the influencer with new content for their feed and blog, but it also provides brands with content for social media, in addition to exposure for their brand. A collaboration can be paid or unpaid, but when paid, is often called a campaign. There are two kinds of collaborations, paid and gifted. Gifted campaigns are where the influencer is paid for their content only in product, and paid campaigns are obviously compensated on a rate/post basis, or a paid/content basis (more on this next). Often influencers have a set rate/post, but this can vary depending on how many posts or pieces of content that you are looking for. Building relationships with influencers you like for long term collaborations is always a good idea too.

What is content creation?

Content creation is a term used to describe when an influencer creates images specifically for a brands feed, not for posting. Brands go this route when they’re not looking for exposure from the influencers following, they’re just looking for content to post on their own feed. Often content creation is coupled with posting campaigns, so that a brand asks for maybe 10 images over the course of 2 months, and 2 posts. This amount and timeline can vary quite a bit depending on the project, but is a great option for brands who don’t have the time/energy to set up and style photoshoots. It’s also a great way to get a variety of styles of images without having to hire photographers, stylists, shoot locations, etc. All of which can end up being much more expensive and time consuming than hiring an influencer for content creation. The trick is to find content creators that are already creating the type of content you’re looking for, and then get them to create some with your product.

Should you pay for content?

This is a complicated question, but the simple answer is yes. The reason being quality. If you are looking at influencers with more than 5-10k followers, they are most likely being approached by quite a few brands, and their time is limited, so they will only be able to take on the best offers. Often brands think that their product will be enough payment, but you have to consider that the influencers time/talent is valuable, and you’re also paying for the time they’ve spent building their following, and the experience they have creating content. When brands just send a product and hope they get great photos they are often disappointed, because the influencer may not be motivated to create amazing content for a gifted collaboration when they have other paid collaborations that are taking their focus. This is especially true for products that they don’t necessarily need. The exception to this is when the influencer really wants your product, because then they’ll be more motivated to work with you, in the hopes that maybe they will work with you in the future and start a long term collaboration that is beneficial for both parties.

How should you approach influencers?

Often we forget that influencers are just people like the rest of us. Most of them have their email right in their Instagram bios, so check there first, and then if you can’t find their email address there, check the contact on their website, or send them a direct message. Email is always preferable to DM (because some of them will get SO many DMs), so opt for email wherever possible. When emailing an influencer, be sure to highlight why you’d like to work with them, what your product is, what you’re offering, and what you’re looking for. The more clear you can be, the better.

How to write a creative brief

The depth that your creative brief needs to have can vary quite a bit, but in general, the more detailed you can be, the more likely it is that you’ll get the type of content that you’re looking for. Include the amount of images/stories you require, what your timeline is, whether you want to approve content or not, and what kind of images you’d like. Always provide example images if possible – even providing images from the influencers own feed that you like can be helpful so that they know what kind of image you’re looking for. On the momfluence.co platform we walk you through a detailed campaign builder so that building a top notch creative brief is easy peasy. See our post on writing a great brief here

Do you need a contract?

In general we recommend having a contract. This makes both you and the influencer accountable, and makes it very clear what the expectations are. On momfluence.co we have built contracts into our creative briefs to make this simple for you so that you never need to write your own contract, but can edit it when there is need to. Because who really wants to write a contract (other than maybe lawyers!?).

Have more questions? Feel free to email us at [email protected]!





How to use Influencers to Supercharge your marketing efforts

Marketing is common sense in a lot of ways but the digital tools that exist today to help you get your goods or service to the people who need it are numerous and at times, complex. This post will help you understand a few of the common ways that influencers can help you in your marketing efforts. At the end of the day, the winner in business is the one who can market themselves in the smartest & most efficient way possible. Let’s make sure that’s you!

Anything on marketing almost always mentions the “funnel”.  The funnel is meant to help you visualize how your customers become customers. Specifically, how they move from not knowing about your brand at all, to having your services in their cart. The concept of the funnel has been around since 1898. While the world is infinitely different than back in the day, humans are hard-wired to behave in certain ways and the marketing funnel is still very accurate in relation to the thoughts behind every purchase.

Influencer marketing helps with every stage of the funnel and it’s important that when you plan your campaigns, that you think about each of these stages and how the collaboration targets each one. Most people tend to think of activating influencers for the sole purpose of including a direct link for customers to purchase something, but this would be an ineffective strategy because so much of the conversion process has been skipped over.

Let’s use a couple of examples to illustrate how each stage of the funnel is covered through a campaign, often simultaneously. The most common types of businesses either sell a good or a service so I’ll use an example of each.

Good/Product – For this example, we will use the beautiful and minimally designed Young Lux tableware for kids. This bamboo collection definitely deserves a spot on baby registries everywhere!

Finding a team of influencers (let’s say 10 for the sake of this example) to gift a tableware set with the following caveats can ensure they help potential buyers through their discovery process:

Awareness – can be achieved by asking each influencer to make a post of the plates in use and talking about why they like them (ie. design, eco-friendly bamboo). The reason that the influencer likes them should be tied to the theme of their account – ie. fashionista Mama’s should be focussing on the design since that’s what their audience values, and the eco-friendly Mom should focus on the materials used (which seems like common sense, but worth mentioning). Having the influencer site their issues with the current children’s tableware options (they are too colourful and don’t match minimalist home decor, or are made with potentially harmful plastics) can identify an issue that people are experiencing.

Interest/Evaluation – In the above post, tagging Young Lux’s own Instagram account will direct interested consumers (aka. warm leads) to the brand’s own account to learn more about the products. Also the use of a unique hashtag for this campaign (ex. #lovinyounglux) can enable people to quickly see what others are posting about the brand.

Sale/Commitment – a second post can be done within a couple of weeks by the same influencers that offers some sort of special discount or offer that can be directed to within the caption using a promo code/affiliate link.

Service – When I was living in Toronto, I had the pleasure of meeting Nikki Bergen and taking her pilates classes. They were hard but she was so lovely that it counteracted the exhaustion and made me look forward to the weekly torture, I mean class. The Bump Method (Online version or in person) is a specific class/set of exercises dedicated to pregnant or post-partum women. The classes can be taken at a variety of studios in the Toronto area or can be accessed for a fee online. Momfluencers (as we here at Momfluence affectionately call them) are the best demographic for her to recruit & grow her audience.

Awareness – Nikki’s main educational component related to The Bump Method relates to how pregnancy can weaken your core. Her solution to regaining that strength is of course her classes. Having a team of pregnant or post-partum influencers discuss the issues they are trying to prevent or have experienced related to a weaker core is a great way to get women in a similar position relating to the issue.

Interest & Evaluation – A second post could be a video clip of the women doing the online class for example and giving their feedback in review format (IGTV style perhaps) after doing the classes for several weeks. Of course, linking to The Bump Method’s own IG channel directs interest so they can see more about the problem and solution provided.

Sale/Commitment – Lastly, the influencers could post an invite to their pregnant/post-partum followers to join them in doing an online class at a specific time; a virtual communal class to encourage conversation post class. Having the influencers post a link for the audience to purchase access to the class would drive sales right from Instagram and encourage engagement for the influencer at the same time.

A lot of times, influencer marketing can be incredibly direct and efficient by hitting on all stages in one post. But rarely do people buy something the first time they see it, in fact it can take up to 7 times before someone is ready to make a purchase. Having the influencer campaign span a few posts, or even making it a long term collaboration spanning many months with specific influencers, can be the best strategy to gradually hit on every psychological aspect we as humans go through in our buying decisions.

Want to dive deeper into how the marketing funnel can be optimized for your particular business? Check these out for some incredibly helpful insights & tips.

Comment below if you need a quick strategy to best use influencers for your business!

Have more questions? Feel free to email us at [email protected]





How Momfluence Makes Influencer Marketing Easy

People now spend more time on social media than they do TV. I know that’s true for most of the people in my life, heck most of them don’t even own a TV anymore, and even fewer pay for cable!

In the pre-social media days, most people’s exposure to advertising was through TV commercials. Now, these same companies are moving away from traditional media and towards digital marketing. The number of e-commerce only businesses has also grown exponentially and the focus of most of these companies ad spend is on social media, whether that’s paid ads or influencer campaigns.

The benefit of this is that digital marketing, in particular on social channels, is extremely effective; studies show that the return can be as much as $6.50 for every $1 spent. It is also much easier to evaluate the ROI compared to the old fashioned method where impressions (views) were the gold standard of metrics. Marketing on social media goes way beyond how many eyeballs see your sponsored content (although it does measure that too!) and can even get down to the nitty gritty of which influencer resulted in what $ amount of revenue. Pretty exciting for number crunching fanatics like myself!

Paid ads on social media or influencer marketing (IM) both have their own strengths and when combined, are undebatably powerful in growing your brand. What’s also not debatable is how complicated and overwhelming all of this can seem to manage…especially if you are a small business wearing every hat in the company already. Throwing this into the hopper can take away from the other important tasks of actually running the business, which would defeat the entire purpose of expanding your reach to begin with.

With this conundrum in mind, and with the obvious potential of IM to be a huge benefit to so many companies, Mel and I were inspired to provide a solution. We started momfluence.co as two Mom’s looking to facilitate a mutually beneficial collaboration between companies and influential Mom’s (Momfluencers, as we affectionately call them). We wanted to create a platform that was not only easy on the eyes but most importantly the wallet. We wanted to develop something that would help with the most challenging aspects of social marketing. According to a State of Influencer Marketing 2019 survey, these were the biggest challenges brands faced when thinking about starting an influencer marketing campaign.

…..Momfluence.co to the rescue!

The biggest challenge was unsurprisingly finding the right influencer. A campaign’s success largely depends on getting this initial step right. There are so many things to think about when approaching an influencer and it can be a very tedious process if your go-to method is simply perusing Instagram and DM’ing everyone who seems like they have potential. Efficiency is the name of the game for nailing the best IM strategy, which is why momfluence.co has a number of unique filters and searchable keywords (above and beyond the typical follower count, price range, etc) to help you locate the influencer who has true alignment with your brand. Do you want a Momfluencer with a toddler who enjoys camping and charges around $150/post? Or are you looking for someone who lives in California, is getting married this year and also mentioned your brand in her “favourite brands” list? We can help you find her, whoever your dream Momfluencer is.

There are a lot of details to be ironed out once you have hired the right influencers. Making sure everyone is on the same page to avoid disappointment and setting up the most efficient way to handle shipping the product, content approvals and viewing final submissions can all take up time! The momfluence.co platform streamlines everything, making sure every step from campaign brief to downloading the final content is done in an organized fashion. No moments of second guessing if you are doing this whole influencer marketing thing correctly, we’ve got you covered.

There are a lot of reasons to use the momfluence.co platform, but the reason that we hope you decide to join our platform is because we have built our platform with the busiest of people in mind and because we know anyone adding Influencer Marketing into their busy work life is already hustling and doesn’t have time for failures or short comings. We really believe in what momfluence can do and we can’t wait to work with you!

Have more questions? Feel free to email us at [email protected]!





How to Move Out of the Influencer Marketing Friend Zone

The influencer marketing world was dominated by the gifted method for many years. Influencers were thrilled to be getting free product and would happily post to their account in exchange. But with the evolution of the influencer role and the number of brands now hopping on the train, Influencer has become a true profession, one where money can be made, enough money that many influencers have left their day jobs. The number of followers that it usually takes in order to make leaving your 9-5 a viable option is around 50k, but that isn’t to say that you can’t earn a decent buck long before you hit this number.

When you are first starting out, building your following and dipping your toes into sponsored content, it is quite the norm to be doing these posts as gift only. There is nothing wrong with this and is totally the norm, especially for the 0-2k follower range. Especially when you consider the sheer number of Instagram users (1 billion active monthly) and the % of those that have substantial followings (60 million accounts have between 10-50k). At this point, collaborating with brands on a gift basis probably feels like you are having your cake and eating it too. Everyone, even Oprah, likes free stuff. But as your following grows and sponsored content becomes more feasible, pretty soon you won’t be wanting to do this for product only. At the end of the day, things can’t pay your rent (especially since it’s very taboo to sell of any of the gifted items) and you are really providing huge value to the brands, value that should be recognized and honoured.

Good news is that just because your relationship with a brand starts out on a non-paid basis, this doesn’t mean it can’t evolve. Here’s how to move out of the friend zone into the paid collab world:

Go above and beyond.

Right off the hop when starting with sponsored content, make it part of your MO to give the brand more than they ask for. Did they want 2 posts and 10 images for their own channels? Add an extra mention in a story and send them 12 images. Showing them that you are genuinely trying to help them achieve their marketing goals gives them the warm & fuzzies and makes them want to re-hire you in the future. It also makes it feel like more of an authentic relationship to them, rather than just something you are doing for the pay day.

Be easy & pleasant to work with.

Even if you aren’t being paid in the beginning, treat your collaboration with professionalism. For a brand, their product has monetary value (they paid for it after all) so even though no money is changing hands, they do still feel like they’ve given something and have expectations to how you treat the effort you put forth. The brand has chosen to work with you because they love what you are doing on your own channel or love your ability to capture great moments, so coming forth with suggestions is always welcome. Keeping in mind that the brand often has directives from higher ups that need to stick to certain creative requirements, so don’t take offence if your ideas are tempered, but it’s nice for the brand to feel like you are genuinely trying to get the most for them out of the campaign. Be nice, above all. No one wants to work with a prima donna.

Demonstrate how you’ve brought them value.

It’s a good idea once a campaign is over to send a follow up thanking the brand and sending some of your post specific metrics. Don’t just rhyme off how many likes & comments you received, they can do this themselves. But highlight the engagement and conversation with interested consumers that you had. Show them a few screen shots of DM’s that came to you as a result of the posts. Show how you really acted as a true ambassador above and beyond simply adding the post to your feed. If you are using momfluence.co for your collabs, brands will automatically receive insights into the value you have added (all the more reason!)

Be responsive.

If you are actively working on a campaign, you need to be very timely in your responses to emails & messages. Realistically, it shouldn’t take you more than a few hours to get back to them, at the very longest 24 hours. If you are having issues of any sort related to the product, ie. wrong fit physically, turns out to be off brand for you, whatever the issue is, be up front about it. You are an important part of the brand’s business, whether you are being paid or just gifted, so respect the intention behind the relationship. Problems can always be remedied but it’s best to be open and on top of them, rather than avoiding them hoping they will go away (they don’t).

Ask for it!

Just like most things in life, you only get what you are brave enough to ask for. Depending on a number of factors, you could get paid as much as $100 for every 10,000 followers you have. (This number per 10k tends to increase substantially around the 100k follower mark.) Don’t be concerned that you will turn the brand off by asking to be paid for your campaigns. If you are regularly working with them, producing great content and can show them how you are worth it in terms of the posts metrics, then proof is in the pudding. They may not have budget for paid campaigns at the time, especially if they are a newer brand, so walking away from the partnership may have to happen. Politely letting them know that you are no longer taking on any gifted campaigns but to keep you in mind when they have finances available is the best way to avoid burning any bridges.

On momfluence.co we show you which campaigns are gifted only or paid so you can choose which campaigns you apply for or know ahead of time if you receive an invitation. We believe in the value of both forms of campaigns but above all, we value you, the Influencer, and the amount of work that goes into producing amazing content.

If you consistently give more, show your worth, are a kind & considerate person and make sure to ask, we know you can increase your #paid content.

Do you have any good tips or personal experience transitioning from gifted to paid campaigns? Leave them below!

Have more questions? Feel free to email us at [email protected]!