We recently discussed some things that brands really want you to know in this blog post, but today we wanted to provide you with a few action items for you to think about as you partner with brands. There seems to be quite a bit of mystique between brands and influencers: both sides are wondering what the other is doing and thinking. We’re here to help break down those barriers and create meaningful partnerships that are successful and transparent! One question we get a lot is what are brands actually looking for, or what do they consider a successful partnership? Why do they go back to certain influencers time and time again?

First of all, if you aren’t sure how a brand is going to measure success, simply ask! Get on a quick phone call and clarify the goals. Easy enough, right? You’ll be surprised at how happy brands are to hear that you’re thinking this way. What are the kinds of things that brands consider a successful partnership and why do they go back to influencers for more work? Here are some of the things we’ve heard:

  • Affiliate Program Sales: Not all brands do this, but affiliate sales are a way to measure the success of an influencer partnership. We believe this doesn’t always tell the whole story, so make sure to include some intangible measurements too (more info on that here)
  • Beautiful Content: Simple enough! Some brands partner with influencers just to help create a steady stream of high-quality content that they can share across their own social channels.
  • Reach or Customer Acquisition: The hard numbers! Certain brands measure the success of a partnership by tracking the increase in followers on their social accounts, or the number of views the piece of content gets.
  • Changing the Conversation: Brands will partner with experts in a specific area to position their brand as a thought-leader on a certain topic {e.g. the importance of organic farming}. Getting someone else to tell your story for you in an authentic way is the true power of influencer marketing.
  • Authenticity: This might seem like an ambiguous measurement, but we’re hearing from brands again and again that partnerships with influencers who are authentic is incredibly important. This means someone who endorses products they believe in and use on a regular basis {plus someone that doesn’t flip flop between endorsing similar brands within a category, depending on who’s paying}. A person who has real, two-way conversation with their readers and followers is valuable.
  • Overdeliver: Go above and beyond for the brands that you’re working with! Brands will come back to you for more work when they know that you’ll give them added value and are a true partner. While we recognize the importance of being valued and compensated for your work, sometimes charging for “every little thing” feels more like a transaction than a relationship. In what ways are you willing to be a true partner?
  • Enjoyable to Work With: Simple, but so true! We all like to work with good people who make our job fun and partnering with brands is no different. We’ve definitely heard from brands who are frustrated working with influencers they feel like are hard to reach and they constantly have to chase down or remind about projects. How can you make their lives a little bit easier?
  • Timely and Responsive: Brands are often working on quick turnarounds and tight deadlines, so being timely with the content and measurement you provide helps you stand out as a reliable person to work with. It’s still important for you to ask for what you need, which sometimes means that unreasonable deadlines or asks can’t be fulfilled, just be sure to communicate that upfront.

We’d love to know: what do you consider a successful partnership as a brand or as an influencer? 

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