Brands can spend night and day building an audience and perfecting a marketing campaign that will raise brand awareness as well as sales. But almost nothing is as effective as tapping into someone else’s audience — namely, that of an influencer who reaches the same customer base as you do.
Established influencers can do wonders for your brand. Consider this: Rakuten Marketing found that eight out of 10 consumers buy something after they see it promoted by an influencer.
Unfortunately, the more popular the influencer, the harder it’s going to be to work with them. The influencers with the most followers are also the most sought-after, which means they can be extra picky when it comes to choosing the brands they work with. But it is possible to create a pitch they can’t ignore — if you put some heart into it. Here’s how.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
Before you can craft the perfect, can’t-be-ignored email to the influencer(s) of your dreams, you have to answer a few questions for yourself:
- What would you like the outcome of the collaboration to be?
- Is your main goal to improve exposure, engagement, reach or something else?
- How would you like to collaborate with the influencer? (Write a product review, post an image posing with the product, run a giveaway…)
- What is it about this influencer that makes you want to partner with them so badly?
- Is the influencer an ideal fit for your brand?
Once you’re clear on what you want from the collaboration, you can draft the pitch to (hopefully) make it happen.
Court Them a Little Bit
Instead of sending a cold email to an influencer who you’ve never had any contact with, put in some work to engage with them first. Get to know their feed and their audience; follow their posts for a while; comment on their content. Then, when you do email them, you’ll have some experience with their content, and you can use that to craft what you say. They probably won’t remember you, but that’s okay — you’ll show them that you’re familiar with what they post and that you know for sure you’d be a great brand-influencer match.
Influencers aren’t really concerned with what you’ll get out of the collaboration — they already know (they’ve built a job — or at least a side gig — on it!). Instead of discussing the perks for you, explain what they’ll get out of the deal. One thing that influencers love love love is a percentage of sales. For example, maybe they’ll get 10% of every sale made using the unique coupon code offered to their followers. They may also get free products or a discount code they can use on all future purchases.
Put Them in the Driver’s Seat
Influencers often prefer to create their own posts as much as possible instead of being told exactly what to do by the brand they’re collaborating with. In your collaboration offer, make it clear that they have a lot of creative freedom. Maybe you want a certain product featured or a specific branded hashtag used, but otherwise, they have free reign — they know their audience, and therefore, they know what’s best when it comes to the content that goes up. Also, keep this in mind: the influencer should be able to create the type of content that they do best. For some, that may be a YouTube video; for others, it could be an Instagram Story.
Set a Not-Too-Tight Deadline
Just like many influencers don’t want to feel out of control of their content, they also don’t want to feel rushed to create it. While you should set a deadline so you’re both on the same page about when the post needs to be published, make that deadline far enough in the future that the influencer has time to schedule you in and put work into the content. If they don’t think they can meet an around-the-corner deadline, they may say “no” to the entire pitch.
Don’t Skip Over the Money Conversation
Influencers of all sizes usually need some type of payment. For tiny, just-getting-started influencers, they may just want the product for free. For influencers with huge followers and high engagement, they’ll need to be paid. You can ask the influencer for their rates, or you can state what you’re willing to pay (assuming you have an idea of the going rates for that size of influencer). But don’t completely skip over any mention of money — talking about payment will show the influencer that you’re serious about working with them and that you understand what it takes to collaborate.
Keep it Short and Sweet
Nobody wants to read a bloated email that says a little in a lot of words. Influencers get a lot of proposals every day, and if yours looks long-winded and like the details are buried, it could get skipped over entirely. Be clear and concise when outlining your ideas, and continue to trim the email down until it has just what’s necessary (with some personalization and character, of course). If you need help simplifying your writing, use the free Hemingway editor — it’ll make your email more readable and to-the-point.
One Last Thing: Be the Unique Butterfly of a Brand You Know You Are
You can easily Google “influencer outreach template” and find a bunch to fill in and send off. This isn’t going to stand out from the crowd, though. Plus, if you don’t have a cookie-cutter brand — and the influencer you’re hoping to work with doesn’t have a cookie-cutter social media feed — why go the boring route with a standard template?
Write your outreach emails from scratch. Then, if you should find one or two that work exceptionally well, create your own custom template.
Ready to find Instagram influencers and reach out about collaborating? We think you are — good luck, and let us know how you do!
Brian Meert is the CEO of AdvertiseMint, the #1 Hollywood-based digital advertising agency that specializes in helping successful companies advertise on Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Tiktok. AdvertiseMint has managed millions of dollars in digital ad spends in entertainment, fashion, finance, and software industries. Brian is the author of the best selling, The Complete Guide to Facebook Advertising, a member of the Forbes Agency Council, and a thought leader and speaker.