Author: Dom Kelly

How To Apply To Brands

There are so many great campaigns published everyday on influence.co, and we want all of the influencers in our community to get the most out of these opportunities with amazing brands. Brands are having to go through dozens of applications with most campaigns, so it’s up to influencers to do whatever they can to stand out among the rest.

Beyond that, brands report low quality applications to us, and an influencer’s ability to reply to brands will based on the ongoing quality of applications. With all that said, here’s a checklist you can use to make sure you’re always submitting a quality application that will not only get you noticed, but will ensure that you continue to have the ability to apply to all the campaigns you want.

  1. Read the campaign brief – This may seem obvious, but sometimes brands ask for specific things in your application, so reading the description and requirements of the campaign before you apply will ensure that you’re not skipped over.
  2. Submit a unique application – It may be tempting to copy and paste the same canned response to your applications over and over again, but this comes across as spammy and insincere. Talking about why you want to work with that particular brand, sharing insights about your previous work that may be relevant to that particular brand, and being thoughtful about your response will be better off for you as an applicant.
  3. Link to past work – While brands can easily click into your profile to see your past work, it’s always a good idea to include any links to photos, content you’ve created, press you’ve garnered, etc. when submitting your application. Showing off your work is essential in starting a working relationship with brands.

To help clarify, here is an example of a bad application:

Clearly, the application above lacks any substance. There’s nothing specific about why this person is applying to work with this brand, there are no links to past work or press clippings, and it comes across as insincere.

Now, here’s an example of a good application:

It only takes a little bit of time and effort to make sure you’re submitting a thoughtful and high quality campaign, and it’ll be well worth it in the end.

What are topics?

We’ve thought long and hard about how to create a valuable community at influence.co that’s focused on encouraging professional development and fostering more authentic relationships, and we felt that enabling members to choose topics to post to would help spark engaging discussions. Here are examples of what we see being posted in each topic.

Advice

This topic was created to provide a forum where influencers, businesses, and industry professionals of all sizes and experiences could give and seek advice from peers. Are you a newer influencer looking to authentically grow your audience from scratch? Posting in the “Advice” topic would be a great way to leverage the experience of more established influencers. Or maybe you’re a business owner and you don’t know how to reach out to influencers? Use the “Advice” topic to gain valuable experience from other businesses who have talked to dozens of influencers.

Best Practices

There are all sorts of collaborations that form on influence.co, and there are different methods to making them successful. “Best Practices” is a place to share those methods and discover what has worked best for others. One business may have found that having a weekly meeting with an influencer for an ongoing collaboration has been effective, and this topic would enable them to share that. Or, an influencer may have a way they organize their deliverables for a partner and feels that it would benefit others in the community. “Best Practices” should foster higher quality content and ultimately better collaborations.

Introductions

This is exactly what it implies – a place to introduce yourself to the community! How long have you been on influence.co? In what area do you have the most influence? What are you looking to gain by being a part of the influence.co community? Let others know who you are and make even more meaningful connections.

Meetups and Events

If you’re looking to network with other community members in person, choose the “Meetups and Events” topic to organize your offline meeting. If you’re in Atlanta and want to organize a meetup with other Atlanta influencers, here’s your space to do it. Or, maybe you’re a business with an event coming up and you want to recruit some community members to come? It’s so important in our online world to make in-person connections, and we want to give you the space to build those.

Money

It may seem a little taboo to talk openly about money, but with it being an unavoidable part of our industry, we know our members need a place to discuss it. If you’re a business and don’t know what kind of budget to set for a campaign, choose the money topic to gain insight from others who have done it. If you’re an influencer and are trying to negotiate a rate with a business for a brand new collaboration, others influencers may be able to guide you in how to navigate that negotiation.

News

Want to share some exciting news from within the influencer industry? Choose this topic to share links to news sources and stay up to date with all the stories coming out in our industry everyday.

Props

There are so many influencers and businesses doing great work everyday, and we know everyone wants to show that off! This is a chance to give props to someone in the community who’s created something great. Businesses specifically, this is a great way for you to show off the incredible content your influencers have created for you.

Self-Care

Mental health is extremely relevant in the influencer industry right now, and everyday, more and more people are starting to discuss their struggles openly online. We know how much pressure influencers are under, so we want to create an open and supportive community where everyone can share what’s on their minds, encourage each other to practice self-care, and work together towards building a healthier industry.

Tech & Tools

Have a software you love using to edit your images? Want to share the best tips and tricks you’ve learned using different technologies to create better content for brands? “Tech & Tools” is your way to share about what’s helped you do what you do best.

One last thing…

Please remember to thoroughly read our Posting Policy before making a post to the community.

Influence.co Community Posting Guidelines

Influence.co is a global community for influencers, businesses, and industry leaders to encourage professional development and connect and collaborate with like-minded people both online and offline. We encourage all types of people to use the power of this community to elevate their careers and become better at influencer marketing, and we believe an open forum will only embolden this.

That said, being a diverse community of people from all backgrounds, it’s important that we cultivate a respectful, encouraging environment. For that reason, the following behaviors will not be tolerated in the influence.co community:

  • Hate speech
  • Harassment
  • Racism and xenophobia
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia and transphobia
  • Inciting or encouraging violence
  • Promoting illegal activity

We are not interested in non-authentic methods of building an audience such as follow for follows, shout for shout, comment pods, etc. Any posts or comments that encourage this type of activity are strictly prohibited. Self-promotion is also not allowed. We want our members to create value in our community, and these kinds of posts take away from that mission. Spammy behavior such as promoting the sale and/or purchase of fake followers, sharing affiliate marketing links, buying, selling or trading items, and link dropping on posts are also not allowed.

The Influence.co Community Team will delete any posts that do not adhere to these guidelines. Additionally, if a user repeatedly violates this policy, the Influence.co Community Team reserves the right to remove their ability to post and, in extreme cases, remove them from the site altogether.

We value each and every one of our community members, and we encourage all questions, comments, and feedback to help us improve your experience. We hope that all of our members will engage in valuable and encouraging discussions with one another, and we just ask that you keep these positive values in mind when posting and commenting:

  • Remain polite
  • Respect other people’s opinions
  • Stay on topic
  • Treat each other with kindness
  • Be transparent and honest

Together, by adhering to these guidelines, all community members can help each other find their influence.

Why Instagram’s Like Count Ban Is Actually A Great Thing For Influencers

Recently, Instagram has started testing hiding “vanity metrics” on posts for users in a handful of countries. It’s being called the “Instagram like count ban” online. The platform argues that getting rid of publicly-visible like counts and video views on posts will help “reduce pressure” and encourage people to focus more on the quality of the photos and videos they share, rather than “how many likes they get.” Instagram also has a renewed focus on how the platform affects users’ mental health, and they believe this change will be a step toward positively improving users’ well-being online.

For those in the influencer marketing industry, the news headlines in the wake of this testing probably seem pretty scary. Many people are wondering what, if any, effect this will have on influencers, with some going so far as to speculate that this could be a devastating shift to the industry.

Don’t worry about the hype

Scare tactics and sensational headlines aside, there are some things to remember to help put this all into perspective. First, this is still being tested. Instagram hasn’t rolled this out completely, and for all anyone knows, they could decide not to move forward with the change after testing. Also, users can still see who liked and viewed their posts – they just can’t see likes and views on someone else’s. So while likes are important to show potential collaborators proof of audience engagement, there are still ways to prove that metric outside of public view 

Most importantly, however, influencers need to remember that so much of the work comes from building relationships that turn into quality content. While follower count and engagement are important metrics that brands look at when deciding whether or not to invest time and resources into an influencer, the rapport you develop will always lead to a more lucrative partnership in the long run.

Building relationships

What can you, an influencer, do to build stronger relationships with brands? For starters, you can go beyond just promoting a brand’s product and actually champion its mission. Is that sneaker brand you’re working with (or want to work with) putting out some cool content on their blog? Comment on it and let them know what you like about it. Share the content with your friends and family, and let them know the cool stuff that company is doing. Show the brand you care about their voice and the community they want to build, not just getting paid to promote their product.

Creating quality content is also an essential part of building lasting relationships. It’s not just about that taking that flawless shot or crafting a perfect caption. Let those you influence know why you care about the brand you’re working with. Make it personal; sharing more intimately with your audience about the partnership ultimately shows the brand you care. 

Take the lemons and make lemonade

Focusing on building lasting relationships with brands and creating genuine content are ways you can show brands that you’re worth the investment. Likes and video views will always be important, but there’s more to influencer marketing than “vanity metrics.” Show brands you care about the partnership on a deeper level, and the Instagram like count ban won’t matter.

Often times, great challenges bring about even greater opportunities. Scary headlines may tell you this change is a bad sign, but the truth is, it could actually be a great thing for influencers if we let it.