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What It’s Like To Be An Influencer: The Inside Scoop As Told by Amanda Jewell.

March 13, 2020

A Chat with an Influencer about Influencing

Influencers are the equivalent of celebrity endorsements, but for the internet of the 21st century. The beauty of them though is the fact that they don’t technically have to be “famous.” You can reach niche audiences that benefit you greatly just by collaborating with influencers with a following under 100,000. People trust smaller influencers too! It’s a next-door neighbor sort of mentality. While a big number of followers is still beneficial to a certain degree, the macro influencer is rising and here to stay. Even the local influencer is great for small or local brands like boutiques, hair salons, and personal brands. 

So, if you haven’t taken advantage of that, uh, wyd? Today we’re chatting with Austin based influencer and personal brand expert Amanda Jewell (check out her blog!) about everything influencer marketing, from her worst interaction with a brand to what they normally have prepared for her. If you’re thinking about hiring or working with an influencer, then keep reading! 

 

In your experience, what have brands wanted from you? What was that time commitment like? 

In the past brands have paid me to post a picture, or three, of myself and a specific product. I’ve worked with clothing brands, skincare products, electronics, you name it. Usually, you also are required to post Instagram stories and include a swipe up link. Between getting ready for pictures, finding a location, taking the pictures, editing them, and then posting the content, the time commitment can vary between 30 minutes to 4 hours. 

 

For marketing companies/brands looking to hire influencers, what materials do they normally have beforehand to give to you?

A lot of the times they will send a deck of what the brand is, what product you’re endorsing, and example content. Although, some companies do not have any marketing materials or official decks. Some marketing companies will also send you contracts to sign if there is compensation. 

There are also third-party companies that play the middle man between brands and influencers. I can go to a website where I find the brand deal, sign up for it through the site, and then handle all of the guidelines and payments.  

 

How do you know if a brand/marketing company is asking for a legit partnership and it’s not a scam? 

I will make sure that I am receiving this offer through a third party website, so I know it is legit. I can also tell when a brand is sketchy. Their website might be under-par, or they have typos in the email. 

 

What has been your worst partnership experience and why? 

Oh, this one is stupid. I signed up to do a holiday campaign with this men’s skincare line. I thought I would receive the product and take genuine pictures with my boyfriend and the skincare line.  

The week before the due date, I realized I never received a package with the skincare, and the deadline was right around the corner. When I looked at the guidelines, it said to post a STOCK image of the products and then to make a carousel of a picture behind it. I was baffled. 

I did not want to do the brand deal after finding this out. However, I had agreed to the guidelines before the third party showed me the requirements. So, I still had to post it and it was so embarrassing. I think it may have gotten 30 likes in one hour? 

 

What was the best experience you had and why? 

I have SO many amazing brand experiences. However, my favorite was last year. I really wanted a new mattress. However, I wanted to do a brand deal for it. I was lucky enough to partner with an amazing brand and they send me over $800 worth of bedding in exchange for a dedicated YouTube video and photographs for their socials. I love my bed now! The best mattress ever and I made some dope content for them.

 

Do you believe more brands reach out to influencers with a smaller but growing audience more than the influencers with a mass audience? 

No, I think brands are still very attracted to large numbers. I also do agree there is still a higher chance of conversion when you work with larger influencers for sales. 

However, a big perk with micro-influencers is that their audiences will trust them more so. It may not have the same ROI, it is still a great investment for brand awareness. 

 

Do you think there’s a certain “type” of macro-influencers that brands should stray away from or no? 

I think there are some dishonest people out there that happen to have a large following. But, I think brands should just try to work with influencers that align with their brand values. 

 

You have a blog + you’re active on other social platforms, do you think this makes you more appealing to brands? 

Yes. Having more streams of media or avenues for exposure is extremely appealing to brands. If they can pay one person and reach 5 social platforms, run with it. 

 

Have you ever partnered with a local brand/marketing company? (either online or in-person i.e. going to an Austin influencer event or a local brand influencer event) Do you know what the results of that were for the brand and for you? 

I one time went to an Outdoor Voices Influencer event. It was after SXSW last year and Ty Haney hosted an influencer dinner with Austin bloggers, professionals, friends, and even Maggie Rogers. 

 

What advice do you have for influencers that want to partner with brands or marketing companies? 

Build a media kit of your social media analytics, who you are, and what kind of content you can produce and then send it to companies. Reach out to the PR teams of brands you love and if they do not want to pay you, you could still exchange for product while you start out!

 

So there you have it. The good, the bad, the ugly. Influencer marketing really is here to stay, y’all, and it’s a great way to increase your brand awareness and expand your reach into different markets. If you’re wondering about holding an influencer exclusive event, partnering with one, or just interested in ways to spice up your marketing, we have experience in ALL. Dm us or feel free to contact us here, and let’s get your marketing to the next level.  

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