Five Steps to Build Your Brand With Influencers (and Double Your Return)
You’ve heard of influencer marketing and social media campaigns. You’ve perhaps dabbled in the concept or maybe even led full blown campaigns once, twice, or regularly.
You’re concerned about your strategy, your structure, your systems. You’re concerned about the experience and/or how you present the product your offering.
You’re worried about picking the right influencers, increasing your results, growing engagement, growing profits, and return on investment all at the same time.
You’re afraid of missing out on the influencer marketing that is here to stay, but you equally worried about cash flow, paying the bills, as well as the results they will (or won’t deliver)....
Yet you are more afraid of not getting your story, your experience, and your brand out there, so you hang on through the process.
You are still reading because… because deep down inside you know there has to be a better way to build your brand and find the right influencers for long term results (elevate energy, exponential exposure, save time, delay cash outlay, and make more money long term).
What if you offered experiences to truly connect, create and cultivate?
What if influencers shared their experiences as part of your tribe?
What if you invested in not only their social exposure, but their growth?
What if you made momentum with them easily with pre to post event content?
What if you decreased or delayed cash outlay upfront with engaging experiences?
What if you developed a long term relationship with influencers with collab options?
What if you offered long-term annual collaborations with volume discounts and awards?
What if their followers got used to seeing your brand because of your relationship?
What if you promoted an entrepreneurial influencer model?
What if you offered bonuses for actual results?
What if you offered incentives like press trips, course creation and more?
Imagine the return…
Imagine the results…
It is possible to create it. How do I know?
Because I took ALL the education and experience from industries and brands served,
and we did just that.
How did we do it?
I figured it was time to share it to serve others.
This is Part I of a Two Part Series.
Here, you will learn how to set up the foundation.
I’m going to say, right up front, this article will involve you to take time to get clear on your story, take action in each of the five steps, and will involve math.
I will equip you how to do this step by step so you feel equipped and empowered.
This will save you a ton of time, heartache, and money!
This took myself and the team 1.5 years to get to.
In the upcoming feature, we will have StoryTeller Team Founder sharing How to Inspire with Influence!
Plus keep reading for more insight and bonuses!
In Part 2 (coming in August),
you will go from the foundation to stability and growth.
You will learn How to Create a Community with Influencers for Long Term Exponential Results (Think 10X+)
So, make sure you subscribe with us!
I understand exactly how you feel. As a prior corporate executive an avid entrepreneur for all my life (all side hustle until 2011), I’ve found myself feeling confused about who I was, what I wanted, and how to fully serve others with a team.
This came to a head in 2014. This was when I first personally experienced the power of story, sharing, and social media. By sharing my story on social media via Facebook, my “side hustle” at the time with #1 Global Herbalife Nutrition brand resulted in 25X growth. I realized WOW - there is truly something here with story sharing, transformation, influence, and social media.
At the time, I had both a consulting company - Inclusivitie I had created in 2011 that was nearing six figures, and now nutrition. I found myself in a similar full-time/side-hustle situation yet again.
Like many entrepreneurs, I found myself confused about my passion, purpose, people and profits. I dove deep into my spirit, soul, mind and body to truly create the life and business I wanted, the people we wanted to serve, and the influencers we wanted to connect with.
I then began to truly recognize and realize what if... what if… my entire life had built up to this very moment.
I am exactly who you are and where you are in many ways. We’ve worked with influencer marketing models ranging from product and lifestyle integration to experiences to full influencer integration into our lifestyle brand - FIT Life Creation - an all in one lifestyle brand! We’ve gotten results up to 70%+ responses on collaborations to extending collaborations and reach 10X (with one post!) over 3-5 months!
At the same time, just like many of you, I face fears daily to be seen, build our brand, and create community! We live in a world now with more noise than ever! SalesForce recently reported it takes 6-8x now before people take action!
Simply put, what I will show and tell you will take your influencer marketing (and your return to a whole new level).
What entrepreneur or brand
doesn’t want that?
Let’s start creating from the beginning!
Five Steps to Build Your Brand
(And Double Your Return)
Are the five foundational steps that are directly related to the results of
influencer marketing and your campaign returns.
If you consistently focus on any or all of these steps, you will exponentially increase the results of your influencer marketing campaigns.
WIN WIN COLLABORATIONS
CREATE AND CULTIVATE
Featured Influencers: @thesocialgirltraveler @travellushes @light.travels @postcardstoseattle
Step 1: FIND RIGHT INFLUENCERS
This can single handedly make or break your entire influencer marketing initiative or campaign. Econsultancy and Grin recently reported that 73% of marketer’s biggest problems are identifying with the right influencer.
So, clearly no one is alone in this.
So, how can you find the right ones?
It starts with you.
It starts with the brand.
When we started our influencer press army at FIT Life Creation, I became increasingly clear on all of this, and constantly evaluate it. I realized we represented an all in one lifestyle transformation with health + wealth + business, and that the best influencers would exhibit positivity, bright colors (pink, blue, green, white), health, wealth, business, lifestyle, travel, and giving them back. From one angle, this is quite a lot. However, it gives us a wide range of “ideal influencers” with the demographic targets we want.
Speaking of ideal influencers, the other thing that is very important to us (and should be to you too) is working with positive, creative, value driven, and grateful influencers.
I don’t know about you, but I became an entrepreneur and brand builder so that I could also create and cultivate a community I love. Your influencers are a huge part of that.
As many of us have experienced in working for others, as well as for ourselves, it is much more pleasurable to work with high vibe, grateful, and value mindful people. I recommend this is non-negotiable in influencer marketing, just like any other endeavor.
We did not become entrepreneurs to be miserable, now did we?
Ask yourself would this person be a great friend to you?
Who do you want on your team?
Now that we’ve set up the foundation for you and your brand, energy you exert, and the influencers you want, let’s get clear on ways to find them!
This is literally the step by step process on how we started (hashtags first and direct emails to influencers)! Now, we list on multiple platforms and get influencers applying to campaigns directly! This alone can save you 10-25 hours a week easily!
While we now use multiple platforms, I still pay attention to who is engaging with me and the brand so don’t leave this by the wayside! You may still find influencers that are great the old school way!
We are always looking at various influencer platforms as they have various business models that give us ideas on insight and innovation! I recommend you do too!
Like anything else in life, some fit and some don’t! That is perfectly okay!
Now, that we know how find influencers, let’s create win win collaborations!
Step 2: WIN WIN COLLABORATIONS
A Win Win Win Collaboration is one where the brand gets exponential results, the influencer creates amazing content their audience loves, and the audience and client gets something they love and want!
So, how do we create WIN WIN or Triple WIN Collaborations?
First, let’s get clear on the types of collaboration’s that exist.
This is exactly what I did in the beginning is learn, learn, learn! Then, we learned what we wanted to create for the integration of them ALL for experiential and relational marketing in our platform. Then, we tested them in multiple ways with online experiences, national events, and international experiences with Cuba, Costa Rica and Brazil coming up!
This will help you get clear on the integration of them ALL
(and save you the blood, sweat, and tears it took us to learn, apply, and learn again!)
Here are some amazing case studies that will help you increase insight into influencer marketing!
New featured influencer here: @mariann_yip
Take a peek at our platform here on how we do this!
This will help give you an idea of segmentation, and the application process as well! In creating win - win collaborations,
you may approach them as either:
Experience / Product / Trade based with bonuses and/or
The above plus a hybrid approach with some compensation for content.
The first one will help you focus on influencers that are truly passionate about your experience, lifestyle, and products (as well as drive them to get results). We do this with our online challenges and masterminds and hybrid experiences!
If you may create some sort of budget to integrate some compensation, this will increase the quantity of influencers applying. Be mindful of the drive, initiative, and results. Take a look at their platform first for any results driven and % off campaigns to see if they are a good fit!
Tip: In creating an influencer integration experience, platform, and/or campaign (examples may be online challenges, press experiences, products all in one like we do) it is super important to create exponential value for the influencer so they see the clear value in the collaboration (even if they are not getting money upfront).
For example, with our Transformation Academy, we offer >$10,000 in value (with content to create 7+ figure results with work + action + consistency), and a $3,000+ price tag in exchange for collaborations with influencers with certain press reach. In addition, we offer direct discounts to followers with an affiliate code, and bonus compensation to the influencer. We incentivize them additionally to integrate their items they create during the collaboration into the promo launch at the end. This does two things - it helps drive them to create something new within the mastermind and it gives something additional of value during the promo!
We make sure that the brand is also getting the equivalent in value by reviewing the influencers via all their social platforms, and using a resource like InfluencerHub!
This will give you a great idea of their value on instagram so you are clear on the kind of collaboration you may want to create to truly entice them to your community!
In Part II, we will get into the strategy, structure, systems, and exponential results even more!
Now, that we’ve gotten clear on How to Find Influencers and Win Win Collaborations, let’s get into Powerful Platforms!
Step 3: POWERFUL PLATFORMS
Platforms are a super powerful way to save even more time and money in your influencer marketing strategy. The more clear you get with your brand strategy, your influencers, and your campaigns, it will become super easy to create campaigns on platforms!
Once you do that, influencers that WANT TO work directly with you will COME DIRECTLY TO YOU! This will save you even more time and money! It also increases your results exponentially from every angle!
In January alone of 2018, we received 1,000s of influencer applications directly to the campaigns we listed. This was more than we directly reach out to before in a three month period!
What is even more exciting is that they WANTED to WORK WITH US!
We didn’t have to ask!
Here are some POWERFUL PLATFORMS you will want to explore!
Ninja Outreach I discovered Ninja Outreach a little over three months ago. We initially set up incredible campaigns for podcasts, speaking, plus our challenges, masterminds, and events for 2018! They offer a free listing to help you so take advantage of that PLUS a free 14 day trial!
Once you source your influencers by key words like lifestyle, traveler, wellness, they also provide templates, and ways to automatic campaigns!
Our biggest win on this platform so far has been Mariann Yip – Boss Babe with lifestyle, fitness, Instagram – creating, connecting and collaborating with us on Our Transformation Academy! !
In less than three days, we saw over 3,900 likes on her Instagram post (she has over 150K followers on IG), and over 200 comments from engaged users commenting positively on the post and the academy. That isn't counting the post on her blog, tweets, and E-blast to her highly connected and engaged following! We are excited!
Collabor8 - I LOVE this app! I just discovered it about five months ago. It is super easy to find ideal influencers, see their highlights, work, "request" influencers based on interest, followers, and more!
Rep - Rep is an another awesome app for both brands to look for influencers, and influencers to engage with brands. It is also super simple and easy to list collabs and look for brands! I really love this one because you may easily list your campaign one time and then screen influencers vs. requesting each one each time, and then copying and pasting the campaign like in Collabor8.
We are currently also exploring several other platforms and testing campaigns, and will cover even more in Part 2.
It is important to recognize that not all platforms will work for you. It is also important to recognize that not all influencers are on all platforms!
Test Drive, Try, Learn, Refine, Repeat!
TIP: Include some sort of opt-in, giveaway for them to offer to their followers as part of the collaboration!
Example: We integrate a FREE 14 Day Challenge
TIP: Think about how else you may spread reach and traffic?
Example: e.g. IG Loop Giveaway!
This is something we are adding!
TIP: Test Different Campaigns Each Month, Each Quarter, and Each Year.
Test Different Types of Influencers Across Types + Followers + Engagement
Something else it is important to touch one is the more you offer experiences, integrations, and incentives, the more you are looking for a true partner in an influencer. This is not typically someone who is solely interested in free product, one off press trip, or only money.
They are the ones who truly see the value of collaborating with you long term. This could be through experiences you offer like we do with interactions, events, and masterminds.
This could also be you be focusing on 10-100 influencers you collaborate with in a year with focus, outlined cash flow or experiences, as well as combining 1-2 months free of content due to the long term arrangement. This is similar to master service agreements in many industries.
Imagine the time you / your team saves by not sourcing new influencers each time?
Imagine the cash you save by integrating for one year with 1-2 months free included?
Example: Typically pay influencer x $10,000 for 1 year without agreement for 1 year.
Vs. Set up master service agreement and pay them $8,000 or $10,000 fixed fee while their audience grows.
You could do both approaches above, as well as offer bonuses for results. Just like we do. Just like multiple industries do for employees and executives with compensation!
This leads to creating and cultivating relationships! This leads to learning and growing!
Step 4: CREATE CULTIVATE
(and Lessons Learned)
With each influencer you collaborate with, and each campaign you run - you will learn!
TIP: Ask for referrals from the influencers you love! Chances they know amazing influencers just like them! This will save you time, money, and increase results!
It is important to set up your strategy, structure and systems to consistently reflect on lessons learned! This is how you will reach the results you want in every way!
This will in both the short-term and the long-term set you up for success to double your return (on the time you may save alone with being clear on strategy, having a structure, and using systems like platforms and scaling!).
This doesn’t count the exponential results of 10X+ you may get with creating a community! There are many metrics being measured for return on investment, ranging from website views to brand buzz.
When we started to put metrics together, I not only tracked things internally but also looked to platforms to provide insight into influencers and campaign results.
After looking at >20 influencer platforms and types, there are a few that track true return on investment within the campaign with no deadline. However, we always track this with reach, engagement, click throughs, and sales.
With my strategy and finance background, I am heavily focused on return on investment. Similar to the dot.com bubble, I initially see where lots of brands were jumping on the bandwagon to be seen. However, in numerous circles I already see more finance, marketing, and strategy heads getting involved on the true return on investment in their influencer marketing dollars.
In an article in Sprout Social, it was reported that >40% of brands have no idea if their dollars are paying off in influencer marketing.
Word to the Wise -
Don’t be Part of that Group…
Be in the 60% that is Clear
on Influencer Insight + Results
I believe there will be a massive shift in focus on results and return on investment.
Based on my multi-industry experience, I suspect many brands will begin making shifts in spend with influencers on those that truly produce results in reach, engagement, and calls to action with the experiences and campaigns.
This is further supported by the fact that brands drive platforms to a great deal with campaigns they want.
I also believe the next big waive in platforms and campaigns will be a focus on demonstrating true return on investment with metrics shown corresponding to reach, engagement, calls to action, and sales.
Speaking of which, let’s get into insight for you to Double Your Return (or more!)
Step 5: DOUBLE YOUR RETURN
What gets measured, gets managed. It is insight. It is information.
When you take action with insight, it is powerful.
The New Approach for Brands and Influencers will focus on those that …
Truly see the value of creating a connection and cultivation with brands they love, as well as being consistent on their platforms. The influencers will also feel deeply appreciated with long term collaborations, as well as by working with brands that help them with experiences, speaking, monetizing and growing their brand.
This is the focus of a true partner that will drive reach, engagement, and results.
They will the raving fan of your experience and brand simply because they have a long term relationship with you.
It is the difference in dating vs. truly being in love.
Which Brand Do You Want to Be?
“Dating or “In Love”
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Relationship is Now Required
In a world that can’t stop talking, it is increasingly harder to be seen.
Sales Force recently estimated is it takes 6-8 touches to even generate a viable leads!
Think about this statistic with the equivalent of having an influencer do 1-2 posts on a product on a specific day / launch vs. having an influencer do ongoing content for 3 months, a year, two years, endlessly. The results wont’ even compare.
Nathan Chan also illustrates the importance of relationship in growing Foundr itself!
Benefits Back to Brand
With passion and purpose of the mission and vision aligned to ideal influencers as the people and press, this increases not only relationship, but also authenticity, and inevitably results 11X by some estimates. We have definitely experiences >70% response rates, >10% engagement, and profit results. I am very excited to see a full year to two years of exponential results with our full platform and press army!
The brand isn’t the only one that benefits, the influencer and people that buy do as well!
The influencer as a result increases credibility, consistency, and reputation! They show relationship and results that also help them market themselves! It is the old adage of instant vs. delayed gratification.
Imagine what you may create…
Imagine the tribe that will grow…
Imagine sharing what they love…
Imagine the people that are inspired…
Imagine growth of know, like and trust factors….
Imagine the results….
With time, coachability, and consistent efforts, you too are able to create what you love with people you love and gain the massive momentum.
What Was Your Biggest Insight?
What will you Do Next?
Is it with...
Your Ideal Influencers?
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Tag someone who would be inspired by this.
Five Steps to Build Your Brand with Influencers
(And Double Your Return)
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