It might be cliché to say, but in all aspects of life, communication is key. Whether it’s your personal or professional relationships: an open line of communication ensures the best basis for a smooth day-to-day life. It also makes any possible conflict that arises faster to resolve.
Logically, it’s easier to express yourself clearly to your partner or friend than to a business liaison. So how do you go about this? How can you create a work environment where you can be comfortably honest? How do you communicate professionally?
In influencer marketing, clear communication is extra important to prevent mistakes from being made because social media is so instant and fast. So if you ‘mess up,’ however big or small, you don’t really get a lot of chances to correct your wrongs.
Here are a couple of guidelines to ensure a good relationship between you and a brand so that you can avoid miscommunications before, during, and after a campaign/collab.
Mind your language
It might seem trivial, but the words you use and the way you write your emails are actually so important. Social media is a casual space, so you definitely shouldn’t go overboard with the formal language; however, keep in mind that brands are still places of business where a more formal structure might be in place.
Until you know them a bit better, be friendly and let them shape the tone. You are, after all, setting up business transactions, so treat them as such.
Know them well, know yourself even better
We can’t stress it enough, but it is important to research—the brands, the competition, the industry, etc. Google deep-dive them all.
Not only will it make you a more well-versed and well-rounded profile, but it’ll also allow you to pitch yourself more personally to those brands whose message you truly relate to. And vice versa, as they will be more likely to accept your pitch if you approach them coming from a place of actual admiration and understanding.
Know your own worth best of all, though. Understanding your strengths and your specific audience won’t just create a stronger pitch; it will also help your negotiations.
It’s all about the right tone.
Brands want to work with people who are genuinely excited about what they’re doing and how they can help them. They’re not looking for people who are just trying to get a check.
That’s why first impressions are very important to get right. Don’t underestimate the power of the first email: if you do this right, you’re already one big step ahead on your way to a transparent and honest relationship. It can immediately set the tone for the perfect balance between personal and professional communication.
If a problem should arise, you can – and should – always communicate this immediately. Be direct, honest, and transparent. It’s always better to check and double-check than be in the wrong and having to clean up your mess afterward. Don’t let stuff build up and implode, or worse, explode.
That being said: if you’re feeling angry, don’t act on it. You’ll regret it later, and it might cause irreversible damage. Instead, take the time to process your feelings. Write them down in your notes, walk away, and come back a while later with a fresh look. Usually, your initial reaction is very strongly worded and emotional. Instead, take the time to rewrite and unpack your feelings in a calm way, as this will translate much better to the brand and earn you more respect.
What if you can’t resolve a conflict?
Remember: any arrangement needs to work for both parties if it is to be successful. Therefore, it should always feel like a win-win situation.
If you look at a brand purely as a source of income, and you’re not coming from a genuine motivation to create content for them, or if you feel like you’re doing your best and the brand is not treating you with enough respect, then it might not be a good match.
Of course, you should always try to resolve conflict – and professionally carry yourself doing so and be ready to walk away from a deal if you don’t feel it works for you. But, whatever you do, always stay friendly and end it on a polished, good note. Don’t burn bridges.
Then, invest your time and energy in brands that you appreciate and vice versa. This mutual respect will build the most genuine professional relationships anyway. Some brands will even go as far as making you a part of their team.
And as mouth-to-mouth is still pretty much the strongest form of marketing: if you carry yourself with dignity, respect, and a friendly attitude no matter what, word will spread. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to keep track of all the companies wanting to work with you.
Then, but also now, Influo would love to help you manage all of your collaborations. You can start by researching the content on our Hub or subscribe for free and find out what we can do to help you grow.