As I wrote in my last article, influencer marketing is hotter than ever.

Today, I’m going to talk about audience. How important is it for influencers?

Obviously it’s not only important, but fundamental.

An influencer without an audience is not an influencer.

Without an audience, it’s impossible to make money out of social media.

No brand or company will contact you to sponsor their products.

So, your first task as an influencer is to study what good habits to follow.

Let’s assume that you’re followed by 250k people.

Oddly (just for instance), you gained them very quickly and now brands contact you almost on a daily basis.

Once you’ve passed the omnipotence feeling, you start posting sponsored posts.

Again and again.

You don’t post your own content anymore, you just want to earn money.

It goes without saying that in a few weeks, your audience collapses.

What’s the solution? Should you not publish sponsored posts at all?

As usual, the key is a thing called common sense.

If people follow you for what you publish, then you shouldn’t stop producing the content they like and replace it with sponsorships.

I usually say to my clients that they should respect the 80-20 formula -> 80% of engaging content and 20% of sponsored content.

They usually say that I’m too conservative, and maybe they’re right. Yet, 80-20 means that every four authentic posts, you will share a commercial one.

Not so bad, honestly.

Another point is that how much brands pay is less important than the brands that would be the best match for your profile.

What do I mean?

I mean that it’s crucial not to go against your own principles.

Although you’ve probably done it unconsciously, your profile is based on certain backbones.

Your followers can clearly identify those principles, so don’t go against them.

Again, be consistent.

An extreme example is the vegan influencer who sponsors junk food.

This is almost impossible because no brand that sells junk food would hire a vegan influencer, but it helps you to better grasp the concept.

This incoherence can be quite insignificant and less recognisable, but pay attention to it.

In a utopian world, influencers should sponsor only products that they actually use.

But we will get back to this point later in this article.

A good habit to work with your favorite brands is to make a short list of them.

This short list needs to include those companies that you feel are consistent with your profile. Once it’s ready, contact these brands.

Include important details of your account, like how big your audience is, what kind of relationship you nurture with them, and why working with you will benefit their brand.

That said, you can try to set a monthly fee which includes a well-defined number of posts across your social-media accounts for a certain amount of money.

This sort of deal will benefit both of you as you’ll appear consistent and natural to your audience, and they’ll convert more clients in this way than through sporadic collaborations.

They’ll probably prefer to start with one or two posts, in order to see how your audience engages with them. That’s fine, just produce high-quality content.

Finally, be transparent to your audience.

Write publicly that you’re open to collaborations and available for business, also add hashtags like #ad or #sponsored to your commercial posts’ caption.

In social media, it’s all about relationships, so look after them.

Don’t copy and paste what brands tell you to share, but write your own reviews. Although I know it’s not always possible, you should personally try the products you show to your audience.

It would be nice as well if you took your own commercial photos.

The gist is simple: do not share stuff that you haven’t actually produced.

They will appreciate it.

Moreover, it’s going to protect your personal brand.

To sum up, brands have to know that you’re not going to rave about their product or service just because they paid you. You won’t cheat on your audience.

This is not what influencer marketing is about.

Influencers give their honest opinion, and that’s why they’re trustworthy.

Your opinion is not for sale.

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