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Misconceptions about influencers

So we recently put up a story asking for everyone’s opinions on influencers. We wanted to get the good, the bad and the ugly, so we could address some common misconceptions about influencers that so many of us have, as well as share some quick tips on how to avoid them!

Let’s dig in.

Misconception #1 They don’t genuinely believe in the products they’re spruiking

Okay, yes. Like any industry, there are people who will do anything for $$ and no doubt some (maybe even a lot) of influencers will promote things they may not genuinely like or believe in.

But guess what? This is not ALL of them. There are still plenty of genuine influencers out there who you can trust to be invested in your product or brand – you just need to take the time to find the good ones!

Tips to avoid this problem:

  • Do an influencer search through your existing fan base to find people who are already invested in your brand.
  • Don’t expect an influencer to agree to promote your product straight away if it’s totally new to them. Try gifting them a sample first and asking for feedback before offering them the gig.
  • Don’t heavily dictate how content should look or how the post should read. You should definitely give some guidance, but the ultimate post should still be as natural and genuine to the creator as possible.

Misconception #2 They just want free stuff.

Again – this can totally be the case for some – but this doesn’t have to be the way! There are professionals out there who actually do want to help your business, and have integrity in what they promote.

And on the topic of free stuff, depending on the level you’re at in your business, gifting product (or a service) in exchange for content or mentions can actually be a great option if you don’t have the cash to hire a paid influencer just yet.

Of course, before you give away anything, you’ll want to have an agreement in place to make sure you actually benefit from the exchange. This brings us to our tips!

Tips to avoid this problem:

  • ALWAYS have a legally-binding contract in place before working with an influencer.
  • Go through an influencer agency (yep, this is a thing, just like a modelling agency) to find more professional individuals. If they’re represented by an agency, they have other people holding them accountable to deliver.

Misconception #3 They don’t drive results

You wouldn’t go on a first date expecting a proposal, so don’t hire an influencer expecting instant sales.

Yes, your date might end up converting into a husband/wife one day, and your influencer’s work might generate you sales – but it isn’t going to happen overnight!

You need to invest in the process and have realistic goals for any of your marketing tactics. Influencers help to build trust and brand awareness, which can translate into sales in the future IF you’re consistent and have a great offering and great customer experience to back it up.

Tips to avoid this problem:

  • Don’t hire an influencer if you need to drive short-term sales, try a more relevant direct-response tactic like advertising instead.
  • Have realistic goals going into the partnership, and make sure you’re comfortable with the $$ you’re investing.

Misconception #4 They overcharge for little work

Sorry, but we have to respectfully disagree on this one. Anyone who thinks that taking fire photos on demand and maintaining a quality, engaged online community day-in-day-out is a piece of cake and requires zero effort has clearly never done it themselves before.

And of course you haven’t, that’s why you’re hiring someone to help you!

Good influencers will take HUNDREDS of photos before settling on the perfect finished product that you end up seeing. Not to mention the hours they dedicate every day to caring for their communities and in many cases their physical appearance or personal brand – all things you are asking to cash in on.

Okay, that got a little ranty, but hopefully, if you’re reading this you feel us anyway! So yeah, long story short, influencers can charge whatever they like, and there will always be a range of rates out there, so there’s no reason you can’t find someone that fits your budget.

Tips to avoid this problem:

  • Consider micro-influencers if you have a lean budget to play with.
  • Don’t be afraid to give your influencer guidance on what you’d like to get out of working with them, so you can avoid disappointment as much as possible.

Misconception #5 They don’t contribute anything valuable

If this is the vibe you’re getting, then you might be following the wrong influencers! There are influencers from all walks of life that can appeal to just about any audience. You just have to know where to find them!

Tips to avoid this problem:

  • Stay active on social media and follow hashtags that your customers are using, to help you discover influencers in your niche with amazing content.
  • Be sure to follow your potential influencers for a while before hiring them, so you get a really good idea of the content they post and how they interact with their followers.
  • Try using an influencer platform like Tribe or Hey Influencers to easily locate quality creators who’ll fit what you’re looking for.

Those are our top five misconceptions about influencers! Did we miss one? Tell us your own in the comments so we can keep the convo going.

If you’ve been frustrated with influencer marketing that didn’t work out in the past, we just might change your life with next month’s Oh My Digital Membership Topic. We’re covering all things PR and Influencer Marketing!

See you there?

4 comments on “5 Misconceptions about Influencers BUSTED

  1. Such perfect timing lovely for a few University projects I am working on. Great way of expressing the common interpretations and misconceptions about influencers.

      1. You are far too kind to call me an expert. But I am definitely brushing up on my skills to share more. Do you mind if I pop a link in and refer to this blog for more information via my new temporary blog site? It’s for academic purposes at the moment. I will eventually make it more publically appealing.

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