How influencers can select the right partnerships to build their brand and monetize their presence

A quick Google search brings up multiple checklists for brands to use when selecting influencers. However, I couldn’t find a single checklist for influencers to use when selecting which brands to work with. I always include this topic in my presentations to influencers whether I am speaking on sponsored posts or affiliate marketing. It is just as, if not more, important for influencers to have clear boundaries when deciding on which brands to work with, as it is for brands to have for selecting influencers.

Why Do Influencers Need A Checklist?

Your audience is your greatest asset

Influencers know this is true. Your audience and engagement are your strongest asset and the things that take the longest to build. They are your pride and joy. And, they are probably the reason you became an influencer in the first place. The Internet provides thousands of items competing for an audiences’ attention. Why risk losing your audience for a short-term gain for funding?

Credibility  

Pure and simple: without credibility, you will lose your audience. If you are writing about brands that are not in line with your personal mission, your credibility goes out the window. Followers begin to lose trust and wonder what other compromises you are willing to make.

What Items Are On An Influencer Checklist?

Create your checklist or requirements before responding to any brand opportunities. It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of feeling wanted. When developing an influencer checklist, I recommend you ask yourself the following questions:

Trust – Do you trust the brand to deliver on their promise? Do you trust your point of contact within the brand to deliver on your contract or commitment? To determine trust, reach out to other influencers who work/have worked with the brand and/or contact and ask about their experience. The Influencer Community is tight knit, especially within individual niches. Use your network and online research to determine the trust factor. If you have concerns, look for another brand. It is not worth the risk to your reputation.

Help Your Followers – In other words, will your audience have a problem with recognition or awareness of need based on the product? Does the brand/product make your followers’ lives better? This, of course, varies based on your focus. For instance, if you are a green beauty influencer, promoting a new all-natural foundation will be of tremendous value to your followers. However, if you are a tech influencer…not so much. If you are a travel blogger, perhaps this same foundation has sunscreen in it, which would reduce the need to pack additional bottles. You get the idea. Just because you personally want the item, does not mean it is a good fit to promote.

Passion – When you are passionate about something, your influence is strong. Nothing is more convincing in the written or spoken word than passion. If you aren’t speaking from the heart, it is harder to write convincingly to motivate others.

Knowledge –  Knowledge is key especially when it comes to discussing a brand and/or product. Be prepared to answer tough questions and provide detailed responses.

Right Price Point – Is the product you are promoting the right price point? If it is a high-end luxury item but your blog’s focus is on living well on a tight budget, it is probably not the right fit (and goes back to trust and credibility). If you are being reviewed or compensated based on sales, select a product price range that fits within an impulse buy. For most people, the impulse buys are under $100

Makes Financial Sense – This question is for you, the influencer. Always ask yourself if the partnership makes financial sense. Whether working with the brand makes financial sense often depends on where you are in your business. If you are a new influencer, perhaps free product as compensation makes sense as you build the relationship with the brand and engage your followers. However, if your calendar is booked with campaigns, your compensation price point should be much higher.

This list was created out of my 10 plus years of working with influencers. Is there something I missed? I would love to hear your additions. Please comment below.