A fair question, that I receive often. Influencing is a new type of "job" and a bit of weird one at that. Let me explain best as I can using a typical influencer type role:
Let's say someone's a fashion influencer. Every day this person would create content (most often posted to Instagram) that provides value to their audience. When I say value, it means it's stuff people want to see (basically ideas on how to style cute outfits, information on what's in style etc.). This fashion influencer would gain a following of people specifically interested in this type of information. Because this influencer has access and influence over their audience (their audience would generally trust their expert opinion), brands that sell clothes are going to want that influencer to wear their clothes in posts so that the brands can reach their target audience (people who are interested in clothes).
The brand would reach out to the influencer and pay them to wear & post the clothes (an ad). Depending on the size of the influencer's audience, this isn't a small amount of money. (But for the brand, it's way cheaper for them to advertise with an influencer compared to a lot of other advertising alternatives that often cost more and aren't nearly as effective.) This way the influencer can afford to continue to make all that free valuable content, by doing an ad every 10th post or so (or however many).
I'm not a fashion influencer, I post Calgary events and restaurant stuff, but it's the same concept. Most of what I do I don't get paid for, but when I do that allows me to continue to produce all the free entertaining/informational content for my audience.
Some people don't like this system, (people love to hate influencers) but it works well for all involved. I'm essentially delivering a message to people who generally want to receive it (they are following specifically because they WANT information on events/restaurants). So while they are occasionally subjected to ads, theoretically, even the ads are good info and provide value similar to the rest of my content.
There are 3 ways to do this.
1) Hold a newsworthy event and invite the media. For example, a restaurant opening. Either a PR company, the restaurant themselves, or a social media company representing the restaurant sends out invites to a fairly large list of well-known people in the city. Depending on the event, attendance could be mostly food bloggers or it could include traditional media people (i.e. newspaper, television, radio) and/or industry people as well (i.e. others in hospitality industry).
Everything at the event is comped and you would try to show the media attendees an amazing time so they leave with the best opinion of you. The more food, drink and activities available, the more content there is to film and photograph which means the more exposure you receive.
2) Hire the media source/influencer to visit your business. This will mean you not only comp the product/service but also pay for specific deliverables.. Meaning, you are guaranteed a certain number of stories/posts/video because it was discussed and decided in advance and to be posted by a specific date. Technically a contract should be involved, but for smaller dollar amounts/faster turnarounds an email exchange will often suffice. The message will be positive and contain elements you spoke about in advance.
3) Send a no-strings attached invite to the media source/influencer. If you don't have budget for a PR event or money to hire for specific advertising, a work-around is to invite the news source to enjoy your business and just hope that they post something as a thank-you in return. There is a risk because you may get a lot of exposure or you may get a little. Also, because media sources/influencers receive a LOT of these types of invites don't be surprised if you hear a no. It's not that your business isn't wonderful and worth visiting, it's just that attending newsworthy events and paid-for commitments take priority over these invites.
Often these events are organized by PR companies or Social Media Managers, but really anyone can throw one. Here's what you need to know.
These are the most commonly requested deliverables but let me know if you want something creative!
Not currently available
The biggest killer of small businesses is obscurity. Awareness is the first step in getting people to purchase from you. I help you lead people down the path to purchasing by showcasing your business positively to a new audience.
It depends on the budget of the campaign, what the campaign is asking of me for a time commitment, and how well it matches my personal brand. (As you can imagine if you’re asking me to sell adult diapers I’m probably going to charge more! :D)
I've been doing this for 3 years, I am experienced and have a large local audience I've worked to build a relationship with.
The first step of advertising is getting people to know your business exists, (I can help with that) then through repeated positive messaging, people will start to like you and then eventually trust you enough to purchase your product/service. If your goal is sales, I’d recommend working with me over a longer period of time to deliver a consistent positive message to the same audience and warm them up to purchasing. (Note, I cannot guarantee sales. I lead people to you, but you'll have to take it from there.)
It's all done in 3 easy steps.
1) Email me to let me know what you're thinking or interested in.
2) I'll create it and send it to you for approval (video, photo, and/or caption).
3) I'll post and you'll gain positive exposure directly to your target audience.
Repeat for best results!
I find it's easiest for both parties if I take payment upfront. You'll receive an emailed invoice and you can choose to pay via credit card or etransfer. (I prefer etransfer to avoid fees, but whatever works best for you!). You'll receive a receipt after payment.
I do accept gifts (provided there are no strings attached). Please note, due to the time commitment involved with posting, unless it’s paid-for-content, I am unable to guarantee anything. Note that "gifting" is different from an "exchange" (see next question).
I rarely accept an exchange as payment. In my experience businesses don't often see eye-to-eye in terms of the exchange value of products and services and one person usually feels shafted. Also note, if I agree to take product/service as payment I am required to claim it as income on my annual income taxes as the CRA considers it taxable income. Because I pay taxes on what you give me, I have to be careful regarding my decisions surrounding taking products/services as payment.
Note that those experienced in the influencer industry rarely accept an exchange of services as payment, you may find someone who will agree to work with you but they will likely be new to the role.