By now most of you know I work for a large PR agency, and one of my roles is influencer strategy. Meaning, I am often tasked with putting together lists of influencers to be used for big promotions, events and yes the glorious PAID contract to work with a brand as an advocate.
What this means for me is that I look at a lot of blogs. And I gotta tell you- a lot of you could be doing SO MUCH better at making yourself more desirable to agencies and brands with a few simple tactical changes. Much of this advice I have given in bits and pieces on Twitter or Facebook when I am in the moment and particularly frustrated. Not gonna lie- my hope is bloggers will take this advice to heart, make these changes and basically make my job, of helping them work with brands easier. So feel free to pass this post around. Let’s help everyone be more awesome and get more brand work : )
Here we go…
1. Have a media kit. In layman’s terms have a one sheeter with a summary of your site, your other platforms and YOUR NUMBERS. Meaning subscribers, unique page views per month etc. Be brave and have that available on your site (Google doc link works great).
2. Have a search function on your site. We use this to search to determine if you have ever reviewed the brand (or competitor) before. We also check for lifestyle things like vegan or diabetes to be sure our product will fit in with your life. And yes, we use it to see if you have profanity on your site as well. (Profanity is a job killer if you want to work with any of the big family friendly brands). If we can’t search- it makes us nervous- and if we are nervous, we often move on to the next blog.
3. Have your email (NOT A CONTACT FORM) on the front page AND on your about page.
4. Have a current photo of yourself on the About page. Remember, we are hiring YOU not your blog.
5. Make sure all your social platforms (You Tube, Instagram etc) are linked on your home page. When we present you to a client we show your full digital footprint- and if we aren’t aware that you have 127,000 followers on Pinterest, or 1000 newsletter subscribers how can we promote you?
6. Include your site URL on your Facebook page: since again WE ARE HIRING YOU THE HUMAN, we often search for you on Facebook FIRST. I am constantly stunned how many influencers are easy to find and friend on Facebook, and then find there is no link to their site on their Facebook profile. Why are you trying to drive me crazy?
7. Tell me WHERE you are located. I would prefer this to be built into your blog description so it can be picked up in SEO searches like ‘Utah mom blogs’ for example. Why? Because a huge part of our job is locating influencers to attend those delicious juicy fun events. And we don’t always have budgets to fly people in from around the globe. At a minimum tell me where you live on your about page.
8. If you have reached a point in your publishing career that you will ONLY work with brands for a fee- please say so. I think it is great when a blogger declares this and knows what her rates are…and it is best for us to know up front, so we don’t waste each other’s time on any programs that offer only experience or product as incentive.
9. If you still have ‘.blogspot’ in your URL consider spending the $10 to buy a URL and look professional. This isn’t a deal breaker- but it does indicate that the blog is new since most ‘big’ blogs redirect to custom URLs. It is like seeing someone with an AOL email. You think ‘really? still doing that?’.
10. If you are under contract with another brand ambassador program, please have a button or state it clearly on your About page. We are tasked with vetting for competitors or brands who might not align well with the brand we are working with.
BONUS TIP: I can’t believe this even needs to be said but- if you have music that auto plays, snow fall effect or yellow writing on black ground….KNOCK IT OFF. Those are candidate killers. We see those- we move on. Period.
So there you have it folks. A few simple things you could do to make you more desirable than the next guy. Finding, researching and vetting influencers is not an easy task- so why not make it easy for us to work with you?