As someone who is on the cutting edge of all things fashionable, you can’t tell us that becoming a fashion influencer hasn’t crossed your mind. Maybe you took the leap and you’re a well-known influencer, or maybe you have a newsfeed full of glamorous fashionistas and wonder how they do it.
So why are fashion influencers so successful to brand campaigns? By reason of their ability to market to a business’s specific target audience through their own social media followers, people who they’ve already been able to create a trusting bond with. When it comes down to it, internet and social media users are beginning to trust the opinions of those they follow, more so than that of the businesses they shop.
For these reasons, Influencer Marketing (IM) is officially all the rage, and it seems like everywhere you turn, a new blogger or internet fashionista is popping up. The more the merrier, right? Absolutely! However, influencing isn’t as simple as throwing on some clothes, taking a cute picture, and posting it to the ‘Gram.
Unfortunately, some of those overnight influencers are muddying the water for IM as a whole, by creating shady business deals, leaving boutique and brand owners fearful of wanting to partner with an influencer, ever again.
In an effort to combat this plague, and keep the efficacy of fashion influencers who are serious about their craft, The Boutique Hub has put together some important tips for influencers to keep in mind when seeking out collaborations.
1. Treat Influencing like a Business. Maybe influencing is just a hobby, or maybe it’s your form of income. Either way, you’re creating a partnership with another business, so treat your relationship like a business relationship, with expectations and accountability.
2. Open Lines of Communication. Life happens and things come up. If something is going on in your life, and it’s going to cause you to be behind schedule, let those in your partnership know, so they are on the same page. Not only is it courteous, but it’s a professional way of doing business. Otherwise, you’re going to quickly lose the confidence of your collaborator, and there’s a good chance they won’t want to do business with you in the future.
3. Be Authentic. People who are following you are doing so for one reason…they like YOU. They want to get to know the REAL you, and all that comes with it. Don’t do something just because someone else is. Don’t wear clothes you don’t like, just because they’re trendy or free. Give your followers a reason to want to see more from you. That will add to your engagement, and add to the success of your collaborations.
4. Quality vs. Quantity.If you take collaborations, just to take collaborations, you’re watering down the value of what you’re doing. Instead of saying yes to anyone, take collaborations with brands/boutiques you believe in, brands/boutiques whose values align with yours, brands/boutiques who carry clothes you LOVE, brands/boutiques you’re PROUD to represent. If you want people to look up to you as someone with icon style, then you need to be true to yourself, and your personal style. Your followers will catch on pretty quickly if you’re always making “sales-y” posts, and in turn, you’re going to lose their trust as someone they look to for inspiration.
5. Sign a Contract. I cannot begin to stress this point enough. As mentioned above, influencing is a business agreement, and all business agreements should have a contract in place. A contract is where you will lay out what deliverables you’re receiving, terms/requirements, expectations, and protections. This way, you and the business you’re working with have a very straightforward game plan of how your partnership will work. With a contract, you and the other party you’re working with can feel safe knowing that you both are protected in case things don’t go as planned. Personally, the only collaboration I’ve had that didn’t go as planned was one where I didn’t sign a contract. I knew better than to start a collaboration without a contract, and I paid dearly for it in the end by not having one in place.
6. Beware of Conflicting Collaborations.If you have a collaboration with a specific provider of goods, make sure your additional collaborations aren’t conflicting with that collaboration. Example: If you’re working with a purse company, make sure they are aware you’re accepting other purse collaborations prior to doing so. If they don’t want you to accept other purse collaborations, then that needs to be a clause in your collaboration contract.
7. Be Kind. There are plenty of influencers out there, and more than enough collaborations available for everyone. Be someone who cheers on your fellow fashion influencers, instead of tarnishing their name, creating doubt. It’s a small world, whether you think they will or not, those negative things you say about your peers to others (especially to collaborators), will come back to haunt you.
8.Build a Relationship. Always remember, the most successful IM relationships are in fact, relationships; not just one time collaborations. Prove to your collaborator that you’re worth working with again, and you’ll both end up with a multitude of successful collaborations to look back on!
We hope these tips have helped clear your view of the best practices to use when collaborating with boutiques and brands!
If you’re a seasoned fashion influencer, we want to know what’s another tip you’d like to see added to this list?! Be sure to leave it in the comment section of our blog!
If you haven’t already, we’d love to have you join our free community of fashion influencers–a database of sorts, where boutiques and brands can view your fashion influencer profile, and reach out for future collaborations! Follow this link to get started–creating an influencer profile is absolutely FREE!