The Influencers we work with often say the best things about being an Influencer are the people they’ve met, being part of a community and getting the opportunity to work with some of their favourite brands. We also know what kind of challenges Influencers face. A lot of hard work, love and care goes into being successful Influencer – we hear you!
We’ve always striven to tackle the challenges Influencers face upfront so that you can spend more time focused on creating incredible content and building your engaged community. Our understanding of what you need to be the best you can be has dictated the way we manage relationships with clients, the way we have designed our app, the structure of our campaigns – well, everything really!
A recent survey of Influencers by GetCRAFT highlighted some of the key challenges Influencers face and below we propose some useful solutions and tactics on how you can deal with them.
*Source: GetCRAFT – Indonesia Native Advertising & Influencer Marketing Report 2018
1. I don’t get paid on time
Not getting paid on time goes hand in hand with not getting paid at all. From day dot, we’ve said that Influencers should get paid for their work and this should ideally be done in a timely manner. There has never been a Vamp campaign that asks Influencers to work for free, or in exchange for gifted product.
Agencies can often have a lead time of up to 60 days for payment but, wanting to help our growing creatives to flourish, Vamp’s payment terms are that once your work is completed to brief, we aim to send funds to you up to 10 days after the end of the campaign period.
Although you shouldn’t ever have to chase Vamp payments, delays can be caused if you haven’t quite completed the brief. Ensure you have dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s and read the brief completely. You can always chat to us on the Vamp app if you have any questions.
You simply upload your HD image/video and submit your invoice in the app – et voila! You can rest easy that our payments team will process this on time for you.
Tips on ensuring that you get paid on time when working with other agencies and brand direct are to clarify payment terms up front. Be prompt in sending your invoices and include the payment terms on the invoice. Keep an invoice calendar to send polite reminders to the brand/agency if these are overdue.
2. Clients change requirements at the last minute
In such a fast paced digital world, we’ve all got to find the balance between being adaptable to change and sticking to our guns. Of course you want the campaign to be a success as much as your client does. You’ve got a vested interest in ensuring the content is engaging to your followers and that your metrics of success are hit to increase your strength as an Influencer as well as your relationship with the client. Repeat work is a great way to ensure a steady income and raise your credibility with our brands looking for collaborations. Of course, you need to work out whether your followers want to see lots of sponsored posts from a certain brand, the frequency they want to see them and whether they’d prefer you to mix it up a bit.
At Vamp we ensure the briefing is all done up-front so that all Influencers who apply for a campaign know what they’re signing up for. We always encourage people to say no more than they say yes to briefs. Authenticity is the keystone of this industry and without it, what’s the point? Instagram is all about building communities of likeminded individuals and it loses all its charm as a powerful outlet when people feel like someone is being disingenuous with them.
It’s all about give and take. Brands and agencies are still working out what exactly works best for a campaign as what can work well once, might not be as effective the next one. Part of what we do when managing the relationship with the clients that we do our best to protect you from last minute brief alterations and won’t ask you to make unreasonable changes.
When working direct, ensure you communicate clearly upfront what the brief requirements are and figure out what flexibility you have in terms of time constraints, budget and authentic messaging. Internally within marketing teams of different brands and agencies sometimes small but essential changes will need to be made to their strategy to ensure the best success. There might be a last minute change to a required hashtag or a posting time, for example, that might not be the end of the world to tweak. A complete re-shoot, however, might require an additional quote, depending on whose side the briefing error was on.
And golden rule no. 1 is to never do anything that sacrifices your authenticity. Brands will respect your integrity, and your followers will love you even more!
3. Clients don’t have a clear brief
Much in no.2 is relevant to this challenge too. Vamp solves this problem upfront in every brief we send out by ensuring the brief is clear and being on hand via our Vamp chat feature in the app to answer any questions our Influencers might have. We live and breathe our clients’ campaigns and have a strong grasp on what their objectives are to make it as smooth and successful as possible for brands and Influencers.
When working direct, don’t commence work until you are 100% clear on what they are looking for. Visual examples can be really helpful so ask if they have something of a mood board to provide you. If the brand isn’t clear about what they want, ask what their key Do’s and Don’ts are. Sometimes they don’t know what they want until they see it but when paying for your influence on your platform, they have to let go and let you make the judgement call on what works best for your followers.
4. I don’t know how to properly price my services & 5. I don’t have an updated rate card
When working with Vamp pricing is something you never have to worry about. You don’t need to send through updated rate cards either. All of our pricing is set, upfront and on a campaign by campaign basis, depending on budget. We provide you with the payment amount upfront in the brief so you can choose to opt in or out, depending on whether it works for you.
Once you have opted in and are approved, as long as you have fulfilled the brief we will ensure you get paid the agreed amount and promptly.
This ensures that you never have to waste time going back and forth negotiating with clients, sending across new rate cards or chasing up opportunities. The invoice feature in the Vamp app also allows you can also see historically what you have got paid and for which campaigns to help you keep track of your income for when tax time comes around.
6. Clients are stifling my creativity
Dictating creativity is a common mistake that brands and agencies make when working with Influencers which often comes back to bite them. In the hundreds of Influencer marketing campaigns we have run since Vamp started in October 2015, we can say hand to heart that the best results are seen when brands relinquish the creative reigns. We always give creative control to our Influencers and as all our campaigns are on an opt-in basis, it’s up to you which briefs do/don’t suit. If you carry this rule across to your work direct with brands and other agencies, you shouldn’t have a problem. Don’t forget to save time for organic posts which allow you to show off your skills as a creative. Experimentation is how you will keep your content fresh and inspiring. Don’t be afraid to push the boundaries of your creativity.
A compromise you can make when working direct is that, as a Content Creator, you are happy to produce assets to a tight, specific creative brief that clients can use in their own marketing channels that you don’t post on your social channels and that aren’t necessarily attributed to you. Facebook, as an Ad platform, advises brands to make use of 5-10 pieces of content per paid post on their own channels. Brands can’t create new assets quick enough! This presents an exciting opportunity for Influencers to receive content-only commissions to help fill a brand’s content calendar. If they’re also paying for your influence, as well as your creativity, however, ensure your unique personality shines through in all that you create and post on your social channels.
7. I don’t have an updated work portfolio
The good thing is that your social feeds act as a to-the-minute updated work portfolio so you can edit this to reflect the full scope of your creative abilities. Your blog is a great place to include the outtakes that you didn’t want to post to your Instagram but which might give a brand a bit of a bigger picture of the variety of photography/videography that you can create. The highly sought after skill of the moment is quality videography.
We’ll be seeing more vertical video requests next year for Instagram Stories and Snapchat advertisements so brush up on these skills if you are keen for more opportunities. While there is always more that you can learn so this can seem a bit daunting, find out all you can about video editing and practice practice practice!
If your feed needs a bit of a Spring clean to make it look top notch, you can archive the posts using Instagram’s Archive feature so they’ll disappear from your public gallery but are still available for you to see. Simply go to the photo you want to hide, tap the menu button and choose Archive from the pop-up menu.
Ensure you don’t prematurely delete paid-for brand content as this can damage your reputation with them. At Vamp we ask that your posts stay live for at least 90 days after the end of a campaign. This gives brands the chance to re-gram your content for this time period and has the maximum impact across the campaign hashtag feeds.
8. I don’t know how to measure the performance of my projects
From a brand perspective, they are mostly interested in your post’s engagement rate to measure performance so this is something you should also keep track of. This is the (no. likes + comments) / your follower count x 100. You can read our recent article on how to check and improve your engagement rate here. If a brand wants to pay for usage rights in advertisements, ask them whether they would be happy to share some of the results with you for your portfolio. This might be the click-through, conversion, open rate – depending what the client’s objective is. Don’t be afraid to ask for constructive feedback too about the client’s experience of working with you, on the content you have created as this will only help you to grow.
9. I miss deadlines
Sometimes we bite off more than we can chew. Being YES men and women is great to some extent but always follow that golden rule of only picking up work that is authentic to you and that will at least solve the issue of being lumbered with work that you resent having to do. Be selective and plan for briefs accordingly so that you can balance your workload.
Do your utmost to never miss a deadline by simply communicating when you’re struggling to meet one. If it’s a Vamp campaign, our team is here to help you. We might have a simple solution at hand or be able to offer you an extension. Call out to your Influencer community and ask for help. While it can seem competitive at times, we’re a big believer in the old adage “we rise by lifting others”. Influencers gotta have each other’s backs to flourish in this industry.