Lessons From Micro Influencers: Part II

Photo Credit: George Pagan III

Photo Credit: George Pagan III

What insights can the seven micro influencers I spoke to share about their experiences working with brands? Here are my questions and their answers:

Adam: What are some of the brand deals you have closed? How did they come together? Did you reach out to them or did they reach out? What information did the brands ask for?

Kavita Channe: I work with many different brands from resorts around the globe... to fashion & beauty brands... to fitness collabs... to brands that sell mommy and/or baby products. It’s really diverse, actually. Many times they reach out to me... and I’ve also reached out to them. It really depends. From there, if they haven’t done their research (which most do prior to reaching out to me) we share my insights. If I am reaching out, I would have shared this info already.

Katie Moseman: Especially in the beginning, most of my brand deals came about as a result of applying to influencer campaigns via influencer marketing platforms like Clever, Sway, IZEA, and Social Fabric. As my audience reach grew, I began to receive direct requests from brands via email. Brands want to know about your social media following, website traffic, and the demographic profile of your audience, in addition to what they can see for themselves, like writing, photography, and videography skills.

Lauren Mims: I would say some of the bigger/better deals I've closed have been with Kelty, John Hancock, Roku and Deka Lash. The collaborations with John Hancock and Roku were coordinated through influencer marketing services. Deka Lash and Kelty were cold calls that turned into great relationships. All of these brands wanted to see that I had a legitimate audience and the ability to drive traffic away from the platform, aka, conversions.

Carrie Forrest: I work with both big and small brands. We usually connect on Instagram after they see my work and my engagement with my audience. Brands usually want to know my blog’s monthly page views as well as what my following is like on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Griffin Wallace: Brand deals. I have a deal going with @Washe a mobile car washing application based out of Boca Raton. This is a 100M+ tech firm that has 100s of influencers posting for them. I struck a deal for free car washes for life to help bring traffic to their page in the hopes of generating them more car wash orders. This deal to me is worth about $500 a month. Other deals I have in the works are with a CBD company, this deal is to provide them with other micro influencers that I manage...I'll be letting them in on a network of over 100+ micro influencers with a combined following of over 1,000,000 people. I reached out to them and basically explained my case that micro influencers are the best possible return on investment when it comes to influencer marketing!

Amber Renae: I’ve travelled for free to Los Angeles, New Caledonia, Singapore, Thailand, Bali, and stayed all over Australia. I’ve received cars, Vespas, cameras, phones, over $30k worth of beauty treatments and enough clothing, makeup and accessories to fill an entire wardrobe. These days I like to work more as an ambassador for a brand on longer term campaigns. For instance with Renault, I worked with them for over a year whenever they launched a new vehicle, I held a similar long term relationship for many years with LG whenever they launched a new phone. Sometimes I reach out directly if I am passionate about what the brand is doing. Other times the brand reaches out to me directly. Typically they will ask for screen grabs of your insights from your account to confirm the demographics of your audience.

Luci Petlack: Being in the "lifestyle" niche, I've worked with a variety of brands, including SamsoniteUSA, The Container Store, Nordstrom, California Almonds, IZZE, and Birdies slippers. Each one of them came about differently. A few of them were the result of my reaching out to the brands individually. Initially I was gifted an item and then when they had campaigns with a budget, they reached out again. Others came from working with a PR agency or Blogger-to-Business platform (e.g. Everywhere Agency). Once a company works with you and likes your work (content-wise and professionalism), they're more apt to reach out again. Brands ask for all kind of information, depending on their goals - pageviews, audience demographics (blog and Instagram), cost, etc.

Adam: What is the biggest misconception about the micro influencer world and life as a micro influencer?

Kavita Channe: That it’s not a job. It actually takes a lot of time and effort to gain a legit following and a reputation... and for that to create a return. Of course, you can chuckle regarding the “Instagram models” and/or people out there posting their bodies all day... but I guess there is an audience for that, too.

Kate Moseman: The biggest misconception about the micro influencer world is that influencing is not a real job, or that it's all play. Certainly I enjoy creating beautiful food and taking photos, but the behind-the-scenes labor is real and extensive. For any given campaign, I spend hours reading campaign briefs, taking notes, writing copy, obtaining the necessary supplies, setting up photo shoots, editing photos, and going through the many steps of publishing on my blog and social media channels- not to mention all the dishes I have to wash!

Lauren Mims: A lot of people assume I can ask for whatever I want and I'll get it, that's definitely not true. I still have to craft pitches, sell myself and fight for my worth. It's not an easy job and you have to be prepared for rejection.

Carrie Forrest: I think there’s a misconception that being an influencer isn’t a “real” profession. I’m on track to earn six figures this year, so it’s most definitely a real career and business. The other misconception is that it’s easy to be an influencer. I’ve never worked so hard in my life. It’s a 24/7-type career, but I absolutely love it and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Griffin Wallace: The biggest misconception about micro influencers I would say is that these larger "influencers" with Millions of followers are making the bigger paychecks. One specific example is a guy I know who has roughly 30,000 followers and reviews video cameras. Most people wouldn't think that could be lucrative until you look at his posts! His followers hang on every word and trust this guy with their purchases of thousands of dollars in electronics. This type of micro influencer is making easily 6 figures with 30k followers from these big electronic brands.

Amber Renae: That it’s all free stuff for nothing! I’ve invested 1000’s of hours in growing my audience and growing the influence I have with my audience. This wasn’t just something I woke up and had. There was strategic and prolific content creation to form and nurture the relationship. Also when working with a brand it can take a minimum of 3hrs to shoot, edit and compile an approved brief, and some campaigns I’ve spent days on!

I obviously want to create content that my audience wants so I need to come up with a campaign that not only they will love but that represents the brand as well, which can be time and labour intensive.

Luci Petlack: The biggest misconceptions about the micro influencer world are that it's easy and that we have tons of money. Though we all work to share images and content that is inspiring and well-curated, it doesn't mean everything else is so perfect. I do believe, however, that the influencer world has and continues to substantiate this untruth.

Want the best marketing and branding advice from these micro influencers? Want their thoughts on how to become a mico influencer? Tune into Part III.

Adam Mendler