So you have scoured through social media and influencer platforms and chosen an influencer who seems to be the right fit. But before you go ahead and hire them, there is an important step- gauging if they are actually the right fit for you.
Now, why is this important? Because the influencer you hire is going to represent your brand. So you need to dot all the ‘i’s and cross all the ‘t’s for a great partnership.
Here are the top 11 questions you should ask an influencer before working with them!
- What are the things you offer as part of your package?
Every single influencer offers a different experience. Some of them simply make posts encouraging their followers to check out your brand, while others may write detailed reviews/ post videos of them using your products. Some others go a step beyond and take part in the content creation process itself. For example: coming up with a new dish using your spices.
Before asking this question, you must first decide on what type of collaboration you want with them. Do you want them to play an active role or are you happy with a passive role? Once that is decided, go ahead and ask them this question.
Some things to look out for:
- Types of content they are willing to produce. Do they stick to good old posts, or are they open to creating videos, reels, and going live?
- Will you need to provide the content (photos, videos etc.) or do they create their own?
- Are they willing to add shopping tags to the posts/ stories so that their followers can make the purchase directly on Instagram?
Remember, the goal is NOT to find an influencer who offers the most things as part of their package; the goal is to find someone who offers the things you are looking for.
- Who is your target audience?
Every good influencer has a target audience, usually people who are interested in the influencer’s niche. The goal of this question is to determine if:
- The influencer has a well-defined niche.
- The influencer knows their audience properly. This shows that they view influencing as a business rather than as a side hobby.
- Their target audience overlaps with your target audience.
For the best results, you should work with an influencer in the same niche because their followers will already have an interest in your products/ services. Working with a generalist will not give you the same results no matter how many followers they have.
- How do you engage with your followers?
Influencing is not just about promoting products. They need to have a genuine connection with their followers. They need to be able to persuade their followers to choose your brand.
In order to build this trust, they need to engage with their followers regularly and show them that each sponsored product is promoted with their best interests at heart. Some good engagement tactics include:
- Conversing with followers through comments or by going live.
- Asking followers what they think about certain products?
- Running campaigns that involve participation from the followers.
- Getting feedback from the followers and actually listening to them.
- Getting to know their followers by asking them random questions via stories.
- Can you provide a copy of your profile metrics? Give an example of a time when your engagement was low. How did you rectify it?
Profile metrics help you get an idea of just how far the influencer’s reach goes. This will also help you understand whether the collaboration will be a success or not.
But past success does not always guarantee present success. Engagement rates keep going up and down. So, knowing what strategy the influencer uses to handle low engagement is important.
- How often do you post sponsored content?
Working with an influencer whose every other post is a sponsored post is like burying your advertisement among a sea of others. If 5/10 posts are brand collaborations, yours likely won’t stand out. In fact, most people may not even see it.
Moreover, posting sponsored content so frequently implies that the influencer is just grabbing every opportunity that comes their way. Their audience is sure to pick up on that, which means they aren’t going to trust the influencer’s recommendations.
Therefore, make sure the influencer you work with posts a lot of original content interspersed with brand collaborations.
- What are your beliefs and values?
This question helps you ensure that your beliefs and values align. Having the same goals is the key for a successful partnership.
Most influencers choose a niche that they are passionate about. Make sure your influencer is actually interested in the industry and has the best interests of their followers at heart. Trust, transparency, and honesty are also great qualities to look out for.
- What do you think are our brand’s strongest selling points?
In order to convince their followers to buy your products, the influencer must believe in your brand and be aware of your strengths first.
It is normal to wonder whether the influencer is convinced with your products. This question will not only allay your worries, it will also show whether the influencer has done some research about your brand. And based on the idea(s) they come up with, you can also judge their creativity and selling skills.
- Have you worked with any of our competitors before?
If the answer is yes, then this partnership might pose a conflict of interest. Moreover, followers tend to take brand disloyalty very seriously, so this may also reduce their trust in the influencer.
If they haven’t worked with any competitors in the past, ask them if they will be willing to sign an agreement stating that they will NOT work with any competitors of yours in the future as well.
- Are you willing to brainstorm ideas with us for the content creation process?
Some influencers may want to come up with ideas on their own to make sure that the sponsored post fits in with their personal brand and Instagram aesthetic. Others, however, may simply want you to give instructions on what to post.
This question will clear things up and ensure that both of you are on the right page!
- Are you willing to sign a formal agreement/ contract?
A formal agreement acts as a safety net and makes collaborating and solving problems easier. Clearly outline the terms and conditions in the agreement, including termination conditions, to prevent either of you from suddenly pulling out.
Some influencers provide an agreement themselves. Make sure the terms and conditions are fair for both of you. This is, after all, a partnership. Also keep in mind that someone unwilling to sign an agreement might be a red flag. If this is non-negotiable for you, move on.
And finally, the most important question..
- How much do you charge?
I may have put this question last, but it should be one of the first questions you should ask your influencer when you reach out to them. This helps you determine if their services are within your budget from the get-go, preventing either of you from wasting each others’ time.
Many influencers have a rate sheet for different types of content and different number of sponsored posts. Do keep in mind that the higher their engagement rate, the higher the cost of their services.
With these 11 questions, you will be able to see how compatible the influencer is with your brand! But make sure to do your own research about them rather than just relying on their answers.
Have any other tips you would like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!