It happens to every blogger who’s been putting in that good work. You photos are great, you’ve been posting on your site consistently, and your social media following is rising organically. Then, you get an email from the brand that you’ve been stalking! Yes! If you remember from my ‘Blogging While Broke‘ post, most bloggers barely make enough to pay for daily cup of coffee. So, when a brand reaches out to you, ANY BRAND, you get hype!
But then, they send you that . . . questionnaire. You start answering the question and they ask about your NUMBERS:
- How many Instagram followers do you have?
- How many Facebook followers do you have?
- How many unique visits does your website receive?
You answer truthfully because that’s what a real businessperson does. If you are like me you get a little nervous before sending that response email. The question lingers in the air; what if my numbers aren’t good enough?
Real-talk, I’ve lost a good amount of brand partnerships because my numbers weren’t up to standard. But, I’ve gained a some amazing brand partnerships (ahem . . . Tiffany’s New York) just because my name is good in these blogging streets. I know how to compel brands to work with me! So, how do you balance having a GOOD NAME, good engagement, but weak numbers?
What’s the standard?
First of all, you need to know the standard that most brands are looking for. Do your googles and a you’ll find most brands want an influencer to have:
- 10,000+ Instagram followers
- 5,000+ Facebook followers
- 5,000+ twitter followers
And, if you are a traditional blogger with a website (like the one your reading, HEY!) you should have at least: 5,000+ MONTHLY unique views on your web site. Mind you, what I’ve posted above is the MINIMUM! Remember, you are in competition with ALL the girls on the internet who’ve found the perfect way to represent themselves on internet and social media platforms. So, when the brands knock on your email door, it’s understandable that you get nervous if your numbers aren’t up to par.
Let’s talk about engagement
If you’re still working on strengthening your numbers, how can you compel a brand to give you a chance. It’s all about ENGAGEMENT. Engagement is how people respond to the content you put on the internet. Social media engagement measures the public shares, likes, and comments for an online business’ social media efforts (source). I’ve had photos I posted on Instagram that didn’t get alot of likes, but had a lot of comments and questions. I’ve seen my blog posts get tons of comments and linkbacks when it didn’t get alot of love on Facebook or Twitter.
Remember, engagement is another way to show brands that your work is important and your readers are compelled by your content. You work is important, you have to figure out how to tell your story when the brands come knocking. Take a look at your engagement rates at least once a month and update your media kit as needed. Oh, you don’t have a media kit? Keep reading.
Work on your media kit
The best way to tell your story is to update your media kit. When your quantitative numbers don’t meet the industry standard you have to work on your qualitative reporting. Create a media kit that tells your story. For example, get your favorite readers to give testimonials on how your blog and/or social media presence has enhanced their life. Research how your content effects your demographics; you may notice you have a huge reach your small town even if you aren’t reaching the whole southeast. Tell the brands about where your work helps the most people.
It’s time for me to update my media kit, but the last time I did my kit, I found that I had an amazing reach with women ages 35-45. Surprised me! I mean, yes, I’m in that bracket too, but I didn’t know most of y’all go UP for me like that. When I researched the interests and earning potential of women in that age range, I was able to tailor my content to my target demographic. Then, I was able to compel a brand that these women NEEDED to hear my views on their product. Research YOU and how YOU reach your demographic.
And stay consistent
Believe me, the numbers will catch up. Even I’m struggling to hit that MAGIC 10,000 followers level on Instagram (c’mon Jesus). As I wait for those followers to come, I work hard on other social media platforms and holding myself accountable for posting consistently on the blog, Instagram, Facebook, etc. You may post everyday, or every other day. But make sure that target demographic that loves you, is getting what they expect from you.
Then, tell the brands about your QUALITY, CONSISTENCY, and DEMOGRAPHICS. Fight for yourself. Then ask to be considered for future projects. Stay out of your feelings and stay in your bag!
Yes, this is a numbers game but more than that it’s an IMPACT game. If your one blog post or photo on Instagram helps ONE READER or makes someone smile, you’ve done your job. You have done your job!
The brands will come, the readers will come, the money WILL COME!