Essential Guide to Influencer Marketing plus a FREE Tracking Spreadsheet

Influencer marketing is a great way to grow your online store and drive more traffic to it. When I was running Crafty Pie, I worked with bloggers all the time to promote my wedding invitation designs, new product lines, etc and get new customers.

Recently, I’ve used an influencer marketing service called Fame Bit to grow my new jewelry/accessories business, Bisjoux Rose. I’ll share my experience on that below.

So what is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing means working with individuals who have an influence over a particular audience, specifically the audience who would be interested in your products. Types of influencers include bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers, social media stars or anyone who has an audience that you can leverage.

So how do you go about finding influencers in your niche?

There are two ways. You can either find them and reach out yourself, or you can use a service like Fame Bit where you create a campaign and have influencers submit proposals to work with you. I’ve done both, and will share the pros and cons to each.

Manually Reaching Out

So in order to reach out to influencers, you first need to find them. Here’s some ideas on how to find influencers in your niche:

  • Search Google for “keyword” blog (example: fashion blog, technology blog, fitness blog)
  • Search Buzz Sumo for your keywords to find blogs related to your niche
  • Search Instagram hashtags related to your niche to find Instagrammers you can partner up with
    Reach out in Facebook groups asking if there are any blogs interesting in partnering up.
  • Search YouTube videos related to your niche to find YouTubers to partner up with.
  • Reach out in Facebook groups asking if there are any blogs interesting in partnering up.

When reaching out to influencers, you’ll need to find their contact information. You can do this by searching for their email or contact form on their website, or sending them a direct message on their Instagram or their Facebook business page.

Once you’ve found the influencers and their contact information, you can record them in a spreadsheet. You can use my free influencer marketing tracking sheet.

Here is an email template you can use:

Hey {{Name}},

I’m {{your name}} with {{company name}}. I love what you’re doing with your blog/Instagram/YouTube account and I was wondering if I could send you a free {{your product}}. If you like it, feel free to post about it/take a picture of yourself with it.

Thanks!
{{Your_Name}}

You can also offer to share a coupon code or other promotion to their audience as an added incentive.

If the influencers you reach out to have a big audience, they may ask for compensation in return for putting together content. This is normal and to be expected.

For example, if you reach out to a fashion blogger who has 100,000 visitors to their blog each month, in order to leverage that blogger’s audience, you most likely will have to pay them a fee in exchange for creating content around your product and a blog post promoting it.

These fees can vary depending on the size of the influencer’s audience and the amount of work they will be putting into the campaign.

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly because you’re doing all of the research so you don’t have to pay an extra fee of using a service like Fame Bit.
  • You can really go deep in your research and find influencers that will fit well with your brand.

Cons:

  • More time consuming because you’re doing all of the research and outreach yourself.
  • You may not hear anything back at all from some of the influencers.

What is Fame Bit?

Fame Bit is a place for brands to find influencers like Instagrammers, YouTubers and other social media stars, to promote their products. This can be in the form of creating content based around your product, like a lifestyle photo on Instagram or a product review on YouTube. It’s free to sign up and submit a campaign. Working with influencers can start as low as $25 and go as high as several thousand dollars, depending on their reach and influence and how much work will go into the campaign. Fame Bit also adds a percentage onto the campaign to get their cut.

How Does it Work?

You can sign up for a free account and then create a campaign for free. It will ask you where you want to promote your brand, and you have a choice of several social media websites like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

fame bit campaign types, influencer marketing

If you choose YouTube, it will ask you what type of video you’re looking for. There are several options. You can ask the influencers to do a review of your product, film a tutorial on how to use your product, or if you’re a fashion brand, put together a lookbook.

fame bit video campaigns, influencer marketing

Then you will add more information about your campaign, like what you’re promoting (a new product line, a sale, website launch, etc.), price range, deadline and details on your brand and what you’re looking to get out of the campaign. Be as specific as possible. You want to be very clear with the influencers on what you want. This will avoid any costly misunderstandings.

fame bit campaign, influencer marketing

Once you’ve submitted your campaign, you’ll start receiving proposals from influencers. From here, you can review their proposal, check out their social media accounts and see if they fit with your brand’s style and budget.

fame bit proposals, influencer marketing

Once you’ve found someone that fits your campaign’s needs, you can hire them. It will ask you to pay the agreed upon amount. This money is held in escrow and isn’t paid to the influencer until they’ve created the content and sent it to you.

Pros:

  • Influencers come to you so you don’t have to waste time finding them and manually reaching out and hearing anything back.
  • Influencer marketing campaigns can be budget-friendly, but bear in mind, you get what you pay for. So do your research on the influencers before you hire them.
  • It’s easy to set up a campaign.

Cons:

  • Anyone can sign up as an influencer, so they might have inflated numbers (paying for followers) in order to get more money. This results in very low to little engagement with your brand. So again, do your research.
  • Some influencers will just send a proposal to every campaign hoping to get hired. This means you can spend a lot of time wading through proposals from influencers that do not align with your brand at all or fit your campaign’s needs.

You can use my free influencer marketing spreadsheet tracker to keep track of all the influencers you want to work with and track the ROI of your campaigns.

Mistakes I made

A couple of mistakes I made when working with influencers on Fame Bit:

  • I didn’t spend enough time researching the influencers, their reach, their engagement percentage and asking for referrals. I just saw the amount of followers/likes they had, looked at their profiles and thought that was enough. But research is key! Otherwise, you might waste a lot of money on someone with inflated numbers and get no results.
  • I didn’t track the campaign. I got a couple of Instagrammers to mention the products, but other than having them mention the brand’s Instagram and use a hashtag, I couldn’t tell if I was getting any followers or traffic back to my website from the influencers. The best way to do this for an Instagram campaign is to give them an exclusive coupon code. This way you’ll know which orders came from the influencer. Or work out an agreement where you can give them a tracking link like bit.ly that they can put in their profile for a specific amount of time while the campaign is running. Not all influencers will be up for this, but it can’t hurt to ask and you need to know if you’re getting results from your campaign.

What I would do differently:

  • When looking to hire an influencer, I would ask them for a referral from a brand they’ve worked with previously.
  • When working with Instagrammers again, I would work with influencers who also have their own blog where they can also post about my brand and link back to my website. Having a link back to your website has more staying power than an Instagram post with no link.
  • I would also work with the influencer to provide more incentive for their audience and get them to my website through a giveaway or coupon code rather than a passive mention. The key take away is to try to get as much out of the campaign as possible and get traffic back to your website, which you can get on an email list and convert that traffic to paying customers.

Have you used influencer marketing in your business, or tried a service like Fame Bit? Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear about your experience.

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