You have a passion you want to share with the world. You create a blog. You post ideas and you build a following. It’s exciting, fun and fulfilling. But when is it time to take your content and new brand from passion project to money-making machine with advertising partnerships?
Find Your Influence CEO and co-founder Jamie Reardon has been working with top brands for over a decade and knows what they are looking for in influencer marketing.
Reardon started Find Your Influence in 2013. The company manages relationships with leading brands like Zappos, Kohls and Cheesecake Factory, and pairs them with the right influencers to create successful partnerships for both parties.
We chatted with Reardon to get the inside scoop on monetizing brands and when it’s time to make the jump from blogger to influencer.
How long does it take to build a following?
Jamie Reardon: In terms of starting to really create content, that’s a couple of months — a good six months, we typically recommend — before brands will start integrating with you. And that’s on the shorter side of the spectrum.
Six months of creating content, but then it’s also going to depend where your social following is at that point. If you’re looking to be an influencer that’s engaging with brands, you need 10,000 followers on a monthly basis on average to start getting those opportunities from them.
When should influencers work for trade versus when should they ask for compensation?
JR: From a trade perspective, a lot of it depends on content calendars. Working with brands from a sponsorship perspective, maybe, twice a week creating content. Any more than that and we view it as the risk of over-saturating with paid content, so that’s something to keep in mind when influencers are deciding to work with brands.
How are Fortune 500 companies working with influencers?
JR: The last stat we saw, and don’t quote me on the exact amount, but I believe it was over 70 percent of the Fortune 500/Fortune 5000 brands were doing influencer marketing. Whether it was compensation-based or more working with journalists from that perspective on an exchange basis, that depends. Most of the large brands are doing influencer marketing, absolutely. In terms of how many really get it, we’re seeing a lot of those that don’t get it going to the advertising agencies or companies like ours that do.
If they haven’t been doing it, it’s been in the last 24 months that everyone’s recognizing that they absolutely have to be doing it — particularly with ad blockers when it comes to display ads the things that are going on. The way consumers are absorbing content is changing.
What should influencers expect from exclusive contract terms?
JR: We typically will see one-to-three month exclusivity terms — sometimes before or after. Anything over a year and that — again, when we’re talking about a year, we’re talking about a big program sponsorship deal together — anything over a year and I’d really question it.
JR: Typically when the FYI Talent Management side comes in, you are so overwhelmed with brand sponsorship deals that it’s hard to field. Or you’re not sure which terms to be looking for [in contracts]. And then, if you’re looking for other channels to add to what you’re currently doing. If you’re building events, if you’re creating a product line, there’s all different ways content creators are building their brand. If you need a manager to help execute these visions that may be outside of creating your brand, then that’s another strong option we typically see. When it comes to getting management, your following is typically a couple hundred thousand, if not more.
For more information about Find Your Influence, check out their website.