Jan 02, 2019 / in influencer marketing / by Sarah Parker

a day in the life of an influencer to better understand influencer marketing

It's one thing to know all the theories and best practices in an industry and another entirely to hear from the day-to-day lives of industry practitioners— including every angle of those involved in influencer marketing.

With that in mind we're launching a new Day in the Life series here on PR Forward, to give perspectives from every angle of the PR industry in the dynamic era of Digital PR. Our first perspective comes from Amber St. Peter, yoga teacher and so much more behind Good Saint. (You can find her on Instagram here.) 

Here's what she had to say about being an influencer. 

What do you think is the most misunderstood aspect of being an "influencer"? 

I think the most misunderstood part is that for many of us, the term carries more weight in social circles than it does as part of a long-term financially stable form of income. I love what I do, but it’s not all that I do, and I think that often gets lost in translation. It’s really easy to look at my job and think its easy and pays the bills, but I do it because I love it—  which means a lot of it is for free or in exchange for product until I can build a working relationship with a brand. And even then, asking for money from a large company or brand can be really intimidating!

How do brands usually approach you for a campaign or partnership? 

Often it’s through email, which is my preference. When brands contact me through Instagram or other social media, it feels inauthentic and usually is done by the person running the social media and not necessarily the people who hold the pursestrings. Once I have formed a relationship with a PR firm or brand, it’s much easier for the to approach me after that because they usually have my media kit on hand and don’t bother approaching me unless they think it’s truly a good fit. 

How do brands tend to measure the success of your campaign or partnership?

Often times its numerical metrics, but sometimes they ask about how a campaign felt or what the internal response was, and that’s nice. Some brands are more about connecting with customers than making budget. Most people are in it for the bottom line.

How do you measure the success of a campaign or partnership with a brand?

Feedback from my audience. They’re quick to call BS if they think a product feels inauthentic or off brand, and also quick to show love to a product or company that seems like a natural, real fit as opposed to a pitched post.

How do you deal with a pitch from a brand that doesn't fit?  

I usually try to be quick and honest to save us both time. Even if the money is good, if the brand doesn’t fit, it simply isn’t usually worth collaborating; if a brand reaches out and I don’t think it’s right, I try to be straight up with them and say it's not for me right now, but thank you for the opportunity and please keep me in mind for them in the future.

What's the funniest (or most painful) brand mismatch you've been pitched? 

Oh gosh. Very adult-themed content. They had a reasonable pitch (women's empowerment and taking control of your own pleasure) but there was simply no logical way for me to share that with my readers. Also I do not need my father seeing that on my Instagram 🙈 

What else would you like to include or highlight about the influencer marketing process that we haven't covered? 

I think we need to get away from paying people to promote products that simply don't make sense. I wish more ads were authentic to their audience and that more brands went for bloggers and influencers who represented their actual market and not just the same 10 super-popular influencers. I think more brands are getting back to those roots, to realizing that word of mouth has always been the best advertisement, and the people reading the advertisements are opaquely aware of how ads are changing.
Your audience isn’t stupid— stop advertising like they are. 
A perfect note to end on from Amber. 

Want more on this? Check out How Influencer Marketing Fits into Pitching.

Want to know the real secret to successful influencer marketing? It's building relationships- and more importantly- maintaining them. We can help with that.  

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About Sarah Parker

Sarah A. Parker is the Content Marketing Manager for Cision, planning, producing and curating content across channels. She previously managed content and social media for several different brands, in addition to working as a freelance writer. Find her on Twitter @SparkerWorks where she is happy to talk all things social media strategy, the dynamic world of PR, and mastiffs.