What Brands Look For When Selecting Influencers

Are you a micro influencer looking to start working with small or local brands? I am no expert - and I am only speaking from experience - but I thought my insight could be helpful if this is the case for you.

I work as marketing manager for a small beauty brand in Toronto, and part of my job includes recruiting micro influencers and YouTubers to work with.

My team and I select individuals based on many variables such as following, engagement, type of audience and if their content is brand aligned. Other than those more brand-specific characteristics, there are some other things to consider as an influencer if you are hoping to make it easier for small brands to find you and work with you. These can be applied to any brand, product or industry (and totally just my opinion!).

1. Post what you want to promote

It's super simple - if you want to work with fashion brands, post more outfit photos! If you want to work with beauty brands - post lots of selfies, makeup tutorials, skincare routines, etc. Whatever your niche is, you should try to stick to it. I'd say narrow the focus of your content down to 2-3 things if you can.

2. Your Instagram bio matters

This is so important! When I am on the hunt for influencers, I want to take my time and look at candidates properly, but once I know they are a match - I want the next steps of the process to be simple and quick. That means finding information on their profile and adding it to a spreadsheet. 

The things that should be clear in your bio (especially on Instagram) should be your full name (first + last), your email and your location. I know that Instagram has an "email" prompt button but I would highly suggest you still type your email in your bio. Influencer relations typically work on a desktop and want to copy and paste text (and you can't see the "email" prompt on a desktop).

3. Followers count - but engagement is just as (if not more) important!

It's all about quality over quantity when it comes to followers.

We all know by now that it is very easy to spot when "fake followers" or "paid likes" occur. Recruiters can tell by analyzing your authentic engagement and checking your engagement rate. This is a key telling sign if your account has engaged and interacting followers that care about what you post. Brands want to know that they will be getting their product or service in front of as many "quality" followers as possible. 

4. Have a voice + tell your story

Share your story and share what makes you unique. Brands love to work with interesting people and want to know that you as an influencer, will promote their product in an interesting and creative way that fits into your lifestyle and will resonate with your engaged audience. 

5. Hashtag your location

This is a good one! You may want to start using hashtags such as #TorontoBlogger or #OntarioBlogger in your next Instagram posts. A lot of recruiters will search through location-relevant hashtags to find their next influencer match! You never know when your photo will stand out in the pool of hashtags.

6. Make everything easy + accessible

It should be easy to contact you!

The recruiter should be able to easily find basic info such as your email address, your first name (at the very least) and where you are located. As mentioned above, make sure these things are in your Instagram bio, but also make sure they are other places too! If you have a blog, YouTube channel, etc. you should make sure that all information is present on an "About" page as well. Be sure to double check that all social media and external links are working too! Very important. 

What kind of brands do you want to work with next? If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading today.

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