How To Prepare For Your Meetings With Brands and Sponsors
Your hard work finally paid off – the brand of your dreams has reached out to you with a partnership offer! The deal is almost sealed. All you have to do is show up for a scheduled meeting and impress them. Though most of us, appear to be the social types – at least online, from the comfort of our homes – in-person meetings can give us shivers. "What if I say something wrong?" "What should I bring for the meeting?" are the thoughts rushing through your mind right now. Here are some pro tips from the team to help you kick anxiety to the curb.
Dig up information about the brand.
While this brand may be your long-time favorite, it's still a good idea to do some in-depth research before you go all in. Here's what to do:
Get to know more about the campaign they are hiring you for. Is it to cover a new product launch? Promote a seasonal offering? Or something else? In each case, the brand will have different goals on their agenda. Try figuring those out in advance to align your in-person pitch. You can proactively ask the contact person about their goals and do some research on your own.
Ask about the results the brand wants to achieve (and think about if you can deliver those). If your client expects immediate results after the campaign, you may need to explain that sales rarely happen overnight, and they should be tracking results over at least a 3-month period. Unmet expectations are never good on either end.
At this point, it’s also worth thinking about the campaign deliverables. You and the brand should reach a mutual understanding on what coverage you'll be providing, how you'll measure the results and how long it will take. It's best to prepare a few quick packages with different pricing options so that you can refer to them during the meeting. You can be flexible with those, but having them prepared will help you avoid being put on the spot by the brand's demands.
Don't be in a rush to flash numbers.
“I have over 150K followers across Instagram/Facebook and my blog gets 200K hits per month,” – isn’t a great opening statement for your brand meeting. It sends the absolutely wrong vibe – the one of an influencer merely interested in earning some quick money. Brands are quick to crack bloggers who are flashing the vanity numbers, rather than boast actual authority and trust from their readership. You're a savvy blogging babe, right? That’s why you should prep another elevator pitch line. Something like:“My followers on Instagram are mainly from the UK, aged between 20-35. That’s your target audience, I believe? An average post gets at least 1,000 likes and some 20+ meaningful comments. My engagement rate is 12% - slightly above the beauty industry average.”Additionally, if you want to impress the company with your blog stats, pull out the next numbers from your Google Analytics account.
Be strategic with how you present your partnerships.
Influencer marketing is certainly hot, but it quickly becomes saturated. Brands today are starting to act more selective as they don’t want to be promoted along with their competitors or hurdle with a bunch of other sponsors in your feed.That’s why you shouldn't rush to mention each and every company you have ever worked with. Instead, play the scarcity card and drop something like: “I have learned to be really selective with the brands I work with and I feel really interested in working with your company as it perfectly resonates with my brand and I believe my audience will trust and engage with my recommendations.”
Create a Quick Case Study.
For the meeting, you should have your media kit all polished up and up-to-date. To make partnering with you sound even more enticing, spice it up with the following juicy bits:
Data from past campaigns (relevant to the brand). So you partnered with another subscription company last year. Reach out to them and ask if they care to share some data on the campaign (they should have plenty!). Include it as a quick snippet to show that working with you pays off. “After the 'Awesome Summer Campaign', brand Y has seen a 12% increase in subscriptions and my readers drove over $2,500 in new product sales within 2 weeks.”
List testimonials. Those could be both from your past partners and your readers. Show the new brand that your audience values your opinions, trusts your suggestions and actually takes action on those!
On The D-Day.
Confirm the time, date and place once again a day or two in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises and ask who will be in the meeting along with your point of contact.
Plan your route in advance and make sure you have plenty of time to make it to the meeting. You don’t want to rush and arrive all sweaty and nervous.
Be fabulous. Act confident, show the value you can bring to the brand and enjoy the whole process! Are you a CD Babe? Take note and let's discuss on Slack!