What is Brand Repping?
‘Brand repping’ stands for brand representation. It is possible for celebrities and influencers to become a brand representative; this entails being paid by a brand to support and advertise their brand.
Brand repping differs according to the brand and influencer involved, but it usually compromises of some sort of brand endorsement. This may involve the influencer wearing the brand’s merchandise, or posting about it a certain number of times.
How Does It Work?
Each brand deal is different and depends on the people and brands involved. There are several ways brand repping may happen:
Influencer Approaches Brand
A lot of influencers (that’s people on social media platforms like Instagram) use their large follower numbers and post engagement to approach brands they genuinely like and ask for a collaboration. They may do this by privately messaging the brand via social media, but the most professional way to approach a brand is to find their marketing department and approach them via e-mail or telephone.
It’s a good idea for an influencer to track their social media platform’s success using a tracking service like Google Analytics. This tool will help you track vital information such as platform growth rate and post interaction. Brands regularly request this information to determine how successful a collaboration would be.
A brand’s main goal from collaborating with an influencer is usually one of the following:
- Make sales
- Reach a large audience of potential customers
- Gain followers on their own social media platforms
If a brand thinks that an influencer is unable to provide one of the above, they wont want to work with you. An influencer who chooses to approach brands to work with must therefore prove their worth.
It’s likely that you won’t hear back from a brand. Don’t let this put you off; feel free to contact them again a few months down the line, or chase them via a telephone call. If they turn you down, don’t worry; be polite and leave your contact information with them in case they change their minds in the future. There are plenty of brands out there that you can contact to work with.
Brand Approaches Influencer
Larger, more successful influencers may find themselves being approached by brands who think they reflect their brand audience well.
Brands regularly search for influencers or celebrities to work with. Larger companies will have a budget to use for marketing. This may be broken down further into how much they are willing to pay influencers or celebrities to work with them.
A brand may approach an influencer via their social media page, or they may find out the influencer’s e-mail or contact information. It’s a good idea for influencers to feature contact information on their page for this reason.
Once the brand has reached out, a discussion takes place where a deal is agreed on. Details of this agreement will include payment terms, any freebies that the influencer may be sent, and what each party wants to get out of the deal. The deal may be a one-off, or the brand may ask to work with the influencer regularly or on an ongoing basis. They will usually request a one-off deal initially, though, to see how much benefit they get from it. A successful collaboration will likely lead to further work together.
Brand Offers Influencer Freebies
Some influencers (particularly those starting out) may be happy to endorse a brand for free with a couple of freebies as payment. In this case, at least one post on a social media platform is usually agreed to in exchange for clothing, accessories or anything else the brand sells. An agreement may be more long-term if the brand really likes the influencer and the influencer is able to guarantee sales from the agreement.
Influencers must decide whether this is worth their time or not. Many posts take time and money to create. A lot of new influencers agree to such terms so they can begin to make connections and gain experience working with brands.
As an influencer, it’s important you understand everything from a brand’s perspective. Small-time influencers with small follower numbers will not be beneficial enough for a brand to pay for. Brands are only willing to pay for collaborations when they know they can make the money back in sales.
Brand Gives Influencer Affiliate Link
Some brands have affiliate schemes. An affiliate scheme is a way of creating a personalised money off code for an influencer, who can then share this code with their followers. Their followers can click on this link and make a purchase from the brand. For every sale made through the link, the influencer makes a small percentage profit.
This is a great starter collaboration deal because the brand can not lose money this way and the influencer only makes money by showing they can influence their followers to make a purchase. If an influencer makes lots of sales through their affiliate link, the brand may reach out for a collaboration or even for brand ambassadorship.
Brand Pays for Image Use
Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. Brands or influencers may reach out to one another to work together – but they both must be clear on the terms of the agreement. If a brand is paying an influencer to work together, they want to make sure they get the absolute most from the deal. Influencers, on the other hand, want to get paid for minimal amount of work (after all, one photo can take a lot of time and money to create and edit). Both sides must be clear about what they agree to.
A brand may reach out to an influencer for a collaboration that requires the influencer to feature the brand’s product on a social media post. Both sides must agree whether:
- There is a time schedule
- They want to post up for a certain period, or forever
- The post sits on the timeline or only on the story mode (which disappears after some time)
There are other details to consider, such as what the image contains, what hashtags are used, what the post says and whether the post is tagged etc.
An influencer may agree to all of this and sign the agreement without reading the small print – but this is a mistake.
Some brands put a clause in their contracts which states they own the image created by the influencer. This means they can use it in their marketing material, on their social posts, and even on their websites. Influencers MUST be aware of this clause, because usually an influencer gets paid a lot more money for this type of agreement. As far as the influencer is aware, the image they’re creating is just for use on their own social media platform – not anywhere else. This is why it is vital that an influencer reads their contract thoroughly before signing it.
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What is Brand Ambassadorship?
A brand ambassador is someone who works regularly with the same brand. They may become the face of the brand, or one of many faces. Once again the contract details vary, but they may receive a certain amount of goodies from the brand every month with the expectation that they advertise this on their social media platform, or they may get paid a certain amount each month to feature the brand regularly. Brand ambassadorship is an ongoing deal, so it is a great relationship to have with a brand.
What Are Brands Looking for in a Brand Rep?
All brands are dissimilar and will therefore be looking for something different. Generally, however, they do look for similar qualities when searching for a social media brand rep.
- Followers. Brands want to work with influencers who have a large audience so their product has more chance of being seen and purchased. (Follower count is not all they look for, though, because more influencers are purchasing ‘fake’ followers to give the illusion of a large following.)
- Quality. Brands want to see high-quality images that are to a professional standard. A brand needs to be impressed by your imagery.
- Brand engagement. They want to find an influencer who is online a lot, who has a good relationship with their followers and who interacts with them regularly.
- Presentation. Brands looks for influencers who suit their company ethos as well as their products. They may want to find someone who reflects their audience.
- Authenticity. They want to work with people who are professional, reliable and not involved in online drama.
- Friendly. Brands want to work with people who are friendly and easy to communicate with.
How to Become a Brand Rep
Brand repping is not difficult to get into, but it can be difficult to make a career out of it as there are so many people trying to do it now. Obviously brands want to work with celebrities and people who have a large reach; as more celebs agree to such terms, this leaves less opportunities for aspiring influencers.
- Ask questions. All brand reps start somewhere, so don’t be afraid to ask for clarification and make some mistakes along the way. The best way you can avoid making mistakes is to ensure you are safe online and to read any agreements and contracts thoroughly before committing to anything.
- Get everything in writing. It’s also a good idea to get everything in writing. While phone calls are good for getting a plan formed, keeping a written log of the agreement is a wise thing to do for both parties.
- Instagram rules and regulations. Ensure you know the rules and regulations that Instagram has, too. Be ready to turn down brands who do not know or care about the Instagram rules.
- Improve your photography skills. If you’re new to content creation, it might be a good idea to do a photography diploma to brush up on your skills. The best way to learn, however, is to practice.
- Be unique. Copying others on Instagram never goes down well. Coming up with fresh, creative ideas is a sure-fire way to get you noticed for all the right reasons.
- Instagram handle. Choose a name that is catchy, simple and memorable. Try to choose something that is different from everything else out there.
- Negotiate. Don’t be afraid to negotiate for terms you are more comfortable with.
- Integrity. Only work with brands you like and support. If you are an influencer who is famous for supporting animal rights, and you get approached by a fur coat brand, your followers are hardly going to be happy and you will lose your integrity as an influencer.
REMEMBER – influencers must state when they have been paid to advertise or endorse a product by putting #AD on their post. Read this article for more information to ensure you’re following the rules as an influencer correctly.