5 Essential Tips For Mastering Every Brand Collaboration As A Social Media Influencer

One of the most exciting parts about being a content creator is partnering with brands for collaborations. In exchange for free products, compensation and creative freedom, you offer influence and a niche audience that brands can’t help but be attracted to.  But, in order to grow your personal brand and take it to the next level, it’s important to really nurture each brand relationship and master every collaboration you join in on!

Believe me - I get it. As a content creator, sometimes you can be juggling so many projects at once that key components like reading post guidelines thoroughly or following-up after posting, can get overlooked. To help, I put together a list of the top 5 essential tips for mastering a brand collaboration that, if executed, will leave the brand with a lasting impression and make them eager to collaborate again or even refer you to other brands for opportunities!

 

1. Be Enthusiastic   

I can’t stress this enough! Brands want to know you’re excited about the opportunity, not just looking for another sponsorship to pay the bills. When e-mailing brands, try to refrain from one-liners like "Thanks” or “Oh Ok”. Take some time to make sure your email etiquette is on top of its game and professional by checking for any spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors.  Make it personal and communicate your enthusiasm about the opportunity by adding exclamation marks and even an emoji here and there. Remember, your messages are a reflection of you and your personal brand, so take the time to put some thought into each one and always proof read before pressing send!

 

2. Respond in a Timely Fashion

With smartphones and technology always at our fingertips, responding to emails and messages promptly is easier than ever. We actually found that, on Revfluence, content creators who were very responsive and replied to brands within 48 hours were 2X more likely to land a second project with the brand! 

You know that stressful feeling when something unexpected happens, making you unable to post on time or messing up your content schedule? Brands are relying on your content too for their marketing schedules, so always try to respond to their emails within 48 hours! Especially if they’ve already sent product or your post date is coming up, do your best to keep brands in the loop so they don't become concerned! With that said, if you do plan on traveling or being in an area where internet access is limited, definitely let the brand know. Believe me -- this will work in your favor in the long run and the brand will be grateful for the update!

 

3. Be Flexible and Easy to Work With

Let’s face it, some partnerships can be challenging. But, in order to master a brand collaboration, being flexible is key. Sometimes, a brand might not have the exact product you’re wanting or shipping might be delayed causing your post date to change. Instances like these will just happen from time to time to so work with the brand to come up with a solution that will work for both you.

Also, try to make things easier for the brand by answering questions before they’re asked! For example, after they ship your product, make it a plan to shoot them a quick message as soon as you receive it at your doorstep. Although your content might not be due for a couple of days, keeping them in the loop will alleviate any concern or confusion they may have! When you’re easy to work with, brands will definitely remember and will want to work with you again.

 

4. Follow the Brand’s Guidelines

Ironically, this tip gets overlooked probably more than any other! Before you jump into content creation, remember to take some time to read any guidelines the brand sent over. Typically there is some pretty crucial information that lies within them like your post date, talking points, specific hashtags to use, etc. Nothing is worse than spending hours creating content, only to find out you missed half the guidelines they asked you to read beforehand!

Although brands definitely want you to use your creative freedom, following all guidelines and posting on time is crucial to the success of your post! With that said, if you’re confused or need clarification about something, it never hurts to ask, in fact, brands will appreciate it.  Not only will asking help you in the long run, but it will also show them that you’re fully invested in the collaboration and are eager to make sure they’re happy with your content!

 

5. Be Grateful and Follow-up

Not only did you put a lot of work into the collaboration, it’s likely the team member you worked with also put in a lot of effort by sending you product, creating a brief, coordinating post dates, etc. So show the partnership was important to you by sending a grateful follow-up message or even a handwritten letter. You could even go the extra mile by following up a few weeks down the road to share the success of your post (clicks, number of likes, comments, etc.).  Sending a follow-up will keep the conversation going and will definitely make you stand-out. It could even possibly land you a future collaboration down the road!

 

So there you have it -- those are our top 5 tips for mastering brand collaborations and growing your personal brand. Although your influence and creativity are essential for landing sponsorships, maintaining a professional reputation is key to making a lasting impression on brands and landing more opportunities down the road!

Troubleshoot Your YouTube Channel With These 7 Tips For Quality Videos

Whether you’re a beauty guru, foodie expert, or DIY authority, YouTube can be a space not only for endless inspiration, but also a great opportunity to share your expertise and experience with your favorite products. And where there's product, there’s marketing potential. This is where influencer marketing comes in: brands look for the best representativesand best fit for the companyto introduce their merchandise, and they do this by checking out what kind of quality your channel has. Do videos have optimized titles that viewers will be interested in? Are the videos well produced and thought out? These are all the types of questions top brands will keep in mind when looking for the best match for their product on YouTube. So, we decided to put together a troubleshooting guide to make your videos really shine. 

Here’s our list of troubleshooting tips:

1. Lighting is a make-or-break. There are few things more agonizing than squinting through a dark or dimly lit video—especially when you’re trying to learn more about a product. If you're not in a place to invest in some lighting equipment for your video space yet, then make sure the room where you film your reviews is well lit. Lots of natural light will make your videos look clean and fresh, but if you don't have any big windows then be sure your overhead lights are bright and not too yellow.

2. Make it snappy. Take advantage of the basic editing tools that YouTube provides: in particular, keep your clips short if you’re recording yourself giving the review. If you catch yourself pausing, or punctuating a lot with “uhms” or “ahs,” you’ll probably want to trim those out for a more polished review. You can also have fun with these cuts for a playful tone to your videos with sound effects (Just don't go overboard!). We personally think that Christen Dominique is a total pro at making her cuts quick, clean, and natural in her beauty videos. Take notes, friends.

3. Sound check (1, 2…) This is also a must, up there with what we said about lighting earlier. Don't be shy, speak up for the camera! If you are normally soft spoken, be aware of it and compensate by raising your volume a little more than usual, or changing the microphone settings on your camera or computer. If brands and viewers have to seriously crank the volume and still struggle to hear you, it might be time to make some of these changes.

4. Tidy up the frame. It can be easy to ignore your background when working on your own video, but your viewers can be pretty perceptive as to what's going on behind you. Above, Christen shares that she's actually in her bedroom but has put up the blue paper backdrop behind her. Smart! The last thing you want are objects cluttering up the background and drawing the focus away from you. Worse yet, drawing attention to your messy room! A simple backdrop will absolutely ensure you'll be taking all the spotlight within your frame.

5. Work your SEO. Search Engine Optimization. What does that mean for your YouTube? It means instead of titling your video something arbitrary like "My Hair Feels So Great" try adding an action or answer to a question searchers might have, such as "How To Get Effortless Soft Hair," or "My Review of [Brand's Hair Product] for Soft Hair" .... You get our point. Also a pro-tip: place text over your video thumbnail with a part of your title or a short caption about its content. Check out celeb Marianna Hewitt's channel for ideas.

6. How you present product is important. If you're reviewing a beauty product, whether it's in a bottle, a jar, or on a palette, be sure to give your viewers a good look at it. Focus up the item close to your camera, show how you used it, talk about how it smells, anything that will give your subs a better understanding and feel for the product from your description. A similar guideline goes for any other type of product: this may sound obvious, but do give a heartfelt opinion and comment (beyond "This is great!").

7. Be yourself :) Our final piece of advice, YouTube was made for creators to express themselves and share experiences with others, so be true to you! Have fun with your videos and it will show. YouTube is home to some of the most passionate creators and the most loyal followings, where people find new communities and connections. And we're all about that. 

And that's it for our guide! With these troubleshooting tips, you're sure to have some of the most attractive videos out there.

Also, Remember to hit follow on our Twitter and Instagram at the handle @Revfluence and keep checking back for more favorites and tips for your brand or creator profile. 😊

Get the attention of fitness brands: 5 Tips on how to make yours the most #goals profile

If exercise is your “thing”your passion, obsession, or your keep-you-sane ritualchances are it’s already made an appearance of some kind on your social media as well. And why not? It’s a part of your life. But if you’re looking to take it to another level and make fitness a larger element in your blog, Instagram or YouTube channel, we’ve got some tips for you.

Fitness brands have taken influencer marketing very seriouslyas they should! The average person who’s in the market for buying activewear and other fitness products probably isn’t following all the potential brands they’re interested in on social media… But who are they already following? Their favorite creators who share a variety of all things fitness, whether it's fit-inspiration, daily grind, healthy bites, or new routines to try out. And that’s exactly who brands want to work with.

But how can you boost your own profile to gain influence and capture the attention (and sponsorship) of your favorite brands? You came to the right place! Keep scrolling, friends.

Revfluence's tips for making the most #goals fitness profile:

1. Vary your content.

For activewear campaigns, it takes a bit of extra creativity to get a really eye-grabbing shot. If you ever find yourself posting multiple photos of the same mirror selfie posing in different yoga pants... it may be time to shake it up. Check out how some our talented creators rocked their activewear collabs in unique poses, angles and different environments beyond the gym or the house. Don't be afraid to experiment!

2. Get on a schedule.

Just like fitting regular exercise into your busy life, scheduling is also important for your media presence. Producing content consistently and reliably is a must for gaining a following and to get on a brand's radar. Draft ahead of time, and set a reminder for when you want to post. Or, if you want to be super-efficient, download a scheduling app that lets you queue up social posts and does it for you! We love Buffer.com for this.

3. Incorporate the full routine.

No matter what your activity is, we know there are a lot of other components that go into it. From warmup to cool-down and diet, there are opportunities for a product collaboration at any step if you're creative. Extensive stretching routine? Hit spin class after work? Juggling pre-workout and breakfast for the kids? Like we said about varying your content, give your followers and potential partner brands a good sampling of how fitness fits into your daily life.

4. FOCUS ON POSITIVITY.

The mood that you present on your profile can say a lot about you. Keeping up a rigorous fitness routine is hard, and challenges always come with the respective struggle, but staying positive is so valuable if you want to be a motivational influencer. Keeping an upbeat and affirmative tone in your captions won't just lift your readers' mood but can be a great tool for boosting your own motivation too! 

5. Experiment with Different media.

We're all familiar with the #fitspo Instagrams, but have you checked YouTube lately? There are some truly amazing creators out there who vlog and record their way through the day and give their insights and tips for maintaining a healthy routine. These vary from strict tutorial videos to channels with healthy recipes and daily regimens. We especially love Christine Salus' fitness and lifestyle channel!

 We hope you've picked up a few useful strategies for your fitness blog! We love to learn what works for our creators and what gets them to make connections with brands they love. For more tips and updates from us, be sure to follow our Instagram and Twitter. Also! If you're a brand looking for some of our creators' best content, head over to our Pinterest and check out the many categories that have made great influencer connections on the platform. 

 

A Creator's Toolbox: The Best Photo Apps for The Most Likable Posts

With the latest advances in smartphone tech, the mobile camera is more powerful than ever. The image quality you can get out of your iPhone or Android in 2016 has made it pretty much useless for aspiring and even professional photographers to carry a digital point and shoot camera in their bag. In fact, photographers have spent a lot of time researching and debating the comparison of iPhone 6s photographs to the what a robust DSLR camera can turn out. If you’re interested in how the iPhone stacked up, check out this article from one of the many internet authorities on reviewing new tech.

But taking good photographs to display or post for your blog or Instagram goes beyond just the camera. With so much power literally at your fingertips, the app-store is overflowing with fun tools to edit and play with your photos. All of it can be a little overwhelming, so we’ve put together a little guide of our own to give you tips on the best editing and photo-enhancing apps you can use for the most professional quality shots on your phone.

From shooting to sharing...  here are our photo app picks:

1.  Take your shot: VSCO Cam

With VSCO, we can't ignore the app visuals. Its streamlined, minimalist design and in-app gallery of your shots and edits alone are enough to make anything on the other side of the lens look good. But the app packs a serious punch when it comes to capturing the perfect photo. From basic gridlines to an in-camera level that shows you when your horizon or object is squared up, this camera does it all for composition. You can also take manual control of exposure, put a lock on white-balance, and set separate focal points for focus and auto exposure. For creators wanting to get more hands on with their shots, or for the seasoned photographer looking for a well-designed and intuitive tool on the go, VSCO is absolutely it.

2.  Filter + Toolbox: Afterlight

Afterlight is the one-stop-shop for all kinds of editing and any filter you can imagine. And if you're like us and see the $0.99 price tag in the app-store and seriously evaluate your spending, take our word: it's worth it. Packed with tools from basic tweaks to advanced control on any level, this editor makes it easy to tweak and layer all kinds of enhancements and filters on your image.

Some of our favorite Afterlight features are:

  1. Filters: The app creators come out with new filter "packs" with varying moods. You can layer up and adjust as many filters as you want for your desired effect.

  2. Distortions: You can normally only find these edits in a single-purpose app, but Afterlight does a great job incorporating light leak effects or instant film filters to make your photos have an analogue mood. You can even add a little dust and wear to your shot.

  3. Frames: Beyond the basic square. Feature your photo in a solid colored or patterned frame of any geometric shape, silhouette, and even cursive letter. And if you want to take your vintage to another level there are also polaroid-esque frames to pick from!

4.  The Insta-Duo: Layout & Boomerang

Instagram has rolled out a handful of secondary apps for video and optimizing photos for your Insta. Layoutwith a fairly self-explanatory nameis an app we use all the time when we want to feature more than one photo in a post. After you pick a base layout to display your pics, you can adjust everything from border placement and width to image size and easily reorganize photos in your collage. Hands down the easiest collage tool out there.

Boomerang is a new trend that you've probably seen in your Insta feed already or on Facebook. It may not be a photo editing tool, but we still had to make a shout out because if you're serious about Instagram you have to at least give it a try! This fun video capturing app takes a few seconds of footage and gives you the final product: a loop of play forward and rewind that's totally mesmerizing. Try capturing even the most mundane movement and watch the views stack up on your Instagram.  

5.  Share: Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising is a company that specializes in printing photos directly from your smartphone. With the app, you can upload your best photos or dearest memories from your phone or from Instagram and order amazing quality prints of any type. Perfect for gifts and saving memories that will last outside of the pixels on your screen. 

And that's it for our guide! With these handy tools in your pocket, you're sure to have some of the best posts around. Have fun showcasing your editing skills and creative eye for getting the perfect photo!

Also, Remember to hit follow on our Twitter and Instagram at the handle @Revfluence and keep checking back for more favorites and tips for your brand or creator profile. Have a lovely weekend! 😊