Here at Step In we work on behalf of brands, products and organizations to connect bloggers and influencers for different paid and trade projects. Whether it is a weekend getaway or a free lunch, you should want brands and those who work on their behalf to be able to find and connect with you.
Finding the right person to work with on behalf of the brands we represent at Step In is something we take seriously. Yes, we have tools that help identify bloggers and pull page authority and rankings but we pick our bloggers “by hand”. We spend a lot of time reading through blogs, scanning Twitter feeds, looking at Facebook pages and combing through Instagram channels of each of the people we recommend to our clients/brands and then ultimately decide to pitch. We use custom pitches written for each project and blogger which takes more time but we believe in. This process is not fast and is a lot of work, but we feel it makes the best partnerships and the projects work more smoothly.
Being in the business a long time also means we know many of the bloggers and influencers in the travel space, especially in Texas. Lots of these people we are thankful to call our friends. In groups and in person we have seen and heard more than a few complaints about brands with bad pitches that just did not hit the mark or were so far off base it was ridiculous. While brands definitely need to do their homework when reaching out, there are definitely some things you can do as a blogger and/or influencer to help the brands, products and organizations figure out if you are a good fit.
Things Bloggers Can Do To Be More Visible
After a recent research session on behalf of a travel destination, I compiled a list of things that were lacking on many influencers’ public profiles. These things will help you stand out, show clearly who you are and what you are passionate about. You want to move from the initial “quick scan” stage which we do with a large list, on to the longer “detailed review” stage as the list of potential influencers gets paired down.
We hope this checklist will be helpful for you to scan across your blog and social channels with new eyes to see if you are making it easy for brands to find you, see your hard work and reach out to partner with you!
___ Do the social media links on your blog work? I can’t tell you how many times I clicked through to dead links directly from blog sites. Yikes!
___ Can we find your channels? With so many great blog templates and widgets these days it is easy to find one that you can connect the social profiles you are active on to your blog where they are easy to find.
*Note -This one really surprised me. I found many social pages people were obviously spending time to update and put good content on them (I do content creation for clients too and I KNOW how long that takes!) but they were not linked. It took multiple google searches to find all of their social channels because they were either not linked on their blog or the social links on their blog were broken/linked to the wrong place. Not everyone is going to take the time and extra effort to go look for all your channels, make it easy and link them!
___ Are each of your channels linked to the other? On the note above, people don’t always start with your blog – no matter where they find you on the web, they should be able to get back to your main channel, ideally your blog. Are they able to do that from each of your social channels?
*Ideas – Pin a tweet on Twitter with all your links to your blog and active social channels. Use highlights on IG or at least link to your blog or a link type app on your IG bio. Use your FB “About” section to list all your social channels.
___ Do you have consistent branding? Consistent branding and photos across platforms are helpful so we know we landed in the right place! This is especially important if you don’t have the same name or handle on your blog and social channels.
___ Is your physical location easy to find and correct? If you have moved in the last few years scan all your bios to make sure they are updated. Many times offers are location based and being able to figure out what city and state you are in saves you and the brand both time.
*Example – Once we were looking for bloggers from a specific city to help talk about new flights from that city to our client’s destination. If none of your profiles state your home base, then we are just guessing!
___ Contact information easy to find? Sponsor page with all your blog stats, great! But how do we contact you? Make sure you have a contact page and that your email is on it! I visited multiple pages that had no email or contact form which makes reaching out a little complicated.
Connecting Brands and Influencers is About Finding the Right Fit
As the industry continues to grow and change, micro influencers will pave their own way. Just because you don’t have 50k-500k followers doesn’t mean a brand won’t be interested in working with you. We enjoy discovering up and coming influencers and you don’t have to have to have Kardashian status, just be a great fit for our client!
We encourage all bloggers to make it easy for products, brands and organizations to reach out to you. You never know who you might be the perfect fit for!
Take a Moment to Check All Your Profiles
Something we recommend to all our clients is to do a quarterly review of their online presence. This is a good practice for influencers too.
Here are some things you can do to keep your social channels ready for fans, followers, collaborators, advertisers and brands.
Quarterly Social Check Up:
About and Bio Pages
- Is the information current?
- Do the links work?
Profile, Cover and Header Photos
- Are they the correct size?
- Current or relevant photos and graphics (no past holiday/event/etc.)?
- Do you have cohesive branding across channels?
- Updated password?
- Two-factor authentication?
- Review all locations where logins to your social accounts have occurred.
- Confirm you are using all apps with access to your channels, if not revoke/remove access.
What are your experiences working in the influencer/brand activation space?