Tips For Influencers on Protecting Your Audience in Collaborations
We all get excited about new collaborations! I know I do. One thing I’ve learned, as I’ve watched my own platform grow in size and more importantly in it’s daily reach, is that you can’t jump for the visibility/money/status that comes with *every new* venture. This means valuing your work and knowing your brand valuation in the dollar amount.This way you will draw towards and align with brands that are operating in alignment with the direction of you work.
Whether you have 500 or 5M followers this same advice applies. Valuation and actual profit are distinctly different. Your valuation can help you understand how to position your business. In 2014 my brand valuation was estimated at $1.2M but my business was making less than 10k/year. At the time I had about 1500 followers and a list of 400 people.
I didn’t know what to do with ANY of that information at the time. I’d been building my work since 2009 and really just working to get people in class. I know many of you are the same. The focus is on getting people to buy, sign up, attend etc but we must have time to think 5-10 years down the line. We must find the time to step outside of the work of the business to continue expanding the vision. That’s where aligned collaborations play apart to grow your reach, build your audience and generate profit.
With that being said protecting the audience and community you’ve built with your content and sweat equity is crucial.
So here are my tips:
When you start a new collaboration do not give them access to your entire audience.
Test and segment for the first collaboration and then as the relationship builds add more of your audience to the agreement. The same applies. You can do this focusing one week of your marketing efforts each month on list building.
This way if:
-It’s not a good fit
-Values change suddenly
-The Project gets cancelled
-The client refuses to pay
-The client relationship goes south
You don’t have:
-Residual traffic going to said client after the relationship has ended
-You don’t have to do a massive delete of advertising or marketing efforts
-You keep your audiences trust
Your advertising efforts/collaboration efforts with a new clients should never never never start on your social accounts. No matter how much deleting you do social never forgets.
Give new collaborations a 8 week beta test MINIMUM start with a small test group of people in that market, aligned demo/pyscho graphics. This should be roughly 10% of your total audience. If collaborators don’t have time to wait they don’t deserve your business. And advertising takes longer than one post. I don’t care what people sell you. Anyone who is telling you one post (everytime) sells out is not giving you all the facts. Yes, single posts can sell out an item or an event but that’s unlikely for most brands all the time. Build long term partnerships for less urgency and more trust on all sides.
Having a large audience and a large reach is not the only factor in selling. Protect the audiences that you’ve built with your content by being even more strategic about what you place in front of them.