Clients will deliver briefs to you, or your talent agency if they want to work with you.
Clients will always deliver a brief to you if they want you to work on a campaign. This could happen after you or your talent agency has pitched to them for the work, or alternatively the client may have even reached out directly to you with a brief in a bid to work with you. If they’ve done the latter, it’s likely they are keen to work with you specifically on the campaign.
Once you’ve received the brief it’s up to you to respond to it. You can accept it, reject it or ask for changes to be made if there’s anything you’re uncomfortable with. This stage often includes confirming that you’re happy with the budget the client has presented to you. Be ready to implement some of those negotiation skills included earlier in the guide if it’s less than what you would like.
Once you’ve agreed on a brief the client will want you to follow it closely. It’s important to read through carefully. In addition to costing, be careful to check the key points in the brief as the client will very likely hold you to these during the campaign once you’ve agreed to them.
How will you receive briefs from clients?
There are a number of ways you may receive a brief, depending on the urgency of the campaign and other factors.
Generally speaking you will usually receive a brief by email. Therefore I recommend having an email address that isn’t your hotmail account from 2003.
If you’re a little internet savvy you can get a domain that represents you and use that. If you’re not sure how to do this give it a google. It’s simple and will cost around $20 to do. You can link the domain to google to get your emails through there too.
The people emailing you will usually be formal. They might be nice, but don’t expect the same nature of conversation you might get from an IG message from your friends. Communications will be to the point, particularly if you’ve never dealt with them before.
As an extra point, please remember, the contacts briefing you are working full time in an intense environment dealing with 30+ other things per day. At this point when briefing they only want to know that you can do the job, get an agreed rate and know they can lock you in on the campaign.
An example of what they will ask for might be:
1 x Youtube video
5 x IG Stories
1x IG post
Posted on the 11th December
It’s important to note that just because you receive a brief does not mean you have to accept it. If you feel like the campaign doesn’t fit in with your content strategy or you’re not passionate about what the campaign is advertising you can absolutely turn it down. But, if you want to genuinely be an entrepreneur you should try to find a creative way to integrate it into your content strategy, if it’s possible.
Another consideration you should have is that if you take on and complete the first campaign well, there might be another one around the corner from the same contact, so agreeing to do a paid campaign that isn’t quite ideal may help you land the big one with more budget that really is right up your street.
As always, be polite and professional when replying. And don’t be a hassle or cause them to have to send another 5 emails. The client is unlikely to be contacting you again if you’re difficult to communicate with. A good goal to try to stick to is to always try to respond within 24 hours. That really helps clients to trust you.
What important things will be included in the brief?
Brands can spend a lot of money on influencer campaigns. In exchange for this, there may be some specific requirements the client wants fulfilled to ensure the success of a campaign.
All campaigns will usually have a set of hashtags or tags (unless otherwise specified).
Many will need you to include a Swipe Up link on Instagram, or a link in bio to a website destination.
There may also be specific keywords or phrases you need to include in your content.
On all campaigns, once you’ve agreed to the brief will need to ensure you stick very closely to it. If you don’t the client may be unsatisfied and may choose not to work with you again, or may even have a case for not paying you. If you don’t like anything in the brief, negotiate with a different offer a better idea. Do this in a polite way if you can.
Taking extra time to re-read the brief is good practice and helps to ensure your content answers the requirements.
Keeping the brief in mind, it’s still important to include your own flare and personality in your content. This makes the campaign better and even more authentic. Don’t be too “salesy” to your own audience, and don’t simply hold the product up and take a selfie. Do something creative, and figure out a way to produce something your audience will like, your client will like and do this whilst working within the brief.
Again, this is you earning the dollars we talked about previously by producing good content.
What might they ask you to do?
The brand will always have a specific objective in mind when briefing an influencer. They also might already have an idea in mind of how to achieve this. Here’s a variety of ideas and objectives they may ask you to undertake in order to achieve their goals.
Become a brand ambassador.
Becoming a brand ambassador is actually a very big request. If you receive one you should be very proud as they think you represent the brand well enough and they believe your content to be of a high enough quality for them. It allows you to become an official representative, either in promotion of a single product, or for their brand as a whole and ongoing.
Being a brand ambassador comes with some additional responsibilities. First, you need to make sure your content online and your actions in public are in line with the company’s values. So, if you’re a brand ambassador for a brand that has children consumers you must steer clear of inappropriate behavior, for example cussing or anything that would not fit in with their vision.
If you’re ever unsure if your content or actions are appropriate consider if the owner of the business you’re working for was with you and if they would appreciate your content. That is often a good way to self check your content is okay.
Brand ambassadors should also speak positively of the company they are working for and have a vested interest in their products or services succeeding.
Drive online traffic to a destination.
Driving traffic is often an integral part of many campaigns.
One of the ways to do this is through the Swipe-Up function on Instagram (available for influencers with 10k+ followers). Alternatively, you can place a link at the end of a youtube video, or post a link in a bio or caption. There are different options depending on the platform you’re posting the content on.
It is also helpful in a campaign that’s based on driving traffic to encourage your audience to follow the link. This makes a big difference in the performance of the campaign.
You can create awareness by mentioning a brand or using their products or services in your content. If you’re promoting a DVD for example, show the DVD in your content, but again be creative with it. A plain photo of yourself holding a DVD is boring and your followers and client won’t be impressed. You’re being paid for your creativity as well as your reach.
There’s a lot of scope for creativity in an awareness campaign. If you take the time to create high quality and unique content it will help generate more awareness and make the client more likely to be satisfied.
Attend an event.
Attending events is a lot of fun. There are usually more props or backdrops to work into your content, and oftentimes more people for you to work and collaborate with too.
If you’re attending with other influencers feel free to ask them to get involved in your content. This is a really exciting way to spice up your newsfeed and create a powerful influencer network. Try to use the opportunity of being at the event to get to know the client as well. If they like you, they might give you more work.
Drive Sales or Purchases.
If you are asked to directly encourage sales of a product or service it’s important you genuinely believe in what you are promoting.
If you don’t, feel free to turn the campaign down so you can stay true to your audience. However, if it’s not asking your followers to spend any money you might want to give yourself some leeway in order to put food on the table and some dollars in your pocket.
Promoting products that you’re not passionate about will not yield the best results and your audience may pick up on a lack of enthusiasm. It’s also pretty immoral if you have no genuine advocacy for the product if you’re asking your audience to spend their hard earned dollars on purchasing it.
Run a competition.
Running competitions on your social accounts can be fun, and a fantastic way to really engage your audience. If you’re asked to run a competition you may be asked to define the terms of your competition yourself.
You can have your audience submit videos or answer questions, create fan art or anything relevant to the campaign at hand.
It’s often one of the most simple content pieces you can do. Be aware though that you will need to select a winner. Perhaps use a random generator on google to get your winner.
Produce content around another content piece
You may be asked to produce content around a trailer launch, press conference, article or other. You can do this through reaction videos, Swipe-Ups or any other creative approach that fits the campaign.
To sum up
Getting briefs from brands can be a little stressful. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to speak to clients or how to answer a brief. Don’t panic and use your talent agency if you have one, or ask as many questions as you like until you feel you understand what they are asking you to do.