Growing a great reputation is one of the most important assets in an Influencer’s arsenal. Being professional and securing briefs requires much more than meeting deadlines and managing a schedule.
Most influencers don’t start out their Instagram profile with the intention to become Insta famous. For many influencers it all began as a side passion project and blew up into a successful business. From having a way to express their creativity and connect with like-minded individuals to becoming a powerful marketing partner for brands. It’s important not to lose sight of the grass roots passion when developing a professional reputation as this is the magic that will keep you loving what you do.
To help you get repeat work with brands that you love without losing your individuality, we’ve highlighted the key things that you need to do to build a professional reputation.
1) First impressions count
Your profile photo is often the brand’s first impression of you. Among the growing competition, a profile picture can make or break your application for a campaign. Ensure that your profile picture reflects your aesthetic. This helps brands to instinctively know whether you will align with their brand.
A candid self-portrait usually works best. Choose an image which has the edits/filters you naturally use. For example, don’t use a black and white photo if you usually feature colourful tones in your feed. Avoid logos, graphics or cartoon images as these most likely do not accurately reflect the aesthetic you carefully craft in your feed.
2) Me, myself and I
Your Instagram bio should reflect your personality as well as the key themes of your account. Followers and brands will connect with you on a more personal level if you include your name in your bio.
Avoid clichéd phrases (e.g. I love life!) and come up with something uniquely meaningful to you. Remember to put in your Instagram bio the best way for brands to get in contact to avoid missing out on opportunities. Using Instagram Stories highlights is now also a great way to feature behind the scenes personality on your profile. Avoid long links. If part of a brief requires you to include a link in your bio, you can shorten it with sites like bitly.
3) Communication is key
Learn your way around your email. If you’re not using the Vamp App for brand briefs this could be the only point of contact with your client. It’s a powerful and yet simple way to market yourself to brands you work with.
Everybody has that cringe personal email account that you set up at high school. Consider upgrading to a more professional moniker. For example, firstname.lastname@example.org rather than anything with confusing lettering / numbers and definitely avoid anything gimmicky. (email@example.com anyone?!).
Setting up an e-mail signature creates a professional impression. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to make your e-mail signature look sleek and give you a strong reputation – Canva is a great place to create professional branded assets.
If you are going away or find yourself overwhelmed with personal or other work commitments, use your out of office to inform brands that you will reply as soon as you can. They’ll know not to expect an instant response. Remember the best way to get in contact with Vamp is through the App chat for any campaigns you are currently working on.
Honesty is always the best policy. Brands can smell a white lie a mile off. If you are unable to produce quality content in the timeframe given be honest and reach out to explain. At Vamp, we are pro-influencer and are happy to work with you to find a manageable timeframe for you to complete the brief.
4) Think like a brand
When shooting your images it’s important to think like brand. This will make you more likely to get selected by brands for additional usage rights. (See: The low down on digital usage rights article). This means more cash and more exposure of your content across a range of mediums including eDM, print, digital ads, etc.
Take care to hero the brand’s logo / product in your images. Refer back to the brief during your photoshoot to ensure the photos you create meet the campaign requirements. Always treat your professional reputation as significantly as a brand would. That way you will find yourself getting repeat work with your favourite brands.
5) Research and ask questions
Once you’ve accepted a brief from a client do your research further into the brand. Browsing their social media accounts is a good place to gauge their aesthetic and content style. Don’t hesitate to reach out for more details of what the brand are after. This will give a professional impression and help to build a stellar reputation. At Vamp we are always happy to answer any questions you may have about fulfilling a brief. You can get in touch via the Vamp App chat or via a DM on @vampbrands.
6) Professional Development & Networking
As an influencer you should keep growing and stay on top of the trends. There are so many great resources online to help you up your Instagram game. The Vamp blog is dedicated to keeping influencers up to date with the most relevant articles. We have regular guest articles from some of our most talented content creators. (See Why you need a Photography Style (and How to Find it).
Sign yourself up for a photography course or challenge yourself to attend a videography masterclass to develop your skills. Make sure you stay on top of the latest Instagram and industry developments too to ensure you aren’t left behind. Get in touch with other influencers to share tips, tools and advice.
7) Money, money, money
As an Australian influencer whenever you are paid $75 or over for a campaign you are legally required to submit an invoice with an ABN. If you haven’t already set one up, make it a priority. (See this article on ABNs to learn more). Vamp’s automatic invoice within the App means that creating your invoices is quick and simple, allowing you to manage your accounts more easily.
8) Be Consistent
One of the most important facets to your reputation is your ability to be consistent. For any of Vamp’s briefs the brand has chosen you because they love your content. Be sure to reproduce this quality in your campaign imagery.
Vamp’s opt-in process means that the power is with you to only say yes to briefs which you are able to fully commit to. As a member of Vamp you are part of a powerful voice within the influencer marketing industry. Ensuring you are dependable ensures you don’t let yourself or your fellow content creators down.
Being professional and treating your Instagram as its own brand doesn’t mean taking away the creative fun you can have with it. The fun will really begin once you secure more opportunities.