Cape Town based fashion and lifestyle agency, The Press Room, receives an influx of emails and DM’s via social media from content creators seeking tips, advice and how to be a part of their PR list. So the agency has put together a few essential tips for upcoming ‘Influencers’.

Establish your brand and find your unique voice

First of all, you are your own brand on Social Media. Decide what your passion and interests are and what you stand for and build your page around that. Stay true to your brand in everything you do, and post, and that will give you credibility with your followers. This way you will keep their trust.

We suggest staying up to date with the latest international trends, by learning and accumulating substantial knowledge to build credibility within your personal brand. Observe top influencers in your field, whether it be fashion, lifestyle, travel or fitness.

Every client has different KPIs when it comes to social media campaigns and PR professionals have to meet their clients needs, be it brand awareness, click through to the website, driving sales or growing the client’s social media following. It is our responsibility to research different content creators that have an authentic voice, and ensure the Influencer’s brand is a good fit for our clients’ brand.

Getting onto a PR agency database or client list

PR agencies receive numerous emails a day from influencers asking to be added to their PR lists, but there are a few things you should consider before introducing yourself. When emailing press kits to agencies, make sure your email is as personalised as possible and not a generic bcc email. Show you have done research on the agency by mentioning the brands you would like to possibly collaborate with and why you think your content aligns with that particular brand. Mention brands you have worked with in the past and the success rate of the campaign you were involved with. Always add hyperlinks to your social media pages, blog or relevant campaign page you are referring to. Please stop emailing PR agencies for free stuff, we do not just give away products.

Relationship building with brands and agencies

Influencers are not expected to feature any products gifted or the technical PR term ‘seeded’ to them by PR agencies or brands, however, if you would like to build a relationship with the brand or agency or possibly collaborate in the future, we recommend you feature the product. Include your honest and personal point of view with ‘seeded’ products as well as brand/product information given to you e.g. retail price and where to buy the product/service. This informs your followers of information of the brand/product if they are interested in purchasing it. Brands and agencies are more than likely to work with these content creators again and that can lead to paid campaigns.

Also, remember to tag and mention the brands or PR agency that hand-selected you, accompanied by relevant hashtags. Most brands and agencies share mentions on their social media pages, which exposes content creators to their audience. In turn, this could lead to you gaining new followers.

Don’t take shortcuts

Buying followers, using bots or joining engagement hashtags to get likes may seem like an easy, quick way to become popular on social media. However, PR agencies do their research when suggesting content creators to clients as they need to report back on campaigns. We do not base our decision to work with content creators on how many followers they have but rather use engagement calculators to determine audience quality score to gauge the true value of their accounts and authenticity. Be transparent, and build an audience you can truly influence, even if it’s a small community of followers that trust your opinion.

Do not put your reputation at risk

Always remember to be true to yourself and your personal brand, and value the trust you have built over the years with your audience or community. We are noticing a lot of influencers simply throw away the hard work they have put in over the years building their reputation for a few bucks to advertise a product that either does not resonate with their brand or has nothing to do with their expertise. Be true to yourself and you will stand out.

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