13.8 billion. In $ not ₹. That’s how big influencer marketing is, and everyone wants a piece of this not-so-humble pie. So, how do you, a very-much-humble content creator, get on the bandwagon? The traditional way is to become an influencer and get brand collaborations. But the beauty of the digital ether is in breaking moulds. You don’t have to go the tried and tested way to make it big. Instead of reaching out to brands, collaborate with other creators.
5 steps to effectively collaborate with other creators
Collab with other influencers?
Well, yes. Aren’t two minds better than one?
Oh, it’s simple. We give you the whole shebang in 5 steps.
Step 1: Choose the right creator
There are 1.386 billion active users on Instagram, and a heavy chunk of them are influencers. When you read between the figures, you realise there are just too-damn-many influencers on the platform. You cannot randomly pick one and start collaborating with them.
Selection is critical.
Choose one who has the same target audience as you because the chance their followers might follow you is higher.
Getting the underlying commonality?
Promoting your boho-chic clothing through an influencer who blogs about city-style won’t do you any good. On the other hand, a girl who rocks tie and dye will fit perfectly into the partnership.
Also, don’t limit yourself to creators who have more followers than you. Might definitely don’t make right in the world of influence. Micro and macro-influencers are all the rage right now because they have genuine power. Get in on the craze.
Quick tip: Look for content creators with actual knowledge of their niche and a genuine voice.
Step 2: Show them some love
The ocean that is social media clout is vast. Gaining the attention of another creator is not easy because everyone is vying for a second of their time. To cut through the noise, show the creator, whom you want to collaborate with, some love by:
- Following them
- Endorsing them
- Reposting their content
- Engaging with their content (comment, tag, like)
Why is showing love to other content creators a cardinal rule? It opens them up to the chance of forming a partnership. When an influencer sees that you are authentic, they’ll be ready to listen.
Quick tip: Do what it takes to prove to the other influencer you are listening and paying attention to their work.
Step 3: Reach out to the creator
Now that you’ve softened the influencer, reach out to them. Sliding into the DMs is one option, but be professional about it. A better way to start a creator collab is to drop an email, preferably one that clearly outlines the collaboration goals.
The email button is right there on the profile, peeps. Use it.
Quick tip: Do not ask for collaborations through comments. It is unprofessional AF.
Step 4: Follow-up after the outreach
You, a small fish in the massive ocean of influencers, have taken the first three steps to strike a collaboration with another content creator.
Let’s say the influencer agrees to a partnership. Great! This brings you to step four: follow-up.
What happens if the creator ignores your email?
Or, worse yet, reject your pitch.
You try and then try again, with the same influencer and others. If possible, ask the content creator why they refused the collaboration and listen to the feedback. Use those points to make a better pitch.
Tips on how to make your creator outreach better
An influencer with even a modest online following can collaborate with a so-called ‘big fish.’ The condition? You’ve got to have a kicka$$ pitch. How do you make one? With these tricks:
– Don’t toot your own horn. The influencer is not interested in knowing how great you are or what a wonderful opportunity it is. They want to know what the relationship will bring to their table. Focus on that.
– Ask a meaningful question. Most influencers love to support newbies, and reaching out for help is an excellent way to pave the path to collaboration.
– Share your thoughts on the content they have created. Talk about how a post resonated with you and made you feel that a partnership would work.
Quick tip: When you know the creator, when you are aware of their habits, and when you engage with their content, your pitch is more likely to be accepted.
What happens if the creator accepts the collaboration?
You tell them what you want from the collab, everything from the number of stories to the number of posts. Then, let the influencer give you, their input. Don’t ignore the ideas and advice. Trust them.
They are the ones who’ve been engaging with their audience day in and day out. They know their followers much, much better than you.
Quick tip: When you let content creators be themselves, they are more likely to promote you with credibility.
Step 5: Get to collaborating
Giving a shout-out to a fellow influencer. Creating a tutorial together. Or ask them to be IGTV or Instagram Live guests. These are tried and tested ways. While they don’t fail, try to be more original.
Collaboration is about capturing the interest of potential followers. The sure-fire method is to take a step away from the norm.
Quick tip: Yes, the rule of thumb is to work within your niche, but sometimes it is stepping outside your industry that gives the best results.
We good? Moving right along…
A real-life example of an influencer collaborate with other creators
Situations that go Fubar teach more than those that finish with nary a glitch. That’s why we’re picking up an old example of a creator-creator collaboration that turned into a disaster.
The curious case of StalkBuyLove and content creators
Roshni Bhatia of thechiquefactor fame called out SBL (an online shopping site that’s now dead and buried) for collaborating with her but not forking over the remuneration. Then Komal Pandey chimed in that she hadn’t been compensated for her collab either.
To add fuel to the fire, Shikha Ahluwalia, founder of StalkBuyLove took to Instagram to throw some serious shade on the two influencers.
Key takeaways for when you collaborate with other creators
We picked up the example not to rehash the sordid, messy scenario, but to help you learn from a failed collaboration.
- Honour the agreement set, whether you’re collaborating with a brand or creator.
- Maintain your sense of responsibility, i.e., complete the goals set for the collaboration.
- Don’t air your dirty laundry in public.
- Relationships between creators go deeper than traditional collaboration, but don’t make it personal.
- Even when your partnership goes sideways, keep it professional.