So you want to get the word out on your fabulous new product or service. We all know that today, one of the best ways to get your brand some attention is to work with influencers on social media. Influencer agreements are integral to this process, so read on to understand how to stay legally compliant.

There are a few ways to get influencers to promote your brand. One of the oldest versions is giving your product or service away for free in exchange for a review. The more complex version involves paying an influencer for a very specific pitch of your product or service.

You’ve seen these every day on Instagram–a celebrity pitching their Fab, Fit, Fun box. A lifestyle blogger offering a discount code for Diff Eyewear. The reality is, with the right influencer, this can be a really useful way to get on the map. Influencers are known as such because they have cultivated a high-quality relationship with their audience, and their followers trust their recommendations.

So you’re ready to work with an influencer. How do you even get started? Here are three key things to consider when preparing to work with an influencer.

Do Your Research

Just because someone has tens of thousands of followers doesn’t automatically make them a high-quality influencer. Look through their feed. Are their followers engaging heavily with what the influencer has to say? Click through their follower list. Are they real, genuine followers filled with your target audience or a bunch of bots? Make sure the people that the influencer reaches are your ideal clients or customers.

Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

Do not–I repeat–DO NOT send spammy emails or DMs to a bunch of influencers hoping someone will respond. Make a list of people you’d like to target. Since you’ve done your research, you should be able to write them a personal note.

“Hi, Jane, I’ve been following your feed and I love how you have a passion for helping people improve their mindset by sharing your authentic experiences. I’ve created a great little gadget for yogis like yourself and I would love to send you one and get your feedback. If you love it as much as I think you will, I’d love to talk about an agreement where you can promote the product. Check out my company at @___________. I can’t wait to show you how much it will improve your yoga practice. Looking forward to chatting more.”

It should go without saying, but you should definitely be following them on social media before your reach out.

What’s In It For Them

The obvious issue is that these influencers need to have a reason to support your business. Sure, your business is badass and anyone who encounters it should be shouting their obsession from the rooftops. But let’s sweeten the deal a little.

  1. Free product or service in exchange for a review. Give away your widget, or offer your health/life/business coaching program, for free in exchange for a review.
  2. Pay them as an affiliate. Offer a discount code to share with their audience or some other call to action and give them a cut of the business they bring in.
  3. Pay them in cash. This is obviously the biggest investment, but it can be the most effective. You get to drive exactly how they promote your business.

No matter what carrot you put in front of an influencer, you need to quantify very specifically what you get in exchange for what you’re giving. This includes everything from what they can and cannot say or mention, how their post looks/feels, how many posts or stories they need to publish, and who owns what rights to the produced work.

Working with the right influencer and having a solid relationship with them can help your brand scale tremendously. Make sure to formalize the agreement. In a dream world, everything is kumbaya and you both have an excellent experience that turns into a ton of new sales for you. But contracts are not for kumbaya. They’re for CYA. So do yourself a favor, and CYA.

Ready to engage an influencer? Contact me today to put together custom influencer agreements to protect you as you navigate the world of influencers and sponsorships.