The temperature just climbed up to 43 degrees Fahrenheit when a light desert wind starts to blow. There is a crew of 19 people; camera men, stylists, hair and make up artists,… that are working on the film set in the desert. In the middle of the group stands a cute girl named Mira, one of the latest upcoming influencers with 1,1 million followers on Instagram, posing in a summer dress that is fluttering in the fake wind of two windmashines that are pointed towards her.
It looks amazing! The sun is in a perfect position to give her a nice glow around her statue and the clouds form an interesting figure in the sky. She moves so aesthetically and smooth that the film crew starts cheering and applauding to encourage her. Everybody is impressed.
Lionel, the marketing director of the brand, gets out of his seat, which is in front of a monitor and says: “Let her do the social media post now!” Four people of the brand start rushing about to get things done. After three minutes Paula, head of PR, comes back and announces: “She doesn`t want to do it!”
“She doesn`t want to do it?” screams Lionel. “Does she know what we are doing here?”
“I`m gonna try again!” says Paula willingly and turns around.
“Let me talk to her!” says Lionel and stops Paula: “We pay so much money for her, it`s crazy!” He walks surefoodetly towards the film set as he sees his black Prada slippers covered with dust sinking deeper and deeper into the desert sand: „Damn it!“ he says and tries to find a way to walk without having them dive so deep into the sand.
Paula tries to calm down while she talks with her assistent: “All that bitching again!” says Paula and very softly you can hear her marbling: “If only I had become a Blogger?”
Lionel has reached the set with his dusty shoes and steps in front of the influencer talent grabbing a bottle of whiskey and a glass from the set designer and explains: “Mira, just fill this stupid glass here, take a zip and say “cheers” into the camera. It`s sooo easy!”
The young influencer answers: “I can`
t do it!
It`s not my style!” Lionel feels his anger crawling up from his feet to his neck: “What do you mean by you can`t do it?” he asks her.
“I will lose so many followers!” explains Mira.
“Followers, followers,” says Lionel trying to hold back his anger that has already reached its peak, “we pay so much money! Are you aware of that?”
Mira feels a growing pressure in her chest. “If I lose my followers I lose everything, my blog, my job, my income, my dreams!”
Lionel can`t hold back anymore and screams at her: “We have an agreement! A contract!”
His loud voice makes Mira shiver. “I was just told to show four of my summer dresses in the desert!” answers Mira quite shy.
“Mira, it is just a little post on twitter and a little bit of facebook!” says Lionel trying to get the situation under control again.
“Twitter is not my thing! Neither is facebook. I`m more on Instagram and Snapchat,” says Mira as if she got a little bit of her tiny self-confidence back again!
“It`s all the same shit,” says Lionel, “please just take a f… zip of this drink here when we film you, say the damn slogan into the camera and we are done!”
Mira stays resistant: “I Can`t!”
Paula has arrived at the set now. Lionel throws some angry looks at Paula as if he would like to say: „I expect you to bring this back in order again!“ Paula turns to Mira immediately and says: “Mira, believe me. It is very easy. Just do it once, Honey, and you won`t have any trouble!”
“I can`t, really! I can`t,” says Mira.
“We gonna sue you,” says Lionel. “You will be bankrupt, down and out!”
“Why can`t you do it?” Asks Paula pretending that she really cares.
Mira sits down on a dry piece of wood that might has been a tree millions of years ago. She puts her head down. A tear is running down her face. She wipes it away sobbing.
Lionel turns towards the team and shouts: “Please everybody, leave the set for a second. I have to make something clear here.” Paula and the film crew leave the set. A strange mood travels across the whole team. The film crew uses the time to get something of the catering as they skipped lunch today in order to get everything done by sundown.
After everybody has left the set Lionel asks Mira again: “Why not, Mira? “
Mira lifts her head: “I don`t drink alcohol! I´m seventeen!”
Lionel is paralysed. ”Seventeen?” He sinks down next to her on the dried out tree, fills the glass with the Whiskey and drinks it in one zip. He opens his mouth as if he would like to say something but then he stops, shakes his head and takes another zip of whiskey.
More and more tears are running down Mira`s cheek: “I just wanted to do everything perfectly. The desert is such a great location!”
“It`s not your fault,” says Lionel in a quiet, deep voice and takes another zip of his whiskey.
For one minute they both sit silently next to each other starring towards the endless landscapes of the desert.
“How peaceful the desert is!” says Lionel.
“Yep!” says Mira.
The wind starts playing with the desert sand.
“Magic!” says Lionel.
Mira looks down in the sand “Yesterday I wrote in my blog “A dream doesn`t become reality through magic!”
Lionel turns his head: “That is what you write in your blog? Sounds nice!”
A few seconds later he leans towards her and adds: “You know what, Mira? The whole time I thought you are very arrogant, superficial and bitchy. I apologize! I was wrong. You are actually pretty nice and thoughtful!”
A little smile flashes over Mira`s face: “Am I?”
She leans her head against his shoulder and they both are looking at the landscapes of the endless desert.
If you wonder if the story really happend, – it didn´t! I just made it up. We thought it is more entertaining to read everything in a story instead of long charts with facts, … and we are storytellers. If you wanna be perfect in working with influencers have a look at our quick checklist for you:
Checklist: Working with Influencers
In general: Always think of long term relationships with influencers.
If you reach out to them be as specific as you can. Here are the points:
1. Find the right Influencer:
Take the effort to read blogs or watch social media accounts to find out the right influencer for your brand. Ask the following question: Does the influencer`s audience match with my target group?
2. Fit to brand:
Ask the influencer about your brand. What does she think about it?
Does she like it? Is she a realistic user for my brand? What kind of products is she normally talking about? Does her picture aesthetics fit to my brand?
Does she kind of shares the same believes that the brand stands for?
3. Win win situation check:
Working with Influencers is always a two way street. Always ask: What is in it for both sides?
4. Expectations Influencer`s distribution/posts:
Make a clear statement what you expect from the influencer?
a) Channel & frequence: What channel should she post and how often?
For example: One post on Instagram.
b) Timing: Is a certain timing important for your product? Does she have to do the post in a particular period of time? How does everything fit with your posts and timings?
c) Facts to mention: Does she have to mention the brand name, product features or just show the product?
d) Context: Is she allowed to show other products in the same post? For example: You can show fashion brands but no cosmetic brands.
5. Content Creation
What is the content idea? Are you creating it with the influencer together or is the influencer doing it on her own?
6. Product choice
Can the influencer choose between a product category or is there only one product!
For example: If it is about make up: Can the influencer choose her own which color she wants to use? Is she able to use just a natural or nude make up look?
Is the influencer free in how to use the product?
Is the message a certain lifestyle or a certain fact? This could be the decision if you better do a tutorial or a lifestyle video.
Who is organizing what exactly?
Location, styling, travel (flights, hotel,…), …
9. Rights and usage
Will your brand use the created content as well on websites or social media?
a) What rights and buyout do you need?
For example: Two years usage for internet or two years usage only Instagram.
b) Exclusive or non-exclusive: Is the influencer able to work with similar brands in a certain time period or will you pay for exclusivity.
What is the exact payment and what exactly is it for? When is it gonna be paid?
11. Messuring the success