How brands that win do influencer marketing

Build relationships, not one-time deals.

Yash Chavan

Yash Chavan

June 8, 2022

Blog Image


Don’t make the mistake of treating influencer marketing like hiring one-time salespeople for your company.

What do I mean by one-time salespeople?

Imagine hiring someone in a sales role, but they only sell your product for one day and then leave.

Do you think this is a sustainable way to build a business? Obviously not.

But this is how brands do influencer marketing. They hire influencers for one-time promos and give them no time to get used to the product, or check if they even like the product.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to do influencer marketing.

Let’s first look at what a brand that’s doing things wrong does, and then flip it to know what to actually do.

Normie brand’s influencer marketing workflow

  • Reach out to creators solely on the basis of hashtags or demographics.
  • Send them a creative brief in the first email.
  • Not caring if the creator aligns with your brand or likes your products.
  • Paying them a flat fee to post based on “talking points”.
  • Getting some sales, not breaking even, and claiming “Influencer marketing just doesn’t work!”

THIS approach will kill your influencer marketing campaigns.

Now that you know what a bad approach to influencer marketing looks like, let’s flip it on it’s head.

Superstar brand’s influencer marketing workflow

Here are the best practices you must follow to not sabotage your influencer marketing campaigns.

Finding creators

I’ve written about this before: How to vet creators for your brand.

The gist is, don’t go solely off the hashtag or the demographics, look math qualitative factors such as charisma, connect, engagement quality, content creation ability, etc.


Do not send them a wall of text with a “creative brief” of what you want them to post.

Nobody cares what you want.

They care about what you have to offer. So lead with a give.

Offer to send them free product and get their thoughts. Here’s all the influencer email best practices you need to know.

Never ask them for a post upfront. Aim to build a relationship that stands on common beliefs or on common love for your product and take it from there. You don’t want influencers posting about you, you need influential advocates.

Deal Structure

It’s easy to fall into the trap of paying per post. That’s what most popular thought leaders and blogs written by nefarious influencer software companies recommend.

But it’s counter-intuitive if you want to test the waters with influencers in a risk-free and profitable way. When starting, you want to only pay them for results. Doing this with big name influencers is hard, which is why micro and nano influencers are important to have in your early relationships.

Here’s how to strike deals with influencers without giving cash upfront. I recommend you read this blog as the right incentive structure with influencers will make or break your program.

Here’s a cheatsheet you can download:

Right click, save image.

Eternal advocacy

You never want to be a one pump chump when it comes to influencer marketing. You want to build long, everlasting relationships with influential creators who love your brand (they will, if you give them reasons to).

Strive for longer term commitments, don’t do contracts to start (unnecessary bureaucracy) but make decisions with the mindset of being able to work with them for years as opposed to working with them for one single post or video.

This mindset is key and will make you do things like sending them free gifts, doing special offers for their audience, sharing internal news with them, doing equity deals, etc.

Use Saral to track and manage all of this.

Saral's influencer relationships view

That’s it, review the bad approach on the top of this article once more to cement the right approach in your brain. There are many correct ways to do it, so be creative. As long as you avoid the normie approach, your brand will instantly stand out. It will make more creators interested in working with you, more promotion, and more advocacy. At the end of the day, this means more money in your bank. Win-Win 💰

Weekly Influencer Marketing Insights

Learn what’s working in real-time with influencer marketing for otherbrands.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Learn how to
win creators and influence people

Step-by-step playbook on findinf untapped influencers, scaling outreach, and relationship building lessons

Build relationships, not one-time deals.

Ready to build a full-stack influencer program?

If you want to build a community of influencers that can’t stop talking about you, consider giving the free trial a shot!