If you have been building your online presence for long enough, chances are that you have quite a following. People love your content, have fun sharing it with other people, and take your suggestions seriously. Now, brands are asking you about sponsored posts and other collaborations. One of the best ways to answer their questions is having an influencer media kit.
What is an Influencer Media Kit?
Briefly, an influencer media kit is an information sheet or packet that you can give to potential client brands and media organizations. Also referred to as a press kit, this is the influencer version of a resume, CV, or portfolio. In practice, that means it is something that you use to introduce yourself, a virtual handshake. Properly assembled, this document will tell people what you have accomplished as an influencer, and examples of your work. They help brands “shop” for influencers and identify the perfect services to suit their needs.
Why Do You Need an Influencer Media Kit?
Like any business owner, influencers need to advertise their services. Your influencer media kit is one of the most practical advertisements, because you can email them to marketing professionals and influencer marketing agencies. The information you include is important, but so is the design: people like to see your sense of style before interviewing.
Having a media kit also makes you more professional. It indicates that you know how many followers you have, an approximate engagement rate, and much more. This little document will show that you are much more than a hobbyist who just likes to create. You are demonstrating a commitment to promoting yourself and their products in a professional manner.
What to Include in Your Influencer Media Kit:
If you’ve never assembled an influencer media kit, don’t worry. Making one isn’t much harder than assembling your resume or CV if you know what to put in it. While beginning influencers might not need all of these items, they can be added as experience increases.
1. Short Bio with Photo
Think about the first question in many job interviews: “tell me about yourself.” When you are an influencer, your product is essentially your personality, creativity, and wisdom. For that reason, you’ll want to be creative with the short biography. This isn’t as hard as you think: one thing I talk about is my love of Japanese language and culture, which is important because of the large number of Japanese clients I have. If you are a fashion influencer, consider mentioning what sparked your interest in the subject. Ideally, you’ll use this answer to help potential clients feel a connection with you.
Likewise, your photo should be both professional and an invitation to connect. Head shots are appropriate in some situations, but not in others. When choosing a head shot, make sure you’re sporting a nice smile and relaxed demeanor. If showing yourself having fun is more appropriate, such as with a travel blogger, pick a non-sponsored shot that features you pursuing that hobby.
2. Your Active Social Media Channels
Naturally, the most important social media channel to showcase is the one where you produce sponsored content. If you are an excellent Instagrammer, then you should be sure and include an indication that this is what you do best. Along with that, give your Instagram handle.
However, don’t stop there. Even though you don’t expect to get hired on the other social media channels, brands can build a connection with you by looking them over. Are you an overall fun-loving person? This online personality will typically spill over into other social platforms. Exercising your influence in a professional niche? Your LinkedIn profile, even if it isn’t being used for your influencer business, can really help establish your credibility.
There’s one more reason why you should include all of your active social channels: corporate culture issues. As I have often told brands, it is important that the influencers they work with don’t reflect badly on their corporate image. Standards and expectations vary widely in this area, but one of the best ways to ensure suitability for an influencer is to evaluate their overall online presence. By including those links, you will streamline this process.
3. Follower Numbers
Unlike some other statistics, follower numbers are easy to both find and report on your influencer media kit. This is a good thing, because follower numbers are one of the most important pieces of information about any influencer. Many brands pay you based on the number of followers you have on the social platform where you do your work, and they might be looking for a specific follower range for any given campaign. Most platforms will give the number of followers on your profile or front page, and you should simply update this number occasionally. With blogs, you can use the number of unique visitors you have every month, found in your account dashboard.
4. Follower Demographics
All brands, whether large or small, have a buyer persona in mind. For some brands this is a relatively fixed demographic, while for others the buyer persona changes between marketing campaigns. This is important for your influencer media kit because you want brands to know immediately how well your followers fit that buyer persona. For example, if the brand wants to market their line of organic cotton shirts to millennial male businessmen, then they will look for an influencer who can reach this group. By giving your follower demographics you’re making this easier for the brand.
Need to find those demographics? Some of the information can be gathered using standard analytics tools within your social media account. Instagram Analytics and similar services give a close approximation of who’s listening. More information can also be gathered by looking at the profiles of some followers.
5. Engagement Rates
Within the influencer marketing industry, engagement rates are often the elephant in the room. It’s wonderful to have a bunch of eyeballs, but if they don’t interact with your contact then it doesn’t matter as much for marketing purposes. Engagement is another one of the metrics used to decide if you are an effective influencer, and to set your rates. Listing your engagement rates helps brands know if you are suitable. Finally, don’t buy engagement just to pump up those numbers. Many of us have learned to detect this (along with fake Instagram followers), and it will backfire big time.
6. Past Collaborations
Think of listing your past collaborations as like the experience section on your resume. Just as you would list past and present positions on this document, your influencer media kit should mention past collaborations. Experienced influencers might have too many collaborations to talk about in a one-page document. If this is your situation, choose a selection between your best work, favorites, and top results. Putting your best foot forward is the name of the game. For rookie influencers, the list might be exhaustive. Consider talking a bit about your dream collaborations if you haven’t done anything for pay yet.
Brands don’t just like to know what you have done in the past. They like to know what you achieved for past clients. To that end, consider asking some clients to write testimonials. Testimonials don’t have to be long they just have to show appreciation for your work. Ideally, you should choose recurring or high-paying clients to encourage more of same from future gigs. Combined with your list of past collaborations, these short reviews help you stand out from the crowd.
8. Services Your Offer
Don’t let brands wonder what you are willing to do. Tell them! When brands look for new influencers to collaborate with, they typically have a good idea of what they want in terms of services. Some brands will even take that influencer press kit and extract the information, storing it for later. As the need arises for an influencer who offers certain services, they might look for this information in the database. By providing it, you have made yourself more “visible” in the system. Be sure to include both what you’re willing to do and what you do best.
9. Price List
While beginning influencers haven’t necessarily “set” their prices, more established ones often have. By putting a price list on your influencer media kit, you help brands know what your expectations are. Depending on your business strategy you might negotiate with brands for services. At the same time, you’ll give brands a signal whether or not your services are affordable.
10. Contact Info
Don’t leave brands “guessing” on how to contact you. The whole purpose of an influencer media kit is to advertise your services, and at the heart of this effort is generating sales leads. If a brand has to track you down, then chances are that they won’t bother. They’ll just move on to someone who has included this information. When listing contact info, give your preferred contact method. You might also include alternative methods as you are comfortable.
Use Tools to Help You Create Your Influencer Media Kit
There are a number of influencer marketing tools that can help aggregate your engagement data to make finding the details of what to put into your media kit easier. While these tools are made for brands to find influencers, some offer free capabilities for influencers to analyze their own data.
One such tool is TrendHERO. This is a nifty SaaS service that helps you analyze any Instagram account. While brands are the major customers, you need to be aware of TrendHERO because they might use it to check your account before engaging. With that said, they offer a free tool for influencers. Use the one-account-free feature to check on your own Instagram account. They’ll give you the basic analytics information, in addition to an assessment of how good your account is overall. Download the information, and you can incorporate it into your influencer media kit. A bonus: they’ll tell you if they think you have a fake follower problem. Get that alert, and you’ll have a chance to address it before getting embarrassed.
Here’s a sample of the kind of data you can get for your own Instagram account:
Visual Branding and Design are Critical
Like any other business, all influencers should have a personal brand. Part of this is the sense of style reflected in your content, especially for visual content types. If your Instagram style is a little quirky, then it’s fine for your influencer media kit to be slightly quirky so long as it’s still professional.
The style should also reflect your niche. Influencers in business-related niches should make their influencer kit in a businesslike style. This doesn’t mean it should lack personality, it just needs to be professional. On the other hand, a skateboarding influencer might infuse skateboarding-related elements into the design. Why is this important? Brands are looking for influencers who are suitable for their intended collaboration type and brand image. Your kit should promote your services while helping businesses know if you are the right person to use.
Graphic Tools to Help You Create a Rockstar Influencer Media Kit
Luckily, you don’t need to gather all this information from scratch if you know what tools to use. Both data extraction and graphic tools are available to make the perfect influencer media kit. Let’s take a look at some of them.
No matter what your brand is, you’ll want to employ some graphics tools to craft the perfect kit. Most influencers are aware of Adobe Photoshop because it is the original commercial quality graphic designer. While this is a good investment for influencers who do a lot of photo and image editing, the cost might be too high for occasional use. Bloggers especially tend to do little in the way of image editing.
These influencers might consider using Canva, which is a freemium design tool. Even the premium versions are inexpensive for a single user. Here is a sample design that Canva has already prepared for you to work off of and design your own influencer media kit:
Try a template
One of the hidden gems I found while writing is a free template put out by Later. Later is an Instagram-only account management tool that can be invaluable for Instagram influencers. For the price of your email address, you can use their Photoshop-based influencer media kit template. Did I say Photoshop was expensive? It is, but they offer a one-week free trial. You might get that just to use the template.
On the other hand, you can also purchase an inexpensive template on Etsy for as little as $5 to $15, plug it into Photoshop, Canva, or even Powerpoint, and off you go! There were almost 1,000 results for my Etsy search, so you are bound to find the right file format and visual design to give your brand justice.
If you want to be smart with your time and you’re not the best with visual design, why not hire an expert to create an influencer media kit on your behalf rather than fiddling around with a tool? These search results on Fiverr show that you can purchase a customized kit for anywhere from $10 to $35. Of course, the quality will depend on the provider, but this might be the easiest solution for those less visually inclined.
Most people don’t think about making an influencer media kit when starting to monetize their influence. However, this simple tool is a major source of lead generation. As in traditional businesses, lack of a resume can make job hunting more difficult. By preparing a media kit, you are getting the equivalent ready for when you need it.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash