Who wouldn’t want to make £1,000 for taking a picture and posting it on Instagram? I mean how difficult can it be – point, shoot, post… I was almost tempted to give up my day job myself (just kidding boss) …

But speaking to Em Sheldon, blogger and influencer extraordinaire, made me understand just how difficult it is. This week the MWWPR team were privileged enough to have to have her come into our offices and give us an overview of what it is like to be a professional blogger. She also gave us some useful tips on how brands can successfully engage with influencers like herself.

All too often we hear of stories of bloggers and Instagrammers making hundreds if not thousands of pounds for a single post. What you don’t hear (or should I say see) is all the hard work and thought that goes into each post. Em herself has blogged about these misconceptions and as she aptly puts it, “a lot of hard work goes into getting that ‘Instagram’ worthy shot”.  And it shows – just going through Em’s Instagram account you can see how much work goes into each beautifully captured picture. Each shot is carefully curated and is photographed with some heavy-duty equipment – which she’s paid for herself.

Em also personally responds to every one of her followers, so if you think dealing with a few hundred e-mails a day is difficult, try responding to as many across three platforms and managing your business as well.

But it’s clear that she loves what she does and is fiercely protective of her followers. And that’s what keeps them engaged on an on-going basis.

Here are some of the key takeaways from her talk on brand engagement with influencers:

  1. Do the research – Make sure you know what the blogger is passionate about. Read their blogs, look at their Instagram accounts and determine what they are into.
  2. Make it personal – When approaching a blogger it’s essential to personalise your request. A generic request will most likely get deleted.
  3. Less is more – Don’t always feel that you need to target influencers that have the most followers. Identifying the micro influencers is sometimes a better way to reach your audience.
  4. Can people buy it – When it comes to product launches the dynamics of engaging with influencers is different to that of journalists. Journalists enjoy an embargoed announcement, whereas influencers’ audiences are often frustrated by not being able to try the products immediately themselves.

If you are thinking about putting an influencer programme into place, feel free to contact me at anair@mww.com.