How To Win Brand Sponsorships & Influence People
Influencer marketing is all the rage! As Instagram is perhaps the most active social platform and ideal for marketing with such a strong visual appeal, it is a gold mine of opportunities for brands to advertise.
Like any negotiation, it's important for a brand to know what influencers want to better foster a positive relationship. In this blog, Hollywood Branded examines the perspective of social media marketing from an influencer's perspective.
A Little Background On Dana
Dana is a mother, author, speaker, a business strategist, podcast or blind spot reducer and movement maker. She launched the Boss Mom brand with her first book, Boss Mom: The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Business & Nurturing Your Family Like a Pro and quickly grew to a six figure business within a year. She now not only has her own blog and social platforms and podcast, but also over 20,000 students and various courses designed to help women raise their businesses and babies at the same time.
Recently, our CEO Stacy Jones sat down with Dana to learn more about her experience as an influencer and also about how she has established herself as a known brand. A social media aficionado, Dana has many insights from her experience and what maybe could be avoided and where people are missing the mark as an influencer.
Interview Transcript Highlights
Question: Could you start off sharing how you got started and what got you to where you are today?
Answer: Like many people, I had a job once where somebody told me what to do. And I was pretty good at it. I was up to the director level at a good six figure business and I decided I wanted to quit. There was a shift in the business. And so I decided "now's my time to quit." The last that I had my job, everybody took me out, got me drunk and I got pregnant with my husband. I was married at the time.
We had been trying to have a baby and we weren't having any luck. I worked 14 hour days and really stressed out from business and as soon as I quit, I think my body was like, "oh, okay, so you've got some free time. We should probably have children now." And I found myself in the situation where I was a mom and an entrepreneur, had no idea how to do either one and wanted to be great at both. And that's very stressful. I was really stressed out because I never wanted to be a stay at home mom. I always knew that my brain needed to be stimulated a lot, and I wanted to create things and do things and engage with things. I'm an extrovert, so hanging around with just me and a baby all day was not really a good option too if I wanted to stay sane.
Then flooded in the guilt, the fact that I wanted my son to go to daycare so I could get some work done at home and being a work at home mom and send my kid off to daycare, everybody thought I was crazy where I lived because I had no friends that had their own business and I had no friends that had babies yet. My son was only five months when we decided to move back to San Diego where I'm originally from and my mom and my stepdad live, to be closer to them and this amazing world opened up where there were tons of moms that had businesses and there were tons of just people that had businesses. There were entrepreneurs, support groups and all of a sudden I had these friends that were like, "oh no, you're not crazy."
There are tons of us there, there are tons of us, there's tons of women who have their babies at home that homeschool their babies and still want a job. And so all of a sudden I just stopped feeling so crazy and I decided that I needed to write. I always wanted to write a book. So I was a journalism major, but I decided I wanted to write a book because there was a book coach and a mastermind that I was in. And he was like, if anybody wants to write a book, go ahead.
So I decided to write this book and what I thought I was going to write was about content strategy. What I ended up writing about was Boss Mom - this idea that we are big, beautiful minded women that are yearning to create amazing things in the world and that it doesn't make us less of a parent or less of a loving mother to accomplish more than just motherhood. And then gave tactical tools on how to do that. The book did really well. So we fanned the flame, we started the podcast, we started the Facebook group. Those just kept working. I pitched myself on every podcast I could possibly imagine. That was my very first hire was somebody to pitch me on podcasts.
I got on every podcast, made strategic connections and just worked for about six months hustling to get everybody to know that this brand existed. And then from there, opened up a group coaching program. I had already made some money from just making small courses on Udemy and they just started leveraging everything, scaling everything. And that was four years ago and now the Facebook group is 37,000. I get asked to speak all over the place. I just came out with my third book at the end of last year, and yeah, we got all sorts of things going.
Question: Is this where you would have thought you would have ended up at all or was it complete blind luck? Not Luck, hard work, but just an opportunity that just kept on opening doors, and you didn't know this path is in front of you, or did you have this kind of vision beforehand?
Answer: Well, I think yes and no. So I was a broadcast journalism major. I wanted to be a news anchor. And then I studied abroad and realized I wasn't a fan of American news at all. Came back, didn't know what I was going to do, and then started this other journey. I always knew I did my internship at a radio station. So I always knew I wanted to do something that was media related.
When I started a podcast, it just felt natural, and I loved it. Getting featured in places. I always knew I wanted to be featured in places. Like I want to be on the cover of a magazine. I want to be known in my space. I don't need to be famous. I just want to be known in my space and respected in my space. I knew that I wanted to be an expert in something and sought after. Because I love the idea of... when I was in my 20s I loved the idea of CEO's keeping me on retainer to help them solve problems. That was in my dreams.
That idea of getting asked to speak on stage, which I love to do, and being an influencer in that space, I didn't realize that this is how it would come to fruition. I didn't realize that being a mom would be a part of how that journey came about. But I do think a lot of what I do on a day to day basis now really serves the gifts that I have and what makes me happy, and interacting with people and being helpful and impactful and also growing something that I can be known for. I think all those things were kind of already on my list.
Question: So on your journey, you've become a true influencer, and for all the brands are out there, they always love partnering with influencers. Right? You like having someone who is known within their space, who can be an advocate, who can bring light and life to your brand. And you yourself have been working with a number of brands now over the years. And I have a feeling, you know, what some brands do really well and what some brands do really poorly. And I'd love to have our conversation go into where brands sometimes miss that mark of partnering with influencers and get your take on that.
Answer: So, I think when we're looking to do partnerships, one is we forget that we're all human beings, right? So the biggest thing is, is that the strongest partnerships that I have are based around human connection, not around the tool and what the tool does or what your business is and what you do. It's based around whether or not I like you, and from a branding perspective, people like your brand based on whether or not they like you, the know like, and trust factor, people didn't make that up. That's a real thing. They're not going to buy from you if they don't trust you. They're not going to hang around with you and listen to your training videos or use your program if they don't like you. I mean, businesses have crumbled because CEOs have done things that we didn't think aligned with what we thought the brand was. So one of the biggest mistakes I think people make is trying to be so professional that they stop being human.
Question: Then they're not relatable anymore?
Answer: Then they're reaching out and trying to connect with people in this way. Yeah, I don't want to be seen at as just an influencer. I'm a person that has a personality and I want to have fun conversations. So when I worked with brands, so Thinkific is it actual program, course creation program and it's a brand that I work with. That entire relationship started because they reached out to me and said, "Hey, we really love what you're doing and we would love to have you on our show." Right? So that's why I love podcasting 'cause some of the best collaborations I've had is being featured or having people on my show where we go, oh we had some great banter.
We really liked each other. I like what you were talking about. Let's learn about each other. So it's like a sort of planned conversation. So from a branding perspective, one of the mistakes you can make is not going out and getting featured as much as humanly possible and connecting with people who have platforms like this 'cause that's the best way to get in the door without creating the partnership first. And then I think one of the other things too is really understanding how it aligns with the person and what they're trying to achieve. 'Cause I get pitched stuff all the time from brands that are products and services and people in their courses, and all these sorts of things. And the ones that never hit are the ones where I can tell they actually have no idea what my brand is about.
Where there is no alignment there, and they've made no effort to make any alignment because, I'm only as much of an influencer is my audience allows me to be. I could stop being an influencer tomorrow if my audience stopped loving me in the way they do or caring about my opinion. Because influence is simply the ability to get people to do something that you want them to do, right? I'm influencing their decisions, their path, their choices, who they hang out with, all those kinds of things. They're trusting me with that. I can lose that really, really quickly. So influencers guard very safely their influence, right? Because if if I do something that misaligns, it's going to throw people off. And if I lose that trust, I lose the influence. So if somebody comes to me, and they don't know what the essence of my brand is, and they've never been in my community, and to be honest if they're not a mom, and they're not a woman, I don't push them away, but I want to understand.
The Next Steps
Want to further your knowledge about best marketing practices for influencer marketing? We've written plenty of other blog posts on the topics as well for you to check out!
- Decoding The Illusion Of Bots In Influencer Marketing
- The Types of Social Influencers [Infographic]
- 4 Trends For Influencer Marketing In 2019
- Successful Influencer Marketing On A Small Budget
- Create Brand Partnerships Through Influencer Marketing With Keith Stoeckeler
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