Written by Clare Talevich – Trinket Store
Brand Reps – It's a relationship
ALL relationships take work. It may sound cliché but it’s totally the truth, right? They also say ‘the grass grows greener where you water it’. Uh-huh. But that doesn’t mean you need to be a walk-over in the name of keeping things sweet. When it comes to working with brand reps you can totally set the tone. My advice? It’s important to find the very best balance you can between fierce bizmama and friendly banter. Read on for seven tips to help grow your relationship with your brand reps for the benefit of everyone involved.
ONE: Know your brand (and teach your reps to know your brand)
The better you understand your brand, the better you’ll know what you want to achieve when you’re marketing your business. It seems so logical, doesn’t it? It certainly helps to have worked out all of this before you go searching for your reps but if you have recently outlined or redefined your company direction, it would definitely be worth communicating this to your brand reps. When they understand your biz, when they ‘get’ you, they will be much more likely to style your products and promote your brand in a way that reflects what you’re trying to achieve. They’ll feel like they are part of something awesome and organised. If you’re going places and taking them with you, they will absolutely appreciate that.
TWO: Identify the role from the word go
Hopefully your brand rep search helped your ambassadors to understand what would be required of them in their role. I don’t think it matters if they are complete newbies or seasoned experts, if they are new to repping for YOUR brand, they’ll need to know what you want from them. Make sure they know the kinds of products they will receive, how many and how often. Clearly outline your expectations in terms of the number of pics you want, the type of image you’re after and if there’s any special requests (for example, shout-outs when you have a sale or giveaway, alternating flatlay pics with room styling, modelled only by children over three etc.).
THREE: Choose well in the beginning
I’m just going to put this out there – I have cute ears, sure, but not everyone is born to be an earring model. It can be pretty hard to be a brand rep, you’re opening yourself up to a lot of scrutiny. There are a lot of expectations and most businesses have a fair bit riding on their choice of representative. When I held my original search, I was looking for two ladies and two girls to fill my brand rep positions and I a-gon-ised over the choice! In the end I reminded myself what I needed from them which was why I needed to organise some reps in the first place. I didn’t want a feed full of my awkward too-close selfies with my arms at strange angles with filter upon filter to correct my tired pallour. I wanted ladies with glowing, healthy looks who were confident in front of the camera and at either end of my target age range. Boom! Easier already. My own child is a total clown and a ham so I needed some girls who were more natural and chilled out in front of the camera, but still with a cheeky edge. My choices were informed by my definition of my target market and by focusing on what I couldn’t do to showcase my brand. I ended up really happy and confident with my picks and I’m sure you can do that too, just keep it about you and don’t be distracted by all the amazingness in your rep search hashtag!
FOUR: Clear ongoing communication
This one is probably a no-brainer but don’t roll your eyes. There are so many people who say to me ‘my rep just disappeared’ or ‘I dunno, I just kinda keep it casual’. I don’t know about you but neither of those scenarios really work for my business! To begin with, I set the tone by sending a pretty detailed email. The tone was friendly and businesslike. I wanted my reps to have a sense that I was clear about what I wanted from them but that I was completely approachable and happy to negotiate on certain things. All of my beauties had mammoth commitments already and I didn’t want any guilt associated with their repping gig. Keep it clear and you’ll all come out on top.
FIVE: Set a term
Why not start with a three-month term and extend it if everyone is happy with the arrangements? A lot can change in three months – ask any mother with a ten-month old! It’s so much easier to make a brand rep’s stint longer than it is to say ‘ hey, you know how we said a year and you moved to a rental that has dark purple walls in the living room…that’s not working for me.’ Don’t laugh. It has happened! Probably.
SIX: Send a trial pack
The absolute best advice I received in regards to brand reps was a gold nugget from my instafriend Skye. She advised not to send everything all at once. Send a couple of things and see how they go with them. If they work out the first time, great, send more! If they don’t quite nail the brief you can try working with them on that. And if they grab your goodies and claim they never received a thing even though the Aus Post parcel tracker says differently…at least you haven’t lost hundreds of dollars worth of stock. Wise woman, that Skye. Yes, that’s her real name. No, that anecdote isn’t hers. No, it’s not my horror story either. Yes, it’s a true story. Yes, I think you should send just two products at first until you can be sure your brand rep will turn up for you.
SEVEN: Give them feedback
Doesn’t everyone love a pat on the back? Let your reps know when they’ve totally nailed it. Sometimes they won’t completely get it right but if you’ve made a wise choice and your communication is clear I reckon that’s so much less likely. Keep your feedback businesslike but friendly and if you’re new to giving constructive feedback, let me tell you about the hamburger strategy. You can squeeze the ‘tricky’ part between two compliments like this:
Hey, I love the cool IG products you’ve been tagging in your brand rep shots for me. I wonder if you’d try placing my headbands in the centre of your styling next week. I adore the natural lighting in your flatlays and I would love to take advantage of that central position.
You are ready to go!
I hope this has been an informative read for you. It’s certainly been a trip down memory lane for me! I have drawn on my own experiences and those of my bizmama friends and really dug for what I hope is the very best actionable advice on working with brand reps. I’m feeling so energised about it you can look out for a new Trinket Store Brand Rep Search coming up soon. Also, I’d love to hear if you have any feedback for me (but don’t forget to burgerise it!).
Connect up with Clare:
Facebook – Trinket Store
Instagram – @trinket_store
Website – http://www.trinketstore.bigcartel.com
Check out the podcast I did with Clare where she gives us tips on how to boost engagement on Instagram.
As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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