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Ask Claire: How Do I Get You (Or An Influencer) to Promote My Brand or Wear my Product?

Today Tyesha wrote me an email, typing:

Hey good afternoon , I hope all is well. What can I do to get my edge control in your hand?. I have my own product. I’ve been trying to network with different people to get myself out there. I would like to send you some free samples of my product & will like your feed back. I’m 23 & I started my business the end of NOVEMBER 2017, just looking for a better start and to keep going.”

Hey Tyesha, girl! Congrats on launching your business! I was gonna send you a link to an article I wrote about a year or so ago, entitled, How to Get Publicity Without Spending a Ton Of Cash, but the game has changed a bit since I penned that post in 2016. Influencers are way more savvy and realize that their posts could mean serious dividends, so getting to them can be a bit difficult! Below, some tips on getting your wares into the hands of influential people:
1. Gifting, Preferably in Person

Gifting is the first way in! But please note that influencers receive a TON of swag (and I personally am always trying to declutter), so you have to find a way for your products to really stand out. A personal touch i.e. gifting in person can be helpful. Find out where/when an influencer you like will be coming to your town (check out my schedule here), meet them, and hand them the gift yourself! If someone asks you something via email, you might ignore it, but if they’re in your face, you can’t turn away! And if you have a great personality or are wearing something memorable, even better! This will be way more effective than sending an email and shipping something through the mail. Personal touches are great!

2. Research the Influencer and Send them Something On Brand.

I wear most items because I like them! I love S. Denton collection because I’m a sucker for all things sparkly. I love Haus of Shea because it fits just right. I love Amina Abdul Jillil Shoes because they are bomb!!

Sometimes people send me stuff that simply doesn’t vibe with my whole aesthetic, and I end up giving it away. Save yourself the postage and find the exact right person to rep your brand.

3. Pay Them

I wasn’t sure if this should have been the first bullet point or the last one, but it’s an important one either way you slice it. The quickest way to get anything done is to throw a little money after it. I receive gifts that I’ve never worn just because I haven’t found the right occasion. I got the yellow dress below at CWC in D.C. on March 25th (a reader who came gifted it to me!) and I just wore it in May.

If you want to send an influencer an item and guarantee that they will wear the item in a timely fashion AND tag/mention you, show them the money. How much you spend really depends. I’ve done some work on behalf of other brands and thought some of these influencers would be cool with say $500 to wear something on the ‘Gram. NO. I was quoted $10,000 for someone with 500,000 followers and $20,000 for someone with 5 million+ followers. Now, I don’t know if these ladies were trippin, but hey. These are the breaks. I personally felt that their ask was a bit high, so I’d say hit up as many influencers as you feel would rock with your brand and go with what will get you the most bang for your buck. Once they agree, write up a contract clearly spelling out terms so you both are happy at the end of the day.
4. Cast a Wide Net

Contact as many influencers as you can and see who is interested. In your message, maybe explain what makes your edge control (or your brand) way better than the competition. Give people a reason to want to use and/or try your product. Come up with a compelling ‘pitch.’

5. Don’t Give Up

One thing I’ve learned from my career plus this recent hiccup, is that things will happen. Things might not always go your way. But keep pushing until it does. If you have a vision, and it’s good, it will happen if you keep on keeping on!
That does it!
Tyesha, continue to reach out via email or DM to people on your contact list, or consider vending or at least attending one of our upcoming events. Beauty products are different from fashion brands in that one really has to try to product and like it! I’ll be responding shortly with my mailing address.
Love & Light,

*Interested in me promoting your brand? Email bookclairesulmers@gmail.com for reasonable rates. We will cross promote on @FashionbombDaily once we’re back live (soon!).

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