What is every influencer’s long-term goal?

If you said “paid collaborations,” you’re right. Sure, plenty of social personalities build their brands for the love of the game, but if someone identifies as an influencer or creator, you can bet they’ll be open to monetizing their channel.

But as you know, reaching this goal isn’t as easy as it sounds. The influencer talent market has exploded over the past few years, and more personalities than ever are vying for limited investment dollars. The challenge is especially great for creators who haven’t built up large followings; it’s a tough sell to convince a brand that your up-and-coming clients can drive marketing results without a track record of success.

If you want your clients to make it to the end zone of paid collaborations, you’ll need to help them make inroads with brands that may eventually invest in their future.

Start Building Long-Term Relationships

You know that influencer marketing isn’t just writing posts and collecting checks, but are your clients aware of that? Stress to them that building long-term relationships is the key ingredient to investment down the road.

• What markets do your influencers play to?
• Which brands are most suited to partnerships at your influencer’s level?
• What are their current promotion strategies?
• Do they engage with their favorite brands? How often?

Work with your clients to answer these questions. The goal is to begin establishing relationships with relevant brands that are appealing to both your client and your client’s target market.

And yes, this means your clients will have to do some unpaid promotion. There’s no getting around it. But influencers already work their butts off to build their empires, so there’s no harm in expanding the strategy. Do your part: (1) research brands seeking investment in social talent and (2) encourage clients to connect with them on social by way of brand mentions and comments.

As your influencer’s market grows and the relationships develop, you may see some results—reciprocal shout-outs, free products for testing, and other resources that will strengthen your client’s relationship. With enough time and some luck, this will eventually turn into a pay-to-play partnership.

Get Active in Person

Your influencers are used to doing all their communication over digital channels, but as their coordinator, you should encourage them to step away from the screen and get involved on a more personal level.

Think back to when you were an up-and-coming professional. Chances are, sites like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn didn’t exist yet—you had to do your networking the hard way: pounding the pavement, making connections in-person, attending industry events, and so on.

Depending on how old your clients are, they may not even be aware that these are necessary aspects of influencer marketing. Research events that your clients can leverage to make these connections:

• Are there industry expos in the area?
• Are there networking events for young entrepreneurs?
• How about workshops for building digital businesses?

There are plenty of resources available, and each one will build out your client’s network and brand development skillset.

Be Patient and Consistent to See Results

Above all, stress to your clients that patience and consistency are the two cornerstones of their digital marketing strategy. It’s easy to get antsy in our instant gratification world, so you may need to assure them that their efforts will take time to pay off.

To help speed things along, consider leveraging a talent management platform like Influential that gives you an easy way to connect with brands, track potential offers, and coordinate strategies. These talent rosters help coordinators master each client’s campaign, which, in turn, help clients maximize the impact of their efforts and keep them on the right track as they grow. (Plus, the platform will provide much needed backend visibility for your own workflows—a must-have feature when you’re juggling multiple clients.)

It’s a long road to paid influencer partnerships, but with the above strategies and tools to guide you, you’ll be in a great position to help your clients along.