Welcome back to Community & Coffee, hosted by our Senior Marketing Strategist, Madison Smith. In this session, Madison sat down with luxury lifestyle blogger and entrepreneur Lindsay Silberman to dive into the ins-and-outs of influencer partnerships — especially on the topic of fair compensation.
Check out the recording or read the highlights from their conversation below.
Prior to launching her blog, Lindsary spent a decade as a magazine editor covering travel and beauty for outlets like Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, Town & Country, Elle Decor, and GQ. Now, she has her own company called Hotel Lobby Candle, a home fragrance line inspired by the five-star hotel experience. Hotel Lobby Candle’s first collection was released in October of 2020, and it subsequently sold out in 24 minutes.
In short, Lindsay is not only a content creator, but also a businesswoman with a blossoming brand. Below, she draws on her experiences and speaks to why brands need to compensate creators fairly for the work that they do in a partnership.
1. Brands are paying for the trust that the creator has built with their audience.
Years ago, it was believed that being an influencer simply meant shooting some photos on an iPhone, posting it, and collecting the check. However, for many creators, this is a full-time job that requires a lot of time and effort — not only when it comes to content creation, but also in terms of building a close relationship with their audience.
It takes influencers years to build trust and a strong bond with their community. That’s why most creators carefully vet the brands they work with and are very discerning in the products they recommend.
Lindsay explains, “If I choose to work with a brand, they’re not only paying for the access to my audience and for the content, but they’re also paying for the trust and loyalty that my followers have in me that I’ve built over the course of 10 years.”
2. Brands are paying for a one-person production team.
Studio shoots can be time-consuming to organize, not to mention very expensive. To plan one of these productions, brands have to recruit diverse models, rent out studio space, hire photographers, wait for the content to be edited and approved, and so on. This is virtually impossible for brands with a smaller budget.
That’s why creating content with influencers is even better than investing in a full production team at a studio shoot. Think about it — influencers are the models, photographers, videographers, creative directors, editors, and marketers all rolled up into one package. Plus, they’re well-versed in creating engaging content made for social media, which often means higher engagement.
Lindsay also comments on the creativity that influencers have. “Some of the things that I saw influencers creating during quarantine, like ordering a backdrop from Amazon and teaching themselves how to use different apps for crazy stop motion videos, have been unbelievable.”
3. Brands are paying for social proof.
Something special happens when a real person endorses a product. Consumers trust other shoppers over any brand-directed message, so promoting your products through someone who actually loves your brand is invaluable.
These days, this type of word-of-mouth spreads via social media. Consumers, especially Gen Zers and millennials, aren’t tuning in to TV commercials or radio to discover new products — they’re turning to real people on social media.
Lindsay talks about her personal experience buying the Maybelline mascara after seeing so many people post about it on TikTok. “It’s just like this snowball effect that really creates momentum for a product and can have a huge impact,” she explains. “There are so many ways to do it on a smaller scale. I’ve seen so many small brands go viral on TikTok because they just had a really clever video idea or they had a creator who was smart and created something really viral for them.”
Creators bring far more to the table than their social reach. By partnering with a well-aligned influencer, brands are paying for the trust they have built with their audience, high-quality content (that is also cost-effective), and social proof. For more insights, watch the full video above.