The Pros and Cons of Working With Influencers Directly

This is the first of a 4-part series, in which we break down the pros and cons of different ways to work with influencers, so you can make the most-informed decision for your brand’s influencer marketing campaign.

There’s a lot of ways to work with influencers these days, and different methods will make sense to different companies at different times. The best method for you will depend on the number of resources you have, your budget and the goals of your marketing efforts (check out this piece to see which campaign types advance different marketing goals).

You could work with MCNs, influencer marketing platforms, talent managers or influencers directly; all will offer slightly different avenues for accessing and creating incredible content with influencers. To kick off this series, we’re examining the benefits and the things to take into consideration, when working with influencers directly. 

Before social media influencer marketing became integral to brand’s marketing strategies, brands mostly worked with influencers or their talent agents directly. While less common today, working with influencers directly is still done and works great for some brands, especially big-name brands, or brands that fit perfectly for the influencer. Let’s dive in!

Pros to working with an influencer directly

  • No management fees – By working with an influencer directly, you won’t have to pay a talent manager, MCN or platform. This means, in most cases, the cost to work with an influencer will be much cheaper.
  • Quicker Turn-Around – Working directly with influencers can also result in a quicker turn-around period, due to less people managing the process.
  • Stronger relationships – Working directly with talent enables you to build a much more personal relationship with the influencer you’re working with, and can afford you first-access opportunities in the future.

Cons to working with an influencer directly

  • No recommended rates – Working with influencers directly also means that there is no third-party suggesting a price based on the going standard rate (platforms are great for this). As with any negotiation, do your research beforehand to make sure you’re getting the fairest price.
  • Difficult to scale – If you’re looking to grow new audiences, using multiple influencers is best. Working with just one or two influencers can be time consuming and may not give you the coverage you’re looking for. (See how portfolio approaches can do this with smaller influencers).
  • No Reporting From a Third-Party – With the lack of a third party reporting, make sure you trust your influencer to give you the actual results.

Have a pro or con to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below. 

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