In the age of social media, more and more brands look for influencers to better connect with their target audience. With over 61% of people trusting influencer recommendations over branded content, there's no questioning the power of a good influencer collaboration. However, this collaboration goes both ways, and influencers aren't guaranteed to accept every brand offer that comes their way. On one hand, an influencer declining your offer may be due to personal limitations, such as a busy schedule or prior agreements. On the other hand, there are many situations where the issue is less about their availability and more about the offer itself. Influencers are more than happy to work with brands, but if multiple influencers reject your offer, it may be time to reconsider your approach.So why won't influencers work with you? Here are the top 5 reasons why influencers may be declining your offer.Brand conflictOne of the reasons an influencer may decline your offer is simply because they're already working with a brand that conflicts with yours. While multiple brands may sponsor influencers, they may be reluctant to support two brands in direct competition with one another.Some product/service brands may not need to worry about this issue. For example, people tend to buy many fast-moving consumer goods like groceries, food, or clothing, so they often end up experimenting with different brands in those categories. However, if your brand sells durable goods (i.e., appliances) or long-term services, your audience is more likely to choose one brand and continue using it in the future. These products stand to lose more from competition since consumers only purchase their services or goods when they truly need them. Thus, slow-moving consumer brands may sign influencers into contracts that push them away from other brands in the same market.In these cases, the influencer's rejection is hardly your fault. That said, it would be wise to research their recent collaboration or sponsorship deals to avoid contacting an influencer with prior commitments to other brands. Different valuesA big part of influencers' success in the digital era comes from their public image. Their audience appreciates them for their authentic personality and values. A top reason an influencer may decline a brand's offer is because the brand’s values don't align with their values.This may be obvious in certain cases. For instance, a vegan influencer shouldn't be expected to work with a meat-product-based food service. Yet, some brands may fail to consider principle-based differences when collaborating with influencers from their spheres. To avoid these issues, be sure to understand your influencer's values before contacting them. This research can also prevent future controversy or bad publicity — even if the influencer accepts your offer, their audience may not take it as gracefully. Find influencers that match your values, and you'll often find a more amenable audience as well.Bad reputationWhile some influencers may have conflicts of value or interest with certain brands, some brands may simply have a bad reputation amongst influencers. Perhaps your brand was involved in a recent public controversy or has gained too many negative associations over time. Either way, influencers are cautious of their image and may be reluctant to collaborate if they feel your brand can affect their public persona. Unlike the issue of conflicting brand commitments or discordant values, this issue is hardly ever addressed with simple research. In this case, prevention is better than cure — monitor source engine analytics to detect any negative feedback and address it as soon as possible to avoid lasting reputational damage. Platforms like Viral Nation Secure can protect your brand reputation through social media monitoring and screening.Improper compensationMaking content for a broad audience takes a lot of work. Influencers are hard workers, and they need to be properly compensated. Some brands underestimate the value an influencer can give to their marketing, offering rates far below what the influencer expects. Other brands may not be aware of standard rates and may end up lowballing by accident.Regardless, an influencer can often reject a collaboration or sponsorship offer if it does not provide the right benefits. Smaller influencers may accept free products as appropriate reimbursement for a hefty amount of work. Big influencers, however, will immediately recognize that your collaboration provides value to the brand, and the brand needs to provide their equivalent value in return. Before discussing compensation or benefits with an influencer, research industry rates for collaborations. Different platforms will have different rates – an Instagram post can earn anywhere between US$100 to $10,000, while Tiktok and YouTube videos could cost well over US$3,000. These prices depend on the size of the influencer and the kind of content they'll produce, so be sure to know what's standard before coming to the negotiation table.Creative restrictionsAbove all else, influencers are creatives. Their creative content drives them and their audience, and restricting their creative freedom is often detrimental to their image and well-being. However, some brands will enforce content policies or push a creation approach contrary to the influencer's style, creating dissonance. Fear of control is why many influencers see creative freedom as essential when working with brands.While brands need to be careful about what kind of content they're associated with, influencers know what resonates with their audience better than anyone else. Exerting executive control over their approach can easily backfire for the brand. Instead, communicate with the influencer and give them the creative freedom to work out what content will do the best in your collaboration. Influencers may accept or reject offers for a variety of reasons. While some reasons, like conflicting commitments or negative press, are difficult to change, most can be easily resolved with some adjustments. The most important thing to consider when contracting an influencer is to see them as a long-term partner — both the brand and the influencer stand to gain from their collaboration. Treat your influencers well, and their audience is sure to return the favor.
_About the author
Viral Nation is a new media innovation group that powers the social ecosystem through integrated solutions that align strategy, talent, media, and technology. As pioneers in the influencer space, Viral Nation is comprised of a full-service creative agency, a creator and athlete-influencer representation agency, and a technology division creating modern marketing solutions for the social media age.