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From Pitch to Partnership: Mastering the Art of Influencer Relationship Management

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  • From Pitch to Partnership: Mastering the Art of Influencer Relationship Management

Influencer partnerships are the new kids on the marketing block and there’s a good reason more brands are incorporating them into their strategy. Influencer marketing can be extremely effective and it’s not only accessible to big companies who can afford celebrity partnerships – influencers come in all shapes and follower counts.

If you’re inexperienced with influencer marketing, the journey from initial pitch to successful partnership may seem a bit bewildering. Mastering the art of influencer relationship management is not without its challenges, but this article will guide you through the process from beginning to end. Before we get stuck in, let’s explore the many benefits great influencer partnerships can bring to your business.

What is influencer relationship management?

It’s the business of effectively nurturing and maintaining your relationships with influencers as part of your marketing strategy. This is an increasingly important task for brands as the power of social media over our buying decisions grows ever stronger.

Influencer relationships can be managed directly, or there are agencies who can do this for you. There are pros and cons to each approach – for example, direct management is more personal and affordable. However, an agency can be a good choice if time is an issue, as managing influencer relationships can be time-consuming and agencies are specialists in this field.

Influencer Relationship Management

Free to use image from Unsplash

If you do choose to manage your influencers directly, remember that as with any kind of relationship, clarity, communication and respect are the cornerstones to building a good rapport. But there is also an administrative and practical element to this process

Keeping on top of your various influencer partnerships and campaigns can be like spinning plates. Thankfully, there are lots of tools that you can use to help streamline the process, such as utilizing a specialized recruitment platform.

The Importance of Influencer Marketing

Strong influencer marketing partnerships can generate exceptional ROI for your brand. Let’s explore how.


If you choose the right influencers, then you are gaining access to an established following of the audience you want to reach. This is far more targeted than more traditional marketing methods.

Rather than casting a wide net in the hopes you may catch the attention of a relatively small percentage who may be interested in your brand, you are getting your message to a more concentrated group of potential customers.

The right influencer will have a following already predisposed to your brand and values, so it can be a much more cost-effective marketing strategy.


Good influencers will usually have a niche. This could be a certain industry, such as beauty. Or, a specific topic, like gardening. They have cultivated a following of people who already like and engage with their content.

They’ve built trust with their audience so their recommendations and reviews are respected. By forming relationships with influencers who align with your brand, you can benefit from this trust.

People are more likely to try a product recommended by an influencer. In fact, 56% of consumers have bought a product after seeing an influencer using it – they have significant sway over consumer buying decisions.

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Free to use image from Unsplash


Most people have become pretty savvy to traditional marketing techniques and tend to be skeptical when the benefits of a product or service are oversold to them in an advert. But one of the benefits of marketing on social media with an influencer is social proof.

Influencers can show their followers how they used a product and demonstrate its efficacy in photos and videos. This is really helpful to buyers who might be on the fence as to whether a product is suitable for them.

Social proof makes customers more confident that they are spending their money wisely and that they will receive a high-quality product that serves its purpose effectively.

How to master influencer relationship management

If you’ve yet to get your head around the world of influencer marketing and want to start building partnerships, you’ve come to the right place. These are the main elements to keep in mind as you go forward.

Set your goals

Before you start scouring TikTok for influencing stars, think about exactly what you are hoping to achieve. Do you want to see an increase in sales? Or do you want to boost brand awareness?

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Answering this question will help narrow down your choice of influencers. If it’s brand awareness you’re focusing on, look for niche influencers with a significant and highly engaged following.

But if it’s sales you’re after, an influencer who creates exciting content that attracts plenty of clicks should be your aim. Establishing a clear goal at the start will also enable you to more effectively track your results.

Clearly define your buyer persona

Next, you need to develop a detailed buyer persona. This includes demographics and behavior, but also what they love, hate and need.

You can do this by analyzing your current customers through any data they’ve consented to give you in the buying process, or through surveys and social media statistics. Make it as detailed as possible.

One of the most important things you need to know is where they consume their content, whether it’s on TikTok or Instagram. Armed with all of this knowledge, you will then be ready to go and start finding your influencers.

Find your influencers

Now you know who your target audience is, it will be much easier to find the right influencers. There are a few things to be wary of when doing this, such as putting too much importance on follower count.

Yes, you want to reach as many people as possible, but quality is better than quantity here. A smaller group of loyal followers with a high level of trust will often see a bigger ROI than a large, unengaged following. Also, be careful to avoid influencers who have fake followers – remember that followers can be purchased or could be bots, neither of which are good for your brand.

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Free to use image from Unsplash

It’s much more important to focus on finding influencers who are representative of your business and have high engagement with their content. One key aspect of influencer relationship management is partnering with content creators who align with your brand values and have a strong connection with their audience. These individuals can craft engaging and authentic content that resonates with your target market, driving meaningful results for your brand.

Finally, look for influencers with credibility in the market you want to target. For example, if you are looking to reach a Saudi Arabian audience, seek out influencers with an official “domain sa” website.

Make your pitch

You’ve made a shortlist of the influencers you’d like to work with, so now it’s time to reach out to them. Bear in mind that they likely get many messages about partnership deals every week, so make sure yours is personal and considered.

Explain enthusiastically what you like about their social media pages and content, and wax lyrical on why you think they would be a good fit for your brand. Be transparent about how you see the partnerships progressing, but also leave room for their input.

Influencers have their own brand to consider, so they may be very particular about the companies they agree to work with and the kind of content they are willing to create – this is a good thing. You don’t want to work with influencers who promote every brand that approaches them, so be flexible about how you might work together.

Pay them well

A good influencer will be someone who puts a great deal of effort and expertise into creating content that their followers love. Pay them adequately for the work they provide, as you would any freelancer or contractor. This is not only fair but important for building and maintaining good relationships.

As previously mentioned, established influencers are approached by brands on a regular basis. Attempting to negotiate a low fee may be construed as insulting and is unlikely to end in a partnership. Late payment can also be damaging to the relationship, but you can ensure timely payment by using a tool like Paylocity payroll software for small businesses.

Influencer marketing offers a good ROI, with an emphasis on investment. If you want to secure partnerships with influencers with a healthy following and high engagement, you will need to invest in them – but if you’ve chosen correctly, you will reap the benefits.

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Free to use image from Unsplash

Let them do their thing

If you have chosen an influencer because you like their content and persona, trust their judgment. Of course, you should outline your expectations at the beginning and be clear about anything that you would find unacceptable, or any preferences you have.

But otherwise, it is wise to give them creative freedom in order to get the best results. They know what will resonate with their followers and are more likely to create content that feels authentic and unique when left to their own devices.

Resist the urge to micromanage them and you may well find that what they produce ends up being better than what you had in mind.

Treat them as partners

You will get far more out of your collaborations with influencers if you really treat them as partners and not just hired help who are there to do what you tell them. They can bring a unique perspective to your campaigns, their following, your audience, and their products.

Communicate with them as much as possible, listen to their opinions at every stage of the process and treat them with respect. They have achieved success in their field and people follow them for a reason; do everything you can to understand why that is.

Influencers have become one of the essentials of a social media branding campaign. Working with them requires nurturing mutually beneficial relationships and harnessing their input to achieve your marketing goals. This brings us to the next point

Build long-term relationships

There’s no great harm in one-off collaborations, but there are much more lucrative benefits to be found in establishing long-term relationships with influencers. Once again, it comes back to the question of trust.

When an influencer works with a brand over a long time, their following will naturally become more familiar with your products or services. What’s more, the partnership will feel more authentic and it strengthens the perception that an influencer genuinely likes your company.

Long-term relationships also allow you to grow together, create diverse content and keep building on successful campaigns. From a financial perspective, it can also be more cost-effective to work with the same influencer, rather than spending your time and resources trying to regularly find new talent.

Analyze your campaigns

Once you have embarked on a partnership with an influencer, you’ll want to track whether you are achieving the goals you established at the beginning. This could be an increase in sales or a target click-through rate (CTR).

If you have multiple influencer campaigns at any given time, you will need to take steps to differentiate the impact of each one. This is usually done by giving them a unique link or promo code to use, so you can correctly measure the impact of each campaign.

Use this data to make better decisions going forward. If one campaign doesn’t go so well, don’t give up on that influencer immediately. Work together to change tactics, or learn from what has gone right in other campaigns to try a new approach.

Forge lucrative influencer relationships now

The wonderful thing about social media is that there is something for everyone. No matter what your business is, there is an audience out there who is interested in what you have to offer. Utilizing niche influencers offers you a direct line to that audience.

To reach these influencers, you need to understand your buyer and have a clear goal. That will help you find the right people and create a personalized pitch that will spark their interest.

Once you’ve made that initial connection, your aim should be building a long-term relationship founded on respect, collaboration, and creative freedom. Remember that this is a partnership and they are providing you with access to the following they have worked to grow, so they have the best insight into what will resonate with their audience.

Use these tips to forge strong influencer relationships that will supercharge your marketing campaigns and elevate your brand’s social media presence.

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