It’s an exciting time for your marketing team: you’ve entered the influencer space, and reaped the benefits via increased brand awareness and revenue. Now, you’re looking to bring on a full-time hire to lead your advocacy program. However, influencer marketing is still a relatively nascent industry, so when it comes to identifying the best candidate for the role, the qualifications aren’t as clear-cut as they might be for more established positions.
At CreatorIQ, we’ve helped brands of all sizes and categories build impactful creator communities, and we’ve seen the key qualities that set exceptional influencer managers apart. To help you identify the most promising addition to your team, we’ve compiled a list of must-have attributes to look for in a full-time influencer marketing specialist who will help lift your earned media program to new heights.
1. Strong Relationship-Building Skills
Influencer marketing is all about relationships. Many of the most successful brands in the game, like Too Faced, boast entire teams of influencer managers who proactively build and sustain close connections, or even friendships, with creators.
When selecting candidates for an influencer marketing role, brands should look for individuals who maintain broad, robust professional networks, and have a track record of fostering strong relationships both inside and outside of their organizations. Ideally, your new influencer manager will already have connections with creators, and be comfortable networking within the influencer space to get on a first-name basis with your brand’s advocates.
2. Social Media Savvy
It might seem obvious, but it’s crucial that your influencer marketing manager is active on social platforms, and can seamlessly navigate unique creator communities relevant to your brand. Many individuals who thrive in this role are themselves smaller-scale influencers, and boast firsthand insights into the rewards and challenges of content creation. Because influencers live out their lives on social media, maintaining an active online profile enables managers not only to connect with creators on their own terms, but also to relate to potential advocates and demonstrate a genuine interest in their work.
3. Data-Driven Decision-Making
Between befriending social media stars and keeping up with the latest online conversations, influencer marketing can be a lot of fun—but it’s not all jet-setting and trend-chasing. To manage a successful influencer program, professionals also have to think analytically, leveraging a range of metrics to make strategic decisions about which creators to work with, and in what capacity. Additionally, influencer marketing managers should feel confident monitoring and reporting on their campaigns’ performance by using clearly defined KPIs that align with broader business objectives.
Software tools like CreatorIQ enable marketers to easily discover impactful creators, coordinate activations, and evaluate their success. It’s important that your influencer manager can confidently navigate a comprehensive analytics platform—bonus points if they’re already familiar with CreatorIQ!
4. High Level of Organization
Influencer marketing managers are always multitasking. Between maintaining relationships with creators across their networks, planning (and executing) activations, and keeping tabs on their KPIs, professionals must juggle numerous responsibilities, so staying organized is a must. Look for candidates who have experience managing a full campaign calendar, and know how to prioritize projects when the to-do list gets long.
5. Confidence Negotiating
Personal relationships power the creator economy, but influencer marketing is also a business. It’s crucial that managers can confidently negotiate contracts with creators, setting expectations for workload and compensation that are fair, feasible, and mutually advantageous. When negotiating, a manager should take the time to understand creators’ unique goals and preferences, and be prepared to balance empathy for creators’ preferences with their own team’s resources and objectives.
As a marketing professional, you probably have a strong grasp of your brand’s identity and messaging pillars. While a clear, coordinated brand vision is integral for owned marketing initiatives, influencer marketing managers should take a more hands-off approach when working with creators. Influencers cherish their artistic freedom, so managers should avoid imposing strict content guidelines when negotiating partnerships. Aesthetic alignment and shared values are certainly important in brand-creator relationships, but marketing professionals who are willing to let creators’ own voices and styles shine will inspire richer, more engaging content that resonates with ambassadors’ audiences.
A robust influencer program is only becoming more foundational to brands’ success in today’s digital landscape, and hiring a dedicated influencer marketing professional is the first step to building a passionate, prolific community of online advocates. Equipped with this list of key qualifications, your team is sure to find the right candidate to help your brand harness the power of the creator economy.
Ready to jumpstart your search for a highly qualified influencer marketing professional? Use the worksheet linked below as a roadmap for selecting the ideal candidate to build and expand your brand’s creator network.