Welcome to The Spark Show! In this episode, I’ll be talking about how to write an influencer mission statement. I’m super excited to talk about this because I think most influencers don’t work enough on their brand. They’re busy with creating content and focused on growth, but what they don’t realize is that you can’t have a successful influencer business if you don’t have a solid foundation in place.
So now, let’s talk about that solid foundation which is what I call the ABCs of Influence.
This is the most important thing about having any business - the audience that you serve. It doesn’t matter if you have an audience of 10 or 10 million, you have to know who your audience is; and it goes deeper than age, gender and location, you need to get into the details.
I know so many influencers that don’t even look into their analytics. They just keep posting but they’re not really looking at the data or testing their content to see which is doing well, not based on what they like or think, but based on real engagement numbers.
I also know that a lot of influencers say they get stuck on what to post or what to do, when they have an audience right there that they can ask and survey. Big brands are always surveying their audience and customers; and if you want to treat this like a business, then you should also be getting as much data as possible from your audience.
This is exactly what we dive deep into in The Spark Society. We always start with the audience because it’s the most important part of having an influencer business. With no audience, you have no one to influence.
And it’s really not about how big your audience is, what matters is how engaged they are. A lot of brands would rather work with influencers with a higher engagement rate rather than someone with a lot of followers but low engagement.
This is where a lot of influencers get stuck and really don’t spend time on. Branding is super important because it’s what sets you apart from everyone else.
If you think of the reason why you buy from brands, most of the time it’s not because it’s the best product out there. It might be, but a lot of products are made from the same manufacturer, but you choose that certain one because of its brand.
You choose a brand because of its backstory, the founder/owners, or the causes that they support. You choose a brand because it aligns with your own core values, so you really need to take some time to create these branding elements.
Most of the time when people say brand or branding, they think - I need a logo and the design and website. A lot of that is actually temporary and you can change that, upgrade, and it will even evolve over time.
So, if you’re just starting out, you want to make sure that you work on your branding. This is defining your core values as a brand, which is usually the same as your personal core values.
For example, our core values for The Spark School is abundance, impact and freedom. This is weaved in throughout everything, especially our content.
It’s also important to write out your brand story, some people call it your origin story, and it’s how you ended up where you are now. Everyone goes through a journey and when you share it with your audience, they connect with you on a deeper level.
Once you’ve defined your core values and written out your brand story, you can write out your influencer mission statement. This is a sentence or short paragraph that defines what your brand wants to accomplish. It’s really important to spend some time on this and also don’t think that you’ll just work on it once and that’s it.
You wanna think of your brand as a living, breathing entity that will change and grow over time. So, whatever you might come up with today, may not stay the same in a few months or next year. That’s why it’s important to revisit your brand every quarter or at least 1-2x a year.
Your influencer mission statement is a way that will strongly communicate who your brand is for, what it’s about and what you’re aiming to do.
For example, for The Spark School our influencer mission statement currently is:
We help impact-driven influencers build their brand, grow their following and monetize their channels through our courses, coaching and community. We provide support, inspiration and encouragement so that influencers can create positive change while trusting themselves and knowing their worth.
As you can see it’s very specific to which type of influencers I work with. “Impact-driven” means that they care about making an impact and they’re not just in it for themselves because they want to get famous or get free stuff from brands.
You want to clearly call out your audience without being afraid that you’re going to alienate other people who don’t fit that. That’s actually a good thing! Trying to attract everyone will attract no one. You want to really call out who you’re talking to - not just everyone. It’s people who believe in the same core values or are into the things that you post about.
The statement also includes our 3-step process: “build their brand, grow their following and monetize” and how we do it: “courses, coaching and community.” So, it’s clear what we provide. As an influencer, you provide value through your content - so is that through your videos, photos, blog, or podcast?
The statement also includes what we provide - “support, inspiration and encouragement” and why we do what we do, “so that influencers can create positive change while trusting themselves and knowing their worth.” This is super important because what I’ve found after doing this for years now is that most influencers struggle with trusting themselves.
I think this is actually a lot of entrepreneurs in general. You’re looking for the answers elsewhere, you think someone can give you a magic pill or formula. Spoiler Alert: there isn’t one. I always aim to guide my students but I can never give them an answer, because everyone is in a different situation. I can help you try to get the answers that are right for you, but I can never tell you what the answer is because there isn’t one right answer and one right solution for everyone.
If you wanna grow your business, you wanna work on learning how to trust yourself. It definitely helps to have coaches and mentors to help you because we do get in our own way. That’s just how we are as human beings, we have fears and egos and sometimes we need support and guidance to help us take a step back or forward and to look at things from a new perspective, beyond those fears.
And the second thing I help influencers with is “knowing their worth.” This is why there are influencers out there even with over 100k, 200k and 300k followers who are either not making any money or not making a full-time income because they don’t know their worth and they're undercharging for their work.
A lot of influencers are afraid to charge money for their services. Content creation takes a lot of time and energy. We’re not just snapping a photo and that’s it. We are the producer, photographer, editor, hair and makeup artists, stylist, copywriter and we spend the time growing our audience every day. This is a lot of work and so many influencers are doing it for free or just for trade. If the product is under $50, you’re actually losing a lot of money.
Brands pay production companies thousands of dollars for this type of content and you’re also endorsing and putting your name behind their brand.
It’s super important to write out your influencer mission statement so it’s clear to people if they should follow you or buy from you or partner with you. It’s going to take a lot of drafts, so just treat it like a working draft that you’re going to keep revisiting regularly and refining.
I want to close out with the last part of the ABCs of Influence.
It’s going to be a lot easier to create a content strategy when you have the other two parts of this formula: audience and branding. You don’t want to be putting out content aimlessly without knowing who your audience is and who you are as a brand.
Remember, this is not something you do once and that’s it. You keep testing, looking at the data, measuring results and refining over and over again.
If you think of the media giants and TV channels, this is what they do. They analyze their audience, they refine their brand and then they create content and see what does well. Just like movies, they see how it does before it gets a sequel or more follow up movies (ex. Fast and the Furious).
I want you to put some time aside to work on your brand this week and write out your influencer mission statement because it will help you make decisions about your content and it will help you attract the right audience and the right brands.
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