Influencer marketing has become an extremely lucrative field in recent years—and not just for the influencers.
There are now different agencies that companies can choose from that specialize in connecting those businesses with the right influencers to help boost their marketing campaigns.
Agencies don’t spring up out of nowhere, though.
Like any other business, an influencer marketing agency takes a level of expertise and understanding of influencer marketing in general.
Because there are other agencies out there that essentially offer the same services, upcoming influencer marketing agencies also need to take a moment to think through what will set them apart from other agencies.
Let’s go over what it takes to build an influencer marketing agency and what you can do to set yourself apart from the competition.
Become A Successful Influencer
Before building any sort of marketing agency, it’s good to have some experience in that field.
For instance, if an entrepreneur wanted to start a social media marketing agency, they should have some experience with social media marketing. Without experience in the field of influencer marketing, it's difficult to determine whether or not you're getting the results that you are looking for.
Becoming an influencer marketer before starting an agency also creates an understanding of what it takes to be successful. This allows the agency owner to find the right influencers when building a network of influencers.
By getting involved in influencer marketing first, agency owners can better understand the needs of their clients, while also being able to pair them with influencers that will help to fulfill those needs.
Even top social media celebrities don’t always know how to wield their influence to make money. More of these influencers than you’d think work with influencer marketing companies to help guide and connect them with businesses that will pay them for their ability to reach potential customers.
Start working on building your own network, and learn what it takes to be an influencer. From there, you can start thinking about how you can take that know how and expand your business model.
People often overthink what it means to scale a business.
The thing is, it often happens organically.
What I mean by that is that it's usually easy to tell when it's time to scale because you have so much work coming in that you can't handle it all on your own. That's when it makes sense to bring someone else onto the team to expand the business.
So, one of the best ways to transition from being an influencer to being the owner of an influencer marketing agency is to hit the ceiling of what you can do on your own and then expand from there.
Here’s the thing, though.
While there are lots of great influencers out there, an influencer marketing agency may not want to work with every influencer that's available. Before reaching out to influencers, take a step back to consider what you want your agency to look like - and what your target clients should look like.
While some agencies try to be all things to all people, other agencies try to fill a particular niche.
For instance, you may be in the Health and Fitness niche - a field that you understand and have mastered. Because of this, you may decide to start an influencer marketing agency built around the Health and Fitness world.
You’ll also want to take a moment to think about what services you would like to fulfill with your agency:
- Are you simply looking to make introductions?
- Are you helping businesses to run their campaigns?
- Are you helping influencers to be more effective with their marketing campaigns?
Make sure to write out a business plan and really think through what your business will look like before you jump into it.
Build Your Network Of Influencers
Once you've hit capacity and have a plan in place, you'll need to think about what types of influencers fit your company.
Obviously, starting with the biggest celebrities and companies in the world may be difficult as a new agency. Most companies and influencers will want proof that an agency can get results before signing on with them, so you may need to start small and work your way up the ladder.
If you already have connections with some influencers that may trust you with connecting them with companies or you know some business owners that will trust you with meeting their influencer needs, great!
If not, you may need to start approaching smaller businesses and influencers to start growing your business from the ground up. If you ran a successful influencer marketing campaign before building your agency, though, there’s a good chance that you’ve met some potential clients along the way through networking.
Take an inventory of who you know and who may be interested in your services. Then, reach out to them with a well thought out offer.
Also, do some research about other influencers in your field, as well as businesses that would benefit from influencer marketing.
Then start reaching out!
5 Influencer Marketing Agencies To Research & Model After
To build the best influencer marketing agency possible, it’s a good idea to see what other influencer marketing agencies are doing.
Below are five strong influencer marketing agencies that you can learn a lot from.
We have no affiliation with any of these agencies - they're just doing interesting stuff that will help you spark some ideas for your own agency!
Mavrck is an all-in-one influencer marketing platform that has worked with some major brands.
Mavrck helps users build and maintain relationships with influencers and provides measurable information to track the effectiveness of each influencer marketing campaign that their clients are running.
Check out the “How We Are Different” page on their website to see how they differentiate themselves.
Obvious.ly is an influencer marketing company that has grown so large that they've worked with companies like Lyft, Warner Brothers, Coca-Cola and more.
Obvious.ly’s platform makes it easy to identify influencers through a very targeted search function, and they boast over 400,000 influencers to choose from. This sheer number of influencers allows companies from niches of every size and type to find influencers to work with.
Obvious.ly also helps with relationship management with a platform that makes it simple and easy for clients to see what influencers they are working with.
Growing a large network of influencers is key to your success as an influencer marketing agency.
Viral Nation is an influencer marketing platform that boasts the “highest level of analytics in the influencer marketing space.” This is a strong selling point, as clients want to know that they don’t just have access to influencers, but that this access is also providing results.
Viral Nation also works with clients to build a custom strategy that - in turn - allows them to match their clients with the right influencers.
Sometimes companies don’t know who they should work with - and they may not even know what their goals are. By providing clients with strategy and helping with influencer selection, you can set yourself apart.
Carusele has worked with companies like Pepsi and Hallmark, and these companies trust Carusele because of their ability to provide results.
Carusele helps to hand-select influencers for their clients, ensuring that their campaign has the most targeted success possible. They then score each piece of content to evaluate the success of the campaign.
By tracking the success of content and finding the right influencers, you can build trust with your clients and ensure the success of their campaigns.
IMA provides strategy, project management, analytics and more. Because of this, they are so much more than an “influencer marketing” company, and instead more resemble a full marketing agency.
With that being said, they provide access to some of the top influencers in the world, and have worked with massive brands.
By providing additional marketing services, you can set yourself apart from your competition. Instead of being an “influencer marketing agency,” you can become a “marketing agency with an emphasis on influencer marketing.”
While this isn’t necessary to succeed as an influencer marketing agency—if you have the skillset—you can upsell your clients and make more money!
Learning How To Build An Influencer Marketing Agency
If you're already an influencer and are looking to expand and build an agency, excellent! Consider what we've discussed about picking who you want to work with and in what niche.
If you have no experience as an influencer, you may want to start building up experience before approaching businesses and influencers about putting together an agency.
With the right knowhow and planning, you can start an extremely successful influencer marketing agency that will significantly boost your revenue.