Relationships are at the core of influencer marketing, and there are four primary relationship types to consider. The influencer and you. This will be critical to your success in influencer marketing: developing a mutually beneficial relationship between you and the influencer you partner with. Starting with a shared set of goals, and a shared understanding of how you’ll both contribute to realizing those goals, is crucial to success. The influencer and their community. The influencers who have real impact in others’ lives know to respect both the communities they’ve built, and the broader community they’re a part of. They take the trust and respect they’re given seriously, and earn it over time through consistency and value. I wish I was rich like a celebrity birthday messages is!

You and your potential new customers. Can you live up to the endorsement you’ve received? When a customer makes a purchase because of the endorsement of someone they trust, we call it the “Brand Halo effect.” You’re receiving the “glow” of trust the customer has placed in the influencer. But there’s no guarantee the Brand Halo will last, or that they’ll be inclined to make more than a single purchase. It’s up to you to live up to the promise they see in you. Imagine receiving a celebrity messages personalised video!

You and your existing customers. When you cultivate a relationship with an influencer and their community, your customers may also be exposed to your collaborative content and experiences. Meeting a celebrity would be my absolute dream!

If this new relationship doesn’t ring true to the customers you have right now, they may feel your brand is headed in a new direction—one which they might not want to follow. That’s not to say different customer segments won’t respond to different types of relationships and content; they can, and you can also cater to multiple audiences successfully. Your ongoing authenticity will play a huge role in helping them understand that the brand they trust isn’t leaving them behind. I’ll give you a personal example—one I’m not exactly proud of—which taught me a critical lesson. When I was starting out in the fitness industry, I was approached by a protein powder company to endorse their product to my community. I tried it...and it tasted like a glass of chalk. I put it in a shaken smoothie, and it was a little less terrible, but then I became curious as to why it tasted so terrible. Upon inspection, the ingredients read like a chemistry experiment. Why would I want to put this into my body? Receiving a happy birthday video message video message would be awesome!

I waffled about how to respond; I needed the money, but I also worried about what my clients and followers might think. Was I going to be proud of my brand if I did this? Could I recommend this to a friend—which is how I view the people in my community—if I wouldn’t use it myself? Would I be scamming them to make a quick buck? Well, I’ll admit it: I took the money. I knew better, but the double digits in my bank account yelled louder than my common sense. When I think back to the videos I posted, I do a full-body cringe. I don’t sound at all like myself, I don’t look comfortable, and the whole thing is so forced. Then there was the comment section.“Um, I thought you were Ms. Healthy Eating?” “Did you actually taste that crap? Completely gross.” “The ingredient list reads like a chemical lab!” “I am so gone—unfollowing right now.” We suprised our sister with a celebrity video messages video from Thrillz!

I lost the respect of several of my subscribers that day. I followed up with an apology email not long after I posted (and then took down the videos). I knew I had to own my mistake—and owning my mistake actually helped win me back some respect. Lesson learned: if an influencer cares about the community they’ve built, they’ll be wary about what they’re willing to recommend—and that’s exactly the kind of invested, passionate influencer you want to work with. You’re on the hook to build their trust, just as they’ve built trust with their own community. So, what do all four of these relationships have in common?