Influencer access
should be free!

Why would anyone pay huge amounts of money for services obtainable completely free elsewhere? If you are trying to locate one or multiple influencers for your next campaign, why on earth shouldn’t you be allowed to openly access and communicate with potential influencer collaborators 100% free?

The 8 biggest influencer management agencies made more than 100 mio. dkk in 2017
Dansk Markedsføring  data 2018

Access should be free
Instagram is perhaps already the worlds biggest influencer database, a database providing direct access to millions of amazingly talented influencers. Since accessing influencers through Instagram is completely free to utilize, why would a large number of platforms and management agencies not allow you the same level of transparency and access to “their” influencers and databases?

Most platforms and management agencies make most of their total revenue from the classic cut they can charge as professional middlemen and by “owning” the influencers. Their cut is usually somewhere between 20%-80%. Remember that the only service being provided for this cut is access, nothing else, just access.

In other words, the vast majority of your influencer campaign budget is potentially being devoured by insanely expensive middlemen. We know that a large number of influencers are being underpaid by brands, and sometimes paid in free products or services – maybe the money should go to the influencer providing a valuable service instead of the expensive middlemen… but that’s just our opinion.

Other service providers are charging a lower monthly fee for access to platforms and influencers databases. These monthly fees are usually somewhere between 100 Euro (750 DKK) and 1.000 Euro (7.500 DKK). This might not seem that expensive at first, and it is easily within the monthly marketing budgets of most medium to large companies, but when you multiply it by 12 (to find the price per year) the total cost for the access alone, could end up costing a staggering 12.000 Euro (90.000 DKK) a year. Why on earth someone would pay this kind of money for simple access available for free elsewhere, we simply don’t know.

Imagine the number of amazing influencers you could have activated and paid fairly with this kind of money!

Forbes looked into the very business of influencers

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Contact should be free
Finally, when you have located the influencer best suited for your campaign, the natural next step is to establish contact.

A lot of management agencies allows you little to no direct contact with the influencer (remember, you are already paying the agency 20-80% of the total campaign cost). This lack of communication is making it extremely difficult to keep track of the overall creative process, as well as the quality of the content being created and distributed.

In other words, the management agency is closely controlling most of the communication, making it very difficult for brands to take part in the overall creative process of the so-called professional collaboration.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have the influencer platforms. Most of these offer some level of communication through built-in tools, allowing you access to a simple but familiar chat feature directly with the influencer. On most platforms, accessing a dedicated chat is only included in some of the more expensive monthly plans – still, chatting with influencers through a platform, is in most cases preferable to the tightly controlled communication through a complex and expensive agency.

Conclusion
Both the access and communication between influencer and brand are, as we’ve mentioned, already available 100% free on existing platforms like Instagram. There can be a lot of good reasons why some brands choose to use management agencies and expensive platforms as their primary influencer service provider. You should always look at the service and value offered, besides what is already free and obtainable elsewhere. Find out what suits your needs the best, and then go with it. 

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