Idalia Salsamendi

For a brand-influencer partnership to be successful, both parties need honesty, transparency and trust.

This is according to Idalia Salsamendi, who runs her own brand consulting company that helps coordinate digital and influencer strategies. Working with influencers like Chriselle Lim, Danielle Bernstein and Chiara Ferragni, Salsamendi has cultivated her own secrets to success for an effective partnership.

First, Salsamendi states that both the brand and influencer need to answer one key question before partnering: What is your why? “Why as an influencer are you working with a brand?” she asked. “If the answer is to get a paycheck, you have the wrong answer.” She goes on to state a genuine connection and relationship is needed for an effective brand partnership and in order to achieve that there needs to be open communication from start to finish.

“On the brand side, tell the influencer what the scope of the work is,” she said. “In turn, influencers to save your butts as well, ask questions. Don’t get offended if a brand is like, ‘Hey, can you shoot this?’ and you’re like ‘They’re taking away my creativity.’ No they’re not. They’re actually guiding you, so take that guidance and run with it.”

For brands, Salsamendi asks if they’re hiring influencers based on statistics or emotions and states how it’s critical to do thorough research if an influencer partnership is based on the latter. “If your expectations are [return on investment], if your expectations are higher metrics, then know who you are hiring,” she said. “You can base things on emotions and that’s fine, but don’t let that carry you.”

Salsamendi also stresses that both brands and influencers should go above and beyond for partnerships. For example, if a brand asks an influencer to create seven Instagram feed posts, she encourages the influencer to post nine or 10, or test out posts on their Instagram Stories ahead of the partnership to get a feel for the brand.

She then ends her talk by stating that throughout the partnership, one of the most important things is to have fun. “We’re not curing cancer and we’re not saving lives, so have fun along the way,” she said. “Spread positivity, spread joy and know that once all of that happens, the beneficial consequence of all of that is money.”

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