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This Is Why You Aren’t Picked For Sponsored Influencer Campaigns

By Apr 15, 20212 Comments

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We’ve all been there. You see an influencer campaign that seems custom-made for you. You apply, just knowing that you’ll be picked. Then you stare at your inbox, wondering why that “You’ve been accepted!” email never arrives. It’s tough to face, but rejection is a huge part of the influencer life. The best thing you can do is take a good, hard look at the reasons you might not be getting selected for sponsored influencer campaigns. Working on changes with those reasons in mind is the first step in changing those rejections into acceptances!

Photo of woman standing by a chair holding her phone with the words, 'This is why you aren't picked for sponsored influencer campaigns.'This Is Why You Aren’t Picked For Sponsored Influencer Campaigns

If you have been wondering why you aren’t picked for sponsored campaigns, here are some possible reasons and action items that can help you get a better response next time you apply.

Sometimes There Is Nothing You Could Have Done

There is a possibility that the campaign was small and the applications were overwhelming. If 600 people are applying to a campaign with only 10 slots, the math may simply not be on your side.

You Didn’t Meet The Campaign Selection Criteria

Sometimes you are so close to meeting the outlined requirements for a campaign that you figure you might as well apply. A brand may make an exception if you really are very close to the requirements and have a great example or personal story that shows why you are actually a perfect fit for the campaign. For example, if a brand is looking for 30 year old women, and you are turning 30 two weeks after the campaign goes live plus the majority of your audience is already in their 30’s, they might make an exception. The problem is, if a campaign is asking for parents of children between the ages of 2-4 who live in Nebraska, the parent of a just-turned-5-year-old in Iowa will probably not be considered by the brand.

You’ve Recently Worked With A Competing Brand

Brands are looking for influencers who can genuinely and enthusiastically encourage their followers to purchase their products. If you’ve recently worked with a competitor, that dilutes the strength of your recommendation. The amount of time between working with competitors that will be acceptable to a brand will vary from company to company, but you can usually consider 90 days to be the minimum.

The Application Was Not Completed (Or Completed Incorrectly)

We know that the application process can sometimes be tedious, but I promise every question is there for a reason. If you skip over questions or don’t follow instructions, you are not providing the information that is needed for a brand to enthusiastically choose you.

Action Item: Double-check all of your campaign applications before you click send. Make sure you have given a complete answer to every question. There’s no need to write paragraphs and paragraphs. Usually, a sentence or two is more than enough as long as you provide the information requested.

You Have A History Of Low Quality Or Late Work

You can’t knock every single thing you do out of the park, and unexpected life events happen. That said, if you consistently turn in work late or produce less than impressive work, it will be noticed and noted.

Action Item: It’s never too late to fix a problem from your past. If you know you’ve messed up before, reach out and let us know you recognize there have been issues in the past, but you are ready to work and provide excellent content on time. If you’ve stepped up your game and produce better quality work now than you did in the past, let the person in charge of the campaign know and send along recent examples that show your growth.

The Campaign Isn’t Really In Your Niche

We’ve all been tempted by the campaign that pays really well or looks really fun. That said, if you don’t have examples of similar work from your past, it can be really hard for the brand to imagine their campaign on your feed (or imagine sharing your picture on their feed) compared with someone who has a proven track record in the niche.

Action Item: Do organic work that is similar to the sponsored work you hope to land. Travel content from the trip you paid for or fashion content with the clothing you buy for yourself is the first step towards landing sponsored opportunities in those niches.

Your Sponsored To Non-Sponsored Work Ratio Is Too High

We all want to get paid for the work we do, and it’s never going to be a problem that your feed contains sponsored content. It can be a problem, however, if your feed is almost exclusively advertisements.

Action Item: Strive to balance the sponsored content in your feed with a mixture of organic posts. Avoid posting advertisements back to back whenever possible. Build up a small library of content that can be posted at any time, so you can easily drop some high-quality organic content into your feed on the weeks when you are too busy with sponsored work to spend time taking pictures for fun.

Your Audience Data Has Issues

Growing your audience is hard. Unfortunately, taking shortcuts can create issues with your audience data. Buying followers or participating in international giveaways will create flags in your audience data that will be noticed by brands when they are evaluating you for sponsored influencer campaigns. Additionally, these followers will not regularly engage with your content, creating a lower engagement rate which will hurt you over time.

Action Item: This is, unfortunately, a time-consuming process that cannot be easily automated, but cleaning up your followers is the best possible solution. If you remove followers that are clearly from other countries or who appear “spammy”, this will begin to heal your audience data and improve your engagement rate.

Your Photography Could Use Some Work

The quality of your photos is extremely important. Brands are looking for crisp, clean images that are capable of promoting their products. While it’s not necessarily an issue if you edit your photos or use filters and presets, please be aware that filters and presets that alter colors can be a problem. Product labels should look as close as possible to how they appear in real life.

Action Item: If your photography needs some help, seek out one of the many in-person or online photography courses available. We also have plenty of free photography tutorials and resources right here on The SITS Girls.

We love seeing influencers succeed with sponsored campaigns. Hopefully this list of reasons why you may not be picked for sponsored influencer campaigns will help you to set yourself up for success the next time you apply for an influencer campaign. To make sure you don’t miss any campaign opportunities from Sway, sign up in The Sway Dashboard, join our private Facebook group, and make sure you are signed up for our newsletter.

For more tips, check out these posts:


  • Mack says:

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  • Inboost says:

    Nice tips for being picked for sponsered influencer campaigns. Thanks, very useful.