If you’re an aspiring model and have social media, chances are high that you’ve heard the phrase ‘brand repping’ or ‘brand rep’ before. But what do they mean, and what does it have to do with modelling?
Read on to discover everything you need to know about brand repping.
What is Brand Repping?
‘Brand repping’ stands for brand representation. Brands reach out to famous or popular faces and ask them to represent their brand either by advertising their products, endorsing the brand or by becoming an official brand ambassador.
Brand repping has become much bigger since social media. Instagram, in particular, is a commonly used platform for brand repping.
An influencer can rep just about anything. From holiday resorts, clothing, events and locations – even things like free insurance and cookies. If it can be sold, you can be a brand rep for it.
You can be anywhere in the world to rep a brand as it is usually done completely remotely. It is not like modelling which requires you to be in a specific location like London.
How Does Brand Repping Work?
There are multiple ways brand repping works. It can differ depending on the type of brand, their budget, their target audience and the model/influencer they wish to work with.
Brand repping can happen in one of the following ways:
– A brand can approach an influencer
– An influencer can approach a brand
– A brand gives an influencer an affiliate link
– A brand offers an influencer freebies in exchange for some coverage
Let’s look at each of these more in-depth.
A Brand Approaches An Influencer
If an influencer has a decent social media presence, has lots of followers and plenty of post engagement (comments and clicks), they may attract the attention of a brand.
A brand will often get in touch with an influencer they wish to work with if they believe the influencer’s followers reflects their own target audience. They may do this by privately messaging the influencer, but most top brands will make the effort of finding official contact details for the influencer such as a phone number or e-mail address.
The brand and the influencer will discuss possible deals. Details of the deal will include what the brand wants promoting, how long they want it promoted for, how they want it promoted, and how much they are willing to pay.
They must also discuss in detail what they are specifically paying for. For example, a brand can pay an influencer money to post a picture of them holding or using a product on their timeline, but the brand may not have the right to re-post this image on their own page or use it in their advertising campaigns unless specified as part of your contract. Always make sure you read the fine print as some brands like to sneak this clause in without first informing the influencer to avoid paying bigger costs.
The brand must also decide whether they want to put ad revenue behind the post. Do they then pay the influencer to do this? Or do they ensure they have the rights to the image to share and pay for the ad themselves?
A contract is then drawn up and signed so both parties understand what is expected of them.
An Influencer Approaches a Brand
If an influencer has yet to build a decent following or wants to work with a specific brand, they may approach the brand themselves. The unprofessional way to do this would be to approach the brand directly through social media, but a more professional method of contact is to find the marketing or social media department for the brand and either phone or e-mail them.
This method is all about selling yourself, so the influencer must ensure they have all the relevant details about how they can help the brand. This includes follower numbers, general post engagement and other experience working with brands. Google Analytics is a very helpful tool as it will track social media analytics, allowing the influencer to show brands everything they need to know about the platforms success (or lack thereof).
If an influencer wants to work with a brand, the brand will likely try to get a lot of work for very little money. If you are not able to show that working with you is worth their time, money or products, you can’t justify asking them for a large paycheque. However, many aspiring models and influencers are happy to accept freebies as payment in order to build their online cv and show experience working with brands.
A brand’s main reason for collaborating with an influencer is to make money. If your platform has too few followers or engagement, a brand is not going to want to work with you, especially if you can’t show or prove to them that you will help raise their follower count or profit margins. Bear this in mind before approaching a brand.
Many brands love to use affiliate links as a way to work with influencers without losing any money. It’s more work for the influencer and less work/money for the brand. However, both sides can benefit if done correctly.
An affiliate link is a personalised link that is given to the influencer by the brand. This link usually provides a discount on products or services. It is the influencer’s job to share this link far and wide and get as many followers to click and make a purchase as possible. The influencer will make a small percentage of each sale. The more people who purchase a product via the link, the more money the influencer (and the brand) will make.
Many influencers who do well with the affiliate link are then asked by the brand to further advertise or endorse the brand, and can even become brand ambassadors.
Brands Giving Freebies As Payment
Aspiring models in particular will likely be offered a free product or service as their payment rather than cash. This can be very rewarding for those just starting out. The brand’s followers will see your post and your own follower count is likely to increase, and you’ll get a nice freebie too. Freebies can come in all shapes and sizes. Bigger influencers are regularly given free holidays and free accommodation for hotels looking for an endorsement.
Of course, free shoes aren’t going to pay the bills so a serious influencer looking to make a living from brand repping is not going to be able to accept freebies indefinitely. Once a social media platform reaches a certain level of success, it’s only fair that a brand pays for the work put in by the influencer and the large audience the influencer has access to.
There are no rules that dictate when an influencer can be considered “successful”. Many brands tend to work with influencers who have no less than 10k followers. If an influencer has less, but very high-quality followers with high post engagement, they will probably be able to convince a brand to work with them. It’s all about how much the brand can get out of the agreement. Brands mostly want to make money but they will also work with influencers who are capable of increasing their platform follower count.
How to Get Selected for Brand Repping
The best way to get chosen for brand repping is to create a social media platform a brand will want to invest in. This means posting regularly enough to build a good following.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can trick brands by buying fake follower bots. A quick check will make it very obvious and you will lose all credibility as an influencer.
Having a good follower number is important, but brands will also look at individual post engagement. This includes the number of likes and comments on your posts. If the engagement is low, a brand will worry that a post they pay for will not reap many rewards.
Focus on creating a good, strong platform with authentic followers. This is very time consuming and will require a lot of hard work. You should be aiming to post regularly and consistently. Your posts need to be high-quality and engaging. Instagram is incredibly competitive and a quick look will show the types of images you need to be creating.
Creating a social media presence from scratch is a long hard slog, but will eventually lead to brand work and money. If you already have a presence (such as in modelling, on TV etc.) you will find it easier as you will likely already have a fan base to build on.