Part 3 Influencer marketing
Many lessons had been learned from sending products to influencers. We were just buzzing that we were actually talking to bands we love. One of the many lessons we learn't about was the fact that when asking and approaching influencers it had to be without expectations. I think too many people and businesses always have ingenuine motives. Let me explain what i mean, When approaching an influencer you have to realise that you need them! they do not need you so when you message them you have to be genuine. I was always genuine because we were true fans of everyone we approached.
We would express how huge fans we were and that it would be an honour if we could send them products. We had to be prepared that there was a chance that they would not like them, or not be allowed to wear them due to contractual agreements. Our intentions were always koha (gift) and we always wanted them to know we didn't have any expectations from them. This removed a lot of pressure on them to create content, or even post content. One thing we noticed was almost everyone would share their experience with the product! It was a gamble we were willing to take.
So to approach someone we would use instagram and message them. We would say something around the lines of "we are huge fans of yours and would love to Koha a pair of sunglasses we make. We are a small Maori owned business based in Australia. We would be greatful to send you a pair to see what you think." Before this could even take place and to make sure your message is genuine you will need to be a genuine follower of this individual. DO NOT AD THEM AND MESSAGE THEM STRAIGHT AWAY! it just doesn't look genuine. Follow them, like a few posts, comment on their posts and learn something about them. I remember an influencer i messaged had a favourite colour. So i sent them the sunglasses in her fav colour. Her posts brought in over 2k in sales. Go the extra mile for them and they will do the same for you.
I remember i had a terrible experience asking an influencer who was a vegan to reveiw our shades and sending her Paua Sunglasses! It was a good lessons learned so make sure you do your homework. This was the worst experience using influencers we had! she was a good sport and still promoted our brand.
So now that we had influencer marketing, Social media campaigns, and sales coming through we needed to travel back to the product to look at ways to improve our designs and test our creativeness. We were only doing paua shell inlay dots but wanted to test the waters on other techniques. We had an experience where we had 100 sunglasses a dremmel drill and paua shell. We started drilling sunglasses and ruining 50 pairs from trying to put the shells in. there was no way we were able to sell the 50 pairs and cut our loses.
We started reaching our to family and friends to help us with designing some new concepts and we were able to perfect the design process to allow our manufacturers to create our designs easily. We kept trying to make it easier so they captured every design the way we envisioned it. Then we started playing with paua shell and pounamu to look at incorporating it into our designs. We asked ourselves how can we create it so sharp that it could really capture peoples attention and that everything was finished to a high quality. The standard we wanted was really high so we worked hard to perfect it. We did exactly that and exceeded our expectations.