[The Art of Brand Repping] Part One – What is a Brand Rep?

So you want to become a Brand Rep. You’ve seen the other insta-mums do it and it doesn’t seem that hard. WRONG!

Well not totally wrong, but to do it right, it will take more time and dedication than you may have initially thought. This is a several part series on becoming a Brand Rep and being good at it. So let’s dive right in and get a few things out of the way:

What is a Brand Rep?

A brand rep is someone who represents a business and their products. Brand reps come in all shapes and sizes, but they’re a big thing on Instagram, particularly in the baby and children sector. Generally a brand rep is engaged by a business for a contractual amount of time (most popular time frame is 3 months – I’ve seen longer and shorter). In short, the business will provide the brand rep with products and the brand rep will promote them.

Is Brand Repping for me?

It definitely could be, but there are a few things you should consider before jumping in. Can you commit? Remember these are contractual periods. Many businesses will have you sign on the dotted line over this so you need to make sure you can follow through. If you’re planning on being on holidays in Europe for two out of the three months, it’s probably best that you wait until you’re home before applying for some roles.

Do you have the time? Businesses expect anywhere from 1-3 photos a week tagged on your Instagram feed. Two photos a week for three months is about 24 photos. Ensure you have the time to style and edit this amount of photos before setting out. You’ll need to constantly have your creative hat on – ten photos of your baby in the same outfit but with different poses on a non-descript background generally won’t cut the mustard. Photos need to have some differentiation, in different settings and styles.

Do you have the money? Of course, you’re likely to get free products with your brand rep position, but you’re also likely to get a discount code. Some businesses will expect you to make a purchase (I’ll cover this later) but even if they don’t, you’ll likely end up buying from them anyway. Remember, these are businesses that you admire and love so buying from them during the rep contract is fairly inevitable.

Do you have the equipment? I use a DSLR. It’s not always necessary but I’m a photographer by trade so much prefer the crispness of the photos a DSLR takes and the bandwidth it allows me when editing. You can get entry level DSLRs for reasonable prices, and don’t be afraid to shop second hand. If you can’t afford, or don’t want to invest in a camera, you can use your phone. It’s important your phone takes high quality and sharp photos though. Nothing worse than a grainy or blurry picture.

Okay, I’m ready to Rep! Now what?

Now’s the time to get your Instagram feed in order. A hodge podge of pictures that jump from your baby to your dog to the pizza you had for dinner last night does not make an inspiring feed. You need to find your theme – whether you take the minimalist route on white backgrounds or prefer outdoorsy and lifestyle photos, you’ll need cohesion. Make sure your theme is something you love and are able to readily take photos of… this is your personal brand and what businesses will look at when deciding if they want you onboard as a rep.

It’s tempting to post that pic of little Ava in the bath, especially if she’s looking super cute, but if the background is cluttered with toys or the picture is grainy, it’s probably best to refrain. Create yourself a second account for personal snap shots (here’s my personal account. It’s very different from my Stylist account), or better yet, use Instagram stories. It’s the perfect tool for those not-so-perfect photos and it doesn’t clutter your feed.

Before you can brand rep, you must first be an enthusiast. Show the world that you love small businesses. Purchase from your favourite brands and use the products to show off how you can style. The businesses may even regram your photos. Don’t expect them to ask you to rep for them though, especially if they’ve already got a rep team in place, or can already rely on tagged posts for their content, though I must admit I’ve gained over half my rep jobs through businesses contacting me after seeing me style their products, so it is possible.

How do I find Rep jobs to apply for?

Now that your feed is clean and you’ve been styling your favourite products, it’s time to apply for some jobs! Following your favourite brands is a great way to see if they run any rep searches, and you absolutely get the warm and fuzzies if you’re the one chosen. To find searches that are from businesses you aren’t following yet, you can browse through the #brandrepsearches hashtag, or find one of the pages that collate them in your country. I like to peruse Ausbrandrepsearches on Instagram – they kindly collate all the Australian brand rep searches every one to two weeks which makes it easier to see all the current searches in one spot.

Now, don’t go crazy and apply for all the jobs at once. Firstly, it clutters your feed and makes you look a bit desperate and secondly, when a business stalks your feed to see if you might be a good rep and sees the nine-block of searches you’ve applied for, they might be turned off as you look a bit disingenuous and might be seen as a freebie hunter. They also won’t feel as special if you’re seen to be applying for every job on the market. Bide your time and choose your roles carefully.

Of course, sometimes it’s inevitable to apply for more that one role at once. I know all the searches I hang out for seem to fall in the one week and if I want to apply for them, I’ll need to post the search pics in my feed. I try to space them out by adding content in between the regrams and I generally try to limit myself to no more that two applications at once… three at a pinch.

Also, make sure the jobs you’re applying for are relevant to you. Those salty boho tank tops are gorgeous, but if you live 200km from the beach and the business wants sand in their content, don’t waste your time applying. If the business asks for flatlays or white background and your content is your children outdoors, you’re not likely to get the job. Make sure their business brand fits your personal brand. This is a relationship you’re going into… you don’t want to get into bed with someone then not be able to deliver the goods.

Stay tuned for Part Two – Rep like a Boss.

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