Influencers and freelance workers typically lead very different lifestyles than the average ‘9-5’ employee. Most work odd hours, have a non-traditional office space, and aren’t supported by a steady paycheck. One thing they should have in common with everyone else, regardless of occupation? Professionalism.
Why Is Professionalism Important?
In the business world, professionalism is everything—and it can make or break your reputation. Having a good sense of professionalism signals that you are reliable, can be trusted, and are committed to your work. Creators must prove they can deliver quality work on time, while brands must keep their lines of communication are open.
How to Maintain Professionalism
Creators and brands alike must remain open and honest with each other. A creator must honestly convey realistic standards for partnerships, while brands must honestly portray their expectations.
Communication is the key to professionalism. Professional communication can be anything from using respectful language during exchanges, to responding in a timely fashion, to answering any questions or concerns that come your way. Nothing kills a deal faster than waiting around for a response!
Part of working on professional collaborations is setting realistic expectations and timelines. Over or under setting expectations can lead to frustrations for both the brand and creator. If you are unsure of what to ask of the other party, the best practice is to under-promise and over-deliver!
Once a realistic timeline has been set for your collaboration, a professional ALWAYS delivers on time. Not holding up your end of a bargain can taint your reputation and possibly affect other collaborations. Therefore, it is a must that both parties stick to their promises and deliver reliable, quality content.
It is no surprise that professionals share a high level of respect in the workforce. Respect of people’s time, respect of boundaries, respectful communication, etc.. A solid partnership cannot flourish without mutual respect.
Tips to Boost Your Professional Image
Of course, most brand/ creator collaborations take place on social media. As a creator, it’s important to keep your social media reflective of your personality and true to who you are. Ensure you have an eye-catching profile picture and up-to-date contact information.
Be Mindful Of Your Content:
Nothing is worse than seeing someone air their personal grievances on social media, right? Don’t do it. Brands are looking for professional ambassadors to spread their message, and are likely to pass on someone who muddies their online presence with personal drama. Keep your posts aimed at content you would be proud to look back on a year from now.
Professionals are all about networking! Reach out to brands you are interested in collaborating with and let them know why you love them. Oftentimes creators will sit and wait to see what brands will contact the first… but if you are passionate about a brand you love, you should definitely consider making the first move.
Professionals aren’t selfish. They use their platforms to highlight their content as well as others. It’s all about spreading the love! If a brand is doing something you like, let them know. If another creator landed an awesome, new partnership, throw them a like. Professionals always find ways to reciprocate positivity.
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Marissa is a radio personality turned lifestyle influencer who loves all things beauty, fashion, and travel. You can follow her on Instagram at @MarissaOnAir. She is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.