As creator marketing is becoming more and more popular, many brands are mastering the art of using and leveraging creators. And from that mastery comes the term “creator community”.
Building a creator community is key to unlocking the full potential of creator marketing. It builds and showcases trust and authenticity like nothing else.
As a creator data company, we’ve helped some of the biggest brands in the creator economy (Jellysmack, Pietra, Pearpop, TeeSpring, Mindvalley, Willa, Linktree, and many others), and hundreds of eCommerce brands and B2C apps to create their very own communities of creators.
So in this article, we’ll teach you how we do it, and how you can do it too. Without any further delay, this is how to build a creator community for your brand in 2022!
What Is a Creator Community
A creator community is when a brand nurtures long-term relationships with a group of creators that have proven to be a great fit.
Some brands have managed to build communities so strong that each creator is genuinely excited and passionate about the brand, and they can pass their passion and enthusiasm down to their followers.
But building such a community of creators is very slow and time-consuming. Still, if you go through the process the rewards will be game-changing:
- More Engagement
- Supercharged Brand Awareness
- Devoted & Returning Customers
- Unbreakable Social Presence
- Widespread Brand Love
How to Build a Creator Community
In a nutshell, the strategy is doing one or multiple large-scale creator campaigns of one-time collaborations (promo posts).
And then picking out the creators that stand out, and building meaningful, honest, and fair two-sided relationships with those people.
- Find a large volume of creators
- Recruit the best performers
- Build and manage relationships
- Track performance
How to Find Relevant Creators?
The first part of the process is finding enough relevant creators that are fit for recruitment. Your best shot is to search them:
- Among your existing customers or followers
- From your niche
Creators that already follow you are by default the most targeted and relevant ones you can work with. They already like your brand and your products, so when you reach out to them they’ll be ecstatic that the brand they love wants to collaborate!
This is how you find them:
Interact with your followers and spread the word – that you need creators!
Here’s an example:
You can do this via stories or posts. Simply tell your followers you’re looking for creators to represent your brand, tell them some of the perks, like free products, huge discounts, as well as monetary compensation! And with any luck, you’ll have at least a few creators that follow you, reach out.
Take the initiative and reach out to the creators that follow you
Another, far better way is to email them – here’s how
Here at Influencers Club we help brands of all sorts find their perfect creators. We can easily find all the creators from your audience (and their emails).
Simply tell us your Instagram handle in the form below our team of professional data analysts will do the heavy lifting for you by analyzing your followers and collecting every piece of publicly available information from them.
Then we’ll pick out all the profiles that stand out as creators, collect, clean, and validate their emails before delivering them to you. Ready for outreach, just like that!
Find Creators in Your Niche
If you’re not one of the fortunate brands that have built an audience thus far, then you’re left with the option to find the most relevant creators from your niche.
Finding enough creators can take a bit of time if you plan on doing it manually – either through exploring relevant hashtags or interacting with your niche.
Fortunately, there are services and tools that you can use to cut out the manual work and find the most relevant creators instantly.
These services include influencer platforms like:
- Tribe Dynamics
Though these platforms are typically great and easy ways to find a few relevant creators, the costs add up quickly, and the number of creators you can reach out to is often limited (small databases + large costs)
Also taking into account that to build a creator community you need a large volume of creator contacts, influencer platforms are not a reliable and stable solution.
Find Relevant Creators at Scale
Luckily, we have over 52M creators in our biggest on the internet creator database. And every one of our 712 clients (at the time of writing) started out here – no audience to begin with.
Besides creator emails, we also provide valuable data points that can be used as targeting features – to find laser targeted creators for any brand in any niche. And they can also be used as personalization points in your outreach emails.
These data points include:
- Number of followers
- Keywords in bio
- Type of link in bio
- Engagement rate
- 20 + more
These are some search queries clients have used to find targeted creators from our database:
- Female beauty creators with 20,000–50,000 followers, from the US, with an engagement rate of over 6%+
- Men between 20-30 with “Natty” or “Natural” in their bio, with more than 50k followers, posting frequency of once a day
- Male creators with links to a YouTube channel and they word “crossfit” in their bio
Simply tell us the exact type of creator you need in the form below, or if you’re not sure what types of creators you’re looking for yet – feel free to schedule a free strategy call with our creator outreach team so we can help out!
How to Recruit Creators for your Community
The creator recruitment process is pretty straightforward once you have a list of targeted prospects down. It consists of three phases.
Many brands go through the whole process to find the best possible creators, all to fail at this final step. Brands need to understand that creators are humans and not just promotion opportunities.
To connect with a human, you need to approach them on a personal level, as another human.
Never use premade templates to mass send outreach emails:
Take the time to create meaningful messages that stand out from the other 58 identical emails they got this week.
Here are some tips for sending your outreach messages:
- Personalize the first sentence the most. Go through their profile and include things that only their followers would know. Address a post they did, something that happened, or their general aesthetic – and be concise about it.
- Keep your emails short and sweet. Tell them why you picked them, your offer, and most importantly how they can benefit from the collaboration.
- Multi-channel approach. After you send them an email, follow up with an Instagram DM if they don’t respond.
- Include a very low effort and simple call to action “Can I send you a free sample? Let me know” or just “Can I send you more info?”.
Once you do outreach, and you have a few creators that are interested in your one-time promotion – it’s time to run the test.
Testing – Measuring ROI per Creator
Accurately measuring ROI for creator marketing is nearly impossible – unless your one and only goal are immediate sales. Which it shouldn’t be when building a long-term community.
You’re doing this to find and recruit creators that you want to represent your brand for years to come, not just to make some quick money. So evaluating them from a variety of angles will ensure that you pick the right people.
These are the 3 ROI measures that you need to take into account:
Engagement is the most important metric when it comes to measuring brand awareness. And high engagement also indicates a healthy and interested audience. It should be the first thing you look at when evaluating performance.
For reference – go for creators that brought their average amount of engagement to your promo post. If the engagement is lower than usual, it may mean that the creator is not experienced enough, and can’t execute the promotion with the same style as their everyday content.
All creators create content, but not all creators create amazing content. But how do you even measure what amazing content is? Simply put, in the eyes of a brand, amazing content is that which effectively highlights/uses the product/s whilst following the general content theme of the creator.
The ability to seamlessly merge promotional posts with everyday content, and express creativity, is crucial for long-term partnerships.
It’s all about making your products a part of their everyday life in the eyes of their followers. Only recruit creators that are able to do this.
While sales aren’t as nearly as important as content or engagement, they are still a key factor. You can’t run a business if you’re not making any money. So, discard all of the creators that failed to break even in your one-time collaboration.
Or if all of them manage to bring in revenue, you can leave out the ones that have less than the average of the group.
You can track sales per creator by using link tracking tools like:
This is where everything you’ve done so far comes together, and you actually build your community of creators.
The recruitment phase is where you reach out to the creators that performed the best ( based on the three measurement metrics we talked about) and tell them about your final offer – a long-term partnership.
So, what do you say in your emails?
The process is similar to the one you followed in the initial outreach, with a few slight adjustments.
- Make it extremely personalized, all of it – don’t be afraid to talk to them, tell them that you loved their work, and the way they portrayed your brand was incredible (what parts did you like).
- Inform them about your offer – tell them that you’d like them (mention other well-known creators that already accepted or were also selected – for social proof) to represent your brand and work with you directly.
- Emphasize what’s in it for them – this is the most important part. Your business relationship has to go both ways, just like any other relationship would. Make sure your offer is AMAZING and in their best interest.
- Send them free products (make it a surprise the first time)
How to Manage your Creator Community
Creator relationship management is the most important and challenging part of a successful creator community.
Creator relationship management is the process of keeping tabs on your community members and their performance. It’s crucial to never neglect this process because it’s the only way of knowing which creators are performing the best.
You might have already guessed, but managing your community members means working with lots of information.
Brands that have mastered creator communities keep track of as much info as possible and do their best to maintain and strengthen relationships with their creators.
To do this you can use spreadsheets designed for creator management or creator-specific automation software as you scale down the road.
Creator Communities Rock
Creator communities are not reserved for the biggest and toughest brands, every brand can build one. Whether they use micro, nano, or even macro creators, it doesn’t matter – the benefits are overwhelming.
Once you have your feet in the water with creators, it’s very easy to scale and achieve higher ROI. As you spread brand love and strengthen your relationship with the community management, you’ll very quickly build a team of super-performing creators and dominate social media within your industry.
And If you still need help finding super-targeted creators at scale, just give us a call and we’ll be right on it.
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