Hosting a Rep Search

With all of the easily accessible platforms out there – Etsy, Society6, Redbubble, etc – almost everyone is making and selling something. 

With no physical storefront, we designers and sellers – we business owners – rely on social media to promote products. 

There comes a point where your own sites are maxing out their potential and that’s where brand reps come in. 

Especially popular on Instagram, brand reps get free products in exchange for taking quality photos of said products. It’s sort of like a low-key version of those celebrity ad Instagram photos. 

I personally have zero experience with rep searches outside of the book community. My own business makes comical candles, many of which revolve around books and pop culture. 

So, here are my top five tips for choosing your very own brand rep:

1. Don’t Make It Hard

No one is going to want to repost a picture, grow a beard, tag seven friends, mention you in their Instagram Story, and sacrifice a virgin goat to enter your rep search. 

Make entering simple by keeping the process under three steps. Comment below and repost this picture! Or, tag a friend who might be interested and send us a collage of your best pictures!

2. Their Follower Count Does (Not?) Matter

If you’re running your own business, your monetary resources are probably limited and precious. The point of having a brand rep is to gain exposure. If a rep has fewer followers than you, it might not be worth the expenditure. 

BUT, quality is better than quantity. Someone with 200 followers may have better pictures than someone with 2,000 followers.

This all comes down to a gut judgment. I would rather have quality photos of my product from a wonderfully talented and kind rep than hastily taken photos from an overworked Insta-preneur.

(That’s another thing to account for: How many companies does this person rep for? Will they have time for your products?)

3. Interaction = Satisfaction

You know your brand better than anyone. The whole idea of a brand rep is that they’re an extension of your own account. 

Are your products sexy? Your rep needs to have a feed that represents that. 

Are your products centered towards children? Your rep should have a following geared to parents. 

Are your products humorous? Ours our! We wants reps that interact with followers and have witty commentary. 

This is a billboard. This is a commercial. This is your advertising! Let this build your brand!

4. Timeline Is Unimportant

Now this refers to a couple of things. 

First of all, the length of the search itself: 

Our first rep search lasted a week. The most recent one ran the entire month of February. This is unimportant. A good rule of thumb is that most accounts won’t enter until the last few days anyway, so do what works for your timeline. 

Second of all, the length of the rep period:

Our company does a batch of seasonal themed candles each season, so we’ve timed our rep periods around this! Reps last four months, which is long enough to cover an entire season. Then, as the season turns over, so do our rep accounts. 

What you do needs to work for your products. 

Pro tip: If you have a rep you love that is indispensable to you and your company, KEEP THEM. There is no rule that says you have to give them up. Ask them to stay on!

5. No One’s Disappointment Matters Except Your Own

It’s inevatible that not everyone who enters your search will be chosen. People are going to be disappointed. Here’s the thing: there’s nothing you can do about that!

The goal is to make a decision that you’re comfortable with. You can prevent your own disappointment, and you should. Don’t feel obligated to choose anyone; don’t feel obligated to apologize. At the end of the day, this is a business decision.