How do you push back? First, do it early, as quickly as possible. Second, I wouldn't lie. Being people's boss, something that's been really interesting is that the lies that you tell as an employee like when you're hungover, or you just don't feel like going to work, or you forgot to put your vacation request in, and then you say a day before your flight, "Oh, my gosh, last minute, this thing came up and I booked a flight I have to go." All of those little lies that I used to tell as an employee that I thought were so clever are so transparent.
I know all the parents out there can probably commiserate with me that your kids lying to you about things is very easy to see through. Same for the brand side. If an influencer has some big, huge, excuse about why they didn't do a post or why they screwed something up or why it's late, it's so transparent that you're lying. One is don't lie because it's not doing you any good. Just be honest about what happened and the next is thinking about what are you going to do to make it better.
Lay out a plan. Excuse me. When we screw something up with our clients which is exceedingly rare, but when we do, we don't say, "Hey, we screwed this up, sorry. Hope you forgive me, bye. I'm going to go hide under a rock." No, you say, "Hey, this happened, here's three things that I'm working on to fix it, and here is exactly when I'm going to update you." You have to think like, "Hey, XYZ happened, and you're not going get what you want. Here's everything I've done to try and fix it and here's what I can do moving forward."
I can give you two free posts, I can cover this. Whatever it is, you need to to give them something to say, "Shit, that's really bad. That screws up what I'm doing," is their first thought and then, "Okay, but there's a plan here, they've thought it through."
Even if that plan doesn't make it better because a lot of times it won't, if a brand is launching something on a certain day and they need you to post and you don't, posting the day after isn't really as helpful. Sometimes you can't make up for your screw-up but not presenting an option just says I don't care. I didn't even give a shit enough to think about a way to make this better because this relationship is so meaningless to me that I couldn't be bothered.
That is what it feels like as a brand person when an influencer is like, "Sorry, that can't happen, my dog was in the hospital for two nights, and I had no internet. Then my phone disappeared, and I'm now deaf, dumb and blind and it's impossible for me to do anything." Whatever the insane excuses that was made up, it just all makes it feel like you don't care.
I would just say, one, be a decent human and actually care, but make sure that that empathy and the care actually comes through. The best way to do that is to show that you've thought about this. You've also worried about it and you've come up with what you think is a reasonable plan to-- if not fix things, put a little bandaid on it and make it better.
If you screwed up and you owed them one post, I don't think you make good by giving them one post.
You can make good by giving them two posts. You have to go above and beyond because it's not like an [inaudible 00:17:32] thing there. Again, I know it's a continuation of the last question, but learning how to tell people disappointing news is a huge life skill and life hack. This is true not just of your professional relationships, but your personal ones as well. People just want to feel like you care.
We have a shit list in the office. We have a list of influencers that are blacklisted that we will not work with. Idalia and I talked about this on her podcast. Every brand has a blacklist. Every brand has a list of influencers that they will not work with because the experience was bad. People make mistakes and you don't get on the shit list by making a mistake, you get on the shit list by making a mistake and then not trying to fix it and not caring.
Because people generally are pretty down to forgive you if it feels like you actually care. Again, you will not get on that shit list if you screw up, but make a big effort to make it better. You will by screwing up and not making that effort.
- Saves (The New Like), Staying on a Brands Radar, Negotiation Tips