An Influencer Introduction With Weigh My Rack
Weigh My Rack shares their favorite tools, how they grow their audience, how they find sponsors, and more.
1 of 13What question are you asked the most when you tell someone you're a blogger/content creator?
#1 question we get asked: How do you make money? (That Answer: many avenues. We have affiliate sales, YouTube commissions, sponsored posts and videos, and also commissioned videos (which we never pitched we would do videos for others, companies just started asking us because they’d seen our work and liked working with us).
2 of 13How do brands find you?
We go to two different Outdoor Industry trade shows (2 in the US, 1 in Europe). This is where we do most of our communication. Otherwise, we get a lot of cold emails from brands that have seen our content/channel (namely YouTube and Instagram) and want similar content produced for their brand on our channel.
3 of 13Is there anything that you believe a brand should know before they begin reaching out to influencers?
It would be helpful to know a bit about the influencer and their audience. I have an extremely niche brand/audience so pitch me with something that fits that niche. I get notes all the time where the brand clearly has no idea who I am and why I would add value other than I have an instagram channel over 50k followers. To stand out, it really helps for a brand to pitch me with why they think they would be a good fit for my audience. This doesn’t have to be exhaustive, just referencing the niche I’m in and why that niche fits with your brand makes a big difference.
4 of 13What one tool for your content or your business can you not live without?
The Adobe Suite of products. Namely Premier and After Effects, totally essential for creating video content.
5 of 13How do you decide how much to charge a brand?
We have set fees that are based on how we value our time. It appears our fees are too low because we’ve never been turned down and lately we’ve had more project offers than we can accept.
Our prices don’t usually differ per company although we do have a lower bulk rate quote (if we are doing a long-term series or building a multi-year partnership).
Do you prefer to work with brands for single posts or long content campaigns and why?
Generally I prefer long-term partnerships because the projects tend to be more more collaborative and nuanced. The long-term nature also allows me to understand the brand more and provide more value for our followers due to the deeper relationship (and also more solid content for the brand). It also offers stability so I can focus more on the project details versus thinking about other projects.
Single posts can be super creative and a great introduction to working with a brand. I usually view single posts as the beginning, whether or not we’ve agreed on more posts in the future.
Coincidence or not, it’s rare for us to be approached by brands looking for a one-off. I think that’s partly because we’re in a super niche market (rock climbing) and we’ve been so gear focused, that all the gear manufacturers are looking for long-term partnerships because we have such a core audience.
6 of 13What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome when starting out?
Self-esteem setbacks which would result in unconscious sabotage, ie. “it’s too late to do this, so I won’t.” Similarly, fear of criticism has also held back our work, and/or made us spend a lot more hours on something to make it “more perfect” which wasn’t actually productive in a business sense.
7 of 13How do you personally keep your content true to your voice while also delivering value to a brand?
Be upfront and transparent at every step of the way -- to our followers and to the brands. If we hated a product, we’ll tell the brand first, and perhaps decide not to publish content on it, because we’re not going to lie or sugar-coat it. Or if there are misgivings about a product we’ll talk to a brand about it, and they may have a specific reason and we can incorporate that into our content. I believe brands seek us out because they can tell we are fair and transparent.
We always shoot for win-win-win situations and are very upfront about it. Our partnerships should be beneficial for the brand, our followers, and us.
8 of 13What is the biggest challenge you face now that you have an established audience?
Our challenge is making sure our audience knows all that we’re doing! We have a YouTube audience and an Instagram audience that is large, but they don’t necessarily know about our blog content or our main site offerings. Making sure we’re congruent and cross-promoting is our #1 marketing goal this year. Because if our followers love us on 1 channel, they’re going to be blown away by all the things we actually do!
It is also challenging to scale and grow without alienating your core audience or turning them off when you created such a niche brand and now want to expand.
9 of 13How did you grow your audience when you started out?
Sticking to it and engaging with everybody (influencer or not). It’s time consuming and hard, but it pays off. For example, we still like a ton of photos on Instagram, and comment on other people’s channels, and use hashtags to help get our name out there. Doing this in an authentic way and not a spammy way is key. For example, we would never comment/like/use hashtags on items that are trending that aren’t in our niche.
Consistency is key, and hard to maintain, but really important!
10 of 13What helps you maintain your motivation to continue creating content?
Engaging with users in a value-added way. In general, once you get super niche, many communities become overrun with elitists and trolls. Our YouTube community is the exact opposite, it’s friendly, helpful, and collaborative. We constantly engage in a really positive way to encourage others that it’s cool to be helpful and friendly. In turn, our subscribers request more videos and tell us that we’re better than the competition and that we “deserve more.” They consistently tell us we’re great. THAT keeps us totally stoked and motivated.
11 of 13What's the one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out in content creation?
It is never too late to start (or post, or write, or send). I still have that problem today, “Oh, it’s too late in the day” or “I meant to do it earlier in the week, it’s too late now” all these excuses that seem like there was a better time. There is no better time than right now.
Tip: Give yourself deadlines. Even if they feel artificial because you’re your own boss and can do whatever you want. Examples: 2 videos a week. Or 1 long form and 2 short form blog posts a week. Whatever it is, define a goal and stick to it!
12 of 13What is your most defining piece of content in your opinion? Why?
We created a monster Climbing Shoe Buyers Guide, and it’s defining in how our brand wants to help. It’s written in a super inclusive way, it has more information than any other source, and at the same time it’s very digestible content. We can’t wait to repeat this for all gear, it just takes a really long time to make such an exhaustive post!
We also have a niche video that showcases all of the new belay devices coming out in a particular year. It has over a quarter million views now. It didn’t even take that long to create (compared to some of our other content) but it completely opened up our eyes to what is possible with super niche nerdy rock climbing gear videos.
13 of 13What brands would you most like to work with?
Sustainably minded outdoor brands (ie, Patagonia, The North Face, etc).