The Top 10 Reasons That Influencer Turned Down Your Campaign

First and foremost, definitely make sure that you're following at creator on Instagram. I love that they don't refer to them as influencers but they are creators of good choice, Instagram. And they went live on three separate days, three separate conversations and really had a level of transparency that I have not seen Instagram share and maybe ever. And so I've had subsequent conversations with people about like, what's that all about?



You spend hours compiling a list of influencers who are perfect for your campaign. So does your team. You use the industry’s best search tools and even go down the rabbit hole of searching on the platforms directly. The list is long but you feel really good about the options.

You share it with stakeholder one. She chops the list in half.

You pass it along to the final stakeholder who eliminates even more people.

In other aspects of your life you’d feel pretty discouraged after receiving this much criticism but this is typical when vetting influencers. After all, we’re dealing with human beings. And artists nonetheless. There are so many data points to work through:

  • How many other brands are they working with
  • Are any of them competitive to this brand
  • Is their audience aligned with our target demographic
  • Are they “brand safe”
  • Does their aesthetic with what we envisioned based on our goals

The list goes on.

Finally, the time has come. You reach out to this fully vetted, carefully selected group of influencers. You take time to craft the outreach. You press send. And you wait. And wait.

You start to get a few replies. Your favorite manager writes you back. That influencer you worked with before sends you an emoji. You start to feel a sense of relief. This is all coming together. It’s going to be one of your best campaigns yet.

You start to negotiate with your top choices. Sure — you’re happy to swap the carousel for an in-feed post. Sure — the usage can be shortened from 1 year to 6 months. Hmm — you can’t share more details on the whitelisting but you tell them that you’ll check with your team. (They don’t know either but you’ll come up with something…)

The campaign is falling well within your budget. It is crazy that some people undervalue themselves when others come close to outpricing themselves.

It’s time to send out offers and you’re well within your timeline. Things are really shaping up. It’s the end of the week and it should be nice for these influencers to receive a big offer on a Friday.

It’s 5:30pm and you decide to change out of your Zoom appropriate apparel and start your lit Friday night early by changing into sweats. You prep that bottle of wine and do a quick search to see what reality TV got recorded on your DVR this week.

You close the lid of your laptop. You sink into your couch. And all of the sudden… your phone starts pinging.

It must be a co-worker wishing you a nice weekend. Or someone finally answering your email from three days ago.

You ignore it.

Then you get a text. That piques your curiosity. It’s your favorite manager. You open the message and it starts with “Hey! I hate to do this on a Friday but….” And immediately you know that the Real Housewives will need to wait.

The message goes on to say “I hate to do this on a Friday but @influencer is going to respectfully pass on this campaign. I’m so sorry but super grateful that you reached out.”

Wait, what?? We went back and forth numerous times. I doubled her rate. I agreed to have her paid 15 days after her post goes live. How could this be??

If this sounds familiar keep reading…

Believe it or not, influencers turn down partnerships all the time. Shocking, I know. Why would they turn down a big paycheck with an exciting brand?

These are the top 10 reasons an influencer may turn down your brand partnership.

  1. The brand may be awesome to you but not to them
  2. They may have too much already on their plate
  3. They may not want to work on a one-off post post because they only want long term partnerships
  4. The rate may be too low or not congruent with the scope of work
  5. The timeline may not work
  6. The product may not be a good fit for their audience
  7. Their have a better offer that conflicts with yours
  8. The brief is so prescriptive and it doesn’t allow for creativity
  9. The usage for paid media is excessive in terms of budget, reach or term
  10. The exclusivity is too broad

Want to understand more from a talent manager’s perspective? Check out our What Managers Need to Know Series.


Founder of Women in Influencer Marketing and CEO of Tribe Monday

Jessy Grossman is a long time entrepreneur in the digital media space. She’s passionate about supporting women in business and being at the forefront of innovation. She’s been quoted in Forbes and was awarded a spot in the “Influencer Top 50” by Talking Influence. In less than two years she created one of the fastest growing talent agencies in the country. Amidst unprecedented growth, she sold the multi-six-figure agency and pivoted to focus on her long-time passion project: Women in Influencer Marketing (better known as WIIM). Founded in 2017, today WIIM is the premiere professional organization for those who work with influencers. The community offers networking and new business opportunities, career services, continuous education and more. Jessy also does consulting, advising and influencer marketing recruiting with her company Tribe Monday. You can find inspiring stories and more about Jessy on the WIIM Podcast. Check out iamwiim.com and tribemonday.com for more information.

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