Make Your Influencer Marketing Program Even Stronger with This Influencer Agreement Template

The last several years have been very interesting (and exciting) in terms of influencer marketing programs. With rich influencer platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube (just to name a few), marketers have being finding ways to reach new audiences with unique messaging. Influencer marketing has its challenges, but can also ignite a fury of attention for your brand and/or product.

One of the most common issues marketing teams deal with is getting their influencer program set-up. Therefore, I have developed an Influencer Marketing Agreement template that can help get your program kick-started and help make getting influencers on-boarded more easily. Check out the Products & Services section to get your Influencer Marketing Agreement template today!

But first, a brief overview of how we got to where we are today with influencer strategies

Marketing teams first got excited about working with mega-influencers who had tremendous reach (in the millions) and influence with their audience. However, marketers found that these big influencers were very expensive in terms of ROI and sometimes difficult to work with.

So the next step was to explore working with micro-influencers; those with anywhere between 25,000-900,000 followers. These influencers seemed more authentic, on top of being eager to work with brands and be compensated for the first time ever for simply doing what they enjoy doing in the first place. While some brands have been successful with micro-influencers, there still is a lot of hand-holding, messaging, and communication that makes the micro-influencer program hard to manage. And frankly, some micro-influencers have started creeping more towards the “difficult to work with” side of the scale.

So marketers took a step back and said, “hey, let’s get super crazy and try working with nano-influencers”; those with anywhere from 1,000-20,000 followers. While reach and return is more difficult with this strategy, brands are able to get super targeted. However, nano-influencers are so new to this idea of helping a brand promote a product or service, there is still a lot of hand-holding required.

The Influencer Marketing Agreement Template

While some brands will still continue to work with the superstar mega-influencers, there is still a huge opportunity to focus on smaller influencers. If your company is just starting to get into influencer marketing, you might not have your entire program set-up, so I want to help you get started.

I have drafted a comprehensive influencer agreement that can be customized to fit your company’s needs. I am not a lawyer, and I don’t even play one on TV, so you will want your legal department to review the final version before you send it off to an influencer. My goal is to simply get your started, especially since most of the legal departments I have worked with are new to the concept of working with any of the tiers of influencers.

The sections I have included in template cover the areas like compensation, use of intellectual property, conflict of interest, termination of agreement, etc. I have also included example influencer requirements and a sample delivery schedule.

Get Your Influencer Marketing Program Started TODAY!

So go grab your copy of the Influencer Marketing Agreement Template today!

Performance Time Blocking: What It Is and How to Do It

Our work days go by pretty fast and can be incredibly hectic. It is not uncommon to get to the end of the day or the week and ask yourself what exactly you got accomplished only to realize that you spent most of your time working on other people’s objectives and not your own.  To rid yourself of this realization and get control of your career, you need to effective manage your time and your calendar. By recognizing the important meetings and tasks you need to get done, and making sure they fit into your day, week, and month, you can achieve more of your objectives instead of other people’s.  This is where Performance Time Blocking come in.

What is Performance Time Blocking?

Performance Time Blocking (PTB) is pretty straight forward.  PTB is the action of dedicating time on your calendar for five specific types of activities that will move your objectives and goals ahead.  Because it is easy to become a slave to your calendar and an assault of meetings, you need to make sure to schedule the important things that need to get done.

When Do You Do Performance Time Blocking

I like to schedule all of my performance time blocks during my Weekly Review session (which I do each Sunday evening).  That is the time when I have full view of the week ahead and a glimpse into the coming few weeks as well. However, you can set up your performance blocks whenever you like.  Maybe your schedule stays pretty consistent on a monthly basis and you can set all of your performance blocks up at the beginning of the month. That works just as well.

While Performance Blocks are very important and should be treated as commitments to yourself and your work, they also can be flexible in nature.  When I do my Daily Planning session each day, I sometimes have to move Performance Blocks around to accommodate for previously unknown meetings or high priority tasks that hit my radar on short notice.

The Different Performance Time Blocks

There are five types of Performance Blocks you should get added to your calendar each week.  Here they are in detail:

PLANNING BLOCK (30 MINS / DAY, 2.5 HOURS / WEEK)

The Planning block is a 30-minute time slot on your calendar that occurs every day of the workweek.  I wrote a pretty detailed blog post about the Daily Planning block and how to conduct it, which you can check out here.  In short, this Performance Block is meant for planning and organizing your schedule and tasks for that particular day. I recommend having this block at the same time each day and make it a routine not to miss it.

BUFFER BLOCK (30 MINS / DAY, 2.5 HOURS / WEEK)

The Buffer block (or multiple Buffer blocks if you need them) is a 30-minute slot in your day to deal with low-value tasks, such as managing email, filing documents and files, expense reporting, etc.  These tasks don’t take much time and very little brain power, yet they are the things that need to get done. So instead of having them interrupt your day and sprinkling them in between more important projects and tasks, I suggest using the Buffer block to batch process those activities.

STRATEGIC BLOCK (3 HOURS / WEEK)

The Strategic block is one of the most important time commitments you will make to yourself each week.  The Strategic block is a 3-hour time block that is devoted solely to focusing all your energy on strategic and revenue-generating activities.  This is deep thinking and execution time, that is most valuable when you block it off on your calendar and minimize distractions as much as possible.

LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT BLOCK (1 HOUR / WEEK)

Often forgot about but crucial to professional career growth, professional development requires time and attention.  Not only is professional skill development beneficial to employees, but also to employers because they benefit from a workforce that is committed to learning and untapping new skills.  The Learning and Development block is a one-hour block each week to work on developing a new skill, whether through an online course, attending a webinar, etc. The goal is to learn new skills and stretch your knowledge in your field to new boundaries.  I strongly encourage leaders to emphasize the importance to their staffs about making time for learning and development (as well as for themselves). And that can be done by planning this block in your schedule.

NETWORKING BLOCK (1 HOUR / WEEK)

We often get so wrapped up in our schedule and tasks that we forget to take time to connect with peers in our industry, thought leaders, influencers, and potential hires.  That is why I recommend creating a Networking block on your calendar each week for one hour that is devoted to reaching out to individuals solely to build your network and explore business opportunities.  I like to work my pipeline of individuals who might be potential hires down the road. I use my Networking block for cruising LinkedIn or grabbing a cup of coffee with a former colleague. Networking is critical and must be scheduled!

Performance Blocks Are Flexible

Above I outlined five Performance Blocks that account for roughly 10 hours a week.  To some that might feel like a lot, but in reality it is 20% or less of a typical work week.  Also, I can make a pretty safe bet that if you tracked your time each day for a week, you would find wasted time spent on meaningless and non-revenue generating tasks.  Performance Blocking offers a clear vision of your week and how you are going to fit in the most important activities.

Another thing to remember is that Performance Blocks are flexible.  You can move them around on your calendar as needed, and in some cases, simply delete them if they don’t fit in your schedule.  For example, when I am offsite the majority of a certain week, or traveling, I find that some Performance Blocks just don’t make sense to execute on.  I just caution you to not get in the habit of deleting Performance Blocks.

If you get into scheduling Performance Blocks, or do something similar with your weekly schedule, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

The Daily Planning Meeting: What It Is And Why It Should Be Your Most Important Meeting of the Week

We all have a lot of meetings each week, some good and some a complete waste of time, so while we often try to avoid adding one more meeting to our calendar, I believe there is one very important meeting you should never miss.  It happens every day at the same time, and when conducted correctly, it can set you up for a productive day. I call it the Daily Planning Meeting.

The Daily Planning Meeting is a time-blocked, 30-minute, uninterrupted meeting with yourself being the only person who needs to attend.  The Daily Planning Meeting should occur in the morning, preferably before any other meetings and before you begin working on any tasks. The Daily Planning Meeting is not a working session - you do not complete any work, but instead review the most critical things in front of you for that day.  Some days you will not need all 30 minutes, but I have structured the “agenda” for the meeting to make sure you don’t miss anything and have enough time to lay out your plan for the day.

For me, my Daily Planning Meeting happens at my desk, in my office at work, at precisely 8:30 AM.  By this time, I have already thrown my lunch in the frig, grabbed my cup of coffee, and greeted a few people around the office.  So right at 8:30, I am ready to rock. Here is how my Daily Planning Meeting goes down…

The Daily Planning Meeting has a permanent spot on my calendar, helping me lay out the day ahead.

The Daily Planning Meeting has a permanent spot on my calendar, helping me lay out the day ahead.

How The 30-Minute Daily Planning Meeting Is Structured

8:30-8:40 --- Calendar Review

The first thing I do is take a look at my agenda for the day.  I see what meetings I have and if there are any conflicts in meeting times.  Sometimes I have to make choices on which meetings I need to attend over others if there are conflicts, which is perfectly okay.  If there is a meeting I can’t attend, I quickly drop a note to both the meeting organizer and someone on the agenda who can possibly cover for me.  This is where I will also gather any files or printouts I need for all the meetings I have that day.

Next, I set up what I call “performance blocks” on my calendar.  Performance blocks are dedicated blocks of time for very specific work that needs to be done and project time.  For example, if I am done cleaning up my meeting commitments for the day, I can now see what time blocks I have open.  Let’s say I have a wide open block between 10:00-12:00. I will intentionally set up an appointment with myself on the calendar that indicates what I am going to work on during that time, whether it be a specific project, task, or simply some strategic planning.  Depending on the activity I decide to do during that time, I might have the calendar system show me as “unavailable” to others so that meetings don’t get scheduled over the top of it, but usually I will have the calendar show I am available so that I can keep myself flexible for ad hoc meetings that may be important enough to not delay.  Again, it all depends on the activity, its priority, and the amount of dedicated attention you need on it.

During this 10-minute block, I also recommend scanning ahead a day or two on your calendar, just to see if there are any upcoming meetings or appointments you need to prepare in advance for, and add those as performance blocks for today.

By the end of this first ten minutes, I should have a clean forecast of all my meeting commitments for that day, as well as my performance blocks set up.

8:40-8:50 --- Email Scan

Chances are likely that emails have landed in my inbox since the time I left work the day before and this morning, so I very quickly run through them, but only for a very specific purpose.  THIS IS NOT A TIME TO RESPOND TO EMAILS. At this point in my day, I am only scanning what has come in to see if anything requires time and attention on my calendar. If Walt and Jesse are sending me emails about the quarterly budget review, they need my input, and I know that it is going to require 30 minutes or more of focused work, I will then find a time on my calendar to work on that specific activity.  There probably will not be to many emails that require you to block off time to work on them individually, but it is good to check.

Side note: When it comes to managing email, I am a firm believer it should be done in batches during certain times of the day.  For example, I read and respond to emails during three separate 30-minute blocks during my day. I actually have those times blocked on my calendar so I know when email gets my full attention.  I highly recommend you set up email management times as well so that you control your email and it doesn’t control you.

8:50-9:00 --- Identifying Your Most Important Tasks

By this time, you should have a good indication of your meetings and performance blocks for the day.  (NOTE: Try not to have every minute of your day blocked by meetings and performance blocks. You need to allow for flexibility to move things around and have time for random things that pop up.  Plus, you need time to refill the coffee and interact with others, which should be able to fit in buffer time between meetings and performance blocks.) So now is a good time to make note of the most important tasks that you have on your radar to get done.  Since you have performance blocks set up by now for work within larger projects, these are the tasks that are smaller that require a shorter amount of your time. Perhaps it is a phone call you have to make, a presentation you have to review, or double-checking the budget forecast for next month… these are going to be the tasks that you will feel good knowing you completed when the day is done.  Identify these three tasks and note them in your system of choice.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” -Benjamin Franklin

I love that Benjamin Franklin quote, and I also like Will Smith’s line in the movie Hitch where he says, “Begin each day as if it was on purpose.”  That is exactly what I see the purpose of the Daily Planning Meeting to be all about. You are setting yourself up for success by getting your road map laid out and understood ahead of time.

If you decide to implement Daily Planning sessions into your day, I would love to hear about how they are going, so please comment below and let me know how you do your Daily Planning Meeting.

Upcoming Speaking Event: Homes for Heroes Success Camp 2019 Nashville

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On April 4, 2019, I will be speaking at the Homes for Heroes 2019 Success Camp in Nashville, Tennessee. I will be presenting to an audience of real estate agents and mortgage lenders about building a marketing journey that will connect to heroes in their communities and grow their business in 2019.

This event is closed to the public and is exclusively for the real estate agents and mortgage lenders who are part of the Homes for Heroes program. If you are a real estate agent or mortgage lender who is interested in creating a strong point of differentiation in your market and give back to the heroes of your community, I encourage you to check out the Homes for Heroes program. Get signed up now and then register for the 2019 Success Camp in Nashville! I hope to see you there!

How to use the Google Analytics Add-On in Google Sheets

Google Analytics is a robust tool for analyzing website traffic data. Over the years, the GA team at Google has added a ton of functionality that really allows you to build custom views and dashboards. I spend a lot of hours in Google Analytics… more than I care to admit.

However, sometimes I want to be able to maneuver the web data in a different way, and there is no better place to do that than in Google Sheets. Luckily, there is an easy way to get GA data into Google Sheets via an add-on called the “Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-On”, which I highlight in the video below.

Some of the benefits of using the Google Analytics Spreadsheet Add-On include:

  • Query and report data from multiple views.

  • Compute and display custom calculations.

  • Create visualizations and embed those visualizations on third-party websites.

  • Schedule your reports to run and update automatically.

  • Control who can see your data and visualizations by using Google Sheets' sharing and privacy features.

3 Elements Every Presentation Should Include

Every presentation is unique.  The audience, the message, the tone.  However, your job as the presenter is to neatly package up your story and present it in a way that provides direction and key messages in a consistent fashion. Even though multiple variables come into play when delivering a presentation, but there are three elements that should be included in all your future presentations that will help tie your message together and keep your audience attentive.

Below, I highlight three elements I include in all my presentations, and where I recommend you place them for maximum effectiveness.  Of course, as I noted above, every presentation is unique, so you will want to adjust where necessary. If you have a specific question about how to place these in your presentation, you can drop me an email and ask there, or purchase a private coaching session.

1. Start your presentation by giving away the ending

After a brief introduction and acknowledgement of your audience’s attendance and attention, it is important to deliver the final result of what your presentation is about.  Give your audience a strong line that delivers what they will learn from your presentation, even if it feels like you are spoiling the ending.

Doing this helps achieve one of the most important (and difficult) elements of a presentation… getting the audience’s attention.  What you are doing is marking the finish line for your idea, or the solution to the problem you are solving. This allows your audience to draw connections throughout the journey of your presentation, instead of having to feel like they are trying to solve a mystery and have to wait until the end to learn how it all ends.

Because TV and movies are presentations made for entertainment value, I like to make comparisons to them every so often.  Fans of the popular television show Breaking Bad will recall that each episode started with an intro sequence that showed some result of a future event, an event that we had not seen yet, but now knew we would find out.  As a viewer, you had no idea how that future event occurred, but you learned along the way by watching the show and tying the events together. (Here is an example of one of the best Breaking Bad episode intros, which was confusing and exciting for us fans of the show at the time!) Your presentation is no different. After delivering the key point and telling them what they are going to learn, you can then set up the path for how you are going to explain how you got to your findings.

So go ahead, spoil the ending. Your audience will appreciate you for it.

2. Tell your audience something they don’t know

While many presentation speakers focus on building an amazing looking slide deck, or practicing their delivery, I believe the best presenters spend most of their time on one key element - a fact or datapoint that no one else in the room knows.  This doesn't mean you have to be the smartest one in the room, it just means you have to find a creative way to introduce an idea or piece of data that unlocks an insight related to your overarching theme. Your audience will appreciate the value they get from walking out of your presentation feeling just a little bit smarter.

One of my go-to suggestions for this is for presenters is to find two pieces of information that have either a positive or negative correlation to each other.  Overlaying those pieces of data can offer a new perspective on an old idea or put a new spin on data that is sometimes only looked at one-way.

As you make your way through the journey of your presentation, you want to try and introduce these one or two facts or findings that are completely new to your audience.  These can be anywhere in the body of your presentation, but just make sure not to forget them.

3. Give your audience something they can apply to their work immediately

Individuals who attend conferences want to walk out with two things: 1) strong new industry connections and 2) tangible next steps they can take to improve their work and/or business.  Unfortunately the latter is something that seems to get missed a lot of the time. Most presentations, even the best ones I have ever seen or watched, miss this element. Your audience is super hungry for new things to try, so go ahead and give them an assignment or something they can use right away.

For example, at the end of a presentation I gave recently, I provided everyone in the audience a template they could use in Google Sheets to build their own version of what I had presented, as well as a link to a Chrome browser extension to help get the data they would need to fill out the template.  An individual attending my presentation could have easily opened up their laptop and been working on my suggestion within minutes. Audiences are looking for immediate gratification, so make sure to give them something they can use right away.

This element should be at the very end of your presentation, right before your closing.

Like a good story, a presentation needs good anchor elements

A presentation is created like a good story. It has a catchy introduction, a meaty middle portion, and a finish that makes you want to go out and get some more! Above I highlighted the three elements every presentation should include:

  1. Start your presentation by delivering the conclusion

  2. During the body of your presentation, deliver new information from your research

  3. End your presentation by giving your audience something they can apply to their work/business immediately

Presentations can be stressful to prepare for, so you can rest easy knowing that I am hear to help. I offer presentation coaching services where I can help you with everything from preparing your presentation deck to tips on how to deliver the actual presentation. Let’s get started today! Click here to send me message and together we will make sure you rock your next presentation!