I already wrote a post like this a while ago, but in light of recent *events* I’ve decided to rewrite it. Especially because I know more at this point and have actually been picked as a representative!
I have four sections with hopefully somewhat helpful tips, and of course you are always welcome to ask more questions!
Presenting Your Photos
99% of the time, the rules of the rep search will say to put 4-5 photos in a collage or slide. Collages are more common, as they show your photos the best. I use Collage Maker for Android, but Google it if you don’t know what to use for your specific phone.
And of course, you should only use photos you’re proud of. But that’s obvious. Here are some tips anyway:
1: Choose the photos that work best for the situation. If you’re entering a rep search for a candle company, then try to include mostly candle photos – that you’re proud of! That way it shows that you can take cool photos with their product.
2: Use photos that go together. If you post a bunch of seemingly random pictures from your feed, it doesn’t always look “professional”. If you have a somewhat aesthetic theme, this shouldn’t be hard. But if you don’t, then try to choose all outdoor photos or all photos with fairy lights or something to make it look put together.
This is very important! What you put in the caption is just as, if not more, important than the actual photos. Here are a few things that I nearly always add:
Hello, Name & Location. If the person running the company puts their name in the bio, or you happen to know it, say hi to them specifically! It’s a nice thing to do, and will probably make them smile. After that, introduce yourself. I always add the state I’m from. This could be an important factor for them, especially if you live out of the country.
A Few Facts About Me. MAYBE ADD THIS – I want to make it clear that sometimes companies don’t necessarily want this. Usually, in the rules, it’ll say to add a few facts about you, or to answer who you’re favorite Disney character is or something.
Why I Want to Be a Rep. This is important – and be honest! If you want to be a rep because you just love their type of product, or their product specifically, then say so. If you like being a rep because it gives you a chance to try out different companies, then say so. Honestly is the best policy.
Also, I personally believe that you shouldn’t enter a rep search unless you genuinely like the company. My first (and current) rep position is at Hey Atlas Creative, which is one of my favorite companies ever! Cade makes some of the best stuff and they’re just so sweet.
…Unless you’re some sort of a criminal in which case avoid that at all costs.
Platforms. If it’s relevant, I’ll sometimes add that I have a blog too. If I do unboxing on my blog and I’m applying to be a rep for a subscription box? That could be relevant to them, and give them a wider audience.
What Companies Look For
This, of course, varies a bit by the company. Because the person running the business will have a different photo style preference. But there are a few common points that are looked at:
– Follower Interaction. This is a very important one! Companies like people who interact within their comments, or who do polls or discussions in their stories.
– Posting Time. Frequent posting is sometimes important, sometimes not. You don’t need to post every day, but more than once a month is good.
– Photo Quality. Basically, is your photo blurry? And is the subject of the photo – book\candle\bookmark\etc. – hard to see? If the answer to either of those is yes, then that’s a bit of an issue.
– Follower Count SOMETIMES. I’m going to stress that this SOMETIMES matters! Smaller companies try to look for bigger follow counts, but generally speaking, most companies will say that followers don’t matter. What DOES matter is my first point: interaction. Smaller accounts with sometimes connect with their followers better than larger accounts.
So don’t feel discouraged if you have a smaller following than someone else. Try anyway.
– Theme. This one might be frustrating because it’s out of your control. Companies look for feeds that will match their product. Basically, if they have a really light and happy feed, they may be less likely to choose a rep with darker tones in their photos.
Don’t worry too much about this one, but realize that does play a factor in the final decision.
I’ve covered most of my tips, but there are a few things you CANNOT FORGET
1: FOLLOW THE RULES. I cannot tell you how many people I see ignore the rules when entering a rep search. If the rules say post 4-5 photos in a collage, don’t post 8. If they say don’t tag them in the caption, DON’T TAG THEM IN THE CAPTION.
2: Love what you’re doing. My first rep position I didn’t have to technically apply for. Cade from Hey Atlas had seen my photos and comments from the previous months, and the fact that I genuinely liked their company. So when I said I wanted to enter in the comments of the rep search post, they picked me! Basically, only apply to rep positions you really love. Interact with the shops you genuinely want to.
3: No last minute entries! If you submit your entry minutes, or even an hour before it closes…that doesn’t send the best message. Personally, I always wait until the morning of, or the day before (just in case I happen to take a really cool photo and want to include it in my entry) but that’s the latest you should ever wait.
4: Just Keep Swimming. If you don’t get picked, that sucks. But it’s okay because reps searches come around every 2-3 months – you have SO MANY chances!
A lot of the deciding factors for companies have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with their end and preferences. So don’t get too upset. Chocolate helps.
That was a looong post to write! But as per always, I hope it helped in some way. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me in the comments and also feel free to leave your own tips for rep searches.