You’ve just confirmed participation in your first Linqia program, congrats! What happens now?

Before diving into content creation and promotion, there are a few best practices and important tips to keep in mind that can help make your first program a success. We’ve spoken to Linqia’s Influencer Success Team and gathered their top seven do’s and don’ts for influencers embarking on their first sponsored program with Linqia:

1. Don’t Assume Anything

Linqia’s unique performance-based compensation model makes our program instructions and guidelines different from any other influencer marketing network or platform. Rather than assuming that a Linqia program will operate in the same way as your previous influencer experiences, ask your ISM and BSM program teams any questions that you may have, no matter how big or small. Remember, you are compensated based on how well your content performs, so it’s best to go into your first program fully prepared. You can also find the answers to many program FAQs in our Linqia Knowledge Center

2. Do Hyperlink Images with Links

People are 94% more likely to view content if it includes relevant images. We’ve found that Linqia sponsored stories perform well when they include at least four original images related to the post topic. Because people like to interact with visual content, it’s smart to also hyperlink your post images with the program link. That way, every time a reader is inspired to click on your image and through to the program landing page to learn more, you’ll be compensated for the traffic. Learn how to hyperlink images with our brief tutorial.

3. Don’t Procrastinate

A successful Linqia influencer program requires that you don’t procrastinate at any point during the program. This starts with our program outreach process, which operates on email invitations rather than a marketplace pitch system. Program invitations can be sent at any time, and influencers who respond after the program is filled won’t get a guaranteed spot. However, late responders do have the option to be put on a wait list and invited to join if a participant leaves the program early.

Linqia’s performance-based compensation model also benefits those who get started as soon as possible. Since Linqia influencers have a preset time limit to reach their program traffic milestone, the sooner they release sponsored content, the more time they have to reach their program milestone. Planning is especially pertinent when a program requires the purchase of certain products. Check to see if stores near you carry the product before committing to a program as you run the risk of being removed from a program if you can’t purchase the product.

4. Do Read the Instructions

All Linqia programs come with detailed instructions in their influencer program briefs. Following these instructions is important to both Linqia and the sponsoring brands, as some of the instructions contain legal guidelines that influencers must follow in addition to specific brand guidelines. These may include small details such as how the product or service is described, certain words or phrases that must be avoided or included, or special mandatory hashtags. Violating these instructions can result in being asked to take down sponsored content for editing, which results in a loss of valuable time needed to meet the program milestone.

5. Don’t Post in Private Communities

Posting your (or anyone else’s) sponsored content in a private forum, group, or message thread is not allowed and can be grounds for removal from a Linqia program or from the platform entirely. Traffic driven from privately posted content isn’t considered authentic traffic because the content can’t be accessed by your entire audience. Also, Linqia program teams cannot monitor private groups for messages that explicitly ask for clicks, which is forbidden, or to identify if there is content that’s missing FTC disclosure of sponsorship. 

6. Do Include Disclosure

As mentioned above, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires disclosure of sponsorship within all paid influencer-created content, including social posts. For blog stories, make sure you include the program’s unique program disclosure image, which is available to program participants in their Linqia accounts after each program launches. Participating influencers must copy and paste this image code into the beginning of their sponsored blog stories. The image appears as a small rectangle stating the sponsoring brand and paid status of the content. Linqia requires this image because it can be tracked by the Linqia platform to ensure that all influencers comply with the FTC’s sponsorship disclosure guidelines. Include the word “ad” or “sponsored” in the beginning of all sponsored social posts. Many influencers use #ad or #sponsored in hashtag-heavy channels like Twitter or Instagram.

7. Don’t Give Up

If you miss your initial Linqia program milestone, don’t be discouraged or give up!  The Linqia Influencer Success Team notes that most influencers complete two to three programs before they start growing their program earnings. Influencers can grow their earnings by overshooting their program traffic milestones – the overperformance will be averaged into their previous performances to calculate their milestone for their next program, increasing their earnings for future programs. As many experienced influencers can attest, Linqia program milestones are easier to reach over time as you learn more engagement tips and develop an understanding of what types of brands and themes truly resonate with your audience.

For more tips on how to be a successful Linqia influencer, read our blog post on “Five questions to ask before starting a sponsored blog post” and visit our Influencer Spotlight section to gather tips from seasoned pros.