The 7 Deadly Sins of Influencer Marketing

The good, the bad and the ugly, we’ve seen it all when it comes to influencer marketing. These are some of the biggest mistakes your brand can make with an influencer marketing strategy. I present to you the 7 deadly sins of influencer marketing.


Lust is characterized by only talking about yourself and your brand when you approach an influencer. This is a quick and easy way to send an influencer running in the opposite direction. While explaining who you are and what you do is a necessary step of the introduction, remember the conversation should not be all about you. At the end of the day, influencers wants to know the value that they will get from working with you. In your influencer outreach, highlight the benefits the influencer will get and stop talking about yourself.

2. Greed

Greed is thinking that tossing money at influencers will solve all your influencer marketing problems. The topic of influencer payment comes up quite often when discussing influencer marketing. Should brands pay influencers 100% of the time? While there are certain scenarios where it makes sense to pay influencers for their time and expertise, the relationship should not start out that way. Paying influencers works for short-term results but in order to build long-term relationships real connections need to be made with influencers.

3. Wrath

Wrath is giving up on or holding a grudge against your influential detractors. Not all influencers will love you at first but that does not mean you should write them off. Give them a chance to get to know you and don’t cut an influencer loose because they are be talking to your competitors. Turning a influential detractor into a brand evangelist is doable and here are some tips to help you get started.

4. Envy

Envy is only targeting your competitors influencers. While you should not write off your competitors influencers, they should not be the only influencers you target either. Often times what prompts a brand to begin influencer marketing in the first place is a competitor’s successful execution of influencer marketing. Only targeting your competitor’s influencers limits your scope. How do you know they selected the best influencers in the first place? If a competitor has strong influencer relations, I challenge you to start from a clean slate instead of targeting the same influencers that they are already building relationships with.

5. Gluttony

Gluttony is wasting time, resources and money on the wrong influencers. When you are identifying your influencers it is critical to select the ones that are right for your brand. Selecting the wrong influencers is wasteful and can harm your brand severely. Ensure you are building relationships with the right influencers that are leading conversations your brand wants to be a part of.

6. Sloth

Sloth is building the right outreach strategy but failing to execute. This happens all too often when strategic pressure is placed on outreach and marketers forget how to have a conversation. This is easily related back to the realm of dating. No matter how much thought and planning goes into how you will ask your crush out, eventually you have to ask them in order to ever go on a date. In regards to influencer outreach, it is essential to remember that influencers are human and your goal is simply to build a relationship.

7. Pride

Pride, which is the root of all other sins, is being uneducated on influencer marketing best practices. Influencer marketing is a growing space and practice where best practices are still being established. With many solutions taking varying approaches to solving influencer marketing hurdles, it can be a noisey space to navigate. For more resources on why your influencer marketing program should be always-on and long-term focused, check out some of our resources