Summer Y.L. is a well-respected influencer, and the founder and EIC of, based in West village, NYC. Born into a prestigious media and publishing family, Summer Y.L. is an aspiring editor and content creator. She also founded NuWa Marketing, serving millennial clients with diverse cultural backgrounds. Passionate about charity, she is the chair of the Young Executive Board of the Global Connections for Women Foundation.


Five Things Influencers Want Brands/Agencies To Be Mindful About


Almost every brand wants to work with influencers. Influencer marketing industry is an industry that people know it’s very important, but not necessarily have the knowledge to know how to work with influencers properly and professionally. As a founder of a marketing agency NuWa Marketing, while being an influencer, I know the flip side. I know the pain and struggle from both sides.

1. Know what you propose

A brand reached out to me earlier this monthh, in their email, they clearly used they are reaching out to work with me for sponsored posts. I checked out the brand and I already have a very fair judgment. I wouldn’t be interested if it’s not a sponsored collaboration. So I replied and asked what their budget is. Then the founder replied to me, and the founder said they have a limited budget and they wondered if I’m interested in borrowing clothes for shoot…’s quite disrespectful and unprofessional, isn’t it? You don’t reach out to people for sponsored work, then change to ask them to borrow clothes to shoot free content for you (unless you are a couture brand, and gifting isn’t an option). Know what you propose, and be clear about it.

2. Respect influencers because they are professionals

Usually brands want to save their budget, and I understand it very well as a marketing agency founder. Please be mindful that when I’m given products as gifts, it costs me time and money to produce the content for you. So the cost of content production becomes a liability for me. 

I understand this industry is relatively new, so we don’t have firm rules yet. When brands work with models, talents, photographers etc, they pay with hourly rates, day rates, usage right etc. The same when it comes to working with influencers – you don’t try to take advantage of influencers or treat them like non-professionals. Some of the best influencers I worked with have advanced degrees and successful careers. Respecting influencers shows the real class that you have.

3. Ask for reasonable things with reasonable deals

If some self-funded startup founders or brands don’t know how to work with influencers properly, then the responsibility fall into their PR or marketing agencies. It’s your responsibility to educate your clients on how to work with influencers. Have an agreement written with deliverables and dates to avoid misunderstanding and protect both parties. I recently worked with a hair salon and they asked me to go to a place one hour away from my place by train for a complimentary full service (without the service being clarified). If you propose a deal like this, offer Uber code and be specific with what kind of services.  If you ask for more workload and assignments, you need to increase your offer.

4. Be professional

Be professional. Be professional. Be professional. Please. I prefer you have the workload specified ready, an agreement ready with a budget when you reach out to me. If the budget doesn’t work for me, we will get into a negotiation with respect. If you are a smaller brand or startup without any budget, say it clearly in the first email and ask me for favors politely (unless you are Chanel or Bottega Veneta. However, ironically, brands like Chanel or Bottega Veneta are often very professional).

5. Educate yourself first

I know, right now every brand, service, product, agency knows that it’s necessary to work with influencers, and they want to work with influencers. But are you ready? Influencers charge, just like models, talents, photographers etc. Don’t have an expectation to offer sample pulling. Because influencers don’t have time to pull and return and create content for you for free.  You can’t just use their content to produce a billboard, because you need to buy the usage. Understanding how much you should pay influencers for each task will make your brand look great.

As NuWa Marketing’s founder, I hope more and more brands and agencies become more mindful when working with influences. And I guarantee you that, if this time, it doesn’t work out between you and the influencer, the influencer will have great impressions of you and in the future, it will work out if you are more mindful about the five things.

Follow Summer Y.L. on her instagram.