Before we start, a disclaimer: I’ve been made a rep three times for three different companies, but this in no way makes me an expert. These are not hard set rules, more advice from me to you on how to become a rep/be a good rep. You may even know things I don’t know, in which case leave a comment!
It’s also EXTREMELY important to remember that rep searches aren’t giveaways- you are being employed to do a job for someone. Please don’t enter rep searches if you just want the ‘stuff’, only enter if you are passionate about promoting that stuff to your followers.
1. Before the rep search is posted
Really the first steps to being chosen a rep starts BEFORE the rep search is even posted. If you have a favorite company then check out when their last rep search was held, and for how long a rep period the new reps will be kept on for. Expect a new rep search just before or just after these reps are retired.
Once you know around when the rep search will be held you should make yourself known to the shop owner (not in a creepy way!) but leave comments on their posts, make conversation. If you can, buy something from their shop and post pictures and unboxings. This will really make the shop owner remember you and they’ll know in advance that you’d be a dedicated rep.
2. The rep search is posted
Once the rep search is posted, save it and think about what photos you should be using. If you have a picture of one of the companies products it should definitely be used! If you have pictures of a similar product then that is a good substitute as well. You are trying to sell yourself through your pictures more then anything, it’s your pictures that will be the first thing the shop owner will see when they are looking through entries!
(For those bright themed people) It’s also a good idea to use a bright photo, I recommend a rainbow, for one of your pictures as this REALLY stands out amonst the sea of entries.
3. Work out a posting schedule
I often have a lot of problems with posting my rep search entries very late because I have pictures I want to use but haven’t posted yet. Don’t do this! Make sure to be posting all the pictures you want to use very quickly after the rep search is posted so you can get your entry in ASAP!
(I know it’s common practice among bookstgrammers anyway) but use a practice account to work out when you will post your pictures, and then stick to that schedule!
4. Posting your entry!
You need to be posting your rep search 3-4 days before it ends. I would recommend getting it posted within a couple of days of the rep search being posted.
As entries are coming through shop owners will be looking through them, and slyly earmarking their favorites. Even though the rep search might not have ended the night before it closes you’d probably have to convince the shop owner to reconsider their picks, which leaves you at a disadvantage.
There is always an avalanche of entries before the end of a rep search (the last 24hrs) which means your entry could get a bit lost, and probably won’t make it to the top posts section. Posting early in the rep search may help secure your place on the top posts section for longer.
Posting early also shows dedication. You aren’t just throwing your hat in, you WANT this!
5. Composing the perfect entry
A rep search entry is a lot like writing a cover letter for a job. You should start with an introduction, who you are, where you live, and then go on to say you’d love the opportunity to rep for them.
Then talk about their products/what they do and how long or why you love them! If you’ve been a customer before NOW is your chance to talk about how much you like their products!
Then talk a little about yourself. Talk about how long you’ve been on bookstagram, how reliable you are at posting and whatever else you think is relevant. Remember to keep it short! Shop owners have a load of entries to work through. All really important information should actually be in the top of your entry, just to make sure it’s seen.
Sign off with a thank you!
Here are two rep search entries that I’ve written which have successfully landed me a rep position! I’ve taken out all the names and hashtags, just to be safe!
‘ Hi –! I’m entering your #candlerepsearch2 because I’ve been eyeing up your candles forever and I would LOVE the opportunity to promote them for you!’
I didn’t out my name or location in the first line of this one because I already knew the shop owner, and knew they would know me. Make sure you do put your name in if they don’t know you!
‘Candle photos are my favorite to take, and yours always look so beautiful! I love your unique touches with the splatters and scratches, and I’m always impressed by your candle ideas!
Thank you for your consideration –! I know you have a lot of amazing accounts to choose from! And good luck to all the other applicants!’
‘Hi there @—! I’m Katie, and I’m entering your #bathproductsrep search! I’ve been keeping an eye on your products since I received your bath salts in a fairyloot box, and loved them!
I’m a major geek so I feel like we would be a good fit! I really love how colorful your products are as well, as you can probably tell from my photos I’m a big fan of color!
I’m also in the UK, I’m always so happy to be able to support local businesses!
Thank you for your consideration! And good luck to everyone else!’
As you can see both are very concise and clear. I really let my pictures do the talking about my strengths in photography, and use the text section to talk about how much I love their products and would love to be part of their rep family.
6. Make sure you’ve completed all the rep search rules
An increasing number of rep searches will ask you to tag three people in a comment, or your entry, and may even ask you to follow them on Facebook. Make sure you complete all the necessary rules after you’ve posted your entry, otherwise it may not be counted.
7. Recruit your friends to wish you good luck!
If you have a group chat going on instagram, or some real life friends who have an insta account, send the post to them so they can wish you good luck. It’s very important to get as many comments as you possibly can because this can help you stay in the Top Posts section for longer. Even if you don’t make the section it looks really good to have comments!
Make sure you always return the favor! Comment on other people’s entries and they will likely do the same to you!
If you haven’t been keeping up with comments you need to get on top of that, right now! Most shops will be looking for interaction between followers and bookstagrammers, and if you’ve not been replying then that will go against you.
Also make sure to respond to the comments on your rep search!
9. Cross your fingers
You’ve now done everything you possibly can! The only thing left to do is wait.
Things to remember!
Rep searches cost the shops money, and though it might suck that bigger accounts always get chosen this makes sense commercially, as they have a bigger audience.
If you don’t get chosen then just congratulate the winners and move on! Try again next time! There is no shame in not being picked.
Not being picked is not always a reflection of your account or you. There are many things to consider, so don’t let the decision get you down.
NEVER message the account running the rep search asking to be made a rep, or say ‘I hope I’m picked’. This is a massive turn off, and is quite invasive. Once you’ve entered it is up to the shop owner to decide.
And, if you get made a rep
Make sure you are familiar with what you’ve agreed to do. Read back over the rep search details on how many photos you will have to take/what you will be receiving.
Post about being made a rep! Put you new rep code in your bio!
Make sure to follow the guidelines on how many times you should post. You could even ask the shop owner how prominent their product should be in the photos, just so you are on the same page about the kind of coverage they want from you as a rep. Being a good rep ultimately rewards you as well, and may even lead to you being kept on as a rep for longer.
So, a second reminder- being a rep does not mean free stuff! You are being sponsored by a company, likely a small business, and you HAVE to keep up your side of the agreement by providing them with photos, or anything else you accepted when you entered the rep search.
But mostly being a rep is a lot of fun. It’s an opportunity to meet new people within your rep group, make a ton of new friends and get to have an inside view on your favorite companies.
I wish you all the luck for your next rep search entry, let me know if you think this helped in anyway.
If you know something I don’t know, why not leave a comment?