Working with Influencers; for The Food and Beverage Industry - SKUFood
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Working with Influencers; for The Food and Beverage Industry

During our July Recipe for Success sessions, presented by FCC we shared a process to help you tell your story. Our final segment was with Chef Dany Duguay from Halifax who works as an influencer. Dany shared some great insights and she also offered to summarize her thoughts about working with an influencer. We appreciate her great suggestions and I am sure you will find this a valuable template to develop a relationship with an influencer as part of your marketing strategy to tell your story.

If you would like to work with Dany her contact information is at the end of the article.

Working with influencers through social media channels has quickly become one of the top marketing tools available to the food and beverage industry. With benefits such as direct marketing, cheaper costs, and a more intimate working relationship with your content creator, working with influencers is truly the marketing wave of the future. You may find yourself wondering how to find influencers, especially ones that will fit within your brand and benefit you most, and how to create content with them, that is right for you. I hope to provide some guidance, from my personal experiences on establishing these relationships and creating win/win collaborations between you and your content creator.

You’re ready to start finding a content creator who’s right for you. Searching for influencers is simple:

  1. Use geotags and hashtags to search for influencers. Searching within the area you’d like to market to is a great place to start. Whether it be a city, country or continent, this is made easier by searching for influencers who are posting within that area. For example; I always geotag my posts relative to the area where the product I am representing can be sourced, which results in making it easier for other brands and users finding me and said product. I also utilize relative hashtags, so that my content is searchable under those tags. A great example of this would be #novascotiaeggs or #countrymagicproduce
  2. Reach out to local marketing and PR firms; many influencers work closely with marketing and PR firms to source work and establish relationships, so a quick call to some businesses that offer these services could net you a list of possible candidates.
  3. Use social media influencer sites and search tools; there are many sites online these days that offer a database of influencers and are categorized based on their locations and specialties, this is a sure fire way to land a content creator that’s right for you.

Okay, so now you’ve established how to find someone, but how do you make sure they are the right fit?

1. Scroll their page. The easiest way to see if you and the influencer you’ve searched are the right fit is to simply look through their feed. Are they posting the type of content you’d like for your business? Are they projecting the type of morals and values that are inline with your brand? Do they use the right style of editing? Are they creative? Does it seem like they create content that is curated specifically for the brand they are working with or do they seem scripted? These are all great questions to be asking while you scroll.

2. What social media channels are they using? Instagram has quickly become the number one tool in the social media marketing space, I myself use it almost solely but maybe you’re looking for someone who also has a blog or utilizes other platforms… Search their bio for a link! Or maybe you want someone who uses facebook or Pinterest, a quick google search of the influencers “handle” should help you see what platforms they utilize.

3. Do they market to the right audience and demographic? Most influencers will have a media kit or will be happy to hand over their “insights” which will clearly lay out who sees their content by age, sex and location.

Now you’re ready to reach out, but what is the best way to do this?

1. Direct message; a quick message to the influencer seeing if they’re interested, never hurts but keep it short and ask for their email or best method of contact, most influencers get a lot of requests and keeping track of them in DMs can be tough

2. Email; this is my preferred method as it is most efficient; something short and sweet, laying out who you are and what your looking for is always best.

So you’re ready to begin work, but what do you want from the influencer your working with? Clearly laying out your goals is the best way to ensure your money and time are well spent, but you should also ensure that you are allowing your influencer creative licence to do what they do best.

1. Talk money and deliverables with your influencer. Ask them to provide deliverables and insight as to what you can expect working with them. Social media is a full time job for most content creators and they want to know up front if it this is paid work, for product or whatever the deal is you had in mind. Some questions you may have: How long will it take to get the content? Or do you have a date you require it by? What are the influencers service costs? Or Do you have a set budget for the campaign? How many posts or stories or blog entries are you looking for? How many photos should each of them have? Or is it video content you’re seeking? Being specific means you can get right down to business!

2. Give the influencer room to tell you how they see the campaign. Content creators are made up of creatives and we have our finger on the pulse as to what works and what is best for our audience, allowing us creative licence will almost always yield a better result. On that note though, don’t be afraid to lay out some perimeters, after all, we’re representing your product!

3. Sign a contract. Having a contract with your influencer will help ensure you both make good on your deliverables and promises.

You’ve gotten this far and you’ve worked hard to find the right influencer and create content, but maintaining a positive and win/win relationship with your influencer is just as important.

1. Dialogue and open communication is integral when working closely in any relationship, and applies here too. Working in tandem with your influencer may be your first choice, or perhaps you may prefer to take more of a “back seat”, whichever way you’d prefer, you should still be ensuring you are touching base and providing some feedback.

2. Make good on on your promises. Pay your influencers on time, post when you say you will, make sure you give credit where credit is due… whatever the promise(s) are you’ve made, it means a lot to the influencers you work with that you follow through.

3. Work with the influencer on future campaigns. If you enjoyed working with the influencer(s) you found and they followed through with all of their deliverables, the best thank you, you can give them is repeat business. You will want to have diversity in your marketing, but just like you would return to a store you like to shop, you should give repeat business to the influencers you enjoy working with.

Working with influencers is a very rewarding experience and can yield amazing results. It may be new to you and your brand, but fear not, we are truly here to help you and your brand succeed.

Find my instagram @chefdanyduguay

To reach out for brand collaboration/content creation, email me directly at

Chef Dany Duguay has been working in the food industry for over 20 years. She currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she works as a sole proprietor for Caper and Olive Catering, as well as owning and operating, in part, Harvest, a farm-to-table eatery. 

Specializing in curated dining experiences, in home private chef services, food photography and recipe development, Dany brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table when working with clients to help get their products noticed through social media campaigns, as well as utilizing them in her day to day operations.

August Series- Your response to the changes in the market

The food industry has adapted to a very different market place since March of 2020. Consumers, suppliers and retailers have all had to adapt to a new environment for buying, producing and selling food and beverage. It is time to understand the impact on your business and share the results with your customers. Almost every food and beverage business has experienced changes to cost of goods and service level. For the long-term sustainability of your business, you need to understand and assess this new environment and communicate with your customers.

Join us for two sessions in August focused on your business and a new operating environment. We will be taking the first two weeks of August off as many people are on vacation.

August 19- So much has changed since March 2020. You should understand the impact on your business, good and bad. Some food and beverage businesses have been able to adapt and deliver great performance while others have struggled. You need to assess what has happened and the impact to your employees, your cost of goods and your ability to service your customers. Once you have an objective assessment you need to communicate to your customers. They have been focused on getting inventory to their stores and operating in a very different retail environment. It is time to let them know how you are doing and if there will be changes going forward. We will share insights into how you can assess your performance and communicate with your customers. This will be important in your relationship with your customers going forward. Soon we will be into the 4th quarter, which is the most important selling period of the year in food.

August 26- Every business has experienced changes to cost of goods. Labour efficiencies are lower due to physical distancing in production and there are many extra costs for hygiene and personal protective equipment. Some input costs have increased as well as your suppliers react to their own reality. Your selling price needs to reflect the changes you are experiencing. We will give you a process to follow to help you get the price increase you require with your customers. No one likes to see prices go up but they have to when your cost of goods are changing. Peter will share his experience working with a retailer to give you insights and the questions you need to answer to get the right price for your product. Peter has over 19 years working in retail and understands what your customers need to hear for you to be successful.

At SKUFood we understand it is important to give back. We have the ability to share insights and information you can use in your food business right away. If we were able to get in the same room for an event you would hear me say, “Success in the food industry is not just about making great products to sell; it is about selling the great products you make.” Telling your story effectively is one critical piece of selling the great products you make.

If you want to talk about your story or need some advice just send me an email at or give me a call at (902) 489-2900.