If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re an influencer looking to partner with big brands. Your feed is flawless, you’ve seemingly mastered the IG algorithm, and you’ve cultivated an audience comprised of people who engage with you and your masterfully-crafted content. You’re ready to monetize your newfound passion, but how do you go about approaching your favorite brands? Better yet, how do you ensure that one collaboration leads to another?
Brand collaborations are key to turning your passion for creating captivating content into a full-time job and how you handle the first few will truly define your future success in the industry.
Some things to consider before deciding to work with any brand:
- Does my messaging resonate with the audience I’ve built?
- Do I have a consistent “track record”? Am I happy with my feed? Does it “sell me” as a creator?
- Are smaller businesses approaching me? Am I being recognized as someone who can make a difference through a collaboration?
- Is my content attracting solid recognition? Am I sparking debates through my captions?
- What does my engagement look like? Am I familiar with my analytics? What value do I offer brands?
If you’re confident with your answers to those questions, it’s time to put together your proposal! Be genuine. Tell them why you like their brand, but most importantly, be sure to convey why they should invest their time and resources in you.
Smaller companies will typically have little to no influencer marketing budget, so you may be faced with the dilemma of whether or not to “sell your soul” in exchange for product. If you truly believe in the brand, this type of collaboration may be valuable to you. There are also some serious perks to working with small (but growing) companies. Simple collaboration requirements vs. big brand contracts that you may not be prepared to maneuver yet, a more intimate approach to creating content vs. creation for mass appeal, and most importantly, the opportunity to showcase your skills in an attempt to ensure future work with the same company. Who knows where that brand will be a few months down the line, right?
Many influencers will advise against working strictly for product…. you can’t pay rent with a pair of new shoes! While they have a valid point, it’s also important to gain experience and build a portfolio of work that will score you the big bucks later on.
More tips and tricks to partnering with brands:
- ALWAYS make sure that you fully understand the requirements of a collaboration before you agree to them and negotiate the things that may not necessarily align with your own brand.
- GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING! I can’t stress this enough. If you find yourself negotiating certain terms or a brand starts making you promises, simply have them outline those promises in your contract. Having a separate section in your agreement for negotiated terms can make or break your collaboration. By doing this, you also ensure that you won’t be blindsided by anything new mid-collaboration.
- Not every collaboration will be right for your brand, and that’s okay. Don’t ignore the request, simply respond explaining why this particular campaign isn’t a good fit for you. Check out our blog post, Learning to Say No Without Sacrificing Your Relationships, for more on how to tackle this type of situation.
- Like any other job, always maintain PROFESSIONALISM! Respond to inquiries in a timely manner, follow through on all of your commitments, and strive to be someone that people WANT to continue to work with.
- HAVE FUN! You started creating content because it brought you joy. Don’t let the possibility of earning a few dollars jeopardize your integrity or your happiness.
Ready to land more deals?? Join #thepaidcrew and start working with top brands today!
Raya is a Bulgarian-born, internationally-bred lifestyle blogger who’s passionate about all things music, travel and tacos. She is an aspiring writer with an affinity for hip hop [auto]biographies and is always on the search for the next “big” streetwear trend. She can be found on Instagram under @stylecontroversy. Raya is a member of #ThePaidCrew editorial team.
Featured image by Medium