In this episode of The Spark Show, I’m gonna go into the basics of a brand deal - what it is, the difference between collaborations, partnerships and sponsorships, and how to get one.
Let’s talk about something I know you want to know all about - and that is a brand deal! I’m gonna go over the 3 ways to work with brands and what terms people use.
The first way to work with a brand is a collaboration or collab. This is where you work with a brand for an exchange. For example, you get free product and then you post about it on Instagram - that’s a collab. Or if you get invited to an event or you post about it, that’s a collab, or you get a comped hotel stay or a media rate - that’s a collab.
There are some brands that will offer you a discount code and they don’t give you the product for free. I have people in my community ask me about this all the time. My answer for this, if you’re just starting out and you were gonna buy the product anyway - you can accept it. Or you can ask them to give you the product for free and explain that you’re doing the work for them of creating the content and posting to your audience.
If you’re just starting out and don’t really have the followers -then they may so no, and that’s okay. That’s how it is in the beginning. But if they are posting the content to their channel, then they would have paid someone to create that content anyways - so it really depends on the brand and the communication, and also your preference. I know some people who won’t ever accept discount codes or work with brands if the brands don’t give them the product for free and it’s really up to you. Remember, YOU’RE the boss here. This is your brand and your business, meaning you get to call the shots.
Now some things you need to know about collabs: it’s gonna be very tempting in the beginning to say yes to all this free stuff. They will come, trust me! If you continue to work on growing your audience, the free stuff will be plentiful. But you don’t wanna say YES and promote every brand that offers you free product because you gotta think of your brand and working with too many brands can be a turn-off for both your audience and other brands who may potentially wanna partner with you. When you’re watching a show, you don’t want it to be just commercial after commercial right? So as far as any type of collabs or branded content, I always say only 1-2 posts max per grid which is 9 posts, so 1-2 of 9.
The second way to work with a brand is a sponsorship, this is what I’m calling a paid brand deal. It means there’s money involved on top and in addition to the free product, comped stay or trip. You are getting paid on top of all that free stuff.
I get this question all the time - how many followers do I need to have to get paid brand deals? And the truth is, there is no requirement or minimum! I have students that are getting paid brand deals with less than 1,000 followers. And now in the influencer marketing industry, more and more brands are working with micro influencers (with around 10,000-50,000 followers) and even nano-influencer with under 10,000 followers. And the reason is nano and micro influencers are getting more engagement and they have a stronger connection with their audience.
The bottom line is there is no number you need to meet. It depends on you, your audience, your branding and your content and how it aligns with a brand. If you are perfect for a brand, they’ll want to work with you regardless of how many followers you have. It also depends on what kind of arrangement they are willing to have - if they wanna do collabs or if they have a budget for brand deals...so it’s all about communication.
The third way to work with a brand is a partnership. Now this term is kinda vague because it can mean collaboration or sponsorship or some other type of deal. It could include mutually beneficial promotion on the brand’s platforms which may be worth more than getting a paid brand deal or if they want to boost your post and put advertising dollars behind your content. So when brands say they wanna “partner” with you, you gotta get clear on what that actually means.
How do you even get brand deals? There’s two ways to get brand deals. The two ways are ATTRACT (where they reach out to you) or PITCH (where you can reach out to them). Those are really the only two ways.
When I say ATTRACT, it’s when brands reach out to you. Most brands already plan out their marketing campaigns and when they have a campaign, they look for influencers to work with. They either do this in-house or have an agency that does it for them. They will look for influencers via Google search, Instagram, YouTube, whatever platforms they wanna do the campaign on. In this case, you want to make sure you get found by these brands. You wanna make sure your ABCs are aligned (your audience, branding and content). In episode 15, I talked about Narrowing your Niche which is really important if you want to attract the right brands to work with. Make sure you listen to that episode if you haven’t already.
Now the 2nd way to get brand deals is to PITCH. This is where you reach out to brands and tell them you wanna work with them. PITCHING is all about communication and negotiation, but the number one thing I want you to know about pitching is definitely don’t just do it right away without doing any pre-pitching beforehand. Pitching right away is like cold-calling and selling something to someone without building a connection with them first. It’s important to build a connection with a brand FIRST before you pitch - more on this in another episode!
So those are the two ways to get brand deals - by attracting or pitching to brands.
Hopefully that makes brand deals clear to you now - what they are and how to get them! If you wanna learn more, I want to invite you to my free masterclass where my 3 secrets to getting paid brand deals even if you don’t have a huge following yet plus my EXACT 5-step system that I’ve used to work with some of the biggest brands out there like Disney, Facebook, Google, Nike, Target, Starbucks and more! Head to thesparksociety.org/masterclass to join!
Thank you so much for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please make sure to rate and review The Spark Show on Apple Podcasts, I would really appreciate it! In the next episode, I’ll be talking about SUCCESS - what it means and how to define it for yourself. See you in the next one, bye for now!
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