You've seen it on your feed as you're scrolling on Instagram.
An influencer adds #ad or #sponsored when they're promoting a brand.
So...how does that actually happen?!!
Well for one, brands are looking to work with influencers every day so if they notice you and want to work with you, they'll reach out.
As an influencer, you can also reach out to them.
There are different ways to work with brands:
Collaborations: This is when you receive free products, event tastings, etc. from brands. There is usually no payment involved here in addition to receiving the free product or experience
Partnerships: This term is used in different ways sometimes for collaborations or paid sponsorships
Sponsorships: This is usually a paid partnership where a brand offers compensation to an influencer at a flat fee in addition to receiving free products and/or experiences.
When you are just starting out, you want to aim for collaborations.
Brands may reach out to work with you or you can reach out to them to request product samples or complimentary event tickets in exchange for coverage.
You want to do as many brand collaborations as you can to gain experience and build relationships.
Once you start growing your following more, you can then start charging for sponsorships.
Here are the 5 strategies to get brand sponsors as an Instagram influencer:
Get really clear on who your audience is and speak to them through your photos, stories, and captions. Brands want to work with influencers who know who they are and who their audience is. They want to know that partnership is a good fit for their brand and that your audience will engage with the branded content.
Brands are looking to work with influencers on Instagram every day so work on creating a unique look and feel on your Instagram. You can do this by sticking to an aesthetic and having a unique voice and personality in your captions and stories! Share your stories through your feed and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, that’s how you become relatable to your audience and potential brand sponsors.
When I was first starting out what I did was I tagged brands whose products I was already was wearing and using. Those were the brands that I wanted to work with anyways, and I wanted them to see that I was already using their products in an organic way. As I grew my following and continued to tag these brands, they started noticing and eventually they were reaching out to me to do collaborations.
Collaborations are usually free but they give you free product and samples, and that’s how it starts. It’s a great way to build your brand portfolio and your media kit so that you can say you’ve worked with brands before.
Get your dream brands to notice you by being their biggest fan!
Like, comment, and follow them. Tag them in your posts! They’ll more likely want to work with influencers that have a genuine affinity and connection with their brand than some random person that doesn’t even use their products. Respond to their stories and get their attention!
Reach out to brands you want to work with directly via email or by messaging them on social media. You can get their PR contact info either through a press release or their website, or you can find someone on their marketing team through LinkedIN or Facebook. Make sure you do your research first before sending an email and mention something unique to the brand. Personally our pitch so your email doesn’t look like you copy and pasted it.
Be crystal clear and tell them exactly what you’re looking for and what you’re giving them in return. Are you asking for free product or a paid sponsorship? Are you willing to do two Instagram posts and two Stories - be as specific as possible!
Be ready to send them your media kit with all your stats like your follower count, total reach, examples of previous brand partnerships and as much detail and information as you can. If you don’t hear back in a couple days, make sure you reach out and follow up again.
Get access to my free guide: The Influencer Success Roadmap by clicking the button below!