In this blog, I’ll be covering:
If this is the first time we’re connecting, my name is Gwen Lane. I’m the founder of the travel and lifestyle blog, The LA Girl and Spark Society where I help digital influencers get sponsored by brands EVEN if they don’t have a huge following yet.
So first let’s talk about the SPARK ATTRACTION METHOD - this is my 3 step process that I use to attract brands. I’ve used this process to work with brands like Disney, Facebook, Nike, Target, Starbucks and more, and it’s the same method that my students are using to work with brands and get paid brand deals with less than 1,000 followers.
Do you want to learn these too? Keep reading.
The 3 steps of the Spark Attraction Method are: IDENTIFICATION, CONNECTION and ATTENTION. Let's break them down.
You need to identify what brands you want to work with. How many of you have a list of the brands you want to work with? I call this the BRANDS WISHLIST. Do you have yours written down yet? I'm not just talking about having it in your head. I want it down on paper. If the answer is no, that's ok. That's why I am writing this blog. I want to help you get there.
Here are some questions that I want you to answer:
That's step #1 IDENTIFICATION, where you have to get clear with which brands you want to work with. If there are brands that you wanna work with but are not a natural fit to your daily life - the question would be - why aren’t you already personally using that brand? It's time to start buying those brands and testing them out. You want to make sure your personal experience with the products are good and something you can genuinely talk about and recommend.
I’m a big believer in putting it out there and I want share this story I had with Nike, it’s a brand I love. I have more than a few Nike shoes and I wear Nike sports bras, tennis dresses and when I first started doing this, I said I want to work with Nike one day. I would tag the brand in my posts and every time I’m wearing Nike, I would just tag them. It didn’t happen for 3 WHOLE YEARS. Was I expecting it? NO. Would it have been awesome? Yes it was! Nike Women reached out to me and I’ve been fortunate enough to partner with them on some events with Nike Los Angeles, they send me Nike shoes and it’s amazing. But I do believe that more than 50% of it is putting the intention out there, writing it down. So if you have a dream brand, write it down, tell someone, put it out there in the Universe. And it will happen! It might take a year, two, three, who cares right? Just put it out there.
This is how you’re going to get a brand to notice you. And this also relates to the #1 mistake influencers make when working with brands. Make sure you’re FOLLOWING and ENGAGING with a brand on social media. I’m talking about Instagram, Facebook, Twitter - every channel possible. Don’t even think about reaching out to a brand if you’re not even connected with them yet.
Brands want to know that you’re a true fan and you’re already a customer. They want to see that there’s loyalty and affinity. I recommend engaging with a brand for at least 30 days before reaching out to them. This means liking and commenting on their posts regularly. And I mean every day. This will really get them to notice you. You have to think about it like this: someone on their team is managing their channel. Most likely there is a team of marketers in a room every single week looking at analytics - I know this because I was one of them. I was on the brand side, the digital marketing side when I was working in corporate. And they will know who their most engaged fans are. Another thing you should do to connect is to watch and respond to their stories - this actually opens up a DM conversation which is organic, genuine and authentic. Don’t ask for anything YET, just respond to their content. That’s all you have to do, you’re building rapport and connection here.
Are you following all the brands you wanna work with on social? Are you engaging with them already? If the answer is no, you need to start doing this ASAP.
I want you to be doing this for at least 30 days. And in these 30 days you’re going to be doing the next step.
This is where you’re really gonna get a brand’s attention by featuring the brand organically.
This means that you’re going to show the brand that you already have their product, you’re already using it, you’re a true fan and you’re already promoting them organically in your feed and stories even if they’re not paying you.
You’re going to create content for the brand. This means on your next shoot, you’re going to be wearing something from the brand or holding something that they make. I want the brand to be visible in your photo or video. Once you've produced the content, you're going to tag the brand in the feed and in the stories - because again this will open up a DM. And in the DM you can actually see if they’ve seen it. Check the bottom of the DM, it will say "seen" if they opened it!
If you do this, it’ll get you on the brand’s radar because you can bet that they look at who’s tagging them organically. Plus the engagement you’re doing on their account - they will probably feature you on their channels by reposting you and probably reach out. They also build influencer lists for product campaigns and you’re probably gonna be on there. Now you can wait until they reach out to you or you can reach out to them - and I’m gonna be talking about that in another video.
Here are some additional things to do when you’re trying to attract a brand:
Make sure your bio and profile are optimized because they will be checking you out when they see that you’re tagging them and engaging with them. You want to make sure it’s clear. This means that they know in 10-20 seconds who your audience is, your aesthetic is on point and your brand is aligned with theirs.
Lastly, people always ask me how to know when it's the right time to start attracting brands and I say right now. Even if you’re just starting out or building content, try to start featuring brands in about 20% of your content. That would be about 1-2 posts for every 9 posts. This is how you’re going to start working with brands - getting collabs, building relationships and building your media kit. You'll be starting a conversation with a brand even before you ask for a paid partnership.
To recap, the SPARK ATTRACTION METHOD is as follows:
Step #1: IDENTIFICATION - Know which brands you want to attract based on what you’re already using.
Step #2: CONNECTION - Following and engaging with the brand on social media for at least 30 days before you even reach out, including replying to their stories so you open up a DM.
Step #3: ATTRACTION - Featuring the brand organically in your content on your feed and stories so you can get on the brand’s radar and continue that relationship that you started in Step 2.
I hope that my SPARK ATTRACTION METHOD is starting to get you thinking about what you need to do to attract brands and now you realize that it’s not just about reaching out to brands. You want to do all of this beforehand because it’s so important that you have that connection and that relationship with a brand first. You can reach out and take a chance, but you will have a higher chance of getting to a YES if you do all this pre-work first.
Are you ready to take your influencer business to the next level? Sign up for my Masterclass to discover my proven, step-by-step system to get #SPONSORED by brands even if you don't have a huge following yet.