A major goal for any influencer is to get sponsorships with brands that you feel passionate about. What's holding you back from achieving this goal? There's ONE thing to change as an influencer if you want to start getting brand deals and growing your brand.
If you’re just starting out as an influencer your main focus should be on who your audience is, helping that audience and growing that audience. As you do that, you will naturally attract brands that want to work with you. There is NO SHORTAGE of brands out there, and many of them want to work with influencers.
Initiate the conversation
Who says that you need to wait for brands to come to you? Start reaching out to brands, pitching to them to get free products, event invites, and restaurant tastings to build your portfolio.
You can charge for your services
As you grow more of a following, you can start charging for your services.
Think of it as your channels is a TV channel - maybe it’s not FOX, ABC, or NBC yet. But it’s a local cable channel and you have viewers. And there are brands that are willing to pay to get in front of your viewers. How much they will pay depends on a lot of factors - how many viewers, what are your viewer demographics, how engaged are your viewers?
This is why it’s SO important to get to know your audience really, really well; because this is the first question that brands will ask you when they are considering working with you.
The #1 secret to getting brand deals
When you’re ready to start asking for actual money instead of accepting free products, it’s as simple as that - you have to ASK. If someone is offering you free product, respond with "Sorry, but I charge this much to promote something on Instagram."
In my membership program, Influencer Academy, I give my students email templates that they can uses in these situations. I had one of my students, Kathleen who go reached out to by a hair brand just offering her free product and she used one of my email templates and she got a $1000 brand deal. So really, it’s all about COMMUNICATION and asking for money.
Because if brands can get away with getting advertising and promotion for free, they will try to do so. I mean, do you ever have friends or family that try to get you to do things for free? Things you normally charge for? It sucks right? It’s a weird icky feeling. So it all comes down to knowing your worth and communicating that to brands.
Sure, some brands will say "no" - but that’s pretty much the worst that can happen. You're starting out with a "no" right now! If you don’t start asking and charging, then it’s never going to happen.
The HUGE mindset shift that I had to make after getting rejected repeatedly by brands is that there are other brands out there.
Sometimes "no" just means "not right now." Maybe there’s a brand you want to work with that says "no" because they are looking for someone with a certain number of followers - it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to work with you ever. Maybe they’re just looking for someone else for this particular campaign right now.
It can be hard not to take rejection personally, but you have to learn that when a brand says "no", they're not saying "I don't like you." It may be "your audience doesn't quite fit our campaign" or "we just don't have the budget."
I want you to look at being an influencer as a LONG GAME. It’s not going to happen overnight.
I have some people who join my membership program, Influencer Academy, for a month who are just starting out and then quit because they nothing happen. Do you think it takes one month to build a business? This is a business and it will take time.
What’s funny is that it’s so much easier now! We’re not even building a brick-and-mortar business where you have to pay rent on a location, buy inventory and hire people. All we have to do is put out our content, and we can do this with very minimal cost - you can even start for free if you don’t buy your own domain or get all fancy.
I want to be 100% honest with you - if you’re just starting out, it’s going to take time. I started getting brand collabs around 3-5k followers and I didn’t start getting paid brand deals until I had about 10k followers. But we DO have members that are getting paid deals under 10,000 followers - this is the direction that marketing is heading.
What are you waiting for? Start booking those brand deals!