A step-by-step guide on combining a proactive and reactive approach to winning brand sponsorships.
"Don't think you're too small, and don't be sidelined by the fact that you don't have experience. When I got my first sponsors, I had no track record. But I sold sponsors on the concept, and I surrounded myself with people with more experience than I had."
- Linda Hollander, the Wealthy Bag Lady
There are many different ways of earning money as an influencer, though one of the most significant ways is brand deals. With influencer marketing being relatively new in our social media world, it is hard to begin navigating how to start receiving brand deals. Celebrities promoting certain products has been a concept that has been around for a while. Still, with new platforms that pull millions of people, thousands of new and upcoming influencers also are promoting smaller businesses and trying to draw more prominent brands.
As an influencer, you already have a loyal follower base that enjoys your content; learning how to negotiate and partner with certain companies lets you astronomically grow your platforms. Even if you have a small platform on social media, it is crucial to know how to deal with companies. Even with small brands, you can start to earn money and more followers by promoting products. It can be simple to get a brand deal from a smaller company, but it is much more complicated from larger companies with lots of money on the line. Below are the essential steps to win brand deals.
Build Your Personal Brand and Story
All top influencers have a large and loyal following on social media. I can guarantee we all follow at least one famous influencer because we trust their taste and enjoy their content. The first step to getting brand deals is to have a decent number of followers on social media, and it is best to have all your social media links together. For example, if you have created a platform on YouTube and started getting a following, start connecting your Instagram and Tik Tok accounts so that brands know that you can cross-promote on different platforms and expand your audience reach. Smaller brands often reach out to nano influencers with an authentic niche and highly-targeted followers who share a passion. Therefore, a considerable part of building your social is the audience demographics; you need to know who your audience should be. If 60% of your audience is female, it is more likely that feminine brands will reach out.
Once your audience is built, and your social media are well operated, there are several steps you can take to keep your audience engaged and familiar with who you are as a person. Consistently posting content is a great way to keep brands and followers excited about your platforms. For instance, posting an "outfit of the day" each day is helpful to get in front of brands who are potentially researching you; promote your outfits and tag the brands to show that you are serious about building an influence. Some more tricks to keep your platforms on the incline of followers include:
Join other influencers’ events
These tricks bring more people to your page through incentives, gamification, and cross-promotion - the more people you are interacting with, the more opportunities to be visible to brands. Also, see more tips shared by our guest blogger @thebrandycloset on how to grow TikTok and IG.
Partner with Influencer Marketing Platforms/Agents
If you want to take the next step in influencing, you can start reaching out to influencer marketing platforms and agents. The most significant way to receive top brand deals is through influencer marketing platforms and agents. Once you have developed a social presence and have loyal followers who trust you, the next step could be hiring an agent or joining an influencer marketing platform. Almost all renowned influencers have someone advising them what brand deals to take and leave; sometimes, a brand has had issues in the past that you don't want to associate with or aren't meeting your fees, and that is where an agent comes in. Influencer agents will sort your deals, reach out to brands you want to work with, and help bring in more money to your platforms.
Influencer marketing platforms do similar things, though it is a team with already bonded connections with brands. Therefore, some of the brands they work with may meet your expectations while others may not. Influencer marketing companies and agents can bring a lot to your table. They can increase your following, negotiating more money per post, and keep your platforms growing. Of course, all those services come with fees, and you should be aware of and comfortable with the cut platforms/agents take from your revenue.
Pitch Yourself to the Brands You Want to Work with
Reaching out to brands is an intimidating thought, though when an influencer takes time to write an email explaining why they would be a good ambassador for the company, it shows that they are eager and reliable. Reaching out to brands is a proactive way to get brand deals. Even if you have an agent or a company that handles brand deals, you could reach out when you see something come across that looks like an excellent opportunity to create a partnership with. Send out an email or direct message letting the brand know that you are interested in working with them. When wanting to reach out to brands, you can do a couple of things to get their attention. The first is to start tagging them in your photos. You want the brand to see what you can bring to the table when advertising their product for free. You can also send them a pitch email. When writing a pitch email, you want it to be around two paragraphs long. You should include:
A brief introduction about your platform and demographics, what you love about their brand or products.
A verified analytics report of your media.
Your usual sponsored posts.
Your usual rates.
Previous brand partnership experiences.
Once again, it is paramount to make sure that you link all of your information above in one place for the company to see.
Final Thoughts and Advice
As your platforms grow, there will come a time when helping hands are needed. The biggest recommendation we have is to exhaust whatever resources and tools you can get; they can be your like-minded friends, consultants/agents for hire, or a creator platform that offers all-in-one tools like Voilà. Consider creating a free Voilà profile today to get easy access to a suite of creator resources and a network of brands looking for partnerships!
Interested in reading more about how other influencers have won brand deals? Check out our guest blog written by @allthingsanniehayes!