If you're trying to establish yourself as a blogger or social media influencer, you know a huge part of your success online is landing brand collaboration...specifically with the right brands. So we wanted to break it down for you and give you the steps you need to land your dream collaboration and start building your success on social media.
The most common question we get asked is "how do I land a collaboration without a huge following?" We often preach that thousands of followers are not the "end all, be all" but we also understand in order to land a collaboration, followers DO play a factor. BUT, this is not to say without followers, you cannot collaborate with brands. The past "rule of thumb" was every 10k followers, you can typically charge $100 for 1-2 posts, but with the Instagram algorithm changes and engagement being at an all-time low, brands are no longer willing to invest this into micro-influencers. If you have a smaller following, typically, you will end up doing collaborations in exchange for product, but we still think you 100% should take these deals. Not only will this help you increase your following and exposure, but it will also give you practice on ways to work with brands, and build credibility to help you land even more partnerships.
So...how do you get started on pitching yourself to brands?
STEP ONE: Wish List. Make a list of all of the brands you want to work with (big or small). The worst thing that can happen is you will pitch yourself to a brand who either doesn't respond, or isn't interested at the moment, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't try!
STEP TWO: Find the correct point of contact. A few ways you can find the person you need to reach out to is send a direct message on social media or an email to the generic email address (usually linked to their social profile) and ask for the marketing or PR point of contact. Another way you can find the correct point of contact is by using LinkedIn and doing a search for the company you want to reach out to and search by job department or title. If you find the person you want to reach out to, you can either add them on LinkedIn and send them a message or find them on a different social profile. Lastly, you can use tools such as Hunter to do a company search and try and find the appropriate points of contact.
STEP THREE: Sell yourself. This is going to be extremely important if you do not have a big following. Show brands the value you can bring to them and why you're different than the thousands of other influencers reaching out to them. It's important to not only talk about YOU, but what you can do FOR the brand. Keep the brand at the center of the conversation so the brand understands you're trying to help them. Start off by introducing yourself with your quick elevator pitch and then bring it back to the brand and what you're offering to do for them. ALWAYS have your offer clear and defined. For example: "I know my followers would LOVE your brand. I'd love to create two story try-on hauls and one static feed post."
STEP FOUR: The follow-up. If you do not hear back from a brand, don't be shy to reach out a few times or finding a few different points of contact from the company. Sometimes people are busy and forget to reply, and a brand will respect your determination to want to work with them.
In the event a brand agrees to work with you, it's extremely important to maintain a relationship. A few weeks after your photo has been posted, don't be afraid to ask the brand how the campaign or photo performed in terms of conversions. Also, always send the brand your statistics from the photo, so they are made aware the engagement that particular photo brought on. If you maintain a good relationship with a brand, you're almost always guaranteed future collaborations that could very well turn into paid opportunities.
If you want additional information on how to pitch to brands, including pitch email templates, check out our Social Media Blogger Course!