working with brands

working with brands

This section is all about finding and acing those all-important brand collabs! These lessons will be super insightful for you if you are an influencer or creator looking to work with brands for additional income - however, if you are a coach or personal brand, there is no reason why you can't add working with brands as an extra income-stream too. You may be selling your own product or service, but you still have influence and a platform, use it!

finding, securing and acing brand collabs and brand deals!

finding, securing and acing brand collabs and brand deals!

One thing that we haven't yet discussed, but I am absolutely sure as an aspiring influencer you are dying to know, is how to find secure, and ace those all important brand collabs and brand deals! Before we get into all that though. In this section, we are going to look at:

  • The different types on influencer campaigns

  • How to make yourself more attractive to brands

  • Things brands consider when picking influencers

  • Finding Brands to work with

  • How to approach brands 

  • How brands find influencers

different types of influencer campaign

To start out, let's have a little look at the different types of brand campaigns that you might get to take part in as you embark on your career as a social media influencer! Here are the different terminologies for different ways of working with brands - and what they all mean.

Gifting: Receiving a free product or service from a brand in return for promotion on your page

Sponsored Content: Can be made by the brand or outsourced, but posted on your page Partnership: Where a piece of content is created together, by both the brand, and the influencer. This is usually paid.

Social Media Mentions: when you mention a brand on your page

Influencer Takeover: Where an influencer takes over a brand's social media account - this is typically conducted through stories and lives, but can also be content based

Affiliate: When an influencer is given a code for their followers to use, and receives a percentage of the sale, or free product, for everything sale made using their code

Discount Code: An influencer is given a discount code for themselves and their followers

Brand Ambassadors: Influencers promote the brand and their products on their page, usually in return for promotion and being featured on the brand page

 

what brands look for in influencers

Brands work with influencers for a variety of reasons that work in their favour above traditional forms of marketing campaigns. A few reasons that a brand may want to use influencers in their promotional efforts include:

  • Increasing brand awareness

  • Creating an emotional connection with their audience

  • Establishing trust with their audience

  • Increasing their sales and revenue

  • Reaching new audiences

In order to ensure their influencer campaigns are successful, and they achieve everything they want to in their promotional efforts - brands will be looking for very specific things when it comes to picking which influencers to work with. This will change with each brand, but a few things brands may look for when picking an influencer to work with could include:

  • An influencer's Status or Image

  • An Influencer's relationships and connection with their audience

  • Whether the Influencer has worked with brands before

  • How many followers the influencer has

  • Follower health (how many are real/active followers rather than fake/bot/ghost followers)

  • If the influencer has a high authentic engagement rate

  • If the influencer can produce high quality and on-brand proffessional content

There are equally, just as many reasons a brand might choose not to work with certain influencers, such as:

  • An influencer getting caught up in social media drama

  • An influencer being too controversial in their posts or stories

  • An influencer promoting illegal, explicit, or potentially harmful products

  • An influencer participating in illegal, explicit or dangerous activities

  • An influencer who uses profanity, or had been known to use highly offensive or derogatory language

 

how to make yourself more attractive to brands

Before you consider reaching out to brands, there are a few things you should consider checking to ensure that you are the most attractive influencer for the job. As previously discussed, brands are looking for influencers who can help them to achieve certain goals - and there are certain things that they actively look out for and avoid. In this section, I am going to take you over my top pointers for what to do and what to do before reaching out to brands

Make sure that you have an obvious, refined and defined niche

Brands will be looking for influencers who match their brand mission, values, niche, and audience. Without a refined niche it will be very difficult to find brands who will want to work with you. A "little bit of everything" profile doesn't show any clear direction. It will be difficult for a brand to understand whether or not your product will work with your audience.

Instead, stick to one niche, and make it obvious. Ensure that at least 90% of your content does not differ from this niche. Announce your niche in your bio, make sure that your highlights are niche specific.

Make sure the brands you are reaching out to share your niche and have a similar audience

Similarly to the previous point, if you are actively reaching out to brands - you must make sure that their products or services make complete sense in your niche, and that their ideal customer, and your current audience match. If they do not make sense together, there is no reason for a brand to work with you, as it is unlikely you would help them to achieve their goals.

Ensure your content is high quality, and relevant 

Make sure that you are only posting high quality content, this doesn't mean it has to be taken on an SLR camera - most phone cameras these day will do the job. But make sure that your photos aren't over edited with third party phone apps (this can significantly decrease the quality). Make sure your camera lens is clean, your lighting is good, and the arrangement of the photo is visually appealing. Remember, your feed is your portfolio. It is what brands will be looking through when deciding whether or not you would work well together.

Do not post any unprofessional content

Examples of unprofessional content, include:

  • Over-edited photographs (especially where bodies and faces are concerned, brands are looking for authenticity)

  • Obvious face filters (snapchat filters, instagram story filters, etc - massive turn off)

  • Mirror pictures (especially with flash)

  • Duck lips and offensive poses

  • Low quality content

  • Content that is irrelevant to your niche

  • Content promoting propaganda, hate or overly controversial topics

How to approach brands

There are two main ways that you can reach out directly to your favourite brands, for the best chance of landing a collabs I would suggest trying both, as previously discussed, brands find influencers in many different ways - so may as well give both a go! These two ways are: via DM (direct message on a social media app such as instagram), or via email. Next we will talk about the differences to remember when reaching out via each, and we will provide a few templates you can use if you would like.

Via DM

The first way is via direct messaging a brand. When direct messaging through a social media platform like Instagram, it's okay to be a little bit informal. Keep it short and sweet if you can. Social media managers get a lot of DM's, so the quicker you can get your point across the better! Below are a few templates you can use when reaching out to a brand via DM:

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Notice how these are short and sweet, and use informal, friendly language! You want the brands to know that you have a good attitude and are easy to communicate with. If they reply make sure that you respond in a timely fashion and don't leave them waiting! Mix up these templates to make them sound a little more like you!

Via Email

When sending an email to a brand, you are going to want to use far more formal language. When pitching yourself via email to a brand, it's also okay to send a longer message - with more information about your account, who you are and your stats - you may also want to tell them who you've worked with before, or send examples of your previous work. Here's an example of an email you may send:

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Again - make sure you are professional, and if you can, don't copy this template work-for-word, but personalise it and make it more your own!

land your dream collabs [video]

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How brands Find Influencers

Coming from a Marketing background myself, I believe that it is not only interesting, but in fact rather vital, to know exactly how companies strategise their influencer marketing campaigns. This is good to know because, if you can look through the eyes of the brand, you can make yourself a far more appealing prospect by providing exactly what it is that they want! So without further adieu..... let's get into the process a brand will go through when planning their influencer campaign!

1. Set Goals

The first thing a brand will do when starting an influencer campaign, is check set their goals. 'Goals' are the metric set up in order to track the success of a particular marketing campaign, and will also affect what kind of influencer they may opt for choosing. Examples of influencer campaign goals could be;

  • Brand awareness: the amount of people who are aware of the brand)

  • Traffic: The amount of people clicking through to their site

  • Leads: The amount of people completing an action on their site, such as signing up to an email list, asking for a price quote, etc.

  • Sales: The amount of people buying their product or service

  • Engagement: The amount of liking, following, and sharing their content on social media

  • Audience Building: Building their audience

  • Customer Loyalty: encouraging sales from previous customers

  • Link Building: gathering backlinks from external sources to improve their SEO (search engine optimisation) metrics

2. Choose Campaign Type

Influencer marketing campaigns will typically focus on generating content through; inspiring influencers to post, hiring influencers to post, or a mix of both. Let's break down exactly what is meant by this;

  • Inspire: Inspiring ideal influencers to share your content or promote your brand messages on their own, usually referred to if the influencers are already 'fans' of the company.

  • Hire: Paying influencers to promote your brand and messages

  • Both: Using a mix of both of these tactic to find paid influencers who are also genuinely interested in your brand

Once a company has decided on which of these tactics to use, they will then move on to finalising what way they are going to work with their selected influencers. Refer to two pages back, when we talked about the different types of influencer campaigns a company may choose to use. They may use one, or several of these tactics when establishing their campaign.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

influencer platforms you need to be on

Another way of getting brand collabs is to join up to an influencer platform. Influencer platforms are databases for influencers and brands to arrange and manage collabs. Here are a few of my favourite reliable influencer platforms:

Fohr

Tribe

Octoly

AspireIQ

Palm

Rewardstyle

Lumanu