Are ready to work with brands as an influencer? Collaborating with brands is one of the most lucrative ways to make money as an influencer, but pitching yourself to a brand can be tricky — especially if you’re new to the game. This guide will share how to approach a brand as an influencer.
Should you call or email? If you lack experience, should you mention it? Are there things you should do before reaching out to brands? These are all great questions. To provide answers, and additional guidance on connecting with a brand, here’s what you should do:
Things to do before you approach a brand
Before you reach out to any brand, you need to lay some groundwork. Work through this to-do list:
Clean up your accounts
Audit each of your social accounts. Make sure there’s sufficient bio information, that all of the links work, and pin a really great post to the top of your account. Make sure a brand can easily find your contact information, too.
Create a media kit
A brand will ask to see your media kit, which serves as a data-rich digital resume. The kit should provide personal experience, but should also include audience breakdowns, engagement statistics, and examples of collaborations.
Join an influencer marketing platform
One of the best ways to work with brands is to join an influencer marketplace like TapInfluence. Brands often use these platforms to search for influencers and negotiate a campaign.
The platforms not only serve as an influencer Roladex, but also provide communication and payment tools so an entire campaign can be set up and executed in one centrally located place.
Research brands that you align with
Aside from joining an influencer marketplace, you should take initiative and research brands that match your niche. A recipe creator might look for baking brands, a beauty influencer might look for a makeup brand, and so forth.
Brands also want influencers whose audience matches their target audience. A beauty brand that caters to teens, for example, would likely work with a young makeup influencer as opposed to an influencer who focuses on age-defying makeup tips.
Your voice and values should align, too.
Once you find a short list of brands that you’d like to work with, start to post about them on your social channels. You might highlight a product that you love, for example.
Engage with their company accounts, too; comment on posts and share some with your audience.
This will take some time, but you want to start a social dialogue with the brand.
How to pitch yourself to a brand
With your pre-pitch checklist complete, it’s time to reach out to brands that you want to work with. Here’s how:
Send a clear email that follows this format
Craft an email that is short and simple. It should start with an introduction that defines your niche and describes the type of content that you post.
Next, suggest a specific collaboration, like working together on an Instagram Reel that highlights the brand’s holiday shoe collection. Your suggested campaign should be just as specific, as opposed to simply asking, “Are you open to a collaboration?”
The third section should explain why you’re a good fit for the brand. You might focus on your audience makeup, love of the brand, or similar successful partnerships that lend credibility to your pitch. If you don’t have any experience, don’t draw attention to that fact.
Provide a link to the social channel that you plan to use for the collaboration, a link to your media kit, and your cell phone number.
Wrap up the email with a call to action like, “Let’s set up a call to discuss this collaboration.”
Next, add a simple close and your name.
Follow up on the pitch in one week
Set a reminder in your calendar to follow up with the brand in one week. Don’t resend the same email, just send a quick note asking if he or she received your previous message.
You might consider using a Google extension that tells you whether or not your email was opened, too. MailTrack and BananaTag are two options.
Know what your worth
While you won’t put any compensation details in your initial email, it’s something you should be ready to talk about.
Wondering how much you should get paid? If you don’t have any experience working with brands, you might end up endorsing a product in exchange for the product itself, as opposed to compensation. Once you have a few campaigns completed, then you can start charging in addition to receiving a free product or service.
What should you charge? It’s hard to say. There are a lot of factors that influence payments including audience size, engagement rates, and experience. However, to provide a baseline, here’s a look at average influencer pay by platform:
- Twitter: $284
- Facebook: $4,833
- Instagram: $906
- TikTok: $3,514
- YouTube: $4,491
TikTok and YouTube tend to gross the best the payout for influencers.
Armed with this information, you’re ready to reach out to brands. Remember to complete the pre-pitch checklist before reaching out to brands via email to increase your chances of success. If you don’t hear back from any brands, identify a few more that you’d like to work with and stick with it. Persistence is key.