Photo by Harley-Davidson on Unsplash
You’re not an influencer unless you’re getting paid. However, monetizing your influence can be challenging, especially if you’re a micro-influencer that doesn’t have the experience and knowledge of an agency to help. However, if you follow these five tips, you’re guaranteed successful brand collaboration.
TL;DR: The key ingredient to have a successful brand collaboration and get paid is to ALWAYS BE PROFESSIONAL. Be thorough when doing research, and know your worth so you can insist on the right kind of compensation.
Tip #1 To Successfully Collaborating With A Brand: Understand What The Brand Is Looking For
You may not be the right influencer for the job. If that’s the case you should avoid working with that brand. If you fail to choose your brand partnerships wisely, this will determine how you view brand partnerships and whether you’ll have significant growth as an influencer.
To understand if you’re a good match for a brand, ask them who they’re targeting with this campaign (who their demographics are), and what their message/mission is. As you are a brand in your own right, you should ensure that both of these align with the brand you’re cultivating for yourself.
Tip #2 To Successfully Collaborating With A Brand: Do Your Research
Be selective, don’t work with sketchy brands. There are so many legitimate brands out there that working with a sketchy brand should never be an option. If you are uncertain about a brand, ask them the questions you know your audience would like to know. Questions like: How long have they been around for? Where are they based out of? If they’re not forthcoming, Google them. Try to find unbiased reviews on their products. If all else fails, use some of your cash to test the brand. You don’t want to lose your audience or stunt your growth because you chose to work with the wrong brand.
Tip #3 To Successfully Collaborating With A Brand: Pitch Your Influence Based on Facts
Learning to pitch is vital if you want to have longevity as an influencer.
That said, the key to a successful pitch is to base your argument on fact. Therefore, answer the most pertinent questions first: Why should X brand hire you? Even if a brand has approached you, this works to ensure you get paid an appropriate sum based on what you’re bringing to the table.
Some areas to focus on are:
Post engagement – What percentage of those that follow you like your posts, and what percentage of those likes comment? How many views do you average on IGTV, etc?
Growth – What does your growth look like? Have you had consistent growth over time?
Trust – Does your audience accept your recommendations on other brands, products, etc?
Diversity – Do you have an audience on other platforms? How does that audience compare to your Instagram audience?
Tip #4 To Successfully Collaborating With A Brand: Speak Clearly and Professionally
You’re a brand. Therefore, if you want brands to take you seriously, spend some time crafting professional responses. Keeping in mind that many brands use similar agencies, making the community of brands using influencers for marketing campaigns rather small. If word gets out that you’re not professional, other brands will be hesitant to work with you. To ensure you don’t get blacklisted, use proper grammar, spell check, and don’t overstep that professional relationship.
Tip #5 To Successfully Collaborating With A Brand: Don’t Be A “Yes Man”
Some brands target micro-influencers because they know how appealing getting paid for posts is to micro-influencers, as it validates their desire to become an influencer. But don’t let a brand’s attempts at flattery be the reason you say yes. Always remember, a brand deal is a professional relationship and that without adequate compensation you won’t be able to continue your pursuit of becoming a professional influencer.
Bottom line… Know your worth and insist on being compensated accordingly!
Tip #6 To Successfully Collaborating With A Brand: Follow Up In Intervals
When you haven’t worked with brands before, you don’t have the experience to fall back on, and simple acts like following up become daunting. For example, you won’t know when to follow up without sounding desperate. This is why keeping things professional is necessary. A rule to follow in any business relationship is to give someone two to three (business) days to respond before following up. To ensure a business doesn’t get free promo from you, create a post, save it, and then send it through for their approval. If they agree to it, send an invoice requesting half of the total amount now, and the other half after you’ve published the post. The first deposit they make is non-refundable as it’s compensation for the time you’ve spent on the project. If they haven’t paid you the second half 24 hours after publishing, follow up with them and then remove the post.
But, remember to discuss all these details before agreeing to work with them, so you don’t seem vindictive.
If you follow all these steps, you’ll find that a successful brand collaboration doesn’t have to be difficult and that you’ll make far more from sponsored content than influencers who aren’t following these tips.
It’s important to note, the reason most influencers don’t share how much they’re making from sponsorships isn’t because of privacy, but many established influencers know that there isn’t a blanket rate amongst influencers and that some influencers with smaller followers get paid more than those with a large audience because they’re more valuable to a brand.