So you want to work with brands? One of the most asked questions I get in my DMs is how I started working with brands and although I can’t exactly pinpoint the moment it happened, I can tell you that although it might have looked like it was overnight, it wasn’t.
Before I started working with brands, I started seeing myself AS a brand. It was easy to conceptualize because I have my own business, but hard to adopt because hello imposter syndrome 👋🏾 but the truth is, the first step to working with brands is valuing yourself as one and being able to speak to your usefulness, benefit and what the advantages of working with you will add or bring to the table.
Is there a particular skill you possess?
Do you have a message that aligns with their overall goals?
Do you have an idea that will transform the way they market or reach their audience?
You have to know your value to be able to communicate it and that's the first step to success in influencer marketing.
For example, in my case: I am a content creator by profession, so more often than not I can produce high-quality content in any form that a brand might need. I also love to write and I am confident that I can communicate a brands messaging while weaving in my own personal stories to share a valuable message (where it makes sense). Having the natural skill of photography and storytelling makes me uniquely valuable to a brand who needs both things to tell a story.
What natural talents do you possess that would benefit a brand and help bring their message to your audience and beyond?
What are brands looking for to collaborate with influencers?
People think there's a magic recipe for getting brand deals and collaborations, but the recipe is to just start and to understand that every brand has different content needs and ideas and that so many things are taken into consideration for these companies when working with influencers. Its not all about the social media following. Brands consider niche, age of audience, the age of children (if you have them), gender, location, the type of content that you create and whether or not who you are and what you bring to the table aligns with their goals, mission and messaging at the time. It's really a mesh of timing, needs and the right talent at the right time and that can be someone with 2,000 followers or 200,000 so never ever count yourself out.
How Do You Collaborate With Brands And Get Paid?
Below, I put together 3 Easy Ways To Get Started With Working with Brands today. If you are passionate and ready to do the work to get brands attention, I am confident that you if you try one of the methods below, you will be on your way to you first brand deal, collaboration or partnership.
Put Some Skin In The Game: a lot of people will tell you not to work for free but everyone has to earn their keep one way or another. If you want to work with a brand, why not try investing in the brand. Purchase a product by the brand you love, produce fire content and then tag or email that piece of content to the brand explaining why you love it/them and why you’d love the chance to work with them. This shows the brand that you are not only serious about the product/work they do but that you are willing to put your money where your mouth is and that you don't expect to work with them just for the "free stuff" that you can get. If you had a business, wouldn't you want your community to invest in your idea? It's no different with these big brand and it's the first little bit of effort you can make in showing a brand that you stand behind them and what they do and the services or product they provide.
Apply to Campaigns: a lot of influencers, including me, got their start by applying for brand campaigns through influencer platforms. Sign up for accounts on platforms with great reputations and apply to campaigns that feel authentic and true to you. Here is a list of a few influencer platforms that have worked for me and got me really great paid campaigns: Quotient, Activate, AspireIQ, Massive Sway, Collectively, Fohr, Social Fabric, Social Native, Whalar, Takumi, Cirqle, TapInfluence, Izea, Linqia, Mavrck, The Shelf, Influencer (I have used ever site listed at some point in my influencer journey and have received 1 or more influencer campaign from the site, which is why it is listed.) This is just the beginning of 100s of influencer platforms and management sites, so do some research and ask around. There's more than one way to get things done.
Pitch to Brands: reach out to brands you love and sell them on your magic. Find contacts for companies you love and tell them why collabing with you will is the move. Be complimentary, direct and clear on your value add and see what happens.
There are so many factors involved in brand/ creator relationship, from age and niche to followers size and interest, so keep shooting your shot and remember “no” often means not right now. The name of the game is consistency, so the more you show up, the more people take notice.
If you need more tips on stepping into brand work check out the Creator Guidebook by Lumanu that I got to be a part of this summer. It is full of wisdom & advice for those ready to launch out and work with brands.
If you found this post helpful. Stick around! I have so much planned for 2022 and cannot wait to share with you - so make sure to subscribe so you don't miss a thing! I will really be pouring into my newsletter list starting in January!
If you have any questions or want me to cover other things, just drop them below in the comments. Looking forward to watching you soar!
With wisdom and courage, for His glory,