5 tips for working with brands as a creator
An Influencer’s Guide to Working with Brands
Whether you’re an influencer on the macro level or the micro level, brands want to work with you. It’s just a fact. Macro influencers have huge reach, so they’re approached with tons of offers. If you’re a macro influencer, the key will be sifting through to find the best brand for you. If you’re a micro influencer, your best strategy will be reaching out to smaller brands and finding your niche in their audience.
Keep in mind that whatever level of influencer you are, working with brands is going to be a give and take. You need to make sure you’re creating value for these brands so that they can justify spending their marketing dollars on you.
In this guide, we’ll give you some tips on working with a brand.
How to become a creator
What if you’re starting from the very beginning? If you’re not currently a content creator, you might be wondering what you need to do to make your way in the industry. Though this could be an article in and of itself, the best place to start is finding your niche. The market can be pretty saturated, so if you can find somewhere you can do something unique, jump on it.
After that, it’s a matter of hard work, research, and keeping up with the trends. You need to create quality posts and content to stand out from the crowd. As you begin to build your brand and your influence, you’ll get to start working with brands and make money from your content.
Can you make money as an influencer?
You can definitely make money as an influencer if you grow your platform. You can focus on one platform, or you can expand your reach by creating content for multiple platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and others. As far as making money goes, there are multiple revenue streams you can build as a creator.
Here are some of the most common ways to monetize:
- Ads: If you have enough of a platform, you can make money through advertisements on your social media.
- Patreon and Similar Platforms: You can offer subscriptions or service payments to provide your fans with exclusive content they can’t get on your regular platforms.
- Merch: You can sell products your fans would be excited about.
- Brand partnerships: Then, of course, there’s the focus of our guide. Brands will pay you to promote their product or service if it’s a good fit. There are also brands that may want to collaborate and offer exposure in return. Be careful with these offers, as you’re essentially giving them your audience for free. Typically, you wouldn’t want to agree to this unless the brand actually had a significant and specific audience that you’re trying to reach.
These brand partnerships aren’t a one-way street. Yes, you’re getting paid, but brands know that your platform is valuable. When you have an engaged fanbase that purposefully seeks out your content, you’ve built a certain amount of trust. This can be extremely valuable to brands that want to maximize their marketing ROI.
Tips for collaborations and partnerships
With all of this in mind, what should you do if you’re actually approached for a collaboration or partnership? And what should you agree to if you pitch to a brand and they want to work with you? Check out the tips below to get you started.
Stay true to yourself
Remember, you should always consider your audience first. Your followers have grown to trust your platform and they follow you for a reason. Make sure that the brands you choose to work with reflect your own core values. Also, make sure that the product or service is actually something you would use and could recommend to your fans. It reads much more authentic when you’re able to stay true to yourself and work with a brand that you like.
Don’t be afraid to say no when it’s not a good fit! There will be other opportunities. It might be a waste of the brand’s time as well. If they think your audience is something that it isn’t, they’re not going to be happy with the ROI and the partnership likely won’t last. More importantly, your audience will be able to tell if you’re just trying to sell them something you don’t care about. The last thing you want to do is lose the trust of your fans. They’re the reason you’ll be getting partnership opportunities in the first place.
Make sure you’re honest with yourself, and it’ll be much easier for you to pick the right brands for collaborations.
Do your homework
If a brand makes an offer to you, make sure you do your homework and research the brand. Find out if they share similar values to yours. Check out their previous marketing campaigns and see if it’s something that fits with what you like to do. Looking into a brand will help you make the best decision and align your goals with theirs.
If you’re pitching to a brand, doing your homework and research is going to be even more important. You need to know how to pitch your influence and demonstrate that you’d be a good partner for them. Show them how you can bring value to their brand and how your audience fits their target demographic. You should always custom-tailor your pitches to brands, showing them why you’d be a good match. If you’re just sending the same pitch to as many brands as you can, you’re likely to get ignored. Take your time, choose your brands wisely, and go for it!
Focus on adding value
Every influencer brings something a little different to the table. Make sure you can show brands what your value is and how you can help their business. If you excel in creating Reels and TikToks, show brands what you can do. If you know how to put together a stunning image that shows a product in use, then make that known. You want to show brands what sets you apart and how you can make them stand out.
Brands already expect you to increase awareness or sales, but if you can show them any other ways you can benefit them, they’re going to be even more excited to work with you.
Form a long-term relationship
Forming a long-term relationship with a brand means more consistent revenue for you. It will also open you up for more opportunities in general. Make sure you do the best job possible for a brand when you do decide to work with them so they want to work with you in the future.
If the relationship is easy for them and they see good results, there’s no reason they wouldn’t want to work with you again. Don’t be afraid to talk with your brand contact once the work is done. If you think everything went well, thank them for the opportunity and make sure they know you’re open to working with them again in the future.
Be an industry expert
When you’re pitching to a brand, make sure you’re demonstrating to them you know your stuff! If you’re an expert in your industry, don’t be afraid to show that off. This will also increase your value in the eyes of the brand. Talk to them about your audience and what resonates with them, and give them ideas about how you can work together. When you show brands you know what you’re talking about, they’re going to be more likely to place their trust in you and let you do things your way.
It’s also a good way to show your worth. You shouldn’t sell your services short. If you’re an expert, know your worth and present your pitches that way.
Why you should pitch brands
You should be pitching to brands because it’s a mutually beneficial relationship with the right terms. If you find a brand that you like and you know your audience will like, you should go for it! The worst they can do is say no or ignore your offer. If you pitch to a brand and they want to work with you, you can reach their audience, they can reach yours, and you can make money in the process! As you grow your influence and as you gain trust through brand partnerships, more brands will want to work with you, continuing the cycle of monetization and increasing awareness of your brand. You have nothing to lose, so make sure you get out there and pitch to the brands you want to work with!
What to remember
In short, you should always do brand partnerships on your terms. Know your worth, and don’t sell yourself short. Only work with brands that align with your values and accept deals that don’t compromise your beliefs. Finally, keep at it! If you’re confident in yourself and your platform, the brand deals will come eventually. Just keep building your audience and creating awesome content. With this advice in mind, you’ll be working with brands in no time.
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