By: Alexa Quintero | Entertainment FAQs
As an influencer, getting your first brand deal can be an exciting prospect. That said, there is quite a bit to consider before, during, and after completing the collaboration with a brand.
This article details how to work with brands and the importance of protecting yourself.
How do you know when you are ready to start doing brand deals and collaborations? Before working with brands you need to have met certain criteria to be appealing as an asset for potential brands. If you reach out too early you run the risk of them passing, not seeing the value in working with you. In terms of followers, 1,000 followers is the bare minimum but 5,000 is a more realistic number for brands. Additionally, brands like to see that you have been running your account for more than six months. Another clue that you may be ready to engage in brand deals is if small businesses have started approaching you.
Most importantly, you need your followers to actively engage with your content. There are actionable ways to get more engagement which will make you more attractive for potential partnerships.
1. Posting high-quality, authentic content regularly and engaging with those who comment on your posts.
2. Make use of captions to tell your story or further explain your point. Adding hashtags to the caption also helps bring your posts to your audience.
3. Keep your product or brand related posts to less than 20% of your posts.
Ways to Find Brands to Work With You
As you gain experience and influence you may find yourself with proposals from brands but, in the beginning, you will likely have to find and pitch yourself to brands. There are platforms that can market influencers to businesses that are actively seeking influencers. Working with a platform gives you more chances to build relationships with brands and offers the opportunity to build a collection of brand deals to use in future pitches or negotiations.
However, not all influencer marketing platforms are created equal and you should be careful when selecting one. Some important resources to look for in your platform include guidance for setting your price, many opportunities for you to take, the ability to look at the stats of your collaborations, and education around posting guidelines for brand deals.
How to Pitch Yourself
A smart pitch makes use of a media kit, which acts like a resume for brands to get an idea of who you are, what your demographic is, and generally what you can offer to their company. While you want to look impressive to brands, it is incredibly important for your credibility that your media kit is an accurate representation of your influence and work.
You want your media kit to be a truthful highlight reel and include:
● Your bio and overview of your page
● Your follower and view count (or any other relevant stats)
● The audience that see your content
● Previous campaigns and their results
Remember that first impressions matter. When you pitch yourself to a brand make sure your pitch is polished and professional. Send your media kit to the brand you selected and considered adding a couple of content ideas for them to consider. If a brand can see your vision, and you leave a strong impression, your chances of working with that brand are greatly increased.
What to Ask (Yourself) Before Committing
Getting brand deals, no matter how many you may have had in the past, can be an exciting accomplishment that can make you eager to say yes. However, before committing yourself to being associated with a brand there are a few questions you should ask yourself to ensure you can back the company and your content wholeheartedly.
1. Know your own values and, if they don’t align with the company’s values, do not be afraid to say no. Your followers value authenticity and will begin to question if you are promoting a brand that does not fit with your personal brand.
2. How natural does the partnership feel? Again if the partnership feels forced or awkward your followers will notice and your credibility will ultimately take a hit. No one wants to watch you robotically force yourself to promote a brand that just does not fit on your page.
3. Do payment policies feel fair? Make sure they are compensating you for what is a realistic amount given your position as an influencer. Additionally, if you are signing an influencer agreement be sure to read the fine print and do not be afraid to consult a lawyer if you are unsure about any of the conditions in the agreement.
4. Lastly, is it the right offer for you? You may not be able to pinpoint what feels off about a certain brand partnership but, if it does, seriously consider walking away. Make sure you are working with the brands you believe in because each brand deal can easily be seen as a sort of interview for the next brand you work with. Awkward, forced, rushed, or ill-conceived ads will turn many brands off from working with you down the line, so turning down brand deals that do not feel right protects your value in the long run.
How to Negotiate With a Brand
When talking with a brand about a collaboration you may find yourself wanting to negotiate a higher price for your work. The more experience you have working with brands, and the larger your following, the more leeway you will have in negotiations. However, even if you are just starting out, be sure to know your influencer pay rate, that is the rate you feel is fair compensation for the work you will do for the company. This will give you a good range for negotiation and allow you to compare the offer a brand may be giving you with your previous collaborations.
Additionally, create a breakdown of this rate to share with the brand you are working with. This breakdown should include which part of your fee goes to equipment, editing, filming, materials, etc. so the brand can see the itemized list of the fees associated with the brand deal.
Conclusion (Tying Up Loose Ends)
Once you have decided to go through with a brand deal, make sure you create an influencer agreement that protects yourself (see article on Influencer Agreement Contracts). Take care to create a good quality post for the brand you are working with as that post will be used to get you more brand deals in the future. It can also greatly increase your value to brands and get you on the radar of bigger brands.
In the end, a brand deal should be mutually beneficial for both you and the company. More so, it should benefit your followers, if you stay true to brands and products that you believe will actually be useful for them.
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