WHY I CREATED THIS
Four months ago, I decided to turn my hobby for blogging into a side hustle. I went to the internet for information on how to find brand partnerships as a micro-influencer. Everything I found online was often vague or too far-fetched to achieve without a big following.
Through trial and error, I’ve established brand partnerships with more than 50+ brands including Showpo, MVMT, Lancôme, YMI Jeans, and more as a micro-influencer with less than 10k followers. I consistently get 2-5 free PR packages a week and my brand partnership rates have went over the $100+ per post mark.
Most bloggers don’t know how to leverage their positioning as a micro-influencer to create brand partnerships. So, I created this in-depth guide to help others navigate the micro-influencer landscape so they can land their first brand partnership even without any collaboration experience!
WHEN SHOULD YOU REACH OUT TO BRANDS?
Most micro-influencers are scared to reach out to brands because they have a small following or a low engagement rate.
This feeling is completely understandable, I used to be scared of asking brands and tell myself that I’ll reach out to brands when I hit 10k. However, what you tell yourself is who you become. You are the only person who can limit yourself on what you can do. Speak your goals into existence!
While a big following does entice brands, there are so many other brands who can benefit from working with micro-influencers and are actively looking to work with them.
Really the short answer to this question is, reach out to brands that are aligned with your brand and start a conversation TODAY!
HOW DO I WORK WITH BRANDS IF I’VE NEVER DONE A COLLABORATION?
1) IT ALL STARTS WITH THE QUALITY OF YOUR CONTENT
Create quality content means your pictures are HD, has a compelling message, and provides value. Brands will take a chance with you even if you have a small following when you are producing quality content, have engaged followers, and your style/message aligns with theirs.
EXAMPLE OF GOOD QUALITY CONTENT:
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❓ “𝚆𝚑𝚎𝚗 𝚍𝚒𝚍 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚕 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚠𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚝𝚛𝚞𝚎 𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏 𝚘𝚗𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚎?”⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 🤔 𝚃𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚊 𝚚𝚞𝚎𝚜𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 𝚊𝚜𝚔𝚎𝚍 𝚛𝚎𝚌𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚕𝚢 𝚋𝚢 𝚊 𝚏𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚘𝚠𝚎𝚛 𝚘𝚏 𝚖𝚒𝚗𝚎. 𝙸𝚝 𝚖𝚊𝚍𝚎 𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚗𝚔 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚑𝚘𝚠 𝚏𝚊𝚛 𝙸’𝚟𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚘𝚗 𝙸 𝚊𝚖 𝚝𝚘𝚍𝚊𝚢. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 🔙 𝙾𝚗𝚎 𝚢𝚎𝚊𝚛 𝚊𝚐𝚘, 𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚜 𝚞𝚗𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚙𝚢 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚘𝚗 𝙸 𝚠𝚊𝚜. 𝙼𝚢 𝚌𝚒𝚛𝚌𝚞𝚖𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚏𝚝𝚎𝚗 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚝𝚛𝚘𝚕𝚕𝚎𝚍 𝚖𝚎 𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝚊𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 💪🏼 𝙽𝚘𝚠 𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚐𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚖𝚢 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎, 𝙸‘𝚖 𝚑𝚊𝚙𝚙𝚢, 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚏𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚗𝚝, 𝚙𝚊𝚜𝚜𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚊𝚝𝚎, 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚎𝚊𝚕𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝙸’𝚟𝚎 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚋𝚎𝚎𝚗. 𝙱𝚞𝚝, 𝙸 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚔𝚎𝚍 𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚘𝚗 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚜𝚎𝚎 𝚝𝚘𝚍𝚊𝚢.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 🥇𝙴𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢𝚍𝚊𝚢 𝙸 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚍𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚛𝚒𝚟𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚎𝚜 𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚌𝚘𝚙𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚎𝚜. 𝙸 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚋𝚎 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚒𝚗𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚊𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎. 𝙸 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚞𝚛𝚛𝚘𝚞𝚗𝚍 𝚖𝚢𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚙𝚎𝚘𝚙𝚕𝚎 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚏𝚒𝚍𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚙𝚘𝚜𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚟𝚎. 𝙸 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚊𝚌𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠𝚕𝚎𝚍𝚐𝚎 𝚖𝚢 𝚏𝚕𝚊𝚠𝚜 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚔 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚖. 𝙸 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚑𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚙𝚒𝚎𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚖𝚢 𝚕𝚒𝚏𝚎 𝚜𝚘 𝙸 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚗𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚑𝚎𝚕𝚙 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜 𝚠𝚑𝚘 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚜𝚊𝚖𝚎. 𝙸 𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚜𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚙𝚕𝚊𝚌𝚎 𝚖𝚢𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏 𝚒𝚗 𝚞𝚗𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚜𝚒𝚝𝚞𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚜 𝚜𝚘 𝙸 𝚌𝚊𝚗 𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚌𝚑 𝚝𝚘 𝚘𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚕𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚕𝚜 𝚘𝚏 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚝 𝙸’𝚟𝚎 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚎𝚡𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚒𝚎𝚗𝚌𝚎𝚍.⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ 💯 𝚆𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚙 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚝𝚊𝚔𝚎, 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚋𝚎𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚝𝚊𝚋𝚕𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛𝚜𝚎𝚕𝚏!⠀ ⠀ 💃🏻 𝚆𝚎𝚊𝚛𝚒𝚗𝚐: @showpo #showpoambassador #ad
- HD quality
This picture is taken on an iPhone X. There’s no grain and the lighting is optimal. You see my face and environment clearly.
- Represents my niche
In all my pictures, you will always see that my outfit is the main focus of my pictures which is fitting for my niche in fashion/beauty/lifestyle.
Ask yourself: What niche am I in and does my pictures represent that?
- A Compelling Message
I usually engage with my audience by telling them a story which leads to a thought-provoking question at the end. A question provokes engagement which is what we want when we are trying to build a relationship with our audiences.
Ask yourself: What is it encouraging my audience to do?
- Provides value
Whether in a form of an inspiration or motivation, my captions are applicable to my followers life. I give them tips, stories and guidance on mindset, blogging, business, and more. To build an engage following aim to create captions that build a valuable connection with others!
You can easily post a caption with just an emoji but if you really want to build a community and grow your engagement, you need to create meaningful messages for your audience.
2) CREATE A MEDIA KIT
A media kit is a resume for influencers. It’s to give an overall impression of who you are to brands. You use your media kit detailing about yourself, your metrics, previous collaboration experiences, and services you can offer to pitch to brands on why they should consider working with you. I view media kits as a way to aid your process to achieving collaborations along with your brand pitch.
For example, when you apply for an actual job, you bring a resume to the interview. Ultimately, the resume isn’t the determining factor on whether or not they’re going to hire you. They look at different factors such as, “Does this person’s personality fit well in the organization?” which in this case it would be “Does this person’s content/style fit well with our brand?”, “How did this person answer the questions we asked them?” which in this case would be “Do we like this person’s pitch?”.
IMPORTANT TIP: I don’t recommend adding rates in your media kit because you don’t want prices to be the determining factor on whether or not they end up working with you. Instead, show them your value and let the value you bring justify the price.
Click below to get my EXACT media kit template I use to land partnerships:
3) CREATE A BRAND PITCH THAT CONVERTS
Along with your media kit, it’s important to create a solid brand pitch that actually works. Simple metrics that you find on the Insight page of your instagram is not enough to convince brands why they should work with you. I’ve created a 7-page brand pitch guide and template to help you better understand how you can land the brand partnership of your dreams.
Click below to get my EXACT brand pitch guide and template I use to land partnerships:
4) REACH OUT TO BRANDS WITHIN YOUR NICHE
We gravitate towards people who are similar to us. The same way works with you and brands. It makes sense to reach out to brands who are in the same niche as you to see if you could have a potential collaboration with each other.
The real question is how do I know what brands to reach out to?
When I first started out, I reached out to brands that had a similar following as I did.
Example: If you’re at 1k right now, reach out to smaller brands within the 1-5k range.
Once I was able to secure a partnership with a brand, I just kept building my portfolio. With a few collaboration experiences on hand, I was able to feel more confident to reach out to brands that were double my following then triple and so on. Eventually, I was able to land partnerships with accounts that were in the 1M range. The point is you have to start somewhere first!
5) USE INFLUENCER PLATFORMS/NETWORKS
Influencer platforms are a great way to find partnerships. Think Tinder but for brand and influencer partnerships. It’s a place that connect brands to influencers and influencers to brands. Brands who are usually looking to work with influencers with their campaigns can use these platforms to find influencers of all different niche and audience size to work with at scale. There’s a lot out there but these are personally my favorite platforms to work with.
Collabor8 (Great for starting out)
(Picture source: Collabor8)
Collabor8 is one of the easiest influencer platforms I’ve used. Once on the app, you can filter different industries to fit your niche the best. Then select the brand you want to collaborate and click “Request” to start a conversation with the brand. When I first started out, this was the app I used the most to get brand partnerships. All my partnerships were free on this platform but when you’re first starting out, it helps to build your portfolio.
Brandsnob (For influencers with a following of 5K+)
(Picture source: Brandsnob)
I just recently joined Brandsnob because you need to have a 5K+ following as a requirement. On this app, you can browse different campaigns and request to the brand to be a part of the campaigns. There’s a variation of campaigns on here ranging from gifted, negotiated, and set price paid campaigns.
(Picture source: Influenster)
Influenster is one of the earliest influencer platforms I used even before the term “influencer” was heavily popularized. I have been using it since I was in middle school when it was an invite-only platform. The platform has changed so much since then and have incorporated a lot more popular brands such as Lancome, Givenchy, Hourglass, Olay, Cover Girl, and etc. All Influenster products are free in exchange for a series of tasks you need to complete. Here on this platform, you will not have the opportunity to negotiate for a paid campaign. However, if you’re just starting out, this is a great opportunity to get some free products to try and build your brand portfolio!
(Picture source: AspireIQ)
AspireIQ is one of the most organized influencer platform I’ve used because every campaign goes through stages from proposal, negotiation, product selection, tracking info, create content, review content, and payment. There’s also a lot of bigger brands on this platforms such as Maybelline, Dyson, Audible, Kroger, Paula’s Choice, and etc.
(Picture source: InfluenceHer Collective)
InfluenceHer Collective works a little bit different. They do pre-screen and select the influencers they want to invite into their community. Instead of applying or requesting to work with brands, InfluenceHer will usually send out emails weekly on brand partnership opportunities where you can apply to campaigns on a type form asking you several questions on your metrics and why you should be considered for the campaigns.
6) NETWORK = NET WORTH
One of the best ways to be connected to brands in real life is through PR agencies because they work like online influencer platforms connecting brands to influencers and influencers to brands. Through these PR agencies, you can be invited to events, showroom fittings, parties, and more. Research your local PR agencies within your niche, reach out to them, and start a friendly conversation. A simple “hello” could lead you to your next opportunity!
PARTNERSHIPS TO BEWARE
1) BRAND AMBASSADORS
Brands usually phrased this type of partnership as “brand ambassadors”. Their message is usually something along the lines of, “Sure, we’d love to collaborate with you! We’re going to offer you a 40% discount code where you can purchase the first item of your choice on our website then we will offer you free products later on. After you receive the item, you will be required to post a picture within 1-2 weeks. You may have the opportunity to be reposted on our page. Would you be interested in this?”
I wanted to address this partnership in particular because a follower reached out to me asking if this was the norm when you have a small following. This is usually a tactic that companies use to get you to become a customer and make you promote their products on their behalf. These partnerships are often taking advantage of influencers so be careful!
However, not all brand ambassadorships are like this, some are legitimate. I’ve recently become a brand ambassador for a brand and our partnership is agreed on terms that are compensated. I create a series of bi-weekly social media promotions and blogs throughout the month on their behalf. I don’t have to pay anything to become an ambassador instead I receive free products + get paid to guest blog.
2) RECEIVE A FREE PRODUCT, PAY FOR SHIPPING
Again, if you have to pay anything out your pocket…avoid at all costs. You should not have to pay for the product the brand is sending you to promote or pay for any shipping fees associated with it.
Hopefully if you’ve read all the way to the end of this, you’ve found this post helpful in your journey to finding partnerships as a micro-influencer! There will be always be challenges as you grow your personal brand and reach out to brands looking for partnerships even with the information I’ve given to guide you. So to better help you, I’m offering a FREE social media strategy call !
DOING THIS FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY SO CLICK HERE TO BOOK NOW
Thanks for reading! Leave me in the comments below and tell me your thoughts about the article. I’m also curious to know, what’s the #1 challenge you have as a micro-influencer?