If you haven’t done any brand partnerships, I would suggest reading this blog post first “How To Get Your 1st Brand Partnership Without Any Collaboration Experiences” before implementing the strategies in this one.
Keep Reading If This Is You…
Are you scared to approach brands for paid partnerships because you have a small following?
Are you unsure on how to land paid partnerships?
Are you tired of hearing back from brands saying they don’t want to work with you or just wanted a free partnership?
Are you hopeless because you have no idea what you’re doing wrong?
After sending 100+ brand pitches and plenty of trial-and-error I found out how to:
- Personalize my pitch with my unique selling proposition (USP) so brands would be interested in working on a paid collaboration together
- Negotiate gifted collaborations into paid ones using simple human psychology
- Learn how to analyze and share my key personal metrics to brands
- And more!
At a 5K+ following, I’ve been able to work with brands not only on a gifted basis but also on paid terms. Now at my most recent negotiations, I’ve been able to get my rates up to $100/post. The reality is you don’t need a huge following to start getting paid brand partnerships. Your following is just ONE component of many that you have to offer to brands. To make this work, think about what you do HAVE to offer versus what you don’t have to offer. You can pursue a passion you love AND monetize your influence!
KNOW YOUR WORTH & MAKE OFFERS STRATEGICALLY
You need to understand that you’re a doctor (influencer/blogger) helping a patient (brands) by understanding their needs (more brand awareness, more sales, etc) and then prescribing them with a solution (IG post, blog post, giveaways, IG takeovers, etc) .
The truth is doctors don’t care about their patients budget. You pay $100 to see a doctor or you don’t get treated by a doctor at all. You can’t negotiate with a doctor on the value and knowledge they can provide you.
In this case, you are the doctor. The value, knowledge, and quality of content you bring cannot be negotiated based solely on the amount of followers you have. You have a whole story about yourself and assets that are unique to only you that you can bring to a partnership.
When brands are working with you, they’re cutting out the middleman to create content for them. The blogger is the photographer, stylist, and copywriter all in one. So if you’ve created your brand, built an engaged following, and can offer brands something of value to the partnership, you should be charging for sponsored content.
UNDERSTAND A BRAND PARTNERSHIP IS MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL
When you reach out to brands, it’s important to understand that a partnership should be mutually beneficial. A successful collaboration is when both parties are happy and satisfied with the ideal offer.
For example, a brand asks you to work with them in exchange for a $100 worth of products in exchange for 3 instagram stories, 1 instagram post, and 1 blog post.
Would you work with this brand?
Here’s 3 way to look at it:
- If you haven’t had any collaborations under your belt and this brand aligns with you, this would be a great opportunity for you to build your portfolio.
- If you already have several collaborations under your belt and this brand aligns with you, offer to negotiate a deal that would be beneficial to both parties. Use it to your advantage that you already have a portfolio of work and don’t be shy to explore a paid partnership with the brand.
- If you already have several collaborations under your belt and you negotiate with this brand and they offer a compensation lower than what you view to be the ideal offer, deny the partnership respectfully. There are millions of brands out there and you don’t have to accept every brand partnership that comes your way. I’ve definitely learned this the hard way by saying too many “YES’s” to collaborations only to realize that I would get quickly overwhelmed and rush to create content to meet deadlines. So I’ve had to start saying, “NO’s” to a lot of brand collaborations and make room to build long-term relationships with the brands I’m truly interested in.
HOW TO NEGOTIATE GIFTED COLLABORATIONS INTO PAID ONES
When I work with brands on a gifted basis, I am looking to establish a long-term relationship with each other. Focusing on a relational negotiation rather than transactional can help increase the probability of a potential paid opportunity in the future if the first collaboration was a success.
This type of partnership is a great way to:
- Build a long-term relationship with the brand
- Help brands see the value and quality of work you produce.
- Pitch creative and out of the box ideas to keep the partnership interesting instead of a typical in-feed post
- Easier transition to ask for paid collaborations
So here’s how I would approach the situation to turn gifted collaborations into paid collaborations:
1) SHARE YOUR KEY METRICS TO BRANDS
Data is key. Brands love seeing data and they’re looking more closely at an influencer’s demographics and engagement rate before partnering up with them. With an Instagram Business Page, you’ll be able to see insights that can help you better understand how to deliver content to your followers. As well as, providing key insights such as your engagement rate, monthly page views, and total reach of your social media platforms to brands who are interested in collaborating with you.
For example, if you are a micro-influencer that has the same amount of likes and comments as a person who has 100K followers, you’re telling brands that you have the capability to produce quality content that reaches the same amount of engagement as a person with a 100K following.
WHAT’S A GOOD ENGAGEMENT RATE FOR YOUR FOLLOWING?
According to Influencer MarketingHub, here is what a good engagement rate should look like:
< 1,000 followers – 8%
< 5,000 followers – 5.8%
< 10,000 followers – 4%
< 100,000 followers – 2.4%
100,000+ followers – 1.7%
Example of my personal engagement rate:
Example of my personal post stats that I share with brands when we negotiate. Even though I’m only at 5k+, I’ve been able to double my reach using my hashtag strategy and it shows brands my capability to extend beyond my reach when I create content.
2) SHARE YOUR ESTIMATED EARNINGS PER POST AND BREAKDOWN OF COSTS
I make sure to always calculate my estimated earnings as my engagement and following grows. This helps brands know that you don’t work for free and there is a price that comes with all the amazing content you are going to create for them.
For example, my personal estimated earnings as of right now for a 5k following is between $70-117.5. However, this only calculates an estimated earning but depending on a number of factors such as, how much time you will be spending to work on this campaign, the cost of creating the content (gas, toll, photographer, time it takes to edit, location fees, etc), and how many different types of content you need to produce, the rate should change accordingly.
Calculate your estimated earnings here: Instagram Money Calculator
3) SHARE EXAMPLES AND TESTIMONIALS OF YOUR PREVIOUS BRAND COLLABORATIONS
I always include at least 3 previous brand collaborations or testimonials that’s related to the brand or niche I’m looking to collaborate with. Brands will get an idea of what type of content you’re capable of creating for them.
When you share these examples, you’re increasing your credibility and expertise. This gives them confidence and trust because you’ve already worked with brands in the same industry.
Here are a few of my brand collaborations that I share:
1) Showpo Dress Campaign: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxF0TL2gkpg/
2) MVMT Watch Campaign: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx76yexguN5/
3) Shop Sugar Lips Campaign: https://www.instagram.com/p/BwXPpX8gJ6U/
4) FIND YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION (USP)
Your unique selling proposition (USP) here is something that differentiates you from other influencers/bloggers. It’s a unique skill or quality you have that you can use as leverage to pitch to brands what you can offer. Brands receive hundreds of emails from influencers and bloggers that they want to essentially get free things and get paid to collaborate. If you really want to monetize your influence and in it for the long-term, you need to think of your relationship with brands beyond transactional. One of the ways is to find and utilize your USP so you are able to give value in the partnership.
WHAT IF BRANDS JUST WON’T PAY FOR OUR PARTNERSHIP?
Chances are there are only usually 2 scenarios why this happens:
1) If the brand is too small, they most likely won’t have the budget
2) Some brands just don’t believe in paying influencers
If that’s the case, just keep moving on to the next opportunity because there are millions of brands out there. There will be brands who will value what you can bring and work with you.
However if you decide that you want to work with the brand for free, here are some things to consider:
1) Does my personal brand align with the brand?
2) Do I genuinely like their product?
3) Will I get the opportunity to be reposted on their instagram?
4) Will I be building a long-term relationship or a one-and-done collaboration?
Brands who value you as a content creator will compensate you for your hard work. These are the ones you want to build a long term relationship. If you work for free all the time, brands will always think you work for free. So know your worth, be selective, decide wisely, and always choose to focus on success!
If you’ve found this blog post useful, I have even MORE (50-page) information for you!
I’m launching an easy step-by-step e-book on everything you need to know on how to get paid as a micro-influencer and more (that I honestly wish I had when I first started).
It will include my EXACT brand negotiation templates that turn gifted collaborations into paid ones, platforms/websites I use to earn anywhere from $100-$500/month regardless of my following, how to monetize your blog posts (without ads), how to build your own PR lists and find the right email contact, strategies on growing a highly engaged following, things to keep in mind when signing a brand contract, how to bookkeep and prepare for your taxes as a blogger, legal stuff you didn’t know you had to do before blogging, and more!
This e-book is not free and ONLY for action-takers who are serious about implementing my strategies and monetizing their influence. If you implement the exact strategies and tips I provide you, the value you’ll be getting from this e-book will be far more than your investment towards this e-book.
Additionally, the FIRST 15 people who sign up to hold their spot will have the opportunity to book a 1:1 Coaching Call with me (first come, first serve) after you purchase the e-book. When you’re finished reading and implementing my e-book, I’m here to help and will personally go over your Instagram/blog, create an actionable plan for you, and give you more tips/strategies so we can maximize your success as a micro-influencer.
Invest in yourself today and learn through my experiences so you don’t have to go through months of trial and error or be clueless on how to monetize your influence.
Sign up to get exclusive access to my jam packed 50-page informational e-book and be the first to get notified when it launches on July 1st here!
Thanks for reading! Leave me in the comments below and tell me your thoughts about the article. What’s the #1 challenge you have when you are trying to land paid brand partnerships?