What to do (and not to do) when you're keen to collaborate.
It’s time to stop, collaborate, and listen. You’ve got the platform, the profile and people who are eager to engage with your epic content… looks like you’re ready to start working with brands. High five!
So, where do you start? How do you reach out to brands, what do you say to them to get noticed and, ultimately, work with them on their influencer campaigns?
Whether you are working with the brand directly, or if your negotiations are in the safe hands of experts (shoutout to the Scrunch team), you need to approach the collaboration as a business opportunity, much like any other creative professional would.
From selling yourself to publishing your posts, here are five tips to help you get started and guide you through the crazy world of brand collaborations.
1. Hand Over Your Handles
It would surprise you how many collaboration requests come through without including social media @ handles. Seems pretty obvious, right?
This isn’t the time or place to play hard to get. The person on the other side of the inbox is busy too, so save them the hassle of having to go on a profile hunt to figure out who you are, and what platforms you are active on.
Always, ALWAYS include your social handles in any correspondence with a brand or agency, or, better yet, a direct link to your accounts, so they can scope out your profile straight away and get to know you and your content.
If you’re chatting through a social media platform with a brand and are asked to email your details
2. Know The Product
“I haven’t tried your product” isn’t really the way to win over a brand.
Of course, it’s totally fine if you haven’t actually tried the product – a lot of influencer activity is based on trials and reviews – but try to spin it
Try: ‘I’d love to try your product because...’
Doing a little research about the product shows you’re actively interested in the company and what they have on offer. It also gives you the ability to show how the product matches your personal brand, and how it will resonate with your community.
Influencer Marketing 101: Authenticity is key. Trying to spruik a product that doesn’t gel with your aesthetic isn’t good for you, your audience, or the brand.
3. Be Personal
The secret’s in the name: SOCIAL media!
If a brand wanted a hard-sell message and a standard studio-style shot of their product, they wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) be using influencer marketing. They want to work with you because of what YOU can offer.
What’s different about your personal style, your point of view, your content, or your audience?
Your personal brand is your selling point, so make sure you know exactly what that is and figure out how to communicate it in the simplest way possible.
4. Watch Your Language
Social media is an inherently casual space so there’s no need for any ‘To whom it may concern’ when reaching out to a brand for the first time. Long narratives don’t belong in DMs either – character counts were invented for a reason!
There’s a fine line between being too formal and too casual, and the vibe of the brand you’re looking to work with will likely shape the tone.
It’s always best to keep things short,
Also, avoid words like ‘free’ or ‘shout-outs’ as this cheapens the value of influencer marketing. You’re trying to set up a business transaction, so treat it like you mean business.
5. Brag About The Brand
Just like cover letters, it’s best practice to craft a unique pitch for every opportunity you’re applying for.
“Hi! I’d love to collaborate with your brand” won’t cut it (see point three: be personal!)
Going that extra step is just as important before AND after locking down a deal. Maybe you share an extra Story, pop a brand link in your bio, slip the content into your email newsletter…
Showing real interest in the brand will go a long way in helping you secure ongoing work with
And don’t forget: behind every Instagram profile is a person (or team of people) running it. Good manners and compliments never go astray!
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