February 17, 2021
Are you a creator learning how to work with brands? If you’ve been frustrated with brands coming back to you for campaigns with “no budget”, this blog post is for you! We are going to show you how to engage and negotiate with brands to put your influence to work. Even if you aren’t there yet these insider tips will help guide you on your journey. Our insights will empower you to negotiate with confidence and succeed at the art of Instagram collaboration.
Whether you are working with the brand directly, or if your negotiations are in the safe hands of experts (shoutout to the Do Your Thng team), you need to approach the collaboration as a business opportunity, much like any other creative professional would.
Here are five tips to help you get started and guide you through the crazy world of brand collaborations.
Know your worth.
Even a typical magazine ad costs anywhere from $500 to $20,000, depending on whether the publication is local or national, the size of your ad, whether you use color, and if you’ve negotiated a multiple-ad rate.
Still, that’s a lot of money that you could be tapping into!
Remember, you control the narrative of your own brand and have an audience that follows you because of your unique style and voice.
Followers like you because of your brand — brands like you because of your audience.
So you must know your audience very well in order to know how to pitch yourself to brands.
Reach out to brands
As Kriti Dhir says,”I think the key to getting more collaborations is investment of time maximising your network! You have to widen your own prospects, reach out to brands, prepare a pitch and just don’t lose hope when you don’t get a positive response immediately after sending out 50 proposals! Good things take time!”
You have to approach brands yourself. 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.
“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 a different way.
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.
Rules of Thumb for Instagram Collaboration
Following are good rules of thumb you should follow no matter the size or complexity of the Instagram collaboration.
- Understand all requirements before you agree.
- Get it in writing so there is no misunderstanding. Also helps prevent changes in requests midstream. It helps to create an Instagram collaboration template so you can use this for all your brand collaborations.
- Once you begin a collaboration (receive product) you are in a precarious place if a list of requirements arrives that you didn’t expect.
- Two things could happen: you end up doing a lot more work than you anticipated or if you refuse, you could end up ruining any potential future collaborations with this company.
- You want to do a good job and make sure the company is happy. You can’t make them happy unless you fully understand all expectations.
- Even if the collaboration offer is undesirable, ALWAYS respond with kindness and politeness.
- Always be professional. This means communicating in a timely fashion, and following through on all agreements.
Personal Note: We’ve learned the hard way. Many creators agree to collaborations that seem straightforward but because nothing is in writing later learn that both were on different pages. Spell it out clearly so you avoid problems.
Sell Your Photos/Photography/Styling Skills
If you have honed your skills for decorating, styling, and photography then you can sell these skills to companies separately from your marketing reach on your feed. Your Instagram feed is also your portfolio. Companies need professional pictures of their products and often turn to influencers for more than marketing power.
You can also participate in our Custom content collaborations and earn money. Not only that, when brands see your profile and your work they are more likely to collaborate with you.
Content is King
This is the most important aspect of getting better collaborations. Your Content is what makes you a creator. Even if you do a brand collaboration, you have to put your heart and soul into it.
As Falguni (@pastel.postcard.life) says, “You should consider Instagram as your portfolio. Upload high quality pictures which are aesthetically pleasing. Improve your content work will come automatically.”
Our best advice is to be true to yourself, trust your gut and Do Your Thng!