Oct 10, 2023

How to Find Brand Collaborations as an Influencer

Are you an influencer looking for your first brand deal? Check out this post on how you can catapult your career!

How to Find Brand Collaborations as an Influencer

In today’s digital age, social media influencers have become powerful marketing assets for brands. As an influencer, you have a highly personalized and engaged audience, who trust the reviews and recommendations you leave for products and services. Influencer marketing has emerged as a powerhouse, because your followers are more likely to trust your word in promoting a product compared to watching a traditional advertisement. Getting started as an influencer and landing that first brand collaboration can be challenging, but we’re here to help you launch a successful career! We have put together 10 steps that are guaranteed to help you accelerate your career as an influencer and land your dream brand collaborations.

Step 1: Define your niche and audience

Before you start looking for brand collaborations, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of your niche and who your target audience is. Brands are interested in working with influencers who are able to reach their desired customer base, and so it is important that when brands view your profile they are able to easily identify who your audience is. For example, if your content is not cohesive and you share things from every aspect of your life, brands may not feel that you have a clear niche and would not fit with what they are looking for. However, if you focus on creating your account to focus on one aspect of your life, such as travel, motherhood, or beauty, brands will have a clear understanding of who you can target and whether that aligns with their needs.

An easy way to identify your niche and decide what it is you want to post about is by considering what you are the most passionate about. What topics do you consistently create content about? Identifying your niche shouldn’t feel forced, but instead should align with your passions and interests. This will ensure that the content you create remains authentic, and thus will be easily relatable.

Hand in hand with your niche is your audience. Once you identify the niche you are looking to be a part of, understand your audience’s demographics, interests, and pain points. This will help you not only with content creation, but will also help you attract brands relevant to your followers. You can start to see what similarities lie within your followers, and personally reach out to relevant brands.

Step 2: Build your online presence

The best way to attract brands is to have a strong and engaging online presence. We know this does not happen overnight, but staying consistent and true to your personal values can help to grow your account steadily. Here are some tips on how to build your online presence:

  1. Create high-quality content. When creating your content, ensure that you are lighting your photos and videos in a way that does not wash you or your subject out. Having a feed with dark, blurry, or irrelevant images will not make your account stand out. Find an aesthetic that fits for you, and build off of it. Your followers are interested in you as a person, and so creating refined pieces of content based off of this will help to attract more like-minded individuals.
  2. Optimize your social media. If you have more than one social media account, make sure there is clear cohesiveness across all of them. This can be done by using the same account image and the same bio. Ensure your social profiles are informative and reflect your niche.
  3. Grow your follower base. Focus on growing your account organically. You can do this by engaging with your audience, using relevant hashtags, and collaborating with other influencers in your niche. But growing your account authentically, you are guaranteed to experience consistent engagement across your posts even as your account grows. Just remember, more important than follower count is the engagement your posts receive. Brands are not looking to work with influencers with the biggest following, they are looking to work with influencers who have a highly engaged audience that is likely to interact with the content you post.

Step 3: Create a media kit

A media kit is a helpful tool to have as an influencer. This is because it is essentially your resume that you can share with brands. Even if you have not worked on a previous brand collaboration, you can use your media kit to show brands why they should work with you. Key features to include in your media kit are:

  1. Introduction. In your introduction, provide a bit of information on who you are as an influencer. This can include topics such as your niche, your online journey, and why you would be an asset to the brand.
  2. Audience Demographics. Include information about your followers’ age, gender, location, and interests. This data can be found directly on your social media account and is helpful for brands to know whether your audience is within their target demographic.
  3. Previous Collaborations. If you have previously worked on any previous brand collaborations, include the names of these collaborations, any metrics you have access to (such as engagement rates, impressions, and conversion rates), and some of your key pieces of content from those collaborations. Don’t stress if you have not worked with brands in the past! We know everyone has to start somewhere, and so this section may take some time to develop. In the meantime, convert this section into memorable pieces of content posted to your social account. Select pieces that best reflect your aesthetic and include the metrics from these posts so the brands can see how well your posts are performing organically.
  4. Rates and Services. Include a rate section that clearly outlines the services you offer and your pricing structure. Examples of services for Instagram can be: Carousel Posts, Static Posts, Reels, Video Stories, Static Stories (3 frames), and so much more! If you are unsure of what rates to charge, start a bit lower, and as you work on more brand collaborations adjust your rates accordingly. The more collaborations you work on, the easier it will be for you to price your services as you will have a better understanding of the time and effort it takes to create each piece of content.

Step 4: Reach out to brands OR join an influencer marketing platform

Once your online presence has been developed, it’s time to start reaching out to brands. Finding the right brands to work with will take a bit of research. Start identifying which brands align with your niche and audience. From there, look for their contact information or reach out to them directly through your primary social media channel. When sending them a message, ensure that it is engaging and is authentic to your personal voice. Emphasize how your partnership can benefit the brand, link your media kit, and express your enthusiasm for their products and services (pro tip: search through their catalogue of products and services and find one that speaks to you - express how this is something has been missing in your day to day and why).

Even better than reaching out to brands on your own, is using an influencer marketing platform like Embold. Through using Embold, you won’t have to worry about manually reaching out to brands as collaborations can come to YOU. By simply creating an Embold account, you will have access to exclusive brand collaborations that can’t be found anywhere else. Brands interested in your profile will reach out to you and invite you to participate in their campaigns.

Step 5: Negotiate terms and deliverables

If you are manually reaching out to brands, once they show interest in working with you, it is essential to negotiate terms and deliverables. This is important to do from the start of the partnership so that you are not left in the dark on what is expected from you. Ensure that you have a written contract outlining the expectations, payment terms, and timelines for deliverables. Make sure you discuss the type of content you are expected to create, and the style that they would like this content to be in.

Alternatively, if you sign up with an influencer marketing platform such as Embold, this is all handled on your behalf. This can take the stress out of having a back and forth with clients, and instead know up front everything you need to succeed. On Embold, you set your payment from the start and the contract terms are provided upfront. Everything is handled on your behalf so you do not have to worry about missing a crucial step.

Step 6: Create authentic content

Throughout your collaboration with the brand, maintain your authenticity. If your content does not appear to be authentic, your audience will pick up on this and your engagement is likely to drop. It is important that you do not take on collaboration opportunities you are not passionate about or that you don’t have a personal connection to. As an influencer, it is important for you to maintain your relationship with your audience, as well as have your efforts in a campaign reflect back positively to the brand. Never feel scared to tell a brand that you do not feel they are a right fit to your personal brand and values - what is most important is that you stay true to yourself.

Step 7: Measure and report

At the end of a collaboration opportunity, it is important to track and measure its success. You can monitor things like engagement, likes, comments, shares, and any changes in your follower count. If you were provided with a personalized tracking link, as the brand if they are able to share the brand’s sales and conversions as a direct result of your audience using your personalized link. This insight is not only valuable for you to understand what your audience responds well to, but is also a great metric to include in your media kit.

Step 8: Maintain relationships

By leaving a lasting positive impression on a brand, you are likely to guarantee yourself future collaboration opportunities with that brand, and potentially even a long-term brand ambassadorship. An easy way for you to show that you are someone the brand should work with again is through having open communication and meeting deadlines throughout the duration of the campaign. At the end of a campaign, show your appreciation for the opportunity and express your interest in being considered for future collaboration opportunities.

Step 9: Reflect on the campaign

At the end of a collaboration, reflect on what went well and what you can improve on for next time. You can even ask the brand to provide you with feedback on how the campaign went and how they felt about working with you. Use this feedback as a form of constructive criticism and work to create a positive change for future collaborations. It is also important for you to reflect on what you liked and didn’t like about working on that collaboration. This is important for you to understand whether you should seek out future opportunities like the one you just completed, or if you should shift your focus on other styles of brands.

Step 10: Rinse and repeat

As you gain experience and grow your influencer career, it is crucial to keep seeking out brand collaborations and refining your approach. In no time, you’ll be a pro!

Collaborating with brands as an influencer is an exciting journey, but it does take a lot of hard work and dedication. It requires authenticity and professionalism, but it shouldn’t feel daunting! As an influencer, using tools such as Embold can take the pressure off of you having to look for brand collaborations, by compiling a list of relevant campaigns you can apply to. Looking to open doors to exciting brand partnerships? Sign up with Embold today by clicking here https://app.embold.co/influencer/signUp!

Looking for a more in-depth guide? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Becoming an Influencer!

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