As an influencer, working with a brand can be an exciting and profitable opportunity. Not only does it give you the chance to earn some extra money, you get to represent a brand and reach a wider audience. When looking for a brand to collaborate with, there are a few things to look for.
1. Be You
Firstly, your followers follow you. You’re the reason that they’re there, not the brand. It’s important not to let the brand change that or anything that you stand for. “The key is to be authentic, represent a brand you want to represent, be honest in your reviews and make sure that your values are not in contrast to the brand,” adds Willie Quinn, content marketing specialist at State Of Writing and Assignment Service. If you can check all of these boxes, you will have found yourself a great brand to collaborate with.
2. Picking the Right Type of Collaboration
Before reaching out to a brand, you should have an idea of what type of collaboration would work best for you. There are a variety of different collaborations, and each comes with its own pros and cons:
a. Full-channel Sponsorships – these are the most common types of collaboration that you have probably seen. These allow you to maintain your narrative voice and aren’t too intrusive for the audience. Usually, it involves a few mentions, perhaps some branding on your website and some key points that the brand wants you to convey. You, as an influencer, become a representative of that brand and there are likely rules which apply. For example, no bad language, no sensitive topics, you have to use their brand and not advocate competitors.
b. Gifting Items – Some brands prefer a more direct and targeted method. This can involve competitions or giveaways where they provide you with the prizes. These can be great for a quick boost in viewer numbers, growing your audience and making them happy.
c. Sponsored posts/videos – While these can be a good way to make a bit of extra profit, they can be viewed negatively by an audience. This can happen if you are doing a sponsored review of a brand/product, as it is sponsored it is seen as ingenuine and could harm your relationship with your audience. To avoid this happening, make sure that you can maintain your narrative voice and create sponsored posts without compromising your integrity.
“There is a multitude of different options and ways in which you can collaborate with a brand, not limited to those mentioned above. It is vital that you do your research beforehand to make sure you find the one best suited to you,” says David Cash, blogger and contributor to Academized and Big Assignments.
3. Choosing The Right Brand
Now that you’ve done your research on the different types of collaboration, it’s time to find the right brand. There are a few things you’ll need to consider when looking at brands. First, make sure that it’s something relevant to you and your audience. There’s very little point being sponsored by a women’s clothing brand if the majority of your audience is male. Next, research the brands, make sure that they stick to the same beliefs that are associated with your channel. It’s not going to look good if you are a vegan influencer who is sponsored by a meat burger company. Lastly, make sure that you can honestly support and represent the brand without drastically changing. Once you have chosen the right brand(s) for you, it’s time to reach out.
4. Stay Professional
As an influencer, you are the business, and it should be treated as such, at least where speaking to brands is concerned. In order to get their attention, you will need to be professional, and approach them with a business mindset. When approaching a brand, make sure that you have all of the information about your channel that they will likely ask about. That includes your key demographic and audience metrics, how you can help their brand, and why you would be a good representative for them. When you collaborate with a brand, you become a representative for that brand, and so they will want somebody who is going to make them look good as well as be a good fit for their business model.
5. Building Lasting Relationships
If you are enjoying working with a particular brand, make sure that you keep in touch with them. During the collaboration, keep the brand up to date on any key events or stats, provide them with feedback and ask them questions. This will help the brand to realise that you are just as invested in the relationship as they are. Once the collaboration is complete, reach o1.ut to them to thank them for the opportunity. Don’t be afraid to be to the point, ask if they would be interested in collaborating again and provide them with any new ideas you may have for the collaboration.
Likewise, if a brand reaches out to you that you don’t want to work with, for whatever reason, don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes it is better to turn down an opportunity than it is to compromise your channel by supporting something you don’t believe in.