If you’ve ever asked yourself the following questions, then this is the post for you! Have you ever wondered how to become a fashion influencer? If you already have a following, maybe you’re wondering how to reach out to brands as an influencer. In this post I’m going to give my answers to these questions and more!
I’ve been monetizing my blog (and influence) for about a year and a half now. I didn’t intend to make money with it at first, but soon realized that it was feasible for me and my blog! I’m going to share everything I’ve learned about pitching brands as an influencer and give away all my tips and tricks!
There are no 100% foolproof ways on how to be a fashion influencer, but if you’re looking to find and secure influencer collaborations hopefully this post helps. At the end of this post I’m also going to share content from a few of my past campaigns so you’re able to see how those came to fruition!
How to Reach out to Brands as an Influencer and Secure Partnerships
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1. Make Sure to Have an Engaged Social Media Audience
Now with my first tip, notice how I didn’t say that you need a LARGE audience! I said make sure to have an ENGAGED audience. One of the first instagram influencer tips is to know that it doesn’t matter how many followers you have as long as the ones you do like what you have to say!
This is also something that brands look for. A lot of brand contracts I’ve worked on have even stated that you MUST engage in the comment section of your post for them. They want to work with influencers who are real and interact naturally with their followers! This is something anyone can do whether they have 100 or 100,000 followers.
I feel like a lot of newer influencers wonder how they can grow an organic social media following. I actually have a post that will tell you how I grew my Instagram following to 10,000 in a little less than a year! You can read that post (here). It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but the results will be worth it!
2. Create a Blogger Media Kit
No you might be asking, what is a blogger media kit (or just a media kit in general)? A media kit is just a PDF that recaps what your brand is about and all of your social media stats! It’s really important to have one because 1) most brands ask for them and 2) if you’re pitching a brand, it’s almost like a resume for your social media platforms!
At first I had no idea where to even start when it came to creating one myself, but so many people sell digital media kit templates on Etsy! All you have to do is purchase one and then the instructions the seller gives will prompt you to open it in Canva (almost like a free Photoshop)! You can shop the one I use (here) and shop some of my favs below:
Want an example of a media kit? Here is a link to a YouTube video where you can watch (and learn) how to build one! If you’re new to this and are wondering what to put in a media kit, I’m going to list some things to include that’ll help you out:
- A Short Bio – This will be just a little recap about you/your blog! I talk about how I got started and why, then I discuss the main focus areas of my platform too (i.e. Fashion, Lifestyle, and Travel).
- Social Media Stats – Now I’m not saying you need to have a profile on every social media platform. That being said, I would suggest having at least your Instagram and Facebook stats! I don’t have many Facebook followers, so I also have my Pinterest and Twitter followers listed too.
- Blog Stats – If you have a blog, it’s always a GREAT idea to list two main things on your Media Kit. Be sure to list your monthly pageviews and you monthly unique visitors! You can find out all of this information through Google Analytics.
- Demographics – I have a little area on my media kit with demographics of my Instagram page! Demographics are just the data about your followers. I have the largest age range, the amount of followers that are women, and my engagement rate!
- Partnership Ideas – In this area, I just list what type of content I’m willing to create for each brand! I usually add Instagram Posts, Instagram Stories, Blog Posts, IGTV Videos, etc. Whatever you’re wiling to do, be sure to add that to your media kit.
- Previous Partnerships – For this section, I just have the logos of about 10 companies I’ve previously worked with! Try not to add competitive brands of whomever you’re pitching, but other than that list away!
3. Where to Find Brand Contacts
If you’re wondering how to partner with brands on Instagram or just how to collaborate with brands in general, there are a few places to look for contacts! The easiest way to reach out to brands is by messaging them on Instagram. I wasn’t sure if that would be a good idea at first, but it’s a great way to introduce yourself to the brand!
Another great way to reach out to brands is through an influencer marketing platform! They are kind of the middle man between influencers and brands. I use around 6 of them consistently and I actually have a blog post where I share The Top 10 Ten Places for Influencers to Find Campaign Opportunities that you can read (here).
The third place to find brand contacts is a little bit harder to discover, but still works all the same! LinkedIn is not only a great place to connect professionally, it’s also a great place to find social media or influencer reps for the company you want to work with! Finding their email on here is totally possible and can help you start your connection with the company you love.
4. Show the Brand How you can Help Them
The best tip I have for pitching brands is by showing them what you can provide! When it comes to pitching a collaboration (whether paid or gifted product), it’s best to share some ideas of what you’re looking to post about. For instagram collaborations, I always try to frame what my photo and story ideas are!
For blog collaboration ideas, I usually share an overall theme I’m trying to achieve throughout the post. It’s also a great idea to give a few insights into the photos you’re thinking of styling/shooting too! I’ll usually share what idea I have and why that relates to what the company would be looking for.
If you’re pitching a company through a platform, it’s honestly a lot easier in my opinion! You’re able to see exactly what the brand wants, the timeline, and the total assets they require. My tip here is to provide links to previous content that is similar to what they’re looking for! That way they can see you already have the ability to create the type of content they’re looking for.
5. What to Do After the Collaboration
What you do after a collaboration is just as important as securing a partnership. The best way to have a continued relationship with a brand is by literally treating them like a friend! The number one thing I try to do is after 24 hours I ALWAYS send over my post and story insights. Most brands ask for this, but I try to send them over regardless!
It may seem tedious, but I usually send a Google Drive link to my rep because it sometimes ends up being a lot of screenshots. The first thing I do is I screenshot all of my story slides and then the insights too! I then name them something like “ig-story-slide-1” so they’ll show up in order on the drive.
It’s also nice to do something a little out of the ordinary! Last year I sent all the brands I worked with the most (and/or on really robust campaigns with) last year cards for the holidays! It’s just a nice way to show that you appreciate them choosing you to work with and that you’d love to do so again.
You obviously don’t HAVE to do this, but I love sending cards to people! An easier way to do so is to just follow up and check in! I could be a lot better about this personally, but I rarely have spare time so when I do I mostly use it for creating content. Just send a follow up email asking how they’ve been and really just check up on them!
My Favorite Course For Pitching Brands
One last tip for this post is that I decided last year that it would be a good idea to finally INVEST in my brand and blogging. Now, I am a very frugal person who doesn’t like spending a lot of money on anything, but with this course I made back what I spent in LESS THAN A MONTH.
Erica’s course BossPitch from Coming up Roses is the best investment I have ever made! It tells you step by step how to find brands, places where you can look to do so, and then she even gives you MULTIPLE pitching templates so all you have to do is plug in your own stats and information.
I took the course in October of 2019 and in Q4 of that same year I worked on over $10,000 worth of campaigns. It helped me pitch better on platforms (read more about which platforms I use here) as well as when pitching brands directly! If you want to turn blogging/influencing in a career, I highly recommend signing up for this course.
Brand Collaboration Examples
When you’re first deciding if you want to monetize your blog or social media accounts, getting blogger collaborations can seem daunting! By using the tips in this post, you’ll be all set to start reaching out to brands. These were all my tips on how to pitch brands as an influencer and if you’re a blogger yourself feel free to leave any below!
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Photos by Hannah Lozano