The Influencer Marketing industry is constantly evolving which is good news for Influencer and Creators of all sizes. If you’re a creator on social media with a smaller following, and wondering how to work with brands as a micro influencer, then you’re in luck because we’re going to share some pro tips to help you achieve your goals.
At Sidewalker Daily, we love helping influencers and creators of all sizes and niches land paid brand deals and build their businesses. We also work with brands on their social media strategy and Influencer marketing campaigns so we have a unique perspective in the industry that we share with our clients through our private coaching, online courses and Inner Circle Creator Membership.
Brands used to be very concerned about follower count- the bigger the better- because they didn’t understand how influencer marketing really works in the way that they do now. With confidence and the right strategies, you can learn how to work with brands as a micro influencer and start pitching effectively right away!
Working With Brands As A Micro-Influencer
First things first, what is a micro-influencer? Micro-influencers are typically considered creators on social media with approximately 10,000-50,000 followers. Micro influencers are in a special position to work with brands because they have a strong connection with their loyal audience. Typically, micro influencers tend to be the most trusted and their audience truly loves to engage with the content that they create and hear their recommendations.
Micro influencers also often have the best ability to target local audiences, which can benefit a lot of brands. We work with many brands looking for Influencers who can help them reach audiences in specific locations. In those cases, it’s important for the brands to understand how to work with micro influencers who are in their targeted geographic locations versus influencers with large followings who have an audience of people all over the world.
More than ever, budgets are opening up for micro-influencers because of their strong and engaged audiences so you should feel confident that there is a space for you in this industry too! We have helped thousands of influencer and creators at all levels land paid brand deals so let’s go over some important strategies to help you understand how to work with brands as a micro influencer.
1) Find Brands To Work With By Starting Local
A creative and specific approach is the best way to pitch in business situations so of course this holds true for pitching in your Influencer business too! That’s why one of our number one tips for micro influencers who want to start working with brands is to focus their efforts on building a strong local and specific presence before they try to expand to a global audience. Let’s look at an example to show you what we mean.
Say we’re working with a brand client and the product they’re trying to promote has a very specific target client: Dallas moms. Would working with an Influencer based in New York- even if they have 100,000 followers- help us reach our goal? Probably not. This is because Dallas moms are unlikely to be within that Influencer’s main audience. Instead, turning to a micro-influencer with engaged moms from the Dallas area would be a much better approach to reach the brand’s goal. This is why a great way to get a brand’s attention as a micro influencer in your Media Kit is to really highlight your audience’s location, especially if you know the brand is looking to target people in that area.
If you focus on growing your local market and audience, it will be much easier to convince brands who have a specific area of focus that you are the right Influencer for their campaign. Use your large local following as leverage when you pitch to the brand. Let them know that you have an engaged local following and the potential to drive a lot of traffic to their store, website, or help them reach whatever their goal may be.
Also start pitching to local brands in your current town. While your dream may be to work with big national or global brands, there are companies and brands nearby that most likely need your help promoting their product or service online. Once you work with local brands you can use that as a case study and leverage it for future work with bigger brands. Trust us, there’s money to be made right in your hometown so don’t feel like you have to pitch to global brands to land paid deals.
2) Understand How To Position Yourself As A Small Influencer
As an Influencer with a smaller following, it’s helpful to understand the different roles you can serve in this space and how to approach brands as a micro-influencer. Take a second to think about what brands need and what you can offer so you can pitch in a way that the brand will understand the value of working with YOU over someone else.
For example, imagine that a brand has a goal of working with Influencers to increase awareness of their brand. You, as a micro-influencer, might not be the best fit for this specific partnership because brand awareness campaigns usually work best with Influencers that have larger followings and the ability to get lots of eyes on the brand. While that campaign might not be the perfect fit for you, there are other ways to position yourself that can show your value to a brand and convince them to work with you.
One of our tips for Influencers starting out is to consider positioning yourself as a content Creator – basically as someone who can produce content for the brand’s channel instead of your own. You’re already so experienced in this area and know how to create amazing content that does well on social media. Brands always need content to showcase their products and services online so this is a great opportunity to work with brands in that capacity.
So the content you would pitch to create would be for their accounts, not your own and honestly your followers never have to know if you don’t want them to! These are still paid campaigns, so positioning yourself as a content Creator could still get you work. When we’re coaching a Creator to figure out how to work with brands as a micro influencer, we find a lot of success for them with content creation opportunities. In our course, Pitching To Brands Mastercourse, we dive deep into positioning yourself to work with brands and also cover our signature strategies to pitch to brands to land paid brand deals.
If you are positioning yourself as a content Creator, having a well thought out portfolio is extremely important to show brands the type of content you can create and get them excited about working with you!
In the Pitching To Brands Mastercourse, we also cover how to create a media kit, case study, proposal, and portfolio (and show real examples from other influencers and creators) because these pitching materials are crucial to your success, no matter how many followers you have.
3) Be Strategic In Your Research
If you look close enough, there are leads all around you! Be strategic in your research and take notice of other micro influencers in your niche. What brands are they tagging? Are they disclosing any paid partnerships with companies? These are all signs that these brands they are working with and promoting are open to doing paid partnerships with other Influencers like you. If you see brands working with micro influencers in any paid capacity, take note!
Of course, we can’t say for sure that those brands will end up being the perfect fit for you, but if the brand is already working with micro-influencers, it probably means that the brand has tested that strategy, it works, and they are looking to work with more micro influencers!
The brand might even have an entire campaign set up to work with micro-influencers like you. If they’ve never heard of you, they wouldn’t even know to reach out to you for the campaign, which is why it’s important for you to actively pitch to brands if you want to land deals!
It’s also important to keep in mind that not all brands have the same goals when working with Influencers. This means that they strategically pick and choose who to work with based on what they are looking to achieve. So while some partnerships might be best for Influencers with 200,000 plus followers, there are brands that want to work with you, too.
If you’re researching brands and see they are already working with Influencers, especially Influencers at your size, then it will make the pitch (and your chances) that much easier. Be strategic because your goal is to work with brands to build your media kit and portfolio so you can work with your dream brands sooner than later.
4) Don’t Stress About Compensation
Early on when you begin thinking about how to reach out to brands as an Influencer, it’s really easy to get caught up about the rate that you will charge. People usually have questions like “What is my post worth?” or “What am I going to do if they ask for my rates?” If you’re a micro influencer and you’re stressed about your rate, we’re here to make sure you remember that you shouldn’t compare yourself to what other people are making.
If you think about your Influencer career in the same way you would any other job in the corporate world, just starting out means that you’re in an entry level position. You would have a very different salary just starting out than you would once you were more experienced. If you don’t have a lot of experience under your belt, what you need to do is gain that experience and get testimonials. Once you do work that can then be added to your media kit and into your pitches, you will have leverage to charge more in the future!
If you shift your mindset and focus on growing your experience, you’re going to be in a way better headspace when negotiating with brands and presenting your rates. We know it’s important to get compensated for your hard work, so we’re not saying to work for free. It’s more about putting it into perspective so you can have realistic expectations in terms of rates and compensation, especially when you’re just starting out.
If you’re not sure what to charge brands for a paid partnership or collab, our Pitching to Brands Mastercourse has an entire section dedicated to coming up with your rates. It takes into account our signature Fundamental Rate Factors, your experience, and the way we’ve seen brands calculate the rates they are willing to pay Influencers. If you’re still struggling with figuring out how to even start the pitching process, our brand pitch email examples and other tips in this course will definitely help.
Working With Brands As An Influencer
Your value as a micro influencer is not something that should be underestimated! We hope you understand that now and are feeling inspired to start working on your media kit and portfolio so you can start pitching to brands. Learning how to reach out to brands as an Influencer is all about understanding your strengths and learning how to communicate them to brands. Showing brands your strengths in the best possible way not only shows them why they should work with you, but makes them want to work with you! We know you can work with brands and land deals – it’s just really about coming up with a strategy and plan of action so you can make moves.
So let’s recap our best tips for figuring out how to work with brands as a micro influencer:
1. Start local: There’s money to be made right in your hometown! A smaller following of a dedicated local audience can prove more powerful to certain brands than a large geographically diverse following.
2. Understand how to position yourself: Not all Influencers are meant to do the same thing which is what is amazing about this industry! As a micro influencer, start by positioning yourself as a Content Creator when you pitch to brands and go from there!
3. Do strategic research: There are leads everywhere for you to follow. Do research on social media to figure out what brands are already working with other micro influencers. These are the brands that might want to work with you too!
4. Don’t stress about compensation: We know it’s important to get paid, but building your experience when you’re just starting out is important too. Don’t get too caught up in the details at first, start making progress by building your portfolio and getting experience so you can leverage that into future opportunities.
You don’t need to have 10,000 followers to start working with brands. As a micro-influencer, you just have to know how to position yourself to land the deal. Sometimes all it takes to finally get the ball rolling on working with brands is talking through your ideas with a professional. If you need help on your strategy, you can book a private one on one coaching session with one of our expert Influencer coaches who can help you develop a game plan specific to your strengths as an influencer or creator! We can help you every step of figuring out how to work with brands as a micro influencer and are excited for you to start landing paid brand deals!
If you found this article helpful, we’d love to hear your thoughts below!