9 Tips To Land An Instagram Sponsorship For Small Accounts
Most Influencers and Creators on Instagram have a goal to work with brands and land paid brand deals. So many of our influencer clients ask if it’s possible to land an instagram sponsorship for small accounts and our answer is absolutely, yes!
Here at Sidewalker Daily, we work with influencers and creators on developing their business strategy, working with brands and helping them earn an income from doing what they love. We also work with brands and companies in developing their influencer marketing campaigns and social media strategy so we can share the brand perspective as well when it comes to landing an Instagram sponsorship for small accounts.
Getting paid brand deals isn’t always about having a ton of followers, it’s about having a strategy. In fact, we’ve personally helped influencers and creators with less than 1,000 followers secure Instagram Sponsorships and paid brand deals so we’re confident you can do it too! While working with brands is just one piece of the influencer puzzle, it is a great way to make money and grow your brand on Instagram so we’re sharing 9 pro tips to help you land an Instagram sponsorship for small accounts.
9 Pro Tips To Land Instagram Sponsorships
If you’re an Influencer or Creator and can’t lean on your numbers ( just yet) when pitching to brands, you need to get creative! It’s not about who has the most followers, it’s about how you can communicate your value to the brand in order to secure a product sponsorship or brand collab. Most creators want to jump in on the Instagram sponsorship price convo right away when they first talk to a brand, but the goal should be to open up a conversation instead where you can position yourself in a way where they see your value beyond just the number of followers you have on Instagram.
So let’s go over some key tips to help you figure out how to get a sponsorship for Instagram with your small account.
1) Create A Mock Campaign For A Brand
Instead of pitching an Influencer campaign, create content for a brand’s page or sample videos they would be interested in and then pitch the idea to them. While they may not have an Influencer budget at the moment, they may have a budget for production which means they need someone to create content for their social media and marketing initiatives.
Showing a brand examples of content they would be interested in is a great way to start a conversation and get them excited about working with you. It’s a way to get your foot in the door and get their attention so you can open up the conversation. Once you start exploring a potential partnership, what you originally pitched or presented may change in scope but the important thing is that they are giving you the opportunity not based on your numbers, but based on your content.
Get creative with photoshoots, video, Instagram Reels and then post on your own social media account and even tag the brand if it’s appropriate. All of the sample content you create can go into your portfolio too, even if the brand ends up not being able to work with you for the time being. Creating pitching assets or mock campaigns for a brand is a great strategy when it comes to how to land an instagram sponsorship for small accounts.
2) Test Your Influence
One of the important lessons you’ll learn as an influencer is the Theory of 1,000 Fans. This theory is based on the fact that people often focus on quantity vs quality and that can be discouraging. We need to change our mindset. This is especially important for getting an Instagram sponsorship for small accounts.
When applying the theory of 1000 fans to Instagram followers, think about how much more valuable it is to have 1000 people online that actually do what you say when you ask them to, instead of 10,000 that don’t take action. This is breaking down what it really means to be an influencer and influential on social media versus focusing on the number of followers that appear on your Instagram account.
Let’s say two influencers are working with a brand and the brand’s goal for the partnership is email signups. Influencer A tells their 10,000 followers about the brand’s offer and encourages them to sign up to the email list. 2 people sign up. 2 people out of 10,000 is not the best result.
On the other hand, Influencer B has 2,500 followers and does the same thing – promotes the offer and encourages their followers to sign up to the brand’s email list. 100 people sign up. 100 out of 2,500 is a much better result than Influencer A had.
If the brand’s goal is email sign ups, it didn’t matter how many followers the influencer had – what mattered is the relationship with their follower and their true influence.
As the influencer industry is evolving, brands are understanding this more and more that big followings don’t always push the needle and mean results. Brands would rather do an Instagram sponsorship for small accounts who have high Instagram engagement and reach, not just any account with a high follower count. At the end of the day, we don’t even know how many of those followers are fake.
This is why you should constantly be testing your influence to see how much pull you really have with your audience. Knowing this can be really helpful with pitching to brands and negotiating brand deals.
Simple ways to test your influence are hosting a giveaway and seeing how many people enter, posting on stories and adding a link to see how many people clicked through etc. Get creative – the point is to track your metrics and work towards creating a case study to show the brand how highly engaged your audience is with you and your content to use in your pitching to brands.
3) Get To Know Your Audience
Most brands have a target audience or customer that they know is most likely going to want their product or service. This is why getting to know your audience is so important because you can show the brands that you have the right audience for them! To do this, you must spend time engaging with your audience, asking questions, responding to DMs and actually being active with your online relationships. Ask open-ended questions in your posts so people will comment. In our Instagram Engagement Accelerator course we have over 400 prompts to help you get to know your audience and improve your Instagram engagement.
One strategy brands and Influencers are using is the Instagram Stories question sticker, which lets you write a question and prompts your followers to write a response. Ask one question or a series of questions to engage your audience and find out information about them. For example, where they’re from, why they’re following you, and their age or interests. You can also ask them what content they would like to see from you and for other feedback. Now you have engagement and the information you need to know so you can present it to brands.
Also, keep track of your Instagram analytics which breakdown your audience demographics. Knowing the ins and outs of your followers, audience and community on social media can be a big advantage for you if you’re looking for how to find brands to work with on Instagram. Then you can target brands and companies who are looking for the type of audience you have to help put you at an advantage over influencers who may have more followers than you on Instagram, but do not know their audience.
4) Figure Out How To Pitch Yourself
If you’re an Influencer or Creator on Instagram with a small account, chances are brands aren’t reaching out to you yet for paid partnerships. But Instagram sponsorships for small accounts usually happen once you learn how to pitch to brands and start reaching out to them! You do not need to wait for a brand to approach you and if you do, you will be loosing out on paid opportunities that you can be pitching yourself!
In our Pitching To Brands Mastercourse, we teach you everything you need to know about pitching to brands and landing paid brand deals. If you want to learn how to get sponsored on Instagram with 1000 followers, you will learn it in the Pitching To Brands Mastercourse. Influencers and Creators have used our methods to land 4 figure and 5 figure brand deals by implementing the signature strategies and methods we teach.
We have helped thousands of Influencers land brand deals from those with a small following to celebrity influencers and in almost every niche you can imagine. From nurse influencers, to plant influencers, to travel influencers to beauty influencers landing a makeup sponsorship Instagram, we’ve seen it all and have tons of success stories. That is why we are confident that if you figure out how to pitch yourself the right way, you can be landing paid brand deals too, regardless of the amount of followers you have on Instagram.
5) Be Specific In Your Ask
When you approach a brand to collaborate on Instagram, you should already have an idea of what kind of collaboration you’d like to do. Don’t just tell them you’d like to collaborate, then ask them to come up with an idea. Approach brands with an idea in mind that will spark their interest. You should already know their target audience, values, key messages, and what customers like about their product or service. Let them know how your idea fits in with their company. Use specific ideas and avoid vague terms. Figure out what goals the brand has, like whether they want more brand awareness or advertising for a certain product. Show how a collaboration with you can help them achieve their specific goals and focus on the vision.
6) Get Super Niche
While it may sound counterintuitive, niching down and really getting clear on your niche can help you get more brand sponsorships in the long run, especially if you’re just starting out with a small following. This works because there are many Influencers and Creators out there, and their audiences may be more diverse with different interests. If you really define your niche and start creating content with intention, you will start to get more engagement and grow a specific type of following. This relates to what we talked about earlier and really knowing your audience.
Many brands are focusing less on working with influencers with big numbers who have an audience that doesn’t make sense for their product or service and shifting influencer marketing dollars to work with creators who have a specific niche audience. When you are super niche, you have a more defined audience which is attractive to brands trying to target certain types of people on social media.
7) Leverage Other Platforms
Don’t just focus on Instagram. If you have accounts on other platforms that have an engaged following such as Twitter, Facebook groups, email lists, YouTube, and TikTok, let brands know that as well. Branch out and include other platforms in your Media Kit that you know the brand you are pitching to will be interested in to increase your chances of landing the brand partnership. This will not only help you present a larger reach on social media. but it may help you increase the brand partnership rate if you will be creating content on both Instagram and another platform.
8) Engage With Local Brands To Get Instagram Sponsorship For Small Accounts
Whenever someone asks us how to find brands to work with on Instagram, one of the first tips we give is to start locally. It’s a great way to start building your brand partnership portfolio and getting first hand experience working with brands. The tendency is to always want to start with you dream brand, but that will likely take time so our suggestion is to start local.
You can pitch to local brands via email or even drop in and pitch to them in person. No matter how small your town is, there is a store or business that is run by a local entrepreneur who likely needs help marketing their products or services on social media. When you start small and build credibility and references in this way, you can use that content to help yourself grow to a larger scale. You will then have content and testimonials for your media kit and pitching materials to land even bigger deals!
9) Treat Yourself Like A Brand
This is one of our favorite Instagram sponsorship for small accounts tips. Brands want to work with people who are trustworthy and professional. Just like how you also want to work with brands who are ethical and will pay you on time. You need to shift your mindset because you are more than just an Influencer or Creator – you are a business and entrepreneur.
Be professional in how you present yourself, your brand, and your Instagram pages. Influencers who come from a corporate background often understand how to organize and prepare data, and they also tend to know what brands and companies look for. If you come from a professional background, use that knowledge to stand out from the competition. Creative-type Influencers and Creators sometimes have a reputation for being unreliable, so if you can show what value you bring and that you are professional, then you’ll be a step ahead.
Securing Instagram Sponsorship For Small Accounts
A common misconception is that in order for brands to want to work with you, you have to have thousands and thousands of followers. However, brands want to work with Creators who have followers that are engaged, even if the numbers are smaller.
To recap our Instagram sponsorship for small accounts tips:
1. Create mockup campaigns to show brands your skills and build out your portfolio.
2. Test your influence by keeping track of how often people engage with your content. Even if it’s not for a collaboration, you can see how often people click your links or ask you questions and use this data in a case study.
3. Get to know your audience so you can explain to brands exactly who is interested in your content. Instagram Stories polls are a great idea!
4. Be specific when you pitch. Don’t just ask a brand to collaborate, wow them with an idea that you have and make the ask specific.
5. Niche down your audience to show brands in a specific category that they should work with you. Brands want to work with Influencers who can target their specific audience- so show them that you can.
6. Use other platforms besides Instagram to increase the number of followers who are seeing your stuff, and show brands that your value is beyond just one platform.
7. Treat yourself like a brand to show that you are professional and reliable. At the end of the day, you are a business and you want to reflect that.
8. Start locally by engaging authentically with local brands. Local brands might be interested if your audience is in that area, and you will build references and content for your portfolio and media kit.
9. Learn how to pitch yourself. You can’t just wait for brands to come to you. Don’t miss out on opportunities by waiting until you have a certain follower count on Instagram. Our Pitching To Brands Mastercourse will teach you everything you need to know about landing paid brand deals.
With these 9 tips to get sponsorships and collaborations with brands on Instagram with your small account, you can start preparing to secure your first deal. But if you’re still feeling like you need some help figuring out where to start and coming up with a gameplan, you can book a private coaching session with one of our influencer experts here.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to land an Instagram Sponsorship for small accounts and we would love to know what you thought about these tips in the comments below!