Partnerships. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The ultimate way to monetize your influence, make real money, and have the opportunity to represent a brand that resonates with your own. Landing a brand partnership can strengthen your personal brand and launch your career as an influencer into it’s next phase.
But what do you need to make pitching possible? Before walking into that meeting or answering the phone call, it’s imperative that you have all of your ducks in a row. After all, you are your own personal brand and business! You’ve got to act like one too. This article will dive into all the things you’ll need to prepare before you work with brands.
7 THINGS TO DO BEFORE PITCHING TO WORK WITH BRANDS.
When pitching potential partnerships to brand clients, it’s very important to be prepared. Think of this as a job interview, if you don’t know how to answer every question they throw at you, or you don’t know about the latest product, you’re going to look like you don’t care all that much.
First things first, you need to research. This research comes in two parts- research of the brand itself, and research of their past projects with other influencers.
STEP ONE: Research The Brand. The number one question we receive when coaching our blogger students is always, “How to work with brands as a blogger.” We always like to start with researching the brand as step one.
Truthfully, partnerships are most valuable for all parties when you actually believe in the brand and use them independent of the possible partnership. If you authentically resonate with the brand voice, aesthetic, mission, and values, you’ll already be a step above the rest when it comes to your pitch.
Some things to consider when researching the brand is to find out:
- Company mission statement and values.
- Their key messages. These are the core messages they want their target audience to hear and remember.
- A rundown on all of the products or services they offer.
- The specific products or services that your audience would be interested in learning about or purchasing.
- Recent news about the brand, including any recent changes for the business.
- All of their social handles to get a good feel for their activity level, their community, their aesthetic and reach (and make sure you follow them too!)
- Their ideal customer- who they’re trying to speak to and who they haven’t reached yet.
Armed with this information, you can move forward with a better idea of where your audience overlaps with the brand’s and how you can provide value in the partnership. You can also start thinking about creative ways to integrate your content with theirs or introduce something they’ve never done before. It’s always great when chatting on the phone or in person to show that you’ve done your research – nothing like being prepared to impress a future client!
STEP TWO: Research Their Past Influencer Projects. This step is important for a few reasons. You want to know how to differentiate yourself from past projects, and understand the brand’s exposure to the world of influencer marketing. This one is a little trickier, because brands aren’t necessarily going to broadcast the fact that they’re using influencer marketing. You probably won’t find a list of past people they’ve partnered with, so you’ll have to do some sleuthing and put your detective hat on… which we know you won’t have a problem with that!
The first thing we recommend is to search ‘X brand influencer campaign’, or any other variation of this search, because many times third party sites will aggregate this information for you.
Depending on the size of the brand, it can be beneficial to look through their official Instagram tag. You can sift through what you find and see if any of the posts also include an #ad #sponsored or #partner hashtag. Sometimes influencers or partners they work with will be some of the first search results to pop up.
You’ll also want to look through the brand’s Instagram to see if they’ve reshared any influencer content. If you see they have, then BINGO, you can find an example of people they’ve worked with in the past and see the type of creators they tend to partner with.
Lastly, an option would be to go to your favorite influencers to see if they’ve recently posted about their partnerships. Searching for specific brand collaboration examples is a great way to know who’s doing what in the industry. It’s good to keep tabs on the partnerships of the big names in the influencer community. For instance, if you follow Lauren Bullen (Gypsea_lust), you’ll know that she has partnered with Beats by Dre, Tiffany & Co., and Chloé.
While she is considered a celebrity influencer, the same idea applies to micro influencers. If you see that someone with around the same following as you is currently posting and including clues in hashtags (#partner #ad) then you’ll know that the brand works with influencers with a smaller following. If you want to work with brands, you want to make sure you’re ahead of the curve by knowing all