Booking Brand Deals + Sponsorships
Start Securing Your First Brand Deals + Sponsorships
To start securing your first brand deals and sponsorships, you need a track record to prove that your content and services are worth paying for.
I don’t recommend starting to secure brand deals until you have at least 5-10k engaged, targeted followers. It’s not great practice to start shoving sponsored posts in a growing audience’s face.
It doesn’t help build trust if all of your content is paid. Remember, you want your content to remain authentic.
I also do not recommend ever working with brands or companies that you yourself do not align with. If you would not use the product or service yourself, you have no business promoting it to your community.
We did at least 5 different projects for free with brands and products similar to the ones we envisioned working with before we ever booked our first paid gig. We ran free giveaways and told each product or company they’d get free exposure if they just provided something to give to our community.
It was a win-win-win situation. The brand got free exposure to our audience, we got something to give to our audience that also allowed them to share our content as an entry, and the audience won because it was fun, engaging and they got to win cool prizes.
Once you’ve created a few free content samples and you’re ready to approach brands for paid gigs for the first time, I highly recommend presenting a media kit that does the talking for you.
Also, keep your potential partner’s end goals in mind, not communicating around what you think would be cool for you. Brands want to work with influencers who get that they are busy and looking for impact.
Do not start your email communications like:
“Hi I am ___________. Here’s what I do and all of my XYZ qualifications, all of my goals, all of my talents, and all of the things that I want.”
Start (and keep) your communications about the brand, always:
“Hi there, I love what you’re doing with XYZ project and I have a great resource that will help support you in your goal of ___________. Our community of [list your platform size] people is currently full of [list your demographics here: i.e. men ages 30-40 in the U.S. and Canada], which is the same demographic you’re trying to reach. I think your product/service would really help our community, and I’d love to help support you in reaching them because I truly believe in your mission.”
It’s a totally different approach.
The first approach is of a “taker” attitude, the second one is of a “giver.”
Be the giver, lead with value, and share why they should work with you – usually this has to do with the audience you can reach and influence.
From there you’ll either get a “yes,” “no” or “maybe later.”
If it’s a yes, ask about their campaign goals and send them your media kit and/or a custom proposal. Negotiate your rates and write up a contract – I strongly recommend having a legal professional create a standard contract you can send to brands.
If it’s a no, you can ask why not. This can help you get valuable feedback about how you’re showing up to a company, which you can then use to adjust your approach.
If it’s a maybe later, FOLLOW UP!
Ask when might be a good time to circle back around, and then circle back around until it’s a yes.
NOTE: You can also join influencer networks to book gigs, but I’ve found more authentic and higher paying deals by finding the companies I truly wanted to work with and communicating with them directly.