Attitudes toward content creation as a career have shifted dramatically over the last few years. People see the massive success stories of the top creators and are inspired to start their own side hustles. Yet the reality is, earnings are heavily weighted toward the superstar creators, while the rest struggle.
If you’ve been able to build a small but loyal following, you may not be earning enough from platform income to justify all the hard work you have put into your brand. Your options might be limited because you don’t have the resources to create your own products.
Luckily, finding a brand sponsor for your content is far more accessible than you might realize, and you don’t even need a massive following. Micro influencers with 1,000 to 10,000 followers today are earning an average of $1420 per month, which gives you the rewards you deserve for building your community.
If you’re looking to attract partners for branded collaborations, here are four tips to help you get started.
Keep a Laser Focus
Many creators try to create content as often as they can to grow their audience in a short amount of time but this might lead them becoming less focused on a particular niche. However, this can work against you if brands can’t easily work out what you stand for and who your audience is. A well-niched creator with a highly-engaged tribe is often more valuable than a generalist with a higher follower count.
You must remember that sponsors have millions of accounts which they could collaborate with, so you need to make a strong impression quickly. You should aim for consistency in both your style and the topics you cover, so they can easily see whether you’re a fit for their brand or not.
For example, Kerri Verna (also known as BeachYogaGirl) posts only about Yoga on Instagram, and almost every post is sponsored. It logically follows that she has lucrative brand deals with companies in this space. These companies believe that Kerri’s followers will consider her an expert in yoga related products and therefore be highly likely to follow her recommendations. If Kerri only occasionally posted about yoga, the business case for the companies wouldn’t be as strong.
Put Yourself Out There
Even with the best designed page, it might be difficult for brands to discover you because of the sheer number of accounts on each platform and this is especially true if you have only a modest following.
You might do well to open a listing on the Popular Pays platform, which is designed specifically to match creators and brands for potential collaborations. By creating an account here, you make it easier for brands to find you, and there, you greatly increase the odds you will be contacted. Brands can search for creators based on a wide variety of criteria to find exactly who they want.
You can wait for brands to contact you, or you can speed up the process by actively searching on the platform for businesses you’d like to promote. What’s great is that all the communication can be handled in the app, and you can see the reputations of the brands before signing any contracts.
Create a Media Kit
If a brand comes across your profile organically and is interested in working with you, you want to make sure they have to do as little research as possible before formally reaching out to you.
On the most basic level, this means putting contact information in your bio and being clear that you’re open to collaborations. The link in your bio should have a place where brands can download your media kit, making it easy to find. This should contain all the key information they need, such as your follower count, engagement rates, and total views. You should also list out your rates for the different services you can provide.
It’s ok if you don’t know where to start with a media kit, as Canva has simple templates that you can use even if you’re not an expert graphic artist. All you need to do is update the colors to fit your brand and add the details specific to you.
Avoid Toxic Topics
In today’s reputation-conscious world, brands are hyper-conscious about who they associate with, as they can lose customers rapidly if they take a wrong turn. Influencers will often share their political opinions because it can lead to high engagement, but this practice may also make you less attractive to potential collaborators.
For instance, Sephora canceled their deal with Amanda Ensing because of her support of the Capitol Hill riots. There are countless examples of other cases where brands have cut ties with their ambassadors to prevent being dragged into the controversy. For most creators, it’s safer to avoid publicly declaring opinions on topics which are especially sensitive.
If you can keep to the topics where you are an expert, your influence will be stronger in that area, and brands won’t have any concerns about the risks to their “brand safety.”
No matter how large or small your following is, you have the potential to make money through your content when you work with brands. This can be a lucrative way to continue doing something you love and not need to worry about the financial side.
Here are four tips to help you attract brands:
- Keep a laser focus – Make it easy for brands to understand what your audience expects from you.
- Put yourself out there – Promote your profiles to brands on platforms where they seek out collaborators.
- Create a media kit – Publish a downloadable pdf with all the key details a brand needs to know before working with you.
- Avoid toxic topics – Ensure that you pose no risks to companies’ brand safety.