Sponsorships are a huge source of growth for creators. Yet, most of them are never shown how to secure brand collaborations.
Brands can be creators’ best friends: they want to get their company’s products and message out to an audience, and creators have content-led platforms to provide that service.
Maintaining good relationships with brands you know, like, and trust is critical if you want to work with them long-term, especially in the age of the creator economy (one of our student’s favourite topics to learn about).
It can be tricky to know how to approach brands. In fact, creators often under or over-sell themselves, or worse, compromise their standards instead of creating the best content for their audiences.
When asked about starting to collaborate with brands, there are a few things to remember. Most of these practices can be invaluable for both brands and creators.
I know it sounds obvious, but it’s not. In fact, your platforms are your very personal CV to approach them. Make it about how you want to collaborate and help each other instead of one party getting all of the benefits.
Especially when starting, you may receive a lot of rejections. However, if a brand doesn’t want to work with you, don’t take it personally.
If they say that there are no opportunities, simply note it down and approach them again after 6-12 months once your platforms have grown and developed.
When working with a brand, remember your audience wants to hear your opinion. The moment you lose your unique voice, your audience will leave your profiles and content quicker.
Only one person knows what’s best for your content – you. If a company asks if you’d like to work on a campaign, think about how to shape the idea around what would be most appealing to your audience. Agencies and PRs will most likely be impressed if you give them creative ideas for content.
A big no-no is to copy/paste information from a press release. Use it as a tool to get all the essential information down, but remember to give it your own flair, which your audience knows and loves.
Show you have an active audience
If you are not interested in creating a media kit, make sure to include relevant case studies and core achievements in your email. An email template is ideal, and after a short introduction, it should contain critical information like your stats, social metrics, who your prime audience is, and the ethos of your content.
If you don’t have a huge following, don’t worry. Engagement is valued much more than followers. A handful of hardcore committed followers is better than thousands who completely ignore you.
Demonstrate knowledge of the brand
If you’re a fan of their products and have used them before, say so. You will be much more appealing to the brand if they feel that your content has a good alignment with their customer demographic.
Show that you’ve already thought about how you might work together. Whether it’s creating written content, live shopping or an event partnership.
Brands are always looking for different ways to get their products and services. If you approach a brand with a few well-crafted content ideas, you will stand out from the crowd, and the brand will appreciate your time and effort.
Brand collaborations etiquette
Brands want to cultivate honest reviews and work with people who are genuinely interested in them and help to spread their message. If you approach them first off with a long list of stuff you want, you will likely get turned down.
Instead, ask what opportunities they have for creators and be open to their suggestions of how you might work together.
Remember to be patient as well. These people are more than likely to be working in a time-pressured environment and communicating with several creators at once, so they won’t appreciate five emails in one hour.
If you treat your brand as a business, sponsors value that professional relationships and friendships may develop over time.
If a company offers you products to review, feel free to accept but make it clear to them that you will only feature them if it fits the ethos of your brand.
This may mean that the offer is retracted, but it’s essential to stay true to your audience and yourself. What you turn down can often be just as important as what you accept.
If you are too busy to stick to your agreements or have circumstances which mean you can’t do what you originally suggested, be upfront with the brand, who will appreciate the honesty.
Always offer alternative solutions and compromises to support the brand.
What about saying no?
It’s so important to know when to say no. In fact, you don’t have to say yes to everything.
Ask yourself: do I believe in this product? Do the brand’s ethics and philosophy match mine? Will, my followers like them?
Only if the answer to these questions is yes should you proceed.
If there’s any doubt in your mind, wait a day or two, and if you’re still unsure, the safest option is to say no. You are too valuable, and there is too much at stake.
In conclusion, the best way to secure brand collaborations is to start by identifying the brands that align with your values and objectives. Once you’ve identified these brands, reach out and introduce yourself.
- First, research the brands you want to work with and make sure your content aligns with their values.
- Next, reach out to the brands and let them know why you would be a great fit for a collaboration.
- Finally, be patient and don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back right away.
It can be difficult to know how to secure brand collaborations. However, with consistency and persistence, you can increase your chances of working with the brands you love.
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