Just a disclaimer, this is where “influencing” gets tough. A lot of people paint influencers as greedy and just looking for free stuff, and though there’s definitely a justification for this belief, being an influencer can and should be looked at as a legitimate marketing business. As long as you’re providing the brand with valuable content and advertising that both parties agree is worth the compensation at hand, then products aren’t really “free” IMO. They’re giving you something, and you’re paying for it with your work. You might occasionally get unfavorable responses from brands or get feedback from others that you’re just hunting for free product, but if you know that your intentions are to provide a legit service in exchange for any form of compensation, don’t let this get you down! All businesses pitch their services to customers at some point or another, and that’s all that pitching to brands is: advertising your content creation to a potential customer in hopes of a mutually beneficial partnership.
Okay, rant over! If you’re new to all this, I know it can seem overwhelming, so I’ve put together three best practices to help you be successful in pitching to brands! Read on…
Be Up Front
If you’re pitching a brand, odds are, you already know the kind of partnership you have in mind. If not, do some brainstorming before you reach out! Know A) why you want to work with the brand B) the kind of partnership you had in mind C) what unique content you can offer the brand. It’s kind of like an interview: you want to know why you’re here, why they should choose you, and what makes you passionate about working with them. Avoid coming off as wishy-washy/uncertain, and definitely avoid saying that you’re just here for free product or services without offering something in return. Brands will respond a lot better to requests from people who either already use and love their products, or are engaged fans of what they do instead of someone just looking to get free stuff. It’s a fine line to walk as a creator, but if you’re thoughtful about your pitch, there’s a greater chance you’ll get a yes!
Just as you shouldn’t under sell yourself, definitely don’t over sell! Trust me, brands can find out in a second if you’re fibbing about your follower count or engagement (do a quick Google search on Instagram engagement metrics and you’ll find sites that can run stats on anyone given just a username), so it’s best to be honest in the first place.
Also under the honesty umbrella: don’t be afraid to tell brands if their offered compensation or requirements don’t align with your needs. No one in any partnership should feel like they’re being taken advantage of, so if you feel that the time and effort put into your content warrants a monetary compensation or better offer, just tell them. It helps here to have prior collabs you can pull from to prove you’ve been paid whatever amount you’re looking for before, so know your own stats and don’t hesitate to make this known! Sometimes brands will low ball you to see how much they can get without a lot of investment, but actually have a budget for influencer marketing that they can pull from if asked. More on these nuances in another post!
Would you want to work with a brand who treated you like just another influencer? Odds are, probably not. Remember this when pitching to brands! You should be pitching brands that you’re crazy about, not ones that don’t really matter to you or that don’t align with your message, so be enthusiastic! Tell them what you love about their brand, and how it aligns with your values. What makes you reach out? How did you discover the brand? All of these things show motivation and help the brand feel good about offering you a great partnership!
It’s not an easy task to pitch to brands as an influencer. There are a lot of hurdles and stereotypes you may have to overcome, but it’s all about growth! Influencer marketing is a legit advertising avenue nowadays, so you will find the brand partnerships you’re looking for as you grow. Don’t be afraid to do some trial and error and come up with a brand pitch you’re proud of! Drop any questions below, I’d be happy to answer! 🙂 Be sure to subscribe to my blog for more micro influencer tips!