Recently I’ve been getting so many questions about how I started working with brands, and what tips I have for those who are starting out. I usually give the same few answers so I wanted to give share some more in depth information with you guys. I started doing brand partnerships almost a year ago when I only had a couple thousand followers. I’m definitely no expert, but I’ve picked up some tips along the way. I feel like most people have a lot of misconceptions when it comes to working with brands so I wanted to share my top 5 practical and actionable tips:
1.Create quality content
So many people focus on getting more followers or finding magic tips that will help you grow and make millions of dollars while living on a yacht. I hate to break it to you guys, but there is no magic tips. The number one thing you need to focus on is creating beautiful, high-quality content. The goal is the create content that is so amazing that people can’t help but share it with their friends and family. If you can, save your money and get a nice camera. Take beautiful photos, use engaging captions and brands will start to take notice.
2. Don’t be afraid to reach out
This one seems pretty simple, but a lot of people shy away from reaching out to companies. As soon as I had a couple thousand followers I would reach out to companies I loved to see if they would be interested in collaborating. I was shocked to find out how many were more than happy to send free product in exchange for an Instagram post. It’s essential to reach out to companies, especially when you’re first starting out. I still try to set aside time every week to do brand outreach. It might seem daunting at first, but reminding yourself that the worst thing a brand can say is no really puts things into perspective.
3. Be selective
When you first start working with brands, it can be SO exciting that people actually want to send you free stuff (and eventually they’ll even pay you too!). A common mistake that most people make (myself included) is that they say yes to everything. If you are selective from the beginning, you are already ahead of the game. Be mindful about brands you are working with and make sure that they align with your own brand and values. It’s so important to only post about products and brands that you truly love-and that you actually use. If something you post isn’t a good fit with your personal brand, people will be able to see it right away. You want people to trust you so in order to earn and maintain that trust, you have to stay on brand.
4. Be professional
For some reason, I think this is something people don’t really think about when they’re starting out. If you are emailing a company or replying to an offer, BE PROFESSIONAL. Format your emails in the same way that you would a work email. Double check your spelling, punctuation and grammar. Most of the time there is a lot of back and forth during a campaign. Be courteous, respond promptly and respectfully. Sometimes things come up and you have to be flexible, or even re-shoot your content. I’ve found that brands really appreciate flexibility and handling any delays or issues in a professional way.
5. Go above and beyond
I can’t even tell you guys how many times I’ve seen people post sponsored posts, and it’s so obvious that they didn’t even try. It’s almost like they feel like they’re getting away with something by doing the bare minimum and still getting paid. Well I have news for you, every single post or project you do is a reflection of YOU. It’s living on your grid or blog, and it’s an example of the type of content that you create. Not only am I suggesting that you do your best work every single time, I’m suggesting that you go above and beyond. This benefits both you and the brands. If you create amazing content, the brand is more likely to share your content on their platform. Provide them with extra photos that you took, post on time and post in your stories even if it wasn’t part of the agreement. Work as hard as you can to make brands happy, and they will be more likely to want to work with you in the future!
I hope these tips were helpful! If you guys have any other questions please don’t hesitate to DM me or leave a comment!