You have set up your social media platform, you have a substantial following that engages with your content, you definitely have an influence on them and you are now ready for influencer brand outreach.
So, how do you go about it?
How should you reach out to brands, how do you get them to notice you and ultimately collaborate with you?
There is no better time than now to get into the influencer marketing field. It is a marketing strategy that has gained popularity and has proven to deliver 11X ROI compared to other forms of digital marketing.
But, before you can start reaching out to brands as an influencer, there are several things you need to know and do.
What You Need To Do Before Reaching Out To Brands For Collaborations
With the increase in the number of influencers in the recent past, you, as an influencer, need to stand out from the crowd. Try putting yourself in the brand’s shoes and ask yourself what winning factor would persuade a brand to work with you.
Here is how you can prepare yourself for influencer brand outreach.
- Have an engaging social media platform.
This is the number one tip that every influencer should consider. Having an engaged audience is one of the qualities that brands look out for before partnering with an influencer. A point to note is, a larger audience doesn’t necessarily translate to an engaged audience.
To achieve an engaging audience, you have to be engaging yourself. You must engage with your audience in the comment section. Though it may take up much time and effort, the results will definitely be worth it.
- Know the brand’s product/service.
Doing prior research on the brand shows that you are genuinely interested in them. You don’t necessarily have to have tried the product/service, but you can show interest by going through the products/services being offered to know exactly what they entail.
Showing interest in the brand also allows them to see how their product matches with your influencer brand and how it would resonate with your audience. The product/service on offer should gel with your niche as an influencer for authenticity purposes.
- Have a portfolio
When you approach a brand, they most probably would like to see a sample of what you have done before. You can start by creating content for your own brand as an influencer. Have a schedule that will help you be consistent with your content and always engage with your audience.
You should also create a media kit that will show all your social media stats and act as your resume.
The media kit can contain content such as:
- A short bio of your brand as an influencer.
- The demographics of your audience, e.g. their age and gender.
- Your social media statistics.
- Collaboration ideas that you are willing to create for the brand.
- Some previous collaborations that you have worked on.
Also, instead of creating your own media kit, you can purchase one on Etsy and edit it to your preference.
- Have a unique selling point
Considering that the brand may be approached by several influencers, you have to have a unique selling point. This is what makes you different from the other influencers.
For example, you could have amazing, witty writing skills that can help you write great copy for their brand.
Whatever extra skill you may have, find a way to incorporate it into your brand as an influencer.
- Learn how to pitch.
Since you are the one approaching the brands, you need to know how to communicate effectively with them as you sell your proposition.
Some brands may actually not feel the need to partner with an influencer meaning, it’s up to you to come up with ideas of how you’ll be of benefit to them and present it effectively.
A tip you can use here is to first engage with their content. Tag them, share, and like their posts so that they can notice you. This way, you’ll be on their radar as you prepare to send your pitch.
Remember, don’t make the pitch about you and what you can do. Make it about the brand and how you can be of help to them.
As you prepare to send your pitch, you need to find the right contact information for the brand.
So, where can you find the brand’s contact information?
Where To Get A Brand’s Contact Information
Now that you have learnt how to pitch, you need to send it to the relevant brand address.
You can get the brand’s contact information in …
- The brand’s company website.
Visit the company’s website and find the contact page. Most companies share their email address on this page. For some sites, you will find an address for collaborations and another for general inquiries.
- The brand’s LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn is another platform where you can find official company contacts on their profile. You can also use an email finder such as SalesQL to find contacts on LinkedIn.
- Influencer marketing platforms.
Another simple way of reaching out to brands is through an influencer marketing platform. These are platforms that act as middlemen between brands and influencers. You can find your dream brand on one of the platforms.
Examples of platforms you can use are Upfluence, AnyStarr, Grapevine, etc.
- Direct message
In a few cases, you may find a brand with no website and no LinkedIn page. You can send a direct message on their Instagram page and ask if they have an official address you can use.
What To Include In A Pitch
After you find the address to send your pitch to, it’s time to craft the pitch. For it to be effective, it has to have relevant information about what you are offering them.
Here’s what you should include in your pitch:
Introduce yourself and say what you do. Include a link to your Instagram page, blog, or any other social media platform that you have influence.
- Purpose of contact
Explain why you are contacting them, why you believe your influence on their brand may be beneficial to them.
Also, describe your followers’ demographic and engagement rate. If you have a blog, you can share the number of views you get per month.
- Your collaboration idea
Describe what you are willing and ready to offer. Share your vision for them and how you can help them get there.
Get into detail on how you will use your platform to market their business. For example, you can offer to post a reel, a photo, and a story to promote them.
By giving full details on what you will offer, you will help reduce the back and forth between you and the brand hence saving them time. Also, you’ll have saved them the effort of thinking of a collaboration concept.
- Attach your portfolio
This is where you describe the other brands you’ve collaborated with plus links to the posts you’ve created. You can also share some screenshots or analytics of work you’ve done before to show proof of your work.
This is your resume to show your competence and to give them a glimpse of what to expect.
5 Easy Ways For Influencer Brand Outreach
These are some of the ways you can reach out to a brand as an influencer.
- Send a cold pitch email.
As we’ve seen above, drafting a perfect email is key when outreaching.
But what exactly is a cold pitch email?
A cold pitch email is one sent when the recipient has not expressed any interest in working with you. Both you and the recipient have not been in contact before.
Since there is no prior relationship, this is an opportunity for you to get noticed by the brand and to spike their interest.
Prepare yourself for some nos but keep learning and improving on your pitching technique.
- Search for brands looking to collaborate and send a proposal.
Another way you can reach out to brands as an influencer is simply researching brands that are out there looking for influencers to work with. Unlike the cold pitch method above, here the brands are actively searching for influencers. You get an opportunity to send a proposal.
In this case, the competition may be higher with many influencers aiming to get a chance. You need to have a unique selling point to get the brand’s attention.
Be concise and professional as you send your proposal.
- Send a direct message to the brand.
Though some people may consider this unprofessional, it’s also a way you can get your foot through the door. Make sure as you send the direct message, you ask for their email address where you can send your pitch.
For example, “Hi X company. I love (their brand). I have some ideas regarding collaborating with you that I’d love to share with you. What email address can I reach out to you?”
This direct message shows some professionalism on your end and will most probably get a response. Make sure you respond as soon as possible after they send you their contact.
- Engage on social media.
This is one easy way that can easily be assumed. A brand may like your work and be on your comment section a couple of times. If you engage with your audience in the comment section, you will notice this and you can build a connection and thereafter pitch your idea to them.
This way, both of you are not really strangers and the brand has already seen your work and they know what to expect.
- Put your contact on your bio.
Another indirect way that influencers can reach out to brands is by having their contact information on their bio. A brand may identify you through your work and may want to work with you. Make it easy for them to contact you by having an official email address on your bio. You can also add your location to add information about your brand.
Reaching out to brands for the first time can be daunting but, it definitely gets easier with practice. Be prepared to get some negative responses but don’t let it deter you from making progress.
Social media influencer marketing is here to stay. Brands will continue benefiting and there will be a continued demand for influencers. Go ahead and draft your pitch/proposal/message and click the send button.
Use the tips on this post and you’ll be all set when reaching out to brands.