The creator economy is booming, hitting a jaw-dropping $104.2 billion. With over 45 million professional content creators and a whopping 162 million amateurs, it is a crowded but opportunity-rich job. 

💡 Read Creating a Marketing Strategy that Works: Benefits, Steps, Tools

The good news? There is room for everyone to shine. 

The challenge? Cutting through all that noise to get noticed and land those sweet brand deals.

That’s where a solid strategy comes in. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel — simply start using tried and tested tactics. So, if you’re wondering how to get brand deals, read on.

How to get brand deals as an influencer

Getting brand deals for small influencers can be dicey, but these 10 ways can help you get started-

Join influencer marketing platforms

An influencer marketing platform is a great start to streamlining and growing your work at scale. Brands can directly connect with influencers here and nurture their relationships instead of spending time on grunt work.

These platforms are ideal for influencers and brands alike since you can get found in less time and easily sort the commission structure. 

Some of the best influencer marketing platforms are Brandwatch, Upfluence, Tagger by Sprout Social, Grin, Shopify Collabs, and YouTube BrandConnect. These platforms are typically free for creators and only charge brands a commission.

You can even join subreddits like r/influencermarketing, where people share posts about finding influencers and recommendations for improving your search.

Network with brands at industry events

To get invited to industry events, you need to:

  • Build a memorable social media presence
  • Engage with brands you love online
  • Create appealing and organic content around a brand and tag them in the post
  • Monitor events other influencers in your niche are attending so you can email them directly
  • Simply email brands introducing yourself and your desire to attend their upcoming events

Once you get an invite, you must ensure you leave a lasting impression on the people you interact with. Instead of going in blind, prepare a polished elevator pitch so you don’t miss out on important information. 

Next, talk to brand representatives and show genuine interest in their products and goals. Take down their contact information to follow up with them after the event.

If there is an open discussion or workshop at the event, participate to increase your visibility.

Most importantly, there will be informal networking opportunities, like coffee breaks, lunch, and after-parties. Since these give you a relaxed environment to build connections, try to have more in-depth conversations.

Pitch directly to brands with a media kit

Getting brand deals for small influencers becomes simpler when you have a media kit ready. In this, you will include everything a potential brand partner needs to know about you. Use free presentation makers and link all your social media accounts, audience details, the niche you create content for, and the value a collaboration can bring.

Don’t have previous partnerships? Don’t worry. A workaround here is to showcase specific content pieces and your audience’s positive interaction with them. It’ll make you look trustworthy and authentic.

If you don’t know where to start, reference media kits on Canva and edit them to match your aesthetic.

Create high-quality, niche-specific content

Quality content creation can attract brand deals for influencers but requires serious forethought. You must understand your audience—who they are, what they care about, and what content resonates with them. 

With analytics tools like Determ, you can easily gather insights into your audience demographics and preferences.

Next, you should closely monitor current trends and news within your niche to create relevant content. 

For example, Quick Style travels across countries and creates dance reels in their signature style on the music trending in that country. This exposed them to a large global audience and established innovative brand partnerships.

To get superior quality content, you can start by investing in better equipment and collaborating with experts to diversify your content and expand your audience.

Use affiliate marketing programs

Compared to sponsored posts, affiliate programs have a low barrier to entry. Plus, it’s easy to set up. You can apply to a specific brand’s affiliate program and generate affiliate links. You can promote these links in your posts and stories or add them to your bio. 

For example, you will notice multiple affiliate links to YouTuber Pewdiepie’s videos.

If you struggle to pinpoint a specific brand’s affiliate program, you can start with Amazon Associates or Rakuten.

With affiliates, you can talk about multiple brands in the same post as long as they aren’t competitors and earn more money with each sale you make. 

Grow and engage your social media following

Prioritizing growth and engagement is key to consistently bringing in brand deals for influencers. While understanding the platform’s algorithm and your audience can be intimidating, you can start by:

  • Posting consistently
  • Using high-quality visuals
  • Engaging with your audience via comments and questions
  • Using strategic hashtags
  • Collaborating with other content creators
  • Creating valuable content like tips, tutorials, and behind-the-scenes action

Doing so can increase audience retention and loyalty, gain visibility, and potentially grow your following. Brands will likely partner with you when they see consistent growth and stellar engagement. You can also leverage monetization platforms to diversify your income streams and showcase your influence to potential brands.

To encourage engagement, you can host giveaways and contests. However, this isn’t always feasible, especially if you’re a small creator. In this case, you can:

  • Post exclusive subscriber-only content
  • Host QnA sessions
  • Have virtual meetups

Publish about your channels and your success on LinkedIn, and connect with relevant brand managers to get in touch with them and build genuine relationships. Leverage LinkedIn automation to connect with them at scale and publish regularly.

Instead of waiting for a brand deal, you can launch a product directly from your account. Its success might even influence other brands to onboard you without you reaching out to them.

First, stay updated on the latest trends to identify trending products you can customize. Once you identify the best selling print-on-demand products, personalize them to match your brand aesthetic. 

Take a cue from Seán McLoughlin, aka Jacksepticeye’s merch store. He creates limited-edition merchandise that reflects his green aesthetic.

Once you are happy with your designs, promote them through your content on all platforms. 

For example, Cody Ko often wears his “Who let me have fun?” sweatshirt on Instagram and YouTube videos. He also actively promotes his merch line in his videos and the description box.

Remember, frequently discussing your product line helps it remain top-of-the-mind. However, overdoing it can come across as pushy. Strike a balance by naturally integrating product mentions in your content.

Reach out to brands you already use

When you genuinely use and enjoy a product, your enthusiasm shines through, making your pitch more credible and compelling. So, list products you genuinely love and see how influencer partnerships fit into their strategy.

Next, craft a personalized pitch focusing on your connection to the brand. Share specific examples of how you’ve incorporated the brand into your daily life and the positive impact it has had. This authenticity can set you apart from other influencers and demonstrate your value to the brand.

If you have created content featuring said brand previously, provide a link to it to prove your brand loyalty. You can even pitch ideas for collaboration based on the brand’s goals, whether through sponsored posts, product reviews, or creative campaigns.

Even if you don’t score a brand deal immediately, you may get reposted on their account and can tap into the brand’s existing audience. Take a cue from influencer Hannah Juneva. She has ~23.5k followers and got reposted on Glossier’s Instagram, which has 3 million followers. 

Leverage your existing audience for testimonials and case studies

Not to be confused with a media kit, an influencer case study documents crucial information on past campaigns. Here, you deep dive into a project to highlight the content you created for the brand, the engagement it received, and the results to show the campaign’s success.

Depending on the length of your case study, you can add it to your media kit to pitch to brands. For seasoned influencers, you can categorize your testimonials and case studies according to niches. For new creators, try to build one strong case study that makes partnering with you a no-brainer.

Ideally, you will mention the campaign’s key analytics to seal the deal, but it’s important to present them properly, too. So, look for templates on tools like Canva to make them more appealing.

 Tag brands in your posts 

One of the simplest ways to get noticed is to tag brands featured in your posts. Chances are, they may even repost you on their profiles or stories. You can either tag them directly or mention them in your captions. 

Another (slightly ambitious) way is to add them as collaborators to your post. If they’re a smaller account, they may notice your mention in their direct messages (like below) and accept the request.

Conclusion

Try these strategies and actively monitor your social media to improve your content, better target your audience, and secure more lucrative brand deals.

Remember, consistency is key, and adapting to changes in trends and algorithms will help you get closer to staying relevant. As you learn and get more comfortable communicating with potential brands, you will determine the right pricing and partners to work with.

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