A lot of people have been asking me recently how I manage to get so many sponsored posts, especially on Instagram. So I’ve written this post divulging all of my secrets! I do the majority of my sponsored posts on Instagram. These are just some basic guidelines on how to approach brands, and they have worked for me in the past.
If you want to approach a brand for a collaboration, you should already be familiar with what they do and what their products are. To show this, you should be following them on various social media platforms and frequently interacting with their posts. If you’ve personally bought their products in the past, that’s a plus too!
Brands will be impressed if you already know and have a genuine love for their products. Always make sure that the brand fits in with your page, otherwise it is just a waste of time to contact them, and it will seem unnatural. You should be blogging because you love it, not just to make money.
Do your research! Some brands have a clear policy on blogger collaborations. This may mean that they are not taking requests, or that they have a specific route for you to follow.
Don’t bother emailing them if they explicitly don’t work with bloggers or aren’t looking for any at this time. Not only is it pointless, but you may be hindering your chances of working with them in the future.
When you are ready to contact the brand, be sure to contact the right people. Some companies use PR firms to deal with collaboration requests, whereas others have designated in-house people.
The next part seems oh so simple but it is something that still needs to be said, it’s just basic email etiquette. Start off with a dear/hello/hi – don’t just jump straight into what you are expecting. Be kind enough to greet the recipient of the email – include their name if you know it.
What should you include in an email to a brand?
– A pitch on what you would do if they agree to a collaboration.
– Any campaigns that you have done. Brands want to know that you are capable of promoting for them successfully, and might want to see what you have been able to do in the past.
– Statistics on your social media reach. This includes all of the platforms that you would be willing to promote their brand on.
Don’t let the number of followers you have prevent you from reaching out, some brands will favour the quality of work over quantity of followers. However, you should be prepared for some rejections. If you don’t hear back from them, it’s best just to leave it.
Pestering a brand won’t achieve anything. If you want to contact them again with a new pitch, I’d say the absolute minimum amount of time to wait is 6 months. Give yourself time to learn new things, improve your work, and grow your audience.
If they respond positively, then that’s great! This is when you start negotiating the terms of the agreement. Many bloggers would say that you should absolutely charge for your work – which is a sentiment that I wholeheartedly agree with. After all, you can’t pay your bills in exposure.
Consider the time it will take to create the post/s and the audience that it will reach. Another thing to consider is that if you have the privilege to be able to accept unpaid work, brands will stop paying other influencers for their work. It is, of course, totally up to you whether or not to charge for your services.
You can use websites such as sponsoredpostcalculator.com as a guideline for how much you should charge.
An important thing to consider is the resources of smaller brands. You shouldn’t expect small businesses to pay you a large amount of money. Most of the time they may not have the resources to compensate you in proportion to what larger brands have paid you.
You need to adjust your demands to what you think that the brand is able to afford, otherwise you won’t be able to get anywhere. The same goes for charity campaigns, and any other situations where it would be appropriate to reduce your prices.
Uploading Sponsored Posts
Once an agreement has been made, clarify the details of the promotion. For example, UK influencers should make sure that the advertiser is aware that posts must be declared as adverts in accordance with ASA rules. You should declare all adverts at the beginning of the post, a simple #ad at the end is not enough.
Press trips, gifted products, and samples must all be declared. The ASA has now become much stricter with influencers regarding declaring adverts, so make sure that you are familiar with their rules to avoid being fined.
When the post has been created, the brand may want to see it before it is uploaded. Even if they haven’t requested this, it is good to keep them in the loop. Just a simple email letting them know the post is live is enough. You can invoice them once everything has been approved and sent. If they are happy with your post, they are more likely to want to work with you again.
Other Ways To Get Sponsored Posts
It’s worth noting that some bloggers use other methods to monetise their channels. You could offer advertisement packages, use affiliate links, or download influencer marketing apps. Some apps that I have used include Takumi and indaHash, although it is worth checking the terms and conditions of any app you use to make sure they’re not screwing you over…
The Blogger Programme is a useful website for bloggers to connect with brands. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to bag any campaigns if you don’t have a high number of followers, and there are very few paid opportunities.
WARNING! There are some collaboration types that you should absolutely avoid. Some brands offer you a discount off their products for you to promote for them, often with the promise of free products in the future…
If a brand is asking you to pay to promote their products, you should absolutely say no. They are trying to take advantage of you, and they shouldn’t expect you to do all that work for less that no pay.
Also, steer clear of “collaborations” that are suspiciously like pyramid schemes, there is no need to pay a company to be able to sell their products. Always ask youself – is it worth it?
As a blogger or Instagram influencer, you should be accessible to brands. This means including your contact details in your bio. I suggest creating a separate email address to deal purely with business inquiries. This way, brands who like what you post can contact you directly, in a professional way rather than DMs.
I hope that this post gives you more of an understanding of how to go about getting sponsored posts! Please note that this is just a basic post based on my own experiences. Feel free to ask me any questions, you can email me, use my contact form, or DM me on Instagram.
*I originally posted this on my old blog but I’m reposting it with a few edits based on feedback from influencers, PR reps, and brands.*