Instagram and social media in general have come a long way since the days of posting pictures of our kids and what we were having for dinner, with a very bad filter applied.
The influencing world on social media has exploded! So, if you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably wondering how to get paid brand deals and increase your passive income.
Social media is a great place to share ideas and create content, but as an Influencer, how do we go about getting paid brand deals and monetising our content?
The influencer marketing industry is still growing so there are plenty of ways to increase your income through social media.
Although, so are the number of influencers, so it may feel more difficult at the moment to get paid brand deals.
Read more >>>
10 Reasons Why Having a Blog is More Important than Ever
With a big increase in influencers looking to get paid brand deals, it is important to stand out from the crowd and have a good content strategy.
If you want to increase your income through social media, it is best to treat your blog and social media as a business and have a strategy.
This strategy should include –
- Setting up an account, obviously! It is important these days to diversify and not rely on one channel alone. Set up a website, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook account.
- Niche it! Make sure you are clear about what content you want to post and stay consistent with it. It is OK to diversify a little from your niche. For example, I am an interior-based blogger, but I also talk about travel and include the interiors and gardens of our accommodation. It is still interiors based, but it means I can talk a little about another passion of mine, going on holiday!
- Post consistently. I think this is one of the most important points when it comes to growing a blog and social media accounts. Some Tiktokers post up to 4/5 times a day and although I don’t advise this (total burnout!), you can see it works and they are growing rapidly. The best advice I can give you is to find a posting routine that works for you and stick to it.
- Hashtags! There have been conversations around the effectiveness of hashtags since I can remember. Yes, they work (they should be part of your social media SEO strategy), and they are a brilliant way for brands to find your account. If there is a brand you love or want to work with, find their brand hashtag and tag the hell out of it!
- Keep on top of trends and what is appearing on Reels. I say this through gritted teeth as I think your ideas and creativity should be what catapults your account in front of brands. If your content is excellent, why should it matter if it is a trending product/dance/song? But we are where we are, so keep an eye on what is currently being repeated on Reels.
If you want to read more on how to become an influencer and begin getting paid brand deals, check out this blog post >>>
10 Quick and Easy Ways to Become an Influencer in 2022
How to get paid brand deals
If you have followed my tips above hopefully, your account will grow, and you will get to a point where brands will want to work with you.
It doesn’t really matter how big your account is… I found that more brands wanted to work with me when I had under 100k followers.
There could be many reasons for this including – they don’t think their budget will stretch to my rates as I have a large following, they would rather pay a bit less and have more influencers onboard or they are just after Nano or Micro influencers that tend to have a better engagement rate.
There are many brands out there that are willing to work with all-sized accounts, so start reaching out today! How?
There are 3 main ways to get brand deals on social media –
- Responding to DMs on your social media and emails from brands or a PR company on behalf of a brand who are looking to work with you.
- Pitching to a brand with an idea on how you can promote their products and work on their campaigns
- Joining online influencer marketing platforms
Responding to incoming requests
How to get noticed by brands? There are a few things to do to get those requests dropping into your inbox and increase your income –
- Make sure your account looks professional, has a clear niche and is active
- Use hashtags that are brand related or created by brands
- Tag businesses you love and all the products you use in your content
- Follow and comment on brand social media accounts that are relative to your niche
- Tag businesses in your stories
- Have a blog! I am getting more requests from brands who are asking for blog posts these days. Having a blog can help back up your social media content.
- Equally, if you are a blogger, make sure you have social media accounts that share the same name as your blog
If you do all the above, eventually you will start to get brands emailing you.
If you want to make some passive income, it is essential to have a business email address and keep on top of your DMs (direct messages).
The majority of requests I receive still come through my Instagram DMs and as I get a lot of messages daily, I can miss a few!
Having a dedicated email address for your social media helps separate the general questions from your followers and helps you keep on top of requests for paid brand deals.
Make sure the company is legit and fits in with your niche
As the old saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
The first thing you need to do when receiving an email from a brand or PR company is to check out their website and make sure they are a genuine company.
I get a lot of requests from companies I haven’t heard from and always check out they’re legitimate before I spend any more time on an email.
I belong to an influencer member group on Facebook, and I read messages daily from members asking other members if they have received brand deals from certain companies as they’re not sure if they are being scammed.
My rule of thumb is, as soon as they start asking for money, to pay postage or to buy the product, I am out quicker than you can say, scammer!
You can never be too careful on social media!
If you have established that the company is legit, the next thing to do is make sure it fits in with your niche. It might be tempting to start promoting a face cream on your main feed, but if you are a travel blogger or interior stylist, will it resonate well with your audience?
It might in your stories, as anything goes over there. But have a serious think about how the product will look on your main feed.
Let’s talk money!
9 times out of 10, a brand or PR company will email you with no mention of payment, and why would they?
There are still plenty of bloggers and influencers out there that will do it for free, so they will probably put the feelers out first to see who they can collaborate with on a gifting basis only.
Most businesses have a marketing budget, especially if they have hired a PR company to reach out to you! If they can afford a whole team behind their campaigns, they can afford to pay you as the person who will be creating and delivering the content!
This is all down to you; it depends on each individual email.
I recently had a sofa company asking if I wanted to work on a campaign and as it was a very high-end product, I didn’t ask for payment. I needed a new sofa, so I was happy to create content in return for the sofa.
However, a lot of the emails I get are for products that are not extremely expensive or things I don’t necessarily need. I will always go back to them asking if there is a budget for the campaign and send them my media kit with rates.
When I first started out as an influencer, I was wary of doing this as I was worried they would ghost me, or never ask to work with me again.
I now realise how ridiculous this is! If they didn’t get back to me, I was no worse off. If I agreed to do the campaign for free, why would they pay me in the future?
I would have been wasting time and effort on a product I didn’t really need when I could have been doing something more productive! Like working on my websites.
How much should your rates be?
This is a really tricky question and a discussion I have had countless times with other content creators and bloggers. There is no right or wrong answer.
There are guidelines out there such as you should be charging $10 for every 1000 followers, but it isn’t as simple as that.
Not every account is equal. I have over 200,000 followers on Instagram with an engagement rate that fluctuates wildly.
Also, the larger your account becomes, the more your demographics may vary. As I grow, the percentage of my following from the UK gets smaller.
Bearing in mind that most brands who contact me are UK based, they may find that an account that has 100,000 followers has a larger following in the UK and a much better engagement rate.
So, it would make sense that they would want to pay them more than me as they are reaching their target audience.
I think it really comes down to what you are happy to do it for.
I would say always go in higher and leave room for negotiation. I will go more into detail on blogger and influencer rates in another blog post. It is such a hot topic!
Pitching to a brand
If you feel your inbox is a bit quiet and you know you have a lot to offer, start pitching ideas to companies you love and reaching out for paid brand deals. Some of the best ways to pitch are:
- Reach out to companies you have worked with in the past. Brands feel comfortable working with the same people if they have created high-quality content for them in the past. It also builds trust with their followers.
- Email brands that have reached out to you in the past, but it never amounted to anything. I have had so many brands go cold on me over the years, but I still had their emails lurking in a folder in my inbox. If I have an upcoming project that I know they would be perfect for, I email them! Most of the time they apologise for never getting back to me (there can be many reasons for this including the budget being pulled, the original emailer leaving the company or they couldn’t deliver the product in time) and we manage to secure a new campaign.
- Ask other influencers! This is one of the easiest ways to find brands that are willing to work with influencers. Due to current GDPR rules, you have to be careful about sharing an email address (if the email address contains the person’s full name), but generally, sharing an email address with info@ or hello@ should be ok. It is always worth doing a little bit of digging to find a direct email address for a brand
- Make sure you are pitching to brands that are similar to your style. When you reach out to brands, you want them to look at your social media sites and know instantly that they are a good fit. It would just be a waste of time else.
How to pitch for paid brand deals
You’ve figured out who you need to contact, what should you put in your email?
Try not to send a generic email or cut and paste a generic message! Make sure they are personal and include a specific reason why you want to work with the brand.
- What can you offer? Is there something about your account that makes you stand out from others? Are you currently renovating your home and would love to showcase their product as part of a DIY project? Explain to the brand why they should want to work with you.
- How would you promote their product? Can you write a blog post? Or do a step-by-step guide in your stories. Explain what content you would be willing to create.
- Make sure you attach a media kit! This is very important, all bloggers and influencers that want to get paid brand deals must have a media kit. It is like a content creator CV and should contain all your experience, brands that you’ve worked with in the past, examples of your work, audience size and demographics and your rates!
- Include all your social media accounts and blog and let the brand know where they can see more examples of your work and how they can contact you!
Joining Online Influencer marketing platforms
One of the easiest ways to get paid brand deals is to join online influencer marketing platforms.
There are so many to choose from these days, it can all get a bit overwhelming. I get daily emails from new marketing platforms wanting me to join their team, but rarely anything comes of it.
Some of the main online influencer marketing platforms include –
These are all influencing platforms that I use and have got work from in the past.
It is as easy as signing up and pitching content, requesting to join a campaign and waiting for brand managers to contact you via email.
I have found online influencer marketing platforms to be very hit-and-miss over the years. It can be very impersonal and hard to get across your fit for the brand when they are getting so many responses to each campaign.
I often don’t get picked and we are rarely given a reason for this.
I used to get a lot of campaigns for Tribe, but I have stopped using this platform over the last 2 years.
The problem with a lot of influencing platforms is that you have to pitch an idea to them first, sometimes creating a whole post, to be turned down. This means you spend a few hours creating content and get nothing in return which I think is a terrible way to go about finding content creators.
Another reason why I have cut back on the number of influencer platforms I sign up to and use is that the pay tends to be terrible.
The platforms are obviously taking quite a big chunk of the money, leaving you with a fraction of the budget even though you did most of the work.
I know this happens a great deal in life (I have been an IT contractor and it is eye-watering how much recruitment agents get out of placing people into roles), but I’d rather spend time creating content for my blogs and increasing my page views than being paid a few $100s for a day’s worth of content creating.
Just think of all the emails I could pitch to brands in that time and negotiate a rate that works for me!
I don’t think there’s any harm in signing up for these platforms. A few brilliantly paid campaigns still come my way. Just don’t expect to give up your day job when relying on these alone!
These are the main ways to get paid brand deals and increase your income through social media and blogging.
There are plenty of passive income ideas when it comes to blogging and social media, but getting brand deals is still the best way to make all the time and effort you put into social media worth it!
More on monetising your blog…
How to Start a Money Making Blog in 10 Easy Steps
Why Building an Email List for your Blog is Extremely Important