One of the most common questions aspiring influencers ask is "how do I find brands to work with on Instagram?" Nowadays, influencer marketing has become an essential part of every significant consumer business worldwide, and many companies and brands are looking for influencers to add to their roster. As an influencer, the necessary thing for you is to be noticed but that requires the most effort.
Here are 12 easy answers to the question - "how to collaborate with brands on Instagram?" - that you can start using today.
Join the best influencer marketplaces
Influencer marketplaces give you direct access to brands that are actively searching for influencers. Many of these platforms cater to smaller ‘micro-influencers’ so don’t be intimidated if you don’t have a large audience. Many of these marketplaces will list your past work on their app so you can build a portfolio of sponsored posts that brands can see before they make contact with you. This increases your chances of being identified for a brand’s next campaign.
Don't be afraid to connect with brands directly
You can always pitch brands directly as a way of getting yourself noticed. While the odds are low that your initial pitch will result in some form of a sponsored post, you will at least get on their radar for future opportunities. This strategy works best with smaller brands who are more flexible and agile in their marketing. Larger brands have much more to navigate when deciding on influencers to work with. There is a lot of competition now for every brand’s attention. Take a minute and read our post on building a media kit to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward.
Build an engaged audience everywhere you share content
If you want to attract brands towards you faster, you have to build an as engaged of an audience as possible. Brands often consider influencers based on the analytics of their audience (in addition to the quality of their content, more on that later). There are many things that you can do to increase the engagement of your audience. Check out our list of things you can start doing today to work on this.
Offer a professional experience to every brand that you work with
There have never been more influencers and bloggers vying for every brand’s attention. It is important that you offer an experience to every brand that stands out compared to the other influencers or bloggers that they are working with. You need to ask yourself what you can do to make the collaboration with you as easy and/or pleasant as possible for the brand. CreatorPilot’s shareable brand dashboard is one way that you can do this to make communication and draft content approvals so much easier for the brand (and you!). At the end of your collaboration, if the brand can look back and think about how well it went working with you, your changes of working with that brand long term or in the future increase significantly.
Be honest and faithful
One of the most important things is to be yourself and remain true to who you are. Be honest and faithful with your work always, and don't fake anything you cannot do. Be open about collaborations and work with agencies and companies when possible. At the end of the day, each brand that reaches out to you is doing so because you caught their eye for one reason or another – usually in some way because you were being yourself.
Post quality content on social media
When a brand is looking for influencers, the quality of the content they are investing in needs to be high. The definition of high is different for each brand and what they are looking to accomplish. So, you need to post the best quality content where ever you post to make sure you are always putting your best foot forward. Many influencers have success creating their own content style which not only helps them standout but makes it easier for them to create high quality content on their own terms. Then when a brand reaches out you won’t feel like you have to change anything because they have been attracted to your uniqueness.
Define your brand
If you want to attract brands and companies for potential partnerships, you need to determine what your personal brand is going to be. Your personal brand will be reflected in your messaging, interactions, tones and themes. This might not be always be what your content looks like (custom filter) but other things that surround your content such as how you write emails, your bio or about me section, your comments both on your content and on the content of others. A comment that you make on someone else’s content could catch the eye of a brand looking for someone like you.
Find your content niche
Everything successful influencer has their own voice and niche that they focus on. What is yours? If you are unsure, a good place to start is by looking at your passions, interests and skills. For example; If you are a food lover, you can post about food or any other daily food related activities. The more defined your area of focus us, the more concentrated your audience will be. This will increase engagement and a very focused audience can be very valuable to a brand.
Post consistently on social media
Social media algorithms reward consistent posting of content with increased reach and impressions. Research optimal posting frequency for each channel you are sharing content on to make sure you are doing everything you can to make the algorithm work for you. Additionally, make sure you are aware of the peak traffic hours each day on the social media channels you are using. Pairing the optimal posting frequency with posts shared at the right time of each day, you will see increased engagement from your existing audience as well as a steady stream of new reach, impressions, followers and engagements from social media users not already following you.
Use hashtags to increase your followers
Hashtags are essential to increase your following as an influencer on most social media channels. Using the right mix of hashtags including some that are very niche or rarely used to widely popular with millions of posts using them will introduce your content to many new followers (and brands). On Instagram, for example, you can type in a hashtag and the app will show you the number of posts that are using that hashtag. There are also other tools, both paid and free, that you can use to do hashtag research. It is important that each hashtag you use is directly related to the content that it is being used with. Like posting consistently, this will drastically increase your reach, impressions and engagement - helping you to build a larger audience and ultimately attract more brands.
Tag brands in your posts
If you are sharing content that depending on the content, features a brand mention in the image or in the text, make sure that you tag the brand in it. Many influencers have secured brand collaborations and sponsored posts by doing this. It gives you an opportunity to showcase to each brand how you would promote them inside your content. Be careful that you don’t go overboard by tagging every product in every picture but where there is a fit to show it off, by all means tag the brand. Your posts will also then show up on the brand’s Instagram account under their tagged in section which again, will increase reach, impressions and engagements from new people.
Include your contact information
After making your social media account or blog, you need to make sure that wherever you are posting content, that it is easy for brands to get in contact with you. The standard method is through email. Set up a free Gmail account that matches your name or the name of your channel and have it everywhere. It is also a good idea to let brands know that you are open to collaborating with them. Use “Email for collabs” or “Business Inquiries:” before your email address.