Have you ever wondered how to bridge the gap between your growing social media presence and a potential collaboration with a brand? If so, you're not alone. Many influencers face this challenge, and it's a significant milestone that can feel overwhelming. But take a breath, because your journey to becoming a successful influencer is about to get more manageable and a lot more exciting.
Don't think of this as a daunting task; instead, imagine it as a thrilling adventure that you're about to embark on. And guess what? You're not going on this adventure alone. With tools like the Indy app, a platform designed with the needs of influencers and freelancers in mind, you're equipped to navigate this journey with ease and confidence. Now, let's dive into the world of influencer marketing, understand how to prepare before approaching any brand, and explore how Indy can be your helper on this exciting journey.
For many influencers, making the transition from having achieved a promising following on social media to their first real collaboration with a client is a gigantic step forward and, consequently, quite intimidating.
However, by carefully breaking down the transition into a number of manageable steps, the prospect of a leap into the unknown is suddenly much more straightforward and manageable. That's not to say there isn't plenty of hard work and application to get everything ready before you dive into the world of the professional influencer.
The Indy App for Influencers
Suppose you're gradually finding your way to becoming an influencer. In that case, it's never too early to start keeping financial records of your contracts and collaborations so you can piece them together when tax time comes.
The Indy app, designed especially for freelancers on the move, enables you to keep a handle on your freelance business. You can send proposals, sign contracts, track hours, create invoices, and receive payments all in one place.
What You Should Prepare Before You Approach Any Brand
Credibility is critical to being a successful influencer. You will be approaching companies that you want to trust and that you hope will trust you. Two of the most important factors to consider are professionalism and research.
You wouldn't expect anything less—if a new client came to you with a sloppy, poorly researched presentation, it wouldn't inspire much confidence. So you have a duty to yourself to present well.
Below are some of the ways to build trust before you reach out for a partnership:
- Following: From previously working with micro-influencers, brands understand you can't create a huge target audience on an influencer marketing platform. So, you are not expected to magically acquire social media stats of 10 million followers before you can approach anyone. Just working in the range of 1000–100,000 followers is enough to put you in the sights of many brands.
- A clear brand: To cultivate trust in a potential collaboration with a brand, you need to show your insight and understanding of your own brand and the client's brand too. Ideally, choose a client brand with a natural affinity with your brand, to create positivity and a platform for cooperation.
- If this is your first collaboration with a brand, it may be best to aim for experience, rather than aiming too high and expecting products or money. Once you have a collaboration under your belt, you will be much better equipped with the knowledge of how it all works and more confidence to pull off a successful collaboration next time.
- A clear profile as an influencer: If you want to sell yourself as an influencer, you need to make sure you have the skills to influence. Knowing your subject and having confidence in that knowledge are powerful tools in persuading brands that you have something of value to say in any brand collaboration.
So, be absolutely clear on your brand, products, customers, marketing strategy, and each social media platform you use. Try to generate some practical ideas about where you would like to go in the future. Armed with this information, you will be much more likely to inspire a brand to have the confidence to take you on.
Finally, make yourself easy to find as a legitimate business person online. If you can provide links to social media accounts, LinkedIn, and other relevant, verified, work-related sites, this will enable prospective brands to check you out as an upfront professional.
Do you have the time?
Pulling a brand collaboration together takes a stack of work on both your brand and understanding the client's brand. If you work full-time and your role as an influencer is just a small extra part, then be realistic about what a collaboration might involve.
If it's your first project, check out the workload with the client and make sure you can achieve it and that you're not getting in over your head. If a collaboration will provide some great experience and learning, then it's worth biting the bullet for required input in the knowledge you will gain.
Prepare Your Media Kit
What is a media kit?
A media kit is a digital calling card that you send to prospective clients so they can quickly understand who you are as an influencer, your experience, and your potential. Often it's the first information the client will see about you, and as first impressions count for a lot, your media kit needs to be the best it can be.
Most influencers create their media kit as an email attachment so that it can be sent with prospective emails or replies to requests from brands. It's your choice which app you use to create the kit, but Canva, Photoshop, and Word are frequently used.
Canva even has a ready-made media kit template to use, or if you search for 'media kit template', you will find a choice of ready-made templates to which you can add your details. If you're feeling stuck for ideas on layout, do another search for 'media kit examples', and you will pull up numerous ideas of how to layout your information so it portrays you in the best light.
What goes in a media kit?
Your media kit needs to be concise and accurate. Media workers have busy lives, and they won't be impressed with pages of extra information that don't have a bearing on what you can do as an influencer. So keep it brief and clearly laid out.
A media kit should contain:
- A brief bio
- Your key demographics and statistics of social media platforms—include follower statistics, showing age, gender, and location, as well as your engagement rates
- A portfolio of your previous content
- References—previous work references if you have no influencer references
- Contact information
When should you use a media kit?
Most of the time you will be pitching brands by email, in the hope of generating some interest and possibly even working together. It's always best to follow up on any email with a phone call to at least identify the brand contact to speak to.
If you can obtain the name of the person you need, you can often determine their work email address so you can make a more targeted approach next time.
As you gain more experience, you should start receiving approaches from brands who may be looking to set up brand collaborations. Treat these emails with the importance they deserve, and make sure you reply to them in a timely way and with an error-free email and media kit.
Want to look more professional in your work?
Use Indy’s full set of freelance tools to make your proposals, contracts, invoices, and projects look and work more professional.
Research Which Brands You Could Work With
When you have set the stage for moving forward as an influencer, you will finally have credibility to take the next steps. You have enough followers, and you understand their demographic. You've clarified your brand, and you've worked out how much time you can devote to any brand collabs. And finally, you've put together a media kit that shows you off at your best.
So the next step is to research which brands are best to approach in the hope of a collaboration. It's best to think of a collaboration as a partnership. Your brand isn't going to be attached to the client brand as an addition; it needs to create a symbiotic relationship and work alongside the client brand. By defining the attributes of your own brand, you will be able to discover client brands that make a good fit with your own.
It's equally important to make sure that any collaboration you get involved in is going to benefit your target audience. If it doesn't and there is a clash, you could end up alienating your followers, which would be costly after all your hard work.
Do plenty of research before making any approaches:
- Check out the brand's products to make sure they're a good fit for your own.
- Check on the company website whether a potential brand has similar values and a mindset that you want to align with.
- Check out the brand's social media to get a feel if the followers would relate to your brand.
How to Approach a New Client
As sales leads, potential clients are a limited and valuable resource, so you don't want to squander them. If you make a messy first approach to an influencer marketing contact, it can be very easy to sabotage your efforts from the outset. It's much better to take a soft, gentle approach and gradually build confidence, so each party develops trust in the relationship.
Before you think about sending a media kit, start making some friendly overtures by engaging with the brand on social media. Be active and make a few comments to show you are interested, knowledgeable, and confident. Maybe create a blog about the client brand that shows it in a positive light.
If you use the right hashtags, the brand may notice your efforts and reward them. This is a useful method when you're starting out, it doesn't cost anything; and it is useful, free publicity for the brand so they will more than likely be thankful for it.
Finding the Right Brand Contacts
If you find you're struggling with finding the right person to speak to at a brand, it's best to find a different way to make contact rather than just keep repeatedly making the same approach, which might alienate the client.
A good way to make first contact is via the brand's Instagram account. The platform is relevant to influencing, and the content is often closely aligned with both brand's products. Similarly, you can use LinkedIn; it's a more formal business approach, but it's an acceptable way of approaching a businessperson.
There are also a number of influencer marketing websites that post collaboration opportunities. If you search under 'places for influencers to find campaign opportunities', you will discover several sites that offer further details.
How to Format an Email to Your Brand Contact
In the run-up to sending your email, you will have put in a lot of work to create a credible and professional image, so make sure your email reflects this effort so it can have maximum effect. Brands receive a lot of communications from influencers wanting to make their mark, so it's always best to keep what you have to say relevant and short.
The following format lays out the logical information that a client brand needs to see to understand what you are all about, your experience, and what a possible partnership could develop:
- Introduce yourself with a short bio.
- Give a brief description of your brand and niche, as well as follower stats.
- Describe some achievements or work experience that is relevant to your approach.
- Briefly analyze why your brand and the client's brand could be a successful fit.
- If you have any specific ideas for the collaboration, explain briefly.
- Ask for a meeting so you can demonstrate some of these ideas better.
How Indy Can Help You Thrive in Social Media Marketing
As an influencer, pitching to brands is a significant part of your business, and Indy is here to simplify that process for you. It's a comprehensive tool designed to streamline your freelance operations, allowing you to focus on your content and audience engagement. With Indy, you can effectively manage your business, from creating professional proposals to keeping track of your collaborations and contracts.
- 📝 Use Indy's proposal templates to create compelling pitches that highlight your unique value to brands. Personalize these proposals to align with the brand's vision and showcase your potential as an influencer.
- 🗂️ Leverage Indy's project management tool to keep track of all your brand collaborations, ensuring you meet deadlines and deliver as promised.
- 💳 With integrated online payment options like PayPal and Stripe, Indy’s Invoices tool makes it easy for you to receive payments from brands, avoiding unnecessary delays and complications.
Indy is more than just a tool—it's a complete solution designed for freelancers, including influencers. By offering a range of features in one place, Indy eliminates the need for multiple subscriptions, saving you time and money. Its user-friendly interface makes it easy to navigate, even if you're not tech-savvy. The free plan provides you with access to essential tools and three free proposals, contracts, and invoices each month, giving you the resources you need to grow your influence. With Indy, you can pitch to brands, manage collaborations, and keep your influencer business running seamlessly, all from one platform.
Embarking on the journey to becoming a professional influencer can indeed seem like an uphill task. Yet, as we've seen, breaking it down into manageable steps makes it less intimidating and more achievable. As an influencer, your image is your currency, and presenting your brand and ideas credibly is crucial for your success.
Remember, you're not alone in this journey. Tools like the Indy app are here to help manage your business, so you can focus on what you do best - influencing and creating engaging content. As you move forward, keep in mind that each step you take is a learning experience, shaping you into a more confident and successful influencer. So, are you ready to dive into this adventure? Take the plunge, the world of influencer marketing awaits you!