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How influencers reach out to brands to get paid collaborations

Business Insider
Business Insider
 26 days ago
Ashley Jones is a micro influencer who DMs brands she wants to partner with.
  • Brand deals are a top income source for many influencers.
  • These collaborations often start with a pitch, through email or other methods.
  • Insider spoke with creators across social media on how they pitch brands.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page .

One of the earliest questions aspiring influencers will ask themselves is: How do I start working with brands ?

An influencer's inbox - whether that's email or direct messages on social media - is often where that all begins.

Some influencers will start building relationships with brands by cold-DMing them on social media, like Instagram.

Ashley Jones, a micro influencer with about 50,000 Instagram followers, told Insider that her strategy consists of posting about products she loves on Instagram and tagging the brand. Then, she reaches out to the brand and explains why she'd like to work with them. She'll often ask for a proper PR contact too, she said.

Read more about how Jones lands brand deals and sets her rates.

Other creators, like nano influencer Laur DeMartino, find brand PR reps or influencer-marketing contacts on LinkedIn.

And many influencers, like Gigi Kovach (a part-time lifestyle influencer), go straight to email to pitch a brand. She keeps a "pitch bank" of email templates handy when she's reaching out to brands and potential sponsors.

Read one of Kovach's word-for-word email pitches she sends to brands.

In addition to the pitch, many influencers create and attach a media kit - a document that includes basic information about an influencer's account, engagement data, previous work, and contact information.

Some influencers will send a media kit to every advertiser they work with. They keep this document up to date by adding new metrics and collaborations every few months.

"I think it's super important if you want to take this seriously," influencer Macy Mariano said of media kits. "I send them now to everyone I get in touch with. It's just a good way to express who you are and what you've done so they can see your past and current work."

Read through 13 real media kits that influencers use when pitching brands.

Insider has spoken with several influencers who all have different approaches to pitching brands. Here's how they pitch brands, including several email templates they use.
Emma Cortes.

How to grab a brand's attention when pitching a paid sponsorship

It takes time to figure out what type of pitch sticks and grabs the attention of brands.

"You get a lot of no's when you first start to pitch brands, but then you sort of fine-tune your approach," Kovach told Insider.

But getting started is an important step when building relationships with brands.

Jen Lauren, a nano influencer on YouTube and Instagram, charges around $350 for an Instagram sponsorship (one in-feed post) or YouTube sponsorship (brand mention), and that price will vary depending on the scope of work, she told Insider in November 2020 when she had just under 3,000 followers.

To land her first paid deal, Lauren used a media kit. She sends her media kit to the brands she wants to work with directly, through email, direct message on Instagram, or sometimes she'll even find an influencer marketing contact for a brand on LinkedIn, she said.

But a media kit isn't just helpful for getting started. Influencers with varying follower size and experience in the industry commonly use these documents to establish new brand relationships.

Here's how 14 influencers pitch brands, from email templates to media kits

Email templates influencers use:

Finding the right brand contact:

Setting rates for sponsored content:

Media kit examples:

"It's important to build a relationship with brands and to work with brands that you already love, especially when you're starting out, to build subscriber loyalty," Lauren told Insider . "I will only partner with a brand if it will also benefit my community and organically fit in with my content."

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