5 Tips For Working With Brands on Instagram

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“I want to be an influencer that works with brands but no one is reaching out to me as often as I would like.”

“I’m tired of sitting around and waiting for collaborations. I want to take action into my own hands but I just don’t know how”

If you have ever thought, or are currently thinking, something similar to these, you are in the right place.

We all want to know the secrets when it comes to reaching out to brands and getting endless partnerships. Over the past few months I've been fortunate enough to gain experience in this area and I’m about to spill the tea. Now, I’m no “expert” on the topic but I most definitely can not wait to share with you everything that I’ve had to learn the hard way, so that you don’t have to.

First, let’s get something straight. If you are here and you are thinking to yourself:

  • I don't have enough followers to work with brands yet.

  • I don’t think brands would want to work with lil ol’ me.

  • I don't have the skills it takes to pitch to brands.

Write those thoughts down on a piece of paper and set it to flames. THOSE ARE COMPLETE LIES. Your voice matters. Your art matters. Your perspective is a perspective no one else has. Embrace it. Own it. Flawnt it.

I received my first partnership at 3,000 followers and I even know people who have 1,000 followers who work with brands on the daily, so myth busted.

Since there are a lot of tips I can give you when it comes to this topic, I'm going to be splitting this up into two different blog posts:

First, today, I will give you 5 general guidelines to follow when working with brands.

Second, will be exactly how to craft your pitch and what you should say when reaching out to brands. How about you take a quick second to sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss out on that post! I’ll be right here waiting for you when you come back.

All signed up? Good! Let’s dive right in:

Tip #1: Is this brand in line with the message I am sharing with my followers? Work with brands that you genuinely support or products that you will actually use. The purpose of this is to keep your page as authentic as possible and for you to remain YOU. Once I agreed to do a collaboration with a brand solely because it was paid and I wanted the money. The product wasn’t even something that I would use...ever. Then when I posted my agreed post, it was the worst engagement I had ever received on a collaboration, my followers could tell this wasn’t genuinely me! Stay true to who you are, don’t sell out.

Tip #2: Pay attention to their preferred method of communication! When reaching out to brands check their bio. If they have an email listed always reach out via email. I prefer this because 1. It looks more professional and 2. As your Instagram grows, your DMs grow. Email is the easiest way for me to keep track of my collaborations. 3. If Instagram dies today, you have stocked up on multiple brands emails and can continue to communicate with them. If they don’t reply to your email in a week, you can always send a follow-up through DM.

Tip #3: If you are planning to pitch, don’t ask for free stuff. I'm sure you're thinking “Isn’t that the goal here Millie?" And yes, technically you are correct, most collaborations are in exchange for product. However, that should not be your intent for the collaboration. If you directly say “send me x, y and z” brands can read right through you and will be able to tell that you're Pitch is not genuine. Your intention should be “How can I help this brand?”, “What do I have to offer to them?”. We’ll that more about this in my next blog post…

The goal should not be for selfish gain, but for mutual growth.

Tip #4: Treat yourself as a brand/business. This is very important when it comes to communication and professionalism. We all get those people ‘slidin in the DM’s’ trying to get our attention. “Hey, let’s shoot”, “You’re beautiful. What’s your number?”, “How much for sessions?”. As flattering as they may be, if that person spent a little more time crafting a detailed message, we would probably spend our time to reply. Same goes for brands. They are more likely going to work with an influencer who took the time to write them a professional email rather than the person who DM’d them saying “Love your products. Let’s collab” *insert mic drop*

Tip #5: Engage with them. I have said this before in a previous blog post but here we go again! There’s nothing a brand loves more than a truly dedicated and excited supporter. Follow them, comment on their photos, turn on their post notifications for the time being, etc. Just like your mother/father/teacher taught you growing up: treat others how you want to be treated.

That wraps it up for today folks. Remember, my next post will be about crafting the perfect pitch! I will teach you exactly what to say to get a brands attention and some proper etiquette tips. Sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss out!