Tips for Reaching Out to Brands as an Influencer
6 Tips for influencers pitching to brands for the first (or 1,000th) time reaching out to brands As an influencer, you know that brands are seeking out influencer partnerships like never before. Read on for tips to explain the power of your platform, helping you frame your platform as the smart investment you know it is.
- Warm up the cold contact call.
As a social media maven, you understand the power of networking. So rather than sending your media kit to a faceless/nameless marketer, take the time to find the social media manager’s contact information. If the brand is already active on social media, it’s totally okay to use an informal app like Instagram to ask for the social media manager’s preferred contact information. After your brief chat on social media, the brand’s social media manager will be expecting your email - and suddenly your cold call isn’t so cold!
- Why this brand? Why you?
After providing a very succinct introduction on you, your brand, and your audience (think: one sentence), connect the dots. How did you discover the brand? What do you like about it? Make sure you can tell the truth, because when it comes to authenticity, marketing departments are just as savvy as your followers.
In marketing departments, numbers speak louder than words, so drop a statistic in your next email. For example, you could mention that according to Statista, Millennials & Generation Z are “48% more likely to buy from retailers or brands who collaborate with influencers in Canada in 2019” (citation below). You could also use a statistic more personal to that particular brand. For example, if a brand clearly relies on foot-traffic to a brick-and-mortor storefront (eg. restaurants, fitness boutiques, salons), explain that you're the perfect partner for their next local marketing campaign because 43% of your followers of your followers are actually based in that location. Partnering with you would speak to 48% of their market, and up to 43% of your followers would be interested in learning about the brand.
Pro Tip: As much as a social media manager might understand the power that comes from your influence, it’s ultimately her boss who will approve (or deny) the budget request needed for your partnership. This is where statistics are so powerful. Concrete numbers prove your value, making them very convincing to upper management. So not only can percentages prove your potential, but they can actually speed up your next negotiation!
- Prove your ROI (Return on Investment)
Map out the brand’s target market, and relate your social media analytics data to show how you can help the brand with online awareness or direct sales. To pitch a sponsorship deal, where you advertise the brand and their products to your followers in sponsored posts, use your insights data. Since your followers are exactly the brand’s target demographic, a partnership with you would increase brand awareness among the right consumer base, and offer an opportunity to reduce overall ad-spend. Alternatively, if you would like to work on commission to drive sales, you can highlight your experience with direct sales. A strong sales history proves your positive impact on a company’s bottom line, and can be a big selling point when seeking brand partnerships. Especially since all marketing departments are trying to drive sales.
Pro tip: You want this email to be clean and clear, so suggest either a partnership or an affiliation (not both). Too much too soon looks frantic - keep it simple by staying cool, calm and collected.
- Pitch a post
Though you aren’t hashing out contract details in this first email, a partnership is still an investment for both you and the brand. Have you already tested and raved about one of the brand’s products? Include a snapshot of that post for the social media manager’s reference. Haven’t posted about one of their products yet? Give the brand an idea of the kind of content you could create for them (max 1-2 short sentences). Keep the summary high-level, and make it clear that you would be flexible to their goals.
- First impressions matter!
Yes, you have done your homework and know that this could be an amazing opportunity for both the brand and your business, but you're reaching out to suggest a potential partnership. It’s still an early stage of contact, so keep your proposal high-level and focused on the power of your influence. Once more for the people in the back: this is an offer - not an ask! Hold off on the price tags/timelines until the brand confirms their interest.
- What would Derek Blasberg do?
It’s called social media for a reason, but this is a business contact. You’re selling your communication skills and content creation - and this email is the perfect example of that voice. Keep it short, easy to read, friendly, and polite. In the words of online guru Derek Blasberg, show that you're “Happy to be here, easy to work with.”