Monday, 21 January 2019

How to secure brand collaborations on Instagram

how to secure brand collaborations, advert opportunities and sponsored posts on Instagram, including how to pitch to brands, whether you need a media kit or not, and staying true to your brand.

Its been a while since I wrote a post for my Blogging Tips series, so I'm back this week with a new instalment, and its all about how to gain brand collaborations and sponsored opportunities on Instagram!

So you keep seeing people you follow securing cool ad opportunities, getting a little something back for all their hard work. You’ve been putting the legwork in on insta, taking beautiful pictures and building your audience, and you’d love to take things to the next level and work with your favourite brands. But how on earth do you go about that?! 

First things first, you need to make sure your photography is the absolute best it can be. I’ve previously blogged about how I photograph my home and edit photos for IG, but simply put make sure you’re taking beautiful, clear, crisp photos. You don’t need a fancy camera to do this either, I use an Olympus Pen but only have the kit lens that comes with the camera and regularly still use my iPhone 8+. A couple of good tips to get you started are to always shoot in day light with no artificial lighting switched on, and using a tripod will keep your camera steady making your photos even sharper. I previously shared some of my photography tips here


how to secure brand collaborations, advert opportunities and sponsored posts on Instagram, including how to pitch to brands, whether you need a media kit or not, and staying true to your brand.

You don’t need be really established or have tonnes of followers to start getting opportunities either, I was approached by one of my favourite interior brands when I’d been blogging for less than a year, and if you sign up for any of the influencer apps you’ll generally need a minimum of 3,000 followers. More and more though, engagement is key, so if you’ve got a smaller audience, but get lots of likes and comments, you’ll still be a great catch to a brand. 

Not getting much in your inbox? Why not reach out to a brand you love? Sometimes a good old fashioned pitch is the best way to get yourself in front of a company, and you’ll also show that you're dedicated and proactive too. Mention why you’d like to work with them, the type of collaboration you’d be interested in and why you’d be the perfect fit. It’s a good idea to include a media kit too - it adds an tone of professionalism to your email and gives you an opportunity to showcase some of your work and expand on yourself a bit more. I'll be blogging soon about where to start with a media kit - so don't miss that if you're serious about pitching. 


how to secure brand collaborations, advert opportunities and sponsored posts on Instagram, including how to pitch to brands, whether you need a media kit or not, and staying true to your brand.

One big tip I would give when pitching to a brand is to do your research. A blanket email sent out to hundreds of brands isn’t going to help you stand out from the crowd - personalise it and mention exactly why you love their brand/ethos/values. I always try to link to blog posts I've written that mention the brand/their products too, if possible. 

Finally, it’s an obvious point but such an important one to make. Make sure you stay true to yourself and your niche, and only accept opportunities that make sense. For example I only ever accept collaborations with brands I love, and feature products I have previously bought or would buy myself. There’s no point working hard building your following only to then ‘sell-out’ and start flogging anything and everything - people will see right through it, and you’ll lose your influence faster than you can say teeth whitening strips (of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with teeth whitening if that's on-brand for you!)


how to secure brand collaborations, advert opportunities and sponsored posts on Instagram, including how to pitch to brands, whether you need a media kit or not, and staying true to your brand.


And one final (and even more important point) - always make sure you're being totally transparent with your audience, and declare whether you're being paid/gifted items in the correct way on your posts. You can have a read through the ASA guidelines here, however in a nutshell if you've been paid in any way (whether in cash or through gifted items/tickets to events etc), you should label this AD in your posts online. If you then go on to feature the item, or something you've purchased yourself from the same brand, this also needs to be mentioned in your caption/post - making your relationship with a brand really clear for your audience/readers. For example: "[item] previously gifted from [brand] as part of a paid collaboration", or "I bought [item] myself, however I have been paid by [brand] before as part of collaborations". 

Hope this has been helpful, as always please ask away if you have any questions at all, and you can find all of my other blogging tips posts here. If you do go ahead and send a pitch to a brand, give me a shout! I'd absolutely love to hear how you got on.

Thanks for reading,
Sam xx
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