In this post: Find 10 tips on how to pitch for paid collaborations and work with brands as a micro-influencer. Be it if you’re just starting or if you don’t have confidence that your social media numbers are worthy of a collaboration, this post is for you.
Work With Brands as a Micro-Influencer | A Content Creator Guide for Paid Collabs
Landing a collaboration with a brand is one of the ways that bloggers and creators can get paid for the time invested in their services towards that brand. I’ve already said many times in the blog that you don’t need a big social following to start working with brands.
In fact, there is an on-going trend to favor micro-influencers because not only they are more approachable, but they’re also more relatable. After all, micro-influencers have a great reputation in the industry. They’ve worked hard to build serious trust with their ever-growing followers and fanbase, and they have a loyal and dedicated community.
At the end of the day, brands care about ROI (return on investment) and micro-influencers are sometimes a safer bet to get the results they need to feel like they got their money’s worth from the partnership.
But first…what is a micro-influencer?
It is important to define micro-influencers as the term can be subjective to many.
Different people in the industry have various qualifications about what makes an influencer “micro” but generally, it means they have less than 100,000 followers, they are actively engaged with their community and they have built trust with their fans that cause them to take action.
I’d say a good estimate would be that a micro-influencer is someone that has up to 30,000 followers or fans on a social media platform and has built an authentic connection with their community
(anything below that is a nano-influencer and, yes, you can still get paid to work with brands even when you have less than 10K Instagram followers).
How To Do Brand Outreach as A Micro-Influencer.
Find below my 10 best tips on how to work with brands as a micro-Influencer and land your next brand partnership.
How to Work With Brands as a Micro-Influencer | an 8-Step Guide For Small Content Creators
#1 Pick the Right Brand to Approach
When you want to work with brands as a micro-influencer, you gotta think of it like matchmaking – you want to find the best fit for you at this point in your life.
I know this may sound like a no-brainer, but if you take your time to do proper research to find a brand that s a good fit, you will ultimately be more efficient towards achieving your goal of working with brands.
Trust me, as an experienced Account Executive, I know the difference between properly targeting a lead and randomly firing pitch emails. It’s crazy how much better my outcomes are when I take my time to do a bit of research in advance.
Don’t waste your time (and hopes, I might add), pitching to brands that would never be a good fit, or that are out of your league at the moment Be realistic and strategic and you’ll see the results flourish.
How to know if a brand will be a good match for an influencer collaboration?
First things first, check if they work with brands. Don’t assume all brands are looking for influencer marketing to solve all their issues. Some brands are old-fashioned, while they’re still don’t understand how valuable it could be to collaborate with influencers.
In short, the company you approach should make sense with your personal brand (something your audience will appreciate), be something you’re honestly passionate about, and maybe even be a product that you already use and love. The idea here is to be so right for the brand that it would be silly for them to pass up the opportunity to work with you.
You should have the same target audience as the brand, have an aesthetic and voice that could be compatible with theirs, and be confident that you can create amazing content for them to use on social media. Basically, this brand should be able to easily visualize your content fitting right in with their brand…essentially you’d be a perfect match.
Tip: Make sure you’re following the brand on social media before reaching out…they will check 🙂
#2 Before You Pitch: Do Your Homework on the Brand
This adds up to my prior point: those who take their time to do basic research have better results.
You need to read about the brands you’re approaching to know exactly how to position yourself. Read their blogs, their website, check their social media, and even their Linkedin.
Do an audit and take notes. Observe items such as:
- · What is their target demographic?
- · Where are their customers located?
- · What are their key messages or the company’s mission?
- · How does their content look like?
Furthermore, see if they have any new launches, any openings, any special announcements, etc. Let your brain travel and soon enough you’ll get many A-HA moments.
Once you figure out your similarities or where you can really add value to their brand, don’t be afraid to mention that in your pitch. With the information, you gather you can tell the brand why you love their product/service, how you two are similar in your mission, what your audience responds to, and how you can help them get the results they are looking for.
This type of outreach gives the brand confidence in your services because they will know you understand their brand and trust that you will accurately communicate their messaging to your followers.
Trust me, sending a pitch tailored to the brand puts you, leagues, ahead of everyone else sending copy/paste emails.
ACTION ITEM: Take your time to do your brand research before drafting an email pitch. If you need help drafting your pitches, I can help you out! Send me an email at [email protected] and lets talk!
#3 Know Your Value
Pay attention to girls because, to me, this is the most important aspect of making money online: understating your value as an influencer/blogger/creator.
When I started, I thought it was better to start and learn on the way (this means, defining my goals, mission, and what I wanted to communicate).
What I thought would save me time in the long run resulted in a blog that was twice rebranded and took longer to monetize than it should. This all happened because I didn’t take the time to sit down and really think about my brand and define my value.
I will repeat this again: it is not about how many followers you have but about how you communicate your worth to the brand. Only YOU can define your value, your worth, and how much you should be paid.
Knowing exactly ‘’who you’re influencing’’ also helps. Knowing the demographic of your audience, where they’re from, and what they’re interested in, can help your case when proving your value to a potential brand.
Golden Tip When Your Numbers Aren’t Big
If you don’t have tons of followers, likes, and comments you can include sentiment in your pitch. What are people saying to you in DM’s, emails, and messages? Has a prior brand collaboration given you any feedback on how great it was to work with you? Do you own professional equipment for a photoshoot? Do you know how to pose as a model for a fashion shoot (I suck at posing, lol).
For example, I am very proud of my Swiss degree in hospitality & international business management so whenever I can, I mention this in a pitch. I believe my educational background gives me credibility as someone who is serious, has excellent communication skills, who is ambitious, and, well, who is always on time (in Switzerland being on time means arriving 5 minutes earlier, or else you’re considered late). This helps me stand out from other bloggers in my own special way.
Another example, my partner is a photographer and we were defining his core values to help stand out from other photographers. In his pitches, we always include we have an in-house studio, professional equipment, drones, a variety of lenses, etc. This shows the brand not only that he can deliver professional imagery, but as well that the brand won’t have extra costs hiring a studio or renting equipment.
ACTION ITEM: Take an entire day (or two) to define your core values. It does not matter if you’re new or if you’ve been blogging for years, this step is so necessary and will help you gain the confidence to ask for money (you deserve being paid, girl!). What makes you special? Why should they want to work with you?
If you need tips on how to define your brand core values, this post might help.
#4 Be a Consultant
Your objective as a blogger is to make the brand’s lives easier and help them reach their goals.
Once you’ve done your homework and understand the brand, figure out ways that you would be able to help them achieve their goals…and let them know!
If you just send a general pitch with zero ideas on how you can partner, you’re basically expecting them to stop what they are doing, go on your website and social media handles, try to figure out what you’re good at, and then come up with the idea on ways you can work together.
No one has time for that…
Why would they work with you if they have to do all the thinking?
As salespeople, whenever we pitch a product or a service, the outcome of the interaction should be a win-win scenario: you get paid and the brand reaches their desired goal.
So figure out their goals – maybe they need brand awareness, fresh content for their social media, or a new campaign video and let them know what you can provide to help them reach their goals. If you make it as easy as possible for them, it’ll be hard for them to say “no.”
Before making a sales pitch, act as a consultant, and ask questions!
At the end of this post, you can download for free top 10 questions to ask when negotiating with brands to increase your income.
#5 Get Creative on your Offers
The more you offer (i.e. the more value you add) the higher your chances of getting a YES.
Pitching is fun because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to pitching and it’s always important to play to your strengths so you can really stand out of the influencer crowd.
If you’re a skilled photographer or videographer, show them your portfolio and offer to partner with them to create content. If you’re a copywriting queen, why not offer to think of creative campaign copy that they can use beyond your partnership (the other day I offered to translate a few posts into a few languages that I am comfortable with and got a monthly regular business of 600 euros to translate a few posts, yay).
Sometimes brands will pay you to post but also purchase a few of the images you shot to use on their social media accounts. The options are endless so always try to come up with creative ways you can work together to help the brand achieve its goals.
#6 Educate the Client
Don’t be afraid to show companies that you know what you’re talking about and that influencer marketing works! If you’re starting to pitch as a micro-influencer, using general stats about influencer marketing in your pitch is super helpful, especially for companies that are just starting out in the influencer space.
Trust me. Again, from my experience as an account executive, whenever I add numbers or values in a pitch, I usually tend to get their attention and a response to my outreach. People love seeing with actual data that they can get from working with you.
Remember: Not all companies are well versed in influencer marketing and they might need to be educated in its benefits before you make them a pitch. Making money from selling services/products is about building a relationship with your prospect beforehand and setting the scene of why influencer marketing is an efficient approach before launching into why you’re the best influencer for the job. This step will increase your chances of being able to convince them to work with you.
This of this tip as if college essay – Your claims need to be backed up by evidence and statistics, or in this case, to prove why you’re worth it.
ACTION ITEM: do some basic research on numbers, data, and values that could potentially help you convince a potential lead about the value of investing in you.
#7 Stand Out From the Crowd
I get asked all the time how to make money on Instagram when you don’t have a big following. As you probably understood by now, the real secret to making money online from the start is being able to think outside the box and being creative with your offer, ultimately convincing them to use their budget to work with you…instead of someone else.
A big factor in making it in this industry is getting creative!
#8 Go Local
This is also my tip on 6 great ways to get free hotel stays as a blogger.
If you’re just starting out and haven’t done a brand deal yet, another great way to work with brands as a micro-influencer is by working with local companies or hotels to get a solid case study first. Sometimes, when we are just starting, it might be better to do some work for free in order to 1) gain experience, 2) create a portfolio.
The portfolio is especially important when you don’t have a big social following, as it serves to show the brand your potential deliverables. Cris and I worked for free at a few hotels in Barcelona to create a portfolio and understand all the nuances of working with hotels.
#9 Find Companies Already Working With Micro-Influencers
Knowing how to pitch to brands as an influencer starts with finding a good match.
A great place to start to work with brands as a micro-influencer is by pitching to companies that are already working with smaller creators. If they have already invested in working with other similar content creators, chances are they believe in the initiative, they have a budget for micro-influencers, and would be potentially open to working with you too.
Some tips on how to find brands that work with micro-influencers:
- Google ‘’in collaboration with’’ or ‘’XX’’
- Audit your competitor’s website and social media and see who they’ve worked with and what they did for them.
- Audit the brand’s social channels and check how they could potentially improve their content
Get Brand Deals as a Micro-Influencer | CONCLUSION
Brands partnerships are not all, “we’ll pay you X to post a photo on your Instagram account.” Brands too are starting to understand that influencers are more than just someone with influence – they are amazing content creators, storytellers, videographers – and they are working those skills into partnerships.
The bottom line is you need to make it SUPER CLEAR on why you are a great fit to help them reach their goals.
You have what it takes: You have value, you have an audience that would love their product/service, and you have proven results. They’d be crazy to pass on the opportunity to work with you.
And if you’re stressed about talking about compensation don’t worry! Rates are not a requirement at the start when you are assessing the interest of a potential client opportunity, You can leave the cost of your services that for the negotiation phase and send your blogger rates after they’ve already shown interest in talking to you.
Did you find these pitching tips on how to work with brands as a micro-Influencer helpful? We’d love to know! Feel free to share in the comments section down below!
Other posts on working with brands that might interest you:
- How to Get Sponsored Collaborations as a Content Creator
- How to Turn Gifted Products into Paid Opportunities
- How to Instantly Start Working With Brands as A Micro-Influencer
- Best Practices for Blogger + Brand Partnerships
- How I Stay in Luxury Hotels for Free as a Content Creator
- 6 Great Ways to Get Free Hotel Stays When You Have a Small Following
Useful Blogging Resources:
Blog Income Tracker – Don’t make the same mistakes as I did and forget to track your income (and expenses). Trust me, this will make a huge difference in your life.
ShareaSale – Has been in business for 20 years, exclusively as an Affiliate Marketing Network. This is a place where you can sign up once, and get access to hundreds and hundreds of amazing brands’ affiliate networks.
Tailwind – If Pinterest or Instagram is part of your strategy and you feel you’re losing too much time with it (join the club), then Tailwind is a MUST. Tailwind is an approved tool for both Instagram and Pinterest to schedule your posts. This allows you to batch in advance and plan your posting schedule. Try Tailwind for one month free here and make up your mind on your own.
DepositPhotos – Stunning stock photos for every niche.
The Affiliate Programs Masterlist – This masterlist is a database of 500+ affiliate programs in over 17 different niches, giving bloggers a wide range of products and services to promote so they can increase their affiliate sales.
LongTailPro – A fantastic keyword search tool for Google SEO. I love it because they also include an in-depth course on understanding SEO, how to find the best keywords to make money and get traffic, and many other insider tips on how to best utilize keywords to boost your website. Perfect for both beginners and advanced SEO understanding.
The She Approach To Boosting Your Blog Traffic (eBook) -This eBook is a guide to helping new and established bloggers increase their blog traffic. It was y first book on how to increase my blog traffic and it slowly tuned into something of a bible for me. Every so often, I go back to it both for inspiration and to refresh my memory.