Brand Outreach Tips for Influencers
Every week, we host educational webinars to help you grow your creator biz. This week, we talked with Anna owner of the Creative Exchange. While she mostly hires UGC creators, she has almost a decade of perspective on how to work with brands, how to reach out to brands, and what brands are looking for when hiring creators.
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What is the best way to reach out to brands? Dm, email?
The best way to reach out to brands is by filling out a form on their website, or by emailing their influencer or PR email specifically. There’s nothing wrong with sending a DM, but the percentage of people that will see it or pass it along is pretty small unless the team is really small and the social media manager is also in charge of all marketing.
What is the best way to get your foot in the door with a brand? Specifically a big brand?
Be a fan of the brand and post content of that brand as if you were already working with them. Fake it until you make it-essentially! Creating genuine content gets you noticed by the brand more than cold outreach can.
If you’re a UGC creator, you need to have your UGC social portfolio actively updated with a variety of samples and styles. Big brands use social listening tools to monitor who’s talking about their brand, so posting about them on social will help you get on their radar.
What do you look for when choosing influencers?
Charisma, quality, consistency and an interesting perspective. Agencies like the Creative Exchange can easily create voiceover videos, so showing that you can speak into the camera is incredibly important if you want to get hired for campaigns. Most importantly, you need to have a functional portfolio with images & videos that load quickly. Always test how your media kit is opens before sending it out. If it takes longer than 15 seconds to load, figure out how to improve that.
How much negotiation is typical for most brand deals? Is there a such thing as too much back and forth?
The negotiation timeline for brands varies depending on the situation. Some brands are working on a tighter timeline, so whoever responds the quickest, tends to get preferential budget allocation! Some brands say yes quickly, while others take a long time with back-and-forth communication. There is no set time frame. As for implications regarding budget and creative talent budget, it depends on how much the brand is willing to pay and what the talent is willing to work for.
At the end of the day, you have to feel good about what their offering and how much you're asking for.
How to navigate the process of pitching oneself and pricing?
Having an initial pricing range is essential, and it can be communicated to the brand upfront. It is important to not under or over pitch oneself and to be comfortable with the price being charged. Need help pricing your work, that's where our campaign calculator comes in! Try it out here.
If your price is higher than what the rep has budgeted for the campaign, if they ghost you, sometimes it doesn’t mean that they don’t think you’re worth it, they may not want to insult you by offering half of your rate.
Also, a budget for the campaign is not directly tied to a budget for an influencer. A large budget for a campaign means that they may have to staff a lot of influencers and may have little wiggle room for negotiation.
What are some tips for creators when navigating gifted opportunities from brands?
If a brand approaches you with a gifting campaign, you shouldn't be required to sign a posting contract for the product and you shouldn't feel obligated to post about it. If you do decide to take the gift on in *hopes* of turning it into a brand deal, realize that nothing is guaranteed. If you're excited about the opportunity and it aligns with your content and brand, then you should go for it.
From the agent's perspective, the best way to advocate for the creator is to remind the brand of the creator's interest in working with them. Creators can also advocate for themselves by sending follow-ups to the brand if the campaign was successful and suggest that a paid sponsorship post would be a good next step.
What are some tips for getting consistent work as a creator?
To get consistent work, you have to put yourself out there and do constant outreach, (this is where our brand contact Rolodex comes in- keep searching for great brands to work with!) keep your past contacts warm and update them about projects you’re working on. If you’re doing really well in your niche, brands will take notice. So partner with other creators in your niche to promote yourself outside of your immediate circle. And most importantly, be professional! Respond to emails in a timely manner, and following directions is critical. Less than 20% of creators brands work with make their job easier, and those creators get repeat work.
When it comes to brand partnerships, remember the three P's: Professionalism (responding to negotiations quickly and sending over recaps on time), Perseverance (keep reaching out about opportunities you're looking for in a timely manner), and Personality (show a dynamic range of your content from voiceovers to camera facing speaking). You have to be the advocate for why a brand should hire you versus using an agency's internal team.
If you want to get on Anna's roster for UGC opportunities, fill out her form here to get started!