Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Are you struggling to get brand collaborations or not sure where to start? Then this is a must read for you. I have been doing collaborations and landing paid partnership deals with brands for a long time now and have learned a lot along the way. There's one important thing you need to know before we get started, most brands get approached by influencers daily and can only accept a certain amount of collaborations so they are going to pick Influencers that are producing content they really love. Out of every 10 brands I approach I only get replies from about half of them, sometimes less, but that's just the way it is. Unless you have millions of followers you WILL get rejected many times, just don't let that discourage you.
Introduce yourself - You wouldn't just walk up to somebody and start bombarding them with reasons why they should partner with you, that's just rude, so why should writing a message to that person be any different? Take the time to explain who you are and what you do but keep it short and sweet.
Get personal - Don't just send out a generic message to brands that you want to work with, make it a little more personal. A great way of doing this is by mentioning a particular product of theirs that you have fallen in love with, brands like to hear about how much a person likes their products. Another way to get a little more personal is by addressing the brand by their brand name or even better, the person your speaking to's name.
Why should they choose you? - Like I said above brands get A LOT of interest from influencers just like you so you need to be able to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Does your Instagram feed compliment theirs nicely meaning they could repost your photo and it not look out of place? Maybe it's a particular area that a high percentage of your followers are from that would be beneficial to the brand? Or it could simply be the fact that your offering more advertisement for less compared to other influencers (but don't sell yourself too short, that's a whole other topic I need to cover). Whatever it is, make the brand want to choose you over other influencers.
Pick your brands carefully - Never approach brands that are not relevant to your Instagram/blog because even if by some miracle the brand does agree to work with you, the content will do poorly as your audience will not be interested. Instead choose brands that will compliment your feed nicely, for example, I am a motherhood blogger and I approached the brand Elvie and collaborated with them to promote their breast pump as this is something that the vast majority of my followers will be interested in.
Be professional - I often do a short introduction to brands then ask for their email to discuss the potential collaboration further and this also means I can send them a copy of my media kit. The brand will often be impressed at your professional approach and be interested in hearing what you have to say, this will give you the chance to write a well-structured email highlighting the points I listed above. I would also recommend that you check your spelling and grammar before sending the email with a brilliant little app called Grammarly, you can get it on desktop, iPhone and Android (it's saved me some embarrassment many times).
Be yourself - You may be thinking that this contradicts what I just said about being professional but you can be both. Brands (or anyone for that matter) like to feel like they are talking to a real person, not a robot so you should always stay true to yourself and let your personality shine through in whatever you write.
Be trustworthy - No brand will ever want to work with you again if you aren't reliable. Always try to reply to emails as promptly as you can, if your running late on getting your content up for them TELL THEM they will be a lot more understanding if you are honest, life gets in the way sometimes and they will more than likely be sympathetic to that but what they won't like is being completely ignored or feeling forgotten about so always keep them in the loop and you will have a happy working relationship with them.
Here are a couple of examples of emails I have sent out to brands that have successfully got me the partnership:
'Hey there, I have just been checking out your website and your toy subscriptions are a genius idea I love it! I was wondering if you would consider collaborating with me as 90% of my followers are mothers like myself and I'd love to advertise your service to them in exchange for a subscription! I would happily advertise your service throughout the whole time I had a subscription with grid posts and stories with swipe up links to your website. I have attached a copy of my media kit with details of my audience and account analytics. I hope this can be the start of a great partnership, I look forward to hearing from you.'
'Hi there, my name is Beth and I am a motherhood blogger on Instagram under the name @bethbluu and I recently came across your brand and believe we would be a great match! My audience consists mainly of mothers like myself aged between 25-35 from both the UK and USA. I think we would be a good fit as your Elvie pelvic floor trainer and revolutionary Elvie breast pump are both products that would be of great interest to my followers so I would like to offer you free advertisement in exchange for one of your products. As I am expecting my baby girl any day now and will be breastfeeding her, I would love to collaborate with your brand with the breast pump because of the freedom to pump on the go that it provides which would be ideal for me looking after both a newborn and a young toddler. So in regards to the advertisement Id like to provide your brand, it would consist of an unboxing video upon receiving the pump giving a brief description of the pump and your brand with a swipe up link to your website, encouraging my followers to check it out. In addition to this, after using the product for a couple of weeks I would do a grid post featuring the pump, giving a full and honest review of the product while directing my followers to your page and website. I have attached a copy of my media kit to this email and hope to hear back from you soon.'
These are just examples so please don't quote them word for word, think about what separates you from the crowd and use it to your advantage.
Follow these simple steps and you will be landing collaborations and paid partnerships in no time. Good luck!