Are you a content creator looking to secure a brand deal?

These days, content creators earn big bucks by partnering with brands to create sponsored advertisements. If your target audience aligns with a brand, they will likely partner with you. Many brands are currently using creator platforms such as TikTok and Instagram to increase brand awareness and attract new customers. Influencers and content creators hold great power with their audience, and brands want to capitalize on that wherever possible. It might seem daunting to secure an advertising deal, but depending on the size of your audience, it might be easier than you think! These six tips will help you get started if you want to monetize your content and earn a passive income from brand partnerships.

1. Grow your following

Unfortunately, securing brand deals can often become a numbers game. Most brands will not be willing to partner with someone with a very small following. Some brands have a follower count requirement, while others look at the whole picture and only consider the numbers alongside other factors. Regardless, you won’t be successful in seeking advertising deals if you have 500 followers. Before partnering with any brands, build your following and expand your influence. Be cautious about securing advertising deals before you’ve taken this step to grow your audience. If you are rejected initially, it may be more difficult to be accepted in the future.

2. Research brands that align with your audience

If you primarily make content for married women in their thirties, a brand targeting teenage girls will likely not want to partner with you. It’s a game of common denominators, where finding your niche will help you find brands that you might be able to partner with. Choosing to partner with a brand that shares your audience will be a major advantage for that brand and you– if your followers love the products you’re promoting, your audience will grow.

3. Create a portfolio

Before diving too far into trying to acquire partnerships, it’s important to build up a portfolio of your content. This might not look like a standard portfolio for someone who works as a graphic designer. Your “portfolio” could be your TikTok or Instagram page. Regardless, the portfolio is a showcase of your work, and it should be polished, cohesive, and attractive. When trying to secure a brand deal, the company will look extensively at your social media presence. They are far more likely to partner with you if they like what they see.

4. Build a relationship with your chosen brand(s)

Now that you have researched potential brands and polished your portfolio, it’s time to start building your relationship with the chosen brand(s). Depending on the content you create and the brand you’re looking to partner with, this will likely look different. First and foremost, brands are far more likely to partner with you if you’re already a customer. Plenty of content creators have landed brand deals after posting pictures or videos showing off a product they purchased. Suppose you wanted to partner with lululemon for a brand deal. If you’re a content creator on TikTok, you may post a video of you trying on your lululemon haul. If the video gains traction with your audience, lululemon is much more likely to notice you, especially if you tag them. Don’t be afraid to post organic, unsponsored videos of you promoting brands that you want to work with. Showcasing your enthusiasm for a specific brand shows them that you authentically love their products and that authenticity translates well in paid brand deals. If you create unsponsored content centered around a certain brand, make sure you tag them and use their hashtags, where applicable. This is a great way to get yourself recognized by a company, possibly leading to them reaching out for a collaboration. At the end of the day, a brand is more likely to choose to partner with a creator who has demonstrated a passion for their products, as this passion will be palpable in any paid content you create in the future. 

5. Deliver a clear and well-written pitch

While brands may take the initiative to reach out to content creators sometimes, it is not always, or often, the case. If brands are not coming to you, you must go to them! However, there is a right and wrong way to go about this. Simply messaging a brand account on Instagram and offering to make a sponsored post is not enough. Many content creators make the mistake of contacting a brand and asking for free products in exchange for content. Neither of these approaches is an ideal option. Instead, spend time crafting a deliberate and concise pitch. It should explain who you are, why you want to partner with this brand, and what you can offer them. Brands do not just hand out advertising deals because they feel like doing so– you need to prove that you can offer value to the brand.

6. Produce top quality sponsored content

Once you’ve been offered a partnership with a brand, focus on creating high-quality advertisements. Avoid being too gimmicky or unoriginal with your content. Not only will this make a great impression on the brand you’re currently working with, but it will also serve as a great example of your work for other brands you may wish to partner with. If a content creator does excellent advertising for a company, they will continue to work with them, leading to even more lucrative deals. Conversely, if you produce subpar content your audience doesn’t receive well, the brand might decide to pull its partnership, which is not something you want.