Advertisement

How to get sponsored on Instagram and get paid brand partnerships

Emma Cortes is an influencer and is smiling, wearing colorful dress
Emma Cortes is a micro influencer based in Seattle.Holly Phan Photography
  • On Instagram, it can seem like the hashtags #ad and #sponsored are ubiquitous.

  • Sponsorships with brands are how many influencers make an income on social media.

  • Dozens of influencers have explained to Insider their strategies for getting sponsored.

On Instagram, more than 21 million posts have the hashtag #ad. Over 5 million have #sponsored.

Sponsored posts are how many influencers make a living. Some make six figures or more from them.

Take Emma Cortes, who started a fashion blog in 2014, as an example. When she signed her first brand partnership as a part-time content creator in 2016, it was an unpaid brand ambassadorship, she told Business Insider.

Fast-forward and Cortes is a full-time influencer and earned more than $300,000 in a year — with under 50,000 Instagram followers. Most of that revenue came from brand deals, she told BI.

Read more about how Cortes earned over $300,000 in yearly income

But getting that first brand deal can be challenging for influencers. So how have they done it?

BI has interviewed dozens of influencers who have worked with a variety of brands – from Nissan to Lululemon to Credit Karma — about how they secure brand deals on Instagram.

Some creators use third-party influencer-marketing platforms like Fohr or Izea. Others find strategic ways to get on a brand's radar, such as pitching marketing agencies or a company's employees on LinkedIn, or using tools on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Even Slack groups can be a "gold mine" for finding potential brand deals.

JaLisa Jefferson is an influencer and is posing in the street wearing a dress and hat.
JaLisa Vaughn-Jefferson.Marrica Evans

More established influencers often have talent managers or agents who pitch, negotiate, and get sponsorships for them. For instance, JaLisa Vaughn-Jefferson, a lifestyle influencer with 275,000 followers at the time, signed $700,000 in brand deals halfway into a year with the help of her management firm. (Read more about how she built her influencer business.) Or, take, Achieng Agutu, a fashion influencer with 480,000 Instagram followers at the time BI interviewed her, who earned $1 million in a year.

Check out: BI's interactive database of the top managers and agents representing some of social media's biggest stars

But even for creators who are starting out — with under 10,000 followers on Instagram — there are paths to getting sponsored. Many "nano" influencers start off by working with brands as ambassadors (like Cortes did) and sharing affiliate links that demonstrate they have the ability to drive customers to a brand.

Some brands, like Dunkin Donuts or jewelry brand Mejuri, are known for their partnerships with micro influencers.

To help content creators better understand how they can get sponsored on Instagram, here's a compilation of our coverage of how influencers get brand deals.

Getting the right pitch is a key

Whether it's over email or Instagram DM, what influencers include in a pitch can make all the difference.

"I like to use the word 'offer' instead of 'collab' to remind micro influencers that you have to offer the brand something that's valuable," Julie Tescon, a nano influencer, told BI. "You can offer anything that the brand normally would pay for."

Christian Di Bratto, a talent manager who works with creators, told BI that personalizing pitches is key. He shared the pitch he sends to brands to secure deals for his clients. (Read his pitch.)

Here are 14 examples of how influencers are pitching brands, from the exact pitch they send to unique strategies:

Media kits help demonstrate what an influencer can offer a brand

"A lot of people might think, 'Oh, if you have a thousand followers, no one's going to pay you for that,'" Kayla Compton, a lifestyle nano influencer, told BI. "But if you have a very engaged audience and you can target people really well and have a good connection with your audience, brands will pay for that."

She — like many other influencers — uses a media kit to help showcase to brands how even with a few thousand followers, she can still drive engagement.

Here are 13 examples of media kits influencers use to get sponsorships:

Read the original article on Business Insider