Bloggers, social media influencers, and online content creators who are looking to earn more with their brand will likely look to sponsored posts for additional income. Sponsored posts can come from you reaching out to another brand with an idea for a collaboration or the brand reaching out to the influencer. So how do you find brands to work with and how do you go about getting sponsored work?
When an influencer reaches out to a brand, it’s called pitching the brand. You’ll want to introduce yourself, why you’d be a good fit to work with the brand, and what problem you’ll be helping them solve by working with you. For more specific information on how to approach a brand and what to say when you reach out, invest in The Pitch Book Bundle from our Charleston speaker, Brandi Riley. It will go over everything you need to get you started.
Joining influencer networks is another way to get sponsored work for your blog and social media channels. There’s usually an application process for different campaigns, and you could be working on campaigns with hundreds of other bloggers at the same time. Today there are a lot of influencer networks out there. Make sure you research the best ones before you put time into joining these groups.
Know Your Rates
When determining the rate to pitch, you’ll want to consider several things:
- Time – how much time is it going to take you to write the post, take the pictures, shop for the ingredients or supplies, travel, or whatever else is required to complete the job?
- Supplies – how much will it cost for you to purchase what’s needed?
- Taxes – you’ll need to plan to put some money aside for later.
- Fees – if you’re paid via a service like PayPal, be sure you account for the fees associated with the transaction.
You might not get the rate you requested, but it’s a good idea to have an idea of what it’s going to cost you so you can negotiate with the brands you’d like to work with.
With so many content creators these days, it’s really important that you build lasting relationships with both brands and agencies. Becoming an influencer who is dependable and reliable will also help you stay in the good graces of brands and networks. Use your judgment to determine when to offer your services at a discounted (or even free) rate. Some bloggers even have a ratio of discounted or donated work they do each quarter to be sure they’re doing their part to give back.
All About Contracts
Before you sign anything, be sure you read the fine print – all of it. Don’t be afraid of reaching back out to the brand with questions, changes, or to ask for additional compensation. You can also reach out to ask other bloggers how they handle contracts and negotiations. Groups like Courage to Earn – The Community is a perfect place to ask questions in an honest, supportive environment.
Drafts, Drafts, and Drafts
Brands or agencies may require an influencer to submit drafts of their writing or social media posts before the post actually go live. When agreeing to this, be sure to note the due dates of the drafts in addition to the actual date for the campaign to go live. Refer to your contract or agreement if there are questions about what the brand can change when reviewing a draft or how many revisions they’re able to make to your work. Be sure you follow the provided direction when submitting drafts as well.
Photography and Video
Clear pictures are always part of a campaign. You’ll need them in your blog posts as well as for social media promotion. Take the time to get images you’re proud of, and be sure to reference the brand’s requirements for the campaign. You may be required to share pictures of product packaging, in-store items, or someone using the product. More and more brands are also looking for video content as well.
Any sponsored content needs to be disclosed as such. Blog posts need to include information before the first link is shared in the piece, clearly explaining about your partnership with the brand. Currently, this is a fuzzy area. Some bloggers will use a blanket statement on every blog post saying the post may contain affiliate links or be sponsored and direct you to a disclosure section. If your way explains your relationship with the brand to someone who isn’t familiar with how any of this works, you’ve probably done your job. (Please be sure to follow the most recent directives from the FTC to be sure you comply. This material is just informational and doesn’t override any of their direction.)
Your contract or agreement is going to come into play here as well. Before refreshing your PayPal account to see if you got paid, make sure you’ve completed everything required. You may need to submit links to your live post or social media posts or invoice the brand for the work. Be sure you’ve completed everything asked of you before sending the invoice.
Social Media Promotion
Depending on your campaign, social media posts may be required. When sharing sponsored content on social media, it has to be appropriately disclosed. Currently, the only thing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recognizes as a sponsored post is the #AD hashtag. Different platforms also have different requirements. For example, Facebook only allows approved pages to share sponsored content using their specific handshake tool.
Boosting and Ads
Brands may ask for influencers to boost social media posts or run ads to help increase views. Funds may be part of the campaign budget, or it might be something you as the influencer will need to budget accordingly for. This will help get even more eyes on your content.
Once you’ve completed your campaign, brands or agencies may ask for the analytics associated with the campaign. In addition to your stats from your blog post, be sure to include your social media reach and response as well. This information can be presented in a variety of ways so you can develop your own template to use or find one already created to add your information to if that’s easier.
What to learn all about working with brands? We’ll be hosting our next FLOCK Presents event in Charleston. You’ll be able to spend an entire day with us as we go through the ins and outs of working with brands. Be in the room with us. Use code: 50ForCharleston for a discount.