How to reach out to brands and land deals as an influencer

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  • Brand deals are a top income source for many influencers.
  • These collaborations often start with a pitch, through email message or other methods. 
  • Insider spoke with creators across social media on how they reach out to brands for collaborations.

One of the earliest questions aspiring influencers will ask themselves is: How do I start working with brands?

An influencer’s inbox — whether it’s email or direct messages on social media — is often where that process of getting in contact with a brand begins.

Many influencers, like Gigi Kovach (a part-time lifestyle influencer), go straight to email to reach out to brands for collaborations. What do you say when reaching out to brands? Kovach told Insider that she keeps a “pitch bank” of email templates handy when she’s approaching brands and potential sponsors. 

Read one of Kovach’s email pitch templates she uses when emailing brands for sponsorships

Meanwhile, other influencers will contact brands by cold DMing them on social media, like Instagram for a collaboration. 

Micro influencer Ashley Jones said that her strategy consists of posting on Instagram about products she loves and tagging the brand. She then reaches out to the brand to introduce herself and explains why she’d like to work with them. She’ll often ask for a proper PR contact too, she said.

Read more about how Jones lands brand deals and sets her rates

LinkedIn is also a tool creators utilize to connect with PR reps or influencer-marketing contacts at brands. For instance, TikTok star London Lazerson uses LinkedIn to DM CEOs.

Read how 3 influencers are using LinkedIn to make money

In addition to the pitch, many influencers create and attach a media kit — a document that includes basic information about an influencer’s account, engagement data, previous work, and contact information.

Some influencers will send a media kit to every advertiser they work with. They keep this document up to date by adding new metrics and collaborations every few months. 

Maesha Shonar, a creator TikTok and Instagram, opted for a three-page pitch proposal instead of a standard media kit to land brand deals.

Read the exact pitch proposal document Shonar sends to brands

Insider has spoken with several influencers who all have different approaches to pitching brands. Here’s how they reach out brands for collaborations, including several email templates they use.  

How to contact brands as an influencer to pitch a paid sponsorship

It takes time to figure out what type of pitch sticks and grabs the attention of brands. 

“You get a lot of no’s when you first start to pitch brands, but then you sort of fine-tune your approach,” Kovach told Insider. 

But contacting brands is an important step when building relationships with brands.

Jen Lauren, a nano influencer on YouTube and Instagram, charges around $350 for an Instagram sponsorship (one in-feed post) or YouTube sponsorship (brand mention), and that price will vary depending on the scope of work, she told Insider when she had just under 3,000 followers.

To land her first paid deal, Lauren used a media kit. She sends her media kit to the brands she wants to work with directly, through email, direct message on Instagram, or sometimes she’ll even find an influencer marketing contact for a brand on LinkedIn, she said. 

But media kits aren’t the only way influencers get their foot in the door. 

Shonar, who uses a pitch proposal template when she reaches out to brands, has inked deals with brands like Fishbowl and Aavrani.

“Pitching yourself and your talent as a creator is kind of similar to consulting, so I put that hat on and thought about how I’d approach brands,” Shonar said. “Pitch proposals, where you showcase your value proposition, the timeline, and the deliverables, are the perfect way to do that.”

Here’s how 33 influencers pitch brands, from email templates to media kits.

Email templates influencers use to reach out to brands

  • Tori Dunlap, a personal-finance influencer with 2.2 million TikTok followers. She shared 2 templates she uses to pitch brands on Instagram.
  • Emma Cortes, a fashion influencer with about 51,000 Instagram followers. She shared the email template she uses to turn gifting offers into paying deals.
  • Lillian Zhang, a TikTok influencer with about 22,000 followers. She shared the DM she used to get her first sponsorship deal.
  • Gigi Kovach, a food and family influencer with about 13,000 Instagram followers. She shared the 200-word email pitch she uses to reach out to brands.
  • Jalyn Baiden, an Instagram influencer with about 5,700 followers. She shared two of the templates she used to land her first few deals.
  • Julie Tecson, a nano influencer with about 7,100 Instagram followers. She shared 3 email templates she uses to pitch brands for different types of sponsorships.
  • Jack Betts, a college athlete with about 5,400 followers. Here’s the email template he uses to score NIL deals.

Message templates and DMs influencers use to contact brands

  • Marina Mogilko, business and education creator with 6.8 million YouTube subscribers. She has a 24-page media kit she emails to the brands she works with.
  • Brianna Seaberg, a travel creator with 680,000 TikTok followers. Read the 4-page media kit she’s used to get deals with brands like Amazon and Netflix.
  • Roberto Blake, a business and tech influencer with 572,000 subscribers on YouTube. Here’s his 26-page media kit for pitching tech brands.
  • Joel Bervell, a medical student with about 631,000 TikTok followers. Here’s his 2-page media kit.
  • Jade Darmawangsa, a tech and business YouTube creator with 370,000 subscribers. She shared her 4-page media kit.
  • Eric Stoen, a travel creator with about 340,000 Instagram followers. He shared his 1-page media kit.
  • Lauren SoYung Lim, an influencer with about 254,000 TikTok followers. She shared the 9-page media kit she used to pitch brands.
  • Dr. Sally Choi, a medical resident and content creator with 200,000 TikTok followers.Read her the 2-page media kit she’s used to get brand deals with Microsoft and Paula’s Choice.
  • Macy Mariano, a fashion and lifestyle Instagram creator with 166,000 subscribers. Check out her 9-page media kit.
  • Gigi Robinson, a creator with about 142,000 followers on TikTok. She shared the 17-page media kit she used to get brand deals with Amazon and Tinder.
  • Paulina Perez, a micro influencer on TikTok with 53,000 followers.Check out her 2-page media kit that helped her secure more than 20 brand deals last year.
  • Blake Newby, a beauty creator with 45,000 TikTok followers. Read her 7-page media kit.
  • Justine Jakobs, a creator with over 36,000 OnlyFans subscribers. Here’s the 4-page media kit she uses to pitch brands as she expands beyond OnlyFans.
  • Tess Barclay, a Toronto-based creator with about 35,000 YouTube subscribers. Here’s the latest version of her 1-page media kit.
  • Stacy Kim, a travel and fashion influencer with 3,400 Instagram followers. Here’s her 1-page media kit.
  • Jen Lauren, a YouTube nano influencer with about 7,200 subscribers. She shared her simple 3-page media kit.
  • Kayla Compton, a nano influencer. Here’s the 8-page media kit she uses.

Read the full article here

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