How to Successfully Collaborate With Brands
We are so excited to share this story from our lovely counterparts in France. This post is a little different from our usual posts but we are so excited to share it! The first part of this post includes some really helpful tips about working with brands, then we move on to something really fun. French Instagram star Allineedisclothes shares her best tips and advice on how to best work with brands so that both you and the brand feel happy and comfortable with the partnership. We hope you love this post today!
Insist on getting the details up front
The moment a brand contacts you about project you need to put on your ‘professional hat’. From the very beginning you should approach any interaction with a brand as a business transaction — this might seem like overkill but you will protect yourself and your image in the long run if you conduct yourself in a professional manner from the beginning. A big part of this is understanding exactly what the brand expects from you right from the beginning. This will ensure that you can asses the opportunity and make sure it is the right fit for your brand, your schedule and your capabilities.
Here’s a check list of things your should look for and ask for before you agree to work with a brand
- Is this a paid opportunity?
→ This question is not greedy. It is an important starting point. If the brand is making a lot of demands but only providing one or two products, it is okay to push back and agree to less deliverables.
- What kind of video or image is the brand looking for?
→ Is it an image of you, the product, both? Does the request fit with your account’s overall aesthetic?
- Will this partnership comprise my brand identity?
→ Make sure the brand isn’t making demands that won’t work for your channel. If the content seems forced it won’t be successful anyway.
- Are you also required to share the content on multiple social platforms?
- How long should the video be?
- Are there any key messages the brand would like to include?
- What is the deadline for publication?
- Would you like me to add specific keywords to info bars, tags?
These questions are just a starting off point, but you can already see how much information is needed. It is important to have a full picture of the expectations so you can deliver content that makes everyone happy.
Share a Media Kit
It is important to have a media kit when you start working with brands. If you are just starting out a one pager is totally fine! A media kit makes you look more polished, and will also give a potential brand partner an at-a-glance look at what they can expect from you.
Your should include the number of followers you have on each platform and your average engagement per post or video. Be sure to call out past brand collaborations you are proud of and a quick bio about yourself. If you are new to the world of media kits, this blog post provides some really great inspiration and a free download to help you create your own media kit!
Be demanding — but be sure to keep an open mind
If a brand comes to you, it is okay to be firm about your expectations. Your brand is important and should come first, so you should never compromise yourself to please a brand partner. If you feel like a potential collaboration simply will not work with your brand, it is perfectly okay to say ‘no, thank you’ and move on. However, if the brand feels right and the product is something you are excited about, but there are just one two demands you maybe don’t agree with — it’s okay to negotiate and pitch a new idea to the brand. They might come back with teaks and adjustments, but you will still leave the partnership doing work you are proud of, which is the most important thing at the end of the day.
And now for the main event! Sometimes the best inspiration can come from one of your peers. Today, we have Allineedisclothes answering a few questions about her journey as an influencer.
How did you get your start as an influencer?
I first had a blog and then I started on Instagram about three years ago. At first it was more of a personal account and over time I turned it into a real professional account to share my tricks, my advice, my outfits, and my blog articles.
How did you start working with brands?
I was contacted by a first brand when I had about 5000 followers, or even a little less. I remember the brand very well — it was Triangl, a swimsuit brand that I love, it was really great for me!
How were you able to contact them?
They came to me, actually, to offer me a partnership opportunity. But, in general, my opportunities often come via Instagram or by word of mouth …
Have you ever gotten help from other bloggers?
I have gotten some advice from my blogger-friends but mostly I learned everything “on the job”!
Has your relationship with brands changed since that first collaboration? Are you more comfortable now?
Yes of course! At the beginning I was very nervous. I did not know how to answer brands and didn’t understand yet that I did not have to accept anything and everything … But over time I have learned a lot and it was really very enriching for me.
How do you work with brands today?
Usually, brands are the ones who come to me, but sometimes I get in touch with some press agencies to see if they would like to collaborate with me. This usually works out well because there are so many Instagram accounts that PR people simply don’t get the opportunity to see so they are very happy that I write to them in order to propose that we work together.
What questions do you have before working with a brand?
I wonder first if what I am going to receive or do will interest my community, whether they will interact or love what I present. It is important to present products that will serve my readers, otherwise it is useless to have a blog! Then I also look at whether the brand is interesting to me, if it has a “good reputation” so that I don’t look bad for doing the collaboration.
Is there a contract? Is it necessary?
In France, a contract is required when the partnership is paid, when it is a shipment of product this is not necessary.
Are you demanding on collaboration?
I am demanding enough. I want to work with brands that offer me collaboration opportunities, but the product has to also appeal to my readers. For example I will not partner for a lawn mower even if it is paid!
Are you going to events? How do you choose them, why?
Yes of course, about one to several per night … which does not really leave me time but I love events. I love to connect with my blogger friends, we rediscover brands, there are often fun activities at the events. We also make new contacts at events.
What advice can you give to those who are looking to start collaborating with brands?
I think that the best advice I can give other influencers about their first partnerships is above all to be careful not to rush into all the collabs. Make sure the brands you work with fit your brand identity. No one wins when you say “yes” to everything, otherwise you could hurt your reputation and the work you do won’t be as great.
What tips do you have for working with brands? Share them in the comments section below!