In a previous blog post, we shared with you a bit about what brands are looking for from influencers. One of these things was long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships {yes, they want these too!}. So, if there is mutual intention here, how do we make this happen? Here are a few tips:

  1. Build the Relationship
    • Most brands will be hesitant to signing on for a long-term partnership if they’ve never worked with you before, so think about working together on one collaboration as your test run. Show them the skills you have and why you’ll be a great partner!
    • If you’re just starting out and really love a certain brand, consider accepting free product and posting about it on your social channels, sharing why you’re a huge fan. This can be a great way to build goodwill with brands, and then when they’re ready to invest in influencer marketing, you’ll be at the top of their list.
    • Relationship building happens most naturally when meeting in-person, but if this isn’t possible, the next best thing is to get on the phone. Email is efficient, but it’s also impersonal. If you’re looking at building a long-term partnership with the brand, get on a quick phone call to give your background, explain your goals and give the brand some ideas of ways you can partner.
  2. Draft the Right Proposal
    • We hear from a lot of influencers that they don’t like to give brands specific recipe ideas in fear that the brand will walk away and create the recipe or piece of content themselves. In our opinion, the reason why the brand wants to work with you in the first place is because they can’t create the content themselves, or they want to utilize your audience and influence. Giving brands a general idea of the kinds of ideas you have helps them visualize working together and gives them an idea of how you think. Coming to the table with ideas and success stories also shows the brand that you’re a true professional and value the importance of creating great work.
    • Give options! Regardless of the budget the brand tells you that they’re working with, always give them a few options. We recommend one a bit lower than the budget, one that hits the budget and one that is a bit above the budget. This allows them to see what they can get for more money and may encourage them to spend more now or in the future.
    • Provide added value {extra IG Stories shout outs, bringing product to an event, etc} and consider discounting your rates slightly {5 – 10%} for partnerships that are three months or more.
  3. Report Back
    • Understand the brand goals from the outset of the relationship {i.e. before you sign the contract} to understand what the brand is trying to achieve and how they will measure success. Is the partnership about creating beautiful content? Or is it about driving sales in-store? Make sure you’re aligned on the goals and can deliver on the desired expectations. Don’t be afraid to point out if something won’t resonate or convert with your audience. You are the expert and you know your audience the best.
    • Provide the agreed upon metrics within two weeks of the post going live {or earlier, if requested by the brand}. Check out our blog post on ROI for more ideas on how to structure your reporting. Don’t forget, this is your time to show the brand how you went above and beyond to create a successful partnership; don’t be shy!
    • Ask for feedback. Whether it’s your first post with a brand or your tenth post with a brand, ask them for feedback on how they thought the partnership went. What can we improve in the future? What did they love? This will set you up for creating even more successful partnerships in the future.

We understand that planning for consistent income from brand work can sometimes be stressful {we’re entrepreneurs, too!}, but if you’re able to help solve problems for your readers and for brands, communicate in a professional way and report back on the success of these partnerships, brands will view you as a valuable influencer that they’ll want to come back to for work again and again.

We’d love to know: what have been some of your favorite brand partnerships? What made them successful?

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