Brand Collaborations – The first time that I ever did a brand collaboration was when I was a micro influencer. I had less than 10k followers on Instagram and a brand reached out to me. It was for a watch company, a free watch in exchange for a post on instagram advertising a competition they were running.
It was then that I realised the power of social media and marketing. No matter how big or small your social media accounts are, there are companies out there willing to work with you on brand collaborations.
There are so many ways that you can work with brands. It can be:
In kind brand collaborations where you receive free product in exchange for exposure on your social media profiles.
You can sell brand photography for use on their own social media channels
Paid partnerships where you leverage your social media following
Creating video content
And so much more.
Now I have had the pleasure to work with a range of amazing companies like Four Seasons and Hard Rock Hotels, I’ve worked with tourism boards, been hosted on international trips, sold my photography to international brands and more.
If you have been dreaming about getting serious with your work and want to reach out to brands for a collaboration – check out my 5 tips you need to pitch a brand collaboration below.
1. Build Your Portfolio
If you want to work with brands you need a solid portfolio to start with. If you don’t have experience working with brands you can create your own work. For example, you want to work with a hotel brand but haven’t worked with a hotel before. You could go into a hotel lobby bar, get a drink and take photos. You can use these photos as examples of the type of work you can create. The same can be done with products, you can create a photoshoot for a product that you like and present that to the brand.
Once you have taken these photos you could upload them to your social media and tag the brands in. Once you have a decent little portfolio of products you already own you could reach out to small or local brands and offer a free brand collaboration.
As you continue to grow your portfolio, you can then start to reach out for paid brand collaborations.
If you need help editing your photos to make them look more professional, check out my blog post – Free Preset for Lightroom Mobile and Editing Tutorial here. You can also purchase my presets here, 1 click editing to make your photography pop.
2. Create a Media Kit
A Media Kit is like a CV for representing you and your work. When you reach out to a brand you always want to make sure that you are attaching an updated Media Kit.
Here is what every media kit needs:
Social statistics (followers, subscribers, views, etc)
What services you can offer the brand (photography, writing, video, Instagram stories, etc)
Brands you have worked with in the past
Showcase your photography that matches the brand you are reaching out to or your general style.
What to expect from you (what experience you’ll give them, how you work, etc)
Ensure your branding represents you, so colours and fonts etc.
Your website and relevant links
A great place to create a Media Kit is Canva. It is a free design website where you design pretty much anything online and download it for free.
3. Who do you Pitch for Brand Collaborations?
Go through some of your favourite accounts and brands and write down who you would like to work with. You can find other accounts that have a similar vibe to you and see who they have worked with in the past. This is a great way to find brands that are actively working with influencers.
You can also looks for similar brands to the big brand names, even smaller more local brands. Try to find brands that you think might need content – huge brands might not need content as they can get so much of it for free. Brands that are lesser known, new or find it difficult getting content for their product are a great place to start.
The type of brands that you work with should align with you and your niche. If you are interested in luxury travel – look at working with brands in the luxury travel industry. If you are a budget traveller, pitching a luxury travel brand won’t align well with you or your audience.
Make sure that the companies ethos and mission statement is something that you would want to be associated with, and vice versa. It is a mutual relationship and both parties need to be represented well.
If you are wanting to work with a product, think about what niche you are in and if that product fits within that niche. For example, you love to photograph home decor – it wouldn’t make sense if you suddenly started working with a brand in fitness.
4. Do Your Research
This is hugely important in order to show a brand that you know what you are talking about. If you don’t do your research on a brand before reaching out to them, it is highly likely that you are going to make a mistake in your pitch to them.
Find out if they have any new products being released, research their history and who their target market is. Finding out these kinds of things will arm you with the information you need in order to decide if the brand is the right fit for a pitch. You might find out that their target audience is completely different to yours and thus not the right brand to pitch to.
I also recommend researching the correct person to address the email to. This would normally be their PR representative, Influencer Communications Manager, Media Representative etc. Search for this specific persons name, either from their website or LinkedIn.
Showing a brand that you have done your research on their product, not only shows initiative but looks very professional. This research is what you need for your pitch to set you apart from the masses.
5. Be Unique
Don’t just copy and paste your pitch to whole load of different brands. Yes, I have included a FREE pitching template below but you want to make sure that you personalise it and offer something unique so you can secure that awesome brand collaboration.
Imagine getting a really robotic email – it doesn’t entice you to reply. You want to stand out and do it right.
Since you have done your research on the product, you can show this in your pitch email. Let them know that you love their new line or property and how well it fits in line with your audience demographics.
Present an idea! If you pitch an idea and make it feel like it was only meant for them, you are more likely to stand out to them and get hired.
For example, you want to stay at a hotel in exchange for content. You might notice that a hotel property has lots of photos of their rooms but doesn’t have many of their stunning new swimming pool. This is an opportunity for you to show that you can offer them something they are missing.
Another great idea would be to pitch how you would advertise their product on your social media channels in a unique way. This way they have a clear visual on how you want to present their product to your audience, who obviously would love it (as you have done the research).
FREE Email Pitch Template for Brand Collaborations
Now that you have my 5 tips for pitching brand collaborations you can access my FREE email pitch template, the exact template I have used to secure some awesome brand collaborations. Join Ever the Wanderer & Friends, the only place that you can access freebies like this one and more.