I feel like this is a very popular question in the influencer space. Rightfully so because we all have to start somewhere. So this week I’m back with a highly requested blog post. I’m here to share with you all my tips I’ve racked up over the years as an influencer and how you can work with brands when you have under 5k followers!
I’ve always been a big advocator that you shouldn’t wait to reach 10k to start brand collaborations. Your follower count truly is such a vanity metric, it really doesn’t indicate success or influence. I say this all the time on my social media if you follow me you’ve heard this speech before but I’m going to say it again if you’re new here. Someone with 5k followers can have way more influence than someone with 50k followers. So if you have under 5k followers and you’re looking for a sign to start working with brands, this is it!
I got my first paid brand collaboration at 3k followers but I got my first gifted collaboration probably at 2k. However, I do know of so many bloggers who have gotten gifted collaborations at 1k or even less! So there really is no follower count limit. Based on my experience I do recommend people to focus on growing their audience first until at least 1k followers but it isn’t impossible to land a few gigs before then. Anyways, here are 8 tips on how to land collaborations as a micro-influencer!
Focus on growing a dedicated community
If you follow me on any social media platform you’ve heard me talk about the importance of community management. I seriously won’t shut up about it- and for good reason! Community management matters way more than vanity metrics like follower count and likes. You are an influencer not based on your follower count but if you truly have a dedicated audience. This dedicated audience comes from relationship building. So if you don’t already do this, I recommend starting to actually interact with your followers. Be active on Instagram stories and show them parts of your life so they can connect. Post with purpose and have conversations in your comments section. Having a dedicated community is how you’re going to “compete” with high scale influencers and land those paid deals.
Reach out to brands you already know and love
This sounds really simple but like I mentioned in this Tiktok, I pitch myself to brands I already love and use. I’ve noticed way more success when I work with brands that I’m already familiar with because it’s hard for brands to say yes to working with someone that knows nothing about their product. If you already own the product, chances are you are already knowledgeable about it. Maybe you might have even talked about it on your social media before. Partnerships are a lot more genuine to your audience when it’s something you’ve already talked about before! So think about your favorite products that you use every day and try pitching to those brands.
Be confident in your pitch
When you’re pitching yourself to brands you need to be professional, confident and treat it like a business deal because that’s exactly what it is. You’re providing a service to a company and they’re compensating you. So make sure you’re confident when you’re pitching yourself to a brand. I know it sounds cliche but the way you present yourself has a big effect on your outcome. Of course, this doesn’t mean to be rude or cocky but you have to believe you’re worth the price you’re asking for. If you aren’t confident or don’t believe in what you’re saying, it’s going to be very obvious to brands too and they will be hesitant to work with you.
Join influencer marketing platforms
I talk about this all the time but influencer marketing platforms are seriously the best for new influencers! They are a platform (website or app) that connects you to brands. You have to fill out a few questions and connect your Instagram so brands can see your insights. Then some platforms let brands reach out to you directly while others let you make the first move. These platforms are usually beginner-friendly because you don’t have to deal with contracts or trying to find a brand’s email. Usually, the platform is the third-party user that handles all of that so they ensure that brands pay you on time and everything is legit. If you guys need recommendations you can check out my 10 favorite platforms here.
Be selective about who you work with
There’s nothing worse than an influencer who has a sponsored ad every other post. Trust me I’m all for securing the bag and loving sponsored content but not when your whole account is just filled with ads. It’s also very obvious to people when you don’t actually use or like the product you’re using. I know how tempting it can be, especially when you first start working with brands to say yes to everyone. After all, it’s hard enough to get partnerships so why would you turn one down right? However, you’re going to lose credibility and trust with your followers if you’re not selective with the brands you work with. So maybe rethink promoting that $10 knockoff product that has nothing to do with your niche.
Niche down so brands can find you
When brands are picking influencers to work with they want influencers who are within the niche of the product or service they’re selling. If you’re a college blogger chances are your audience won’t benefit from a company selling a life insurance policy. It took me many years to pick a niche because I didn’t want to be set on one topic. However, I learned that your niche can be a broad category where you cover lots of different topics. For example, I would say I’m in the marketing niche because I give social media marketing tips and help influencers grow. I also give college tips since marketing is relevant to college and my photos contain outfits since fashion is also relevant to college students. So make sure to pick a niche that you’re passionate about and use relevant hashtags within that niche so brands can find you. If you want more tips on how to get discovered by brands you can check out my Instagram post here.
Focus on creating quality content
While you’re searching for brands to work with, make sure you’re keeping up with your content. You want your content to represent you and your personal brand. So make sure to have somewhat of a cohesive feed, no it doesn’t have to be perfect, but make sure you’re using a preset on all your photos. The type of content you create for yourself will show brands the type of content you will create for them. No brand will want to work with a creator who posts super blurry, over-edited images with no clear niche or direction.
Amplify your skills
When you’re pitching or negotiating with brands focus on what you do have, not what you don’t. If you don’t have experience there’s no need to focus on that. Instead amplify areas that you’re doing well in. For example, if you have a high engagement rate or a dedicated community, tell that to brands. You want to show them that you can benefit their brand even with under 5,000 followers. I also would recommend having posts on your social media where you review brands you already use and love. These won’t be sponsored or paid posts but you can include these as examples of your work in your media kit. That way brands can get an idea of your copywriting skills and the type of content you would create for them!
These are my 8 tips on how to work with brands as a micro-influencer with less than 5,000 followers on Instagram! Have any other tips? Make sure to comment them below.
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