Uh oh! I see businesses making these mistakes all the time. Is yours?Read More
You’ve been eyeing that brand for months, but you know there’s no chance they’ll collaborate with you until you hit 10,000 followers.
Well, I’ve got good news for you! Once brands caught on that “influencers” were buying Instagram followers, the importance of follower numbers became a thing of the past. In fact, with only 3,000 followers, I’ve teamed up with many brands for free products and services. So, how can YOU make this happen?
Optimize your Instagram
While numbers aren’t everything, they are still SOMETHING. So, make sure you have a great amount of engagement. For instance, while I only have 3,000 followers, a great number of those followers engage with my content and make it obvious they value my opinions. If you have 5,000 followers, but you only get 50 likes and a few comments, that’s not very impressive. 1,000 followers with 100+ comments is much more impressive.
Do not buy followers. Do not join an engagement pod (those aren’t real comments). Do not pay for likes or comments. As a social media strategist, when I’m looking for accounts to team up with my clients, I immediately disqualify accounts using these methods.
Reach Out to Them
There are a few ways to do this: over time, via DM, or via email.
Over time is a great method, though, obviously, it takes time and effort. Over the course of a month or two, comment on every post they make. Reply to their stories. Like their content. Then, once you reach out to them about a collaboration, your name will be familiar to them.
If you send a pitch via DM, be sure to comment on their most recent post and tell them to check their DMs. Your message may be hidden in their “others” DM folder, so this will prompt them to check.
If you send an email, it’s critical that you make it extremely obvious it wasn’t copied and pasted. Use their names, reference a specific post, give genuine compliments, etc.
What To Say
“I’ll post on Instagram for you if you send me XYZ.”
Nope. Nope. Nope. Terrible idea. Brands aren’t interested in giving you free stuff. They’re interested in getting free EXPOSURE. When you message a brand, focus entirely on how this will benefit them and how you’re the right choice for a collaboration.
Here’s a quick template DM/email I send to brands that interest me:
I’m NAME, and I’ve loved following your Instagram. Your post about SUBJECT was one of my favorites. A few days ago, I realized that my audience is primarily DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL FOLLOWER, and I’ve been wanting to team up with a THEIR POPULAR PRODUCT/SERVICE business to recommend their products/services to my followers! Not surprisingly, your business came to my mind, so I thought I would reach out!
While I may not have tens of thousands of followers, my NUMBER followers are highly engaged and love hearing my recommendations for amazing brands and products. I’ve never, EVER purchased fake followers or engagement, and I don’t participate in engagement pods. Every like and comment you see came from a loyal follower.
Because I love everything you stand for (and offer!), I was wondering if you would like to collaborate! Here’s what I was thinking…
You could send or offer me PRODUCT/SERVICE (though I’m open to other products and services if you think they would best benefit my followers!).
I would take some professional shots and send you all the edited files. (Only offer this if you can provide high quality images.)
I would then post on my feed tagging you in the photo and recommending your product/service in the caption. I would ALSO post about you in my stories as I open the product/use your service and tag you in the story.
Therefore, if you would like to work together, you would receive images, a story shoutout, and a post on my feed. I also am a huge fan of referrals, so I would tag you in any posts that relate to your PRODUCT/SERVICE in the future, and I’d love to continue sending followers your way when they ask for recommendations on PRODUCT/SERVICE.
All this to say, I would love to collaborate! If you’re interested or have any questions, please shoot me an email!
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts,
To download this template for free, please click here.
If you use the above template and move forward with genuine engagement and a true interest in the brand, you’ll become a successful brand rep in no time!
If you found this article helpful, please do me a favor and drop a comment or Pin it to your Pinterest.
Everywhere you go, someone is telling you to work alongside brands and business owners. You see #collaborationovercompetition all over Instagram, but how do you actually collaborate in a way that's benefical to both parties?!
Here are some of my favorite ways to collaborate on Instagram:
1. Shoutout for Shoutout
My favorite way to use this technique is on Instagram stories. You simply coordinate with the ideal account and post, pushing your followers to follow them, as well. You could share a specific post on your story, screenshot their feed, or just explain why they're awesome. Always remember to clarify that you both should @tag the other account for maximum exposure.
2. Exchange/Repost Content
Find someone who creates or captures content. Ask if you can repost them and give them credit in the caption. This is how I built my account without having to hire a brand photographer!
3. Team Up for a Giveaway
Create a giveaway, but only if you both aim to reach the same demographic. For details on running a killer giveaway, check out this blog post.
4. Host a Challenge
Team up with as many accounts as you'd like, and share a challenge. Have participants follow all of the hosts and use a certain hashtag. Challenges may involve connecting with other accounts, posting about daily themes, changing mindset, or putting new business ideas into action.
5. Take Over Another Account
Offer to takeover an account for a day or week. Announce that you'll be taking over the page on both accounts (which will help you both grow). Use the days you're taking over the account to give free tips, show behind-the-scenes, create relationships, and inspire! Don't simply take over another account to promote yourself.
6. Go Live Together
Go live alongside another account. Just chat about business, or plan and market a free seminar to both of your followers.
7. Recommend Competition for your Weak Spots
If you've noticed your followers are often asking for advice or a service you don't provide, tag someone you would recommend they follow! This is also a kind thing to do if you're currently at max capacity.
Do you have any other fun ways to collaborate with fellow business owners/creatives on Instagram? Leave me a comment!
How do you run an Instagram giveaway and make it a huge success? How do you announce the winner without losing followers who were only there for the giveaway? How do you get more than just your best friend to enter? These steps are going to be your best friend when it comes to running a killer giveaway on Instagram.
1. Pick the product/service you want to give away.
What are you wanting to gift? I recommend sticking with a product. Giving away services typically means a lot more of a financial loss, as well as a lot more annoyance and work.
2. Choose your giveaway tribe, or go solo!
This one's tricky.
I rarely recommend group/loop giveaways. However, those are a great way to gain more followers.
If you go with a group, ensure every single participant's Instagram followers are in your target niche. If you sell to middle-class moms, don't join a loop with a teen makeup artist, web designer from Thailand, and wedding planner from a small town in Ohio.
If you go solo, that's perfectly fine! Just plan to do some extra engagement during the giveaway to increase profile views and (hopefully) entries.
3. Plan out the captions, rules, and hashtags.
Caption: Make it immediately obvious it's a giveaway. I like to start off the caption with something like, "GIVEAWAY!", "Wanna win a free XYZ?!" , etc.
Rules: Keep the rules simple. In the caption, require 2-4 actions. My favorites:
1. Like this image
2. Follow my account.
3. Tag a friend in the comment. Each additional tag counts as an extra entry. One tag per comment.
Your caption or first comment should clarify what is rewarded, any geographical limitations, when the giveaway will end, when the winner will be announced, specification that inactive/duplicate tags will not be counted, and a statement explaining that Instagram is not endorsing or sponsoring your giveaway.
Don't require too much. Very few people will want to post on their stories, their feed, tag 10 friends, follow you and 5 other people, and go like your Facebook page.
Hashtags: Who are you trying to reach? If you only want to gain local followers, avoid #giveaway or #freestuff, and stick with local hashtags like #fortworthtx, #dfwtexas, etc. If you're wanting followers from all over, you can broaden your scope a little bit and aim to reach the niche. For instance, I would use #creativesofinstagram to reach creatives rather than people just wanting free stuff. I may get less entries, but they'll be a lot more meaninful and likely to convert.
4. Pick a winner!
If you required tags, simply access your Instagram post from a desktop computer. Copy and paste all of the comments into an Excel document and go to table tools --> remove duplicates.
If you allowed additional entries such as tags or reposts, you will need to enter those individually.
Copy and paste all entries into a randomizer, such as random.org. It may select one of your replies, a bot comment, or something other than an entry. Continue randomizing until a winner is selected. Ensure the user followed you, liked your image, didn't break any rules or skip any steps, and didn't tag an inactive account to enter. If anything was violated, simply draw another winner.
When announcing the winner, DO NOT POST TO ANNOUNCE ON INSTAGRAM OR INSTAGRAM STORIES. Unfortunately, giveaway entrants are famous for unfollowing you. Instead of reminding them they lost and to unfollow you, simply tag the winner(s) in the comments of the post so no one else is notified!