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!
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