Looking to monetize as a creator? Proactive identification of brands for brand deal outreach is crucial to finding brands to work with as a content creator. As the population of content creators grow, brand deals become increasingly competitive. You want as many excellent “at bats” as possible to increase your chances of landing great brand deals. Moreover, most brands don’t reach out first but do respond well to cold outreach from creator users of their products. Brand deals still do make up the majority of creator income.
By being proactive with your brand deal outreach, you’ll take more control over your income by doing the brand deals you want.
But finding brands to work with is tough. There are soooo many brands out there, and it’s hard to know where to begin in putting together a list of brands for outreach.
In this article, we’ll cover different ways you can build your list of brands to reach out to. Building this list is the true foundation of your brand deal outreach process. By having a solid list, you won’t waste your time and can focus your outreach efforts on the brands that matter most to you.
Using creator databases
You can find brands to work with through leveraging existing databases. These databases gather information on brands looking to work with influencers and/or connect creators looking for brand deals with brands looking for creators. You can filter for brands that fit your interests, and brands can filter for creators who meet their preferences along dimensions like engagement rate, follower count, primary platform, and audience demographics.
Below are some databases to explore:
- Create a creator profile that is discoverable by brands
- Search live campaigns
- Apply to work with specific brands
- Join a community for creator x brand and creator x creator connections
- Search live campaigns
- Reach out to brands directly
- Join a database of over 30K creators that is shared with brands
- Apply to work with startups as well as big brands
- Get early access to products from your favorite brands
There are many other companies helping creators get connected with brands. The market map below shows just some of these in the ad platforms section—the market is growing, so be on the lookout for new databases that you hear chatter about on social media or in creator communities.
Find brands to work with as a content creator
You don’t have to go out of your way to look for brands to work with. Many of these brands are sitting right in front of you! By taking just a few extra minutes each day to be intentionally observant, you can continue to populate your brand list with companies you genuinely love and can easily speak authentically about.
Brands you love
Make a running list of brands you love that you can add to throughout the day. Start with your basic favorites:
- What’s your favorite cereal?
- Your favorite skincare brand?
- Your favorite coffee?
- Your favorite place to shop?
- Your favorite restaurant chain?
Then add to the list whenever you come across new products you love.
By reaching out to brands you actually love, you’ll be able to craft more authentic outreach and deliver more authentic campaigns.
Brands on social media
Scrolling through social media doesn’t always have to be a guilty pleasure but can be productive for your brand deal hunt as well. See content from brands you like? See other people using brands you’d like to try or already love? Add them to your list.
Brands your friends and family use
Ask your family and friends for their favorite brands as well and notice what great products they’re using throughout the day. Add these to your list.
Other creative ways to find brands
Brands other creators work with
If a brand is working with another creator, chances are they’re actively investing in influencer marketing and may want to work with you. There are a few ways to find creators working with brands:
- Jot down the names of brands when you see ads in your feed
- Search #ad or #sponsored on Instagram to find creator posts sponsored by brands
- Go through the feeds of top creators you follow and note which brands they’ve posted content about
- Make note of brands commenting on yours or other creators’ posts - these brands are likely looking to establish relationships with influencers
Brands who just raised funding rounds
Brands who just raised new rounds of funding (investment from venture capitalists) by definition have new capital that they can consider spending on influencer marketing.
To find brands who have just raised new rounds of funding, check out publications like:
Brands who have reached out to you
Brands will sometimes DM or email creators they want to work with directly. Check your spam and other message folders in case you missed any communication from brands. Be sure to respond to brands of interest in a timely manner as campaigns can be completed quickly.
Brands who follow you
Chances are some pretty cool brands already follow you! Go through your followers list and add any brands of interest to your list. If they’ve followed you, it likely means they like your content and you could be a match for one of their upcoming campaigns.
Brands who work with influencer marketing agencies
Oftentimes brands will reach out to influencer marketing agencies to help get connected to creators. Cultivate relationships with some influencer marketing agencies so you can be top of mind when they help brands look for creators for their future campaigns. Here are some top influencer marketing agencies.
Make outreach easier with AI
Ready to get started? Beacons has a few free tools to get you set up for success in your brand deal outreach.
Our AI Brand Outreach tool automates the email drafting process. We all know what a pain cold outreach can be, so we’ve built this tool that takes that work off your plate.
Want to improve on the email drafts generated by the AI Brand Outreach tool? Here's how to put your best foot forward when pitching brands, including creating a Media Kit.
Not sure how to price yourself when you get to that negotiating stage? Our free, built-in Pricing Calculator can help you get a fair price range to anchor on based on your unique following.
And if you want to work with a manager to find brands to work with as a content creator, you can check out our Top Agencies list.
You can start small - use 2-3 of the above tactics to start building your list of dream brands today to find brands to work with as a content creator. Consistency is key - add a few brands and do some outreach each day. You’ll be in touch with your favorite brands and working on exciting campaigns before you know it!