Content creators have something every single brand wants: attention.
As a content creator or influencer, your social media audience is one of your most valuable assets. Yes, it takes creativity and consistency to make the content that attracts your unique audience. But once you have that audience, the trust and attention you’ve earned with your specific fans is your true valuable advantage.
That’s why brands are willing to pay a lot for it: the influencer marketing industry is expected to be worth $24 billion by the end of 2024. That's a lot of brand sponsorship money on the table for content creators.
It’s not just creators with huge followings that are able to score high-paying sponsorship deals. Micro influencers and nano influencers have niche and highly engaged audiences that brands will pay to tap into. Sometimes brands will even pay more for these smaller, engaged audiences than they will pay to larger creators!
No matter what size creator you are, you’re probably leaving money on the table if you’re not using the right materials to pitch brands.
But brand outreach can be frustrating and time-consuming if you don’t have a good process. Below, we cover step-by-step how to tackle the biggest pain points around pitching brands:
- Creating and updating your media kit
- Finding contacts
- Writing pitch emails
When done right, reaching out to brands can not only help you land partnerships now—it can also build relationships and lay the groundwork for future projects.
Pitching allows you to be proactive and take control over your creator career and income, grow your income intentionally, and choose the dream brands that you want to work with.
Here’s how to do it right.
Which influencers can get brand sponsorships?
Creators of all sizes, across all niches and platforms, can partner with brands to make content and get brand sponsorships.
Somewhat counterintuitively, micro influencers in particular have an advantage here. Creators with smaller audience sizes but niche content typically reach a unique demographic and on average see a higher engagement rate across their content. For example, a creator with less than 10k Instagram followers might be a better candidate for a brand deal if their content has consistently high engagement rates over another creator with 100k followers and an overall weak engagement rate.
Smaller, more engaged audiences are actually a huge green flag for brands—in fact, surveys over recent years have found that the majority (77%) of marketers say micro influencers are their ideal influencers to work with.
Influencers across all social media platforms can do brand deals
Brand partnership opportunities span almost all social channels—so no matter where you have your audience, there is opportunity for you to start doing brand deals. Options across different channels include:
- Sponsored posts and reels on Instagram
- Instagram and TikTok lives
- Sponsored videos on TikTok
- Product or service reviews on your YouTube channel or Twitch channel
- Sponsored posts on Pinterest
- Sponsored tweets on Twitter
- Sponsored streams on Twitch
If you’re a creator making content across multiple channels, highlight this in your pitch as one of your strengths. Don’t feel like you need to pigeonhole yourself. Working across multiple channels is impressively creative and will be seen as an advantage.
How do you create a strong brand deal pitch?
A good pitch to land a brand deal has three components:
- The right contact info or recipient
- An eye-catching, updated media kit
- A personalized message
Let’s break down how to ace each of these elements below.
Find the right contact for your brand pitch
If you’re not sending your pitch to the right person, nothing else matters. Take a few minutes to do a little digging. Here’s your checklist:
- Visit the brand’s website: Visit the websites of your potential brand partners and see if there are any links to partnerships or a “Contact Us” button. Follow the site’s instructions on how to reach out.
- Search the brand on LinkedIn: If the brand’s website doesn’t have any contact information, look up the brand on LinkedIn and search for keywords like “influencer marketing,” “partnerships,” “sponsorships.” Look for people that you have connections with and reach out to your mutual connection to get a warm intro. If you don’t have mutuals with anyone, you can reach out directly on LinkedIn, or try putting their name into the company’s email format.
- Ask creator friends for contacts: If you’re in touch with any other creators, especially creators in the same niche, reach out to them for contact information of brands they’ve worked with.
- DM the brand’s social media account: Probably the least reliable, but a good fallback option. This doesn't always lead to a response, but sometimes brands are more active on their social accounts than they are on their managed email inboxes. If you can’t find any other contact and the brand has active social accounts, try reaching out to them here.
If you’ve worked with an influencer marketing agency in the past (like The Influential Network and Popcorn Growth, or similar agencies that connect brands with creators), you can always reach back out to them with updated information and see if they have a brand contact.
Next, you’ll want to make sure you show off what makes you special.
Include an up-to-date media kit
A media kit is a digital resume for creators that shows brands why they should work with you. A good media kit highlights your strengths, has up-to-date engagement data, communicates your unique brand, and shows off your high quality content.
Don’t waste time creating a PDF media kit that becomes outdated within days. You’ll constantly need to update it to show your latest analytics and re-send it to brands so that you know they have your most updated information. That’s time you could be spending on… anything else!
Use an auto-updating media kit to save time
Instead, create a Beacons media kit that automatically syncs your engagement data across all of your social platforms. With Beacons you can easily create a personal, branded design with customizable elements like backgrounds, colors, and profile photos. Then you can add your past partnerships and showcase your content deliverables, write a short personal bio, add a custom rate sheet, indicate if you give usage rights, and link to all of your social media accounts.
The Beacons media kit was designed by our team after tons of research with brands and creators on the most important information needed to close brand partnerships.
A media kit is a key piece of your brand outreach. If you were applying for a job, you’d want to show off everything that shows you’re a great candidate, and brand partnerships are no different. Your media kit communicates why you’ll be a great marketing partner for this brand to reach their target audience.
Write a brand outreach message with the right information
The actual delivery of your pitch—the outreach message—can make all the difference between getting a reply or getting passed over.
A good outreach message communicates your value in a short, clear pitch, and includes any impressive engagement stats you might have. But don’t forget to keep the brand’s end goal (awareness, brand reputation, and/or sales) in mind when you craft your message. Even if you don’t know the exact marketing goals of the brand’s organization, communicate how you’ll help them grow.
Use AI to write personalize messages to brands
Again, personalization is important here—that’s why you went through the effort of finding the right contact. How many times have you gotten an email that started with “Dear Sir or Madame…” and immediately clicked delete? Don’t be that person. Get your reader’s attention with a personalized intro that cuts directly to the point: how you’ll be valuable to them.
What if you’ve never written a pitch like this before, have writer’s block, or feel stuck? This is where to use Beacons’s AI Brand Outreach, which uses AI to write an brand outreach message for you based on:
- Your personal information, with a link to your Beacons media kit
- The brand you’re pitching
- Elements you select, like tone and length of message
- The platform you're using to send the message, like email, LinkedIn, or Instagram / TikTok DMs
- Specific services to pitch
- Showcase past content and top statistics
The AI Brand Outreach tool will recommend brands that you can reach out to that you're likely to have successful partnerships with, based on data from creators who are similar to you. The tool also stores the past messages you’ve generated and sent, so you can easily track and follow up on all of your outreach.
Track your brand deal outreach and follow up
Once you build your brand deal pitching engine—by searching for the right contact, having an updated media kit, and generating pitch emails—you’ll create a reliable process. Then you can ramp up the volume of emails you send and be really strategic about getting more brand deals. Here’s what this could look like:
- Research other creators in your space to see what brands they work with
- Create a spreadsheet of brands you want to work with, including brands you use in real life and come across on social media
- Make a plan for the number of brands you will reach out to on a weekly or daily basis to build up consistency
- Mark when you've sent outreach, and follow up a week later if you haven't heard back from your contact
In 2024, brand deals are one of the most lucrative monetization channel for creators. With the right process and consistency, you can take control of your earnings potential and build your creator business to be as large and successful as you want!