So you’re a content creator? Great!
So you want to start working with brands? Better!
So you want to know what you need to do before you can start approaching them for partnerships? Best!
1. A community of engaged readers/followers
When a brand or agency is looking to partner with an influencer or creator, what’s one of the first things they’re going to look at? Your audience. More than likely, they’ll comb through your posts and read your comments.
Are your followers demonstrating their interest in you through thoughtful comments or are you plagued with random emojis and bot comments?
Are you demonstrating your investment in your audience and the community you have by taking the time to respond to comments or are you leaving compliments and questions unanswered?
I always go back to this line from an Entrepreneur.com article about how to build an authentic Instagram audience how to build an authentic Instagram audience: “Finally, remember that in the end, your followers are more than a fanbase. They’re a likeminded community who you should support as much as they support you.”
Chances are, if you’re already at a place where a brand or agency is going through your account, you’re at a place where you’ve already tickled their fancy somehow but what’s going to get you past the vetting threshold and land you that initial outreach email is showing your value to them. There needs to be a quid pro quo and, typically, what a brand is after is awareness. They want to know that their investment in you is going to pay off because you have an audience that trusts you, values your opinion, and will ultimately show up for you.
2. An authentic, compelling presence
Let’s keep it real, sweetie. Social media is constantly changing. One minute everyone has a curated feed, the next we’re all sharing memes, and then suddenly we’re all on the Reels train (guilty!) showing off our sweatpants and horrible dance skills. No one expects you to have the perfect presence. What is expected, and usually required when working with brands, is that you have an authentic, compelling presence. This ties back to number 1 because it’s important to see that your content is resonating with people.
People can tell if you know who you are and what you have to offer. Do you feel confident in what you’re putting out there? Does it resonate with you and get you excited when you hit ‘Post’? Or are you trying to hard to follow the herd you’re losing yourself in the process?
Authenticity is you being true to your beliefs and your values. Does that come through in your content?
3. A willingness to do the work
Here’s the piping hot tea. Being a content creator/influencer is hard work. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It is not easy. You are battling deadlines, stress, imposter syndrome, creative and inspirational blockages, and more. If you are not ready to handle the professional side of content creation, then don’t. At least not yet. Give yourself time to get there.
When you work with a brand or an agency, there are negotiations, there are deadlines, there are early-morning and late-night emails and an expectation that you’ll be responsive, contracts… you get it. If a brand is picking you, then don’t disappoint them by flaking halfway through the process, underdelivering in terms of what you promised and agreed to. Most of all, remember that it is always a two-way street. Brands need you and you need them. There should always be mutual respect on both sides.
Want more insight into working as a paid content creator? Check me out on Clubhouse every week!