There is a lot of money to be made on Instagram. Like you could run a whole business from this app, guys. Although, I don't recommend it. When you have a business, Instagram can be a great tool but it isn't the only thing a business entails. Would your business still be a business if Instagram disappeared forever? But that is a different post for a different time. Today, you want to know how to get sponsored.
I just recently started working with brands on Instagram. One of those brands reached out to me again. My content aligns with their brand so, ya girl was asked to do another sponsored post. This time, to be used in their own branding.
There seems to be a lot of hate and negativity surrounding influencers and making money on Instagram. Why? Jealously, pettiness and lack of knowledge regarding the subject matter seem to be the only possible explanations. Want to ignore the haters and get sponsored on Instagram? Read on to see how.
What's your thing? Fashion? Makeup? Vegan body building? The key is to keep niching down until you make it clear. The market is truly saturated so in order to stand out, show your personality. After all, there is only one you. My niche is fashion and sustainability. I focus on minimal styles and non-toxic living, all while incorporating New York as a whole into my brand. The city itself plays a huge role in my life. If you aren't sure what your niche is yet, just keep doing the things that you love and interact with your audience using the many features Instagram offers - they will let you know what they want to see more or less of!
Wondering how everyone has these aesthetic looking feeds? One word - cohesion. The colors you use, the fonts you fancy - all of it should go together. For example, on my feed you will see lots of neutrals, similar photo styles and I normally use the same fonts in my stories. I chose these based on what I liked and stuck to it. Not only does it make it easier for you to keep your feed in order, it also helps your audience easily identify your content when scrolling through their own feeds. Try not to stress about which colors and whatnots you should use. Just pick one for now (you can always change it down the line!) and stick with it. It helps to have a brand guide with your hex colors, fonts, etc. all in one convenient location. That bio section on your profile, yeah, let's update that. It should reflect your niche, show your personality and provide convenience for people who visit your profile. Have multiple links? (a blog, Twitter, discount codes, YouTube videos, etc.) Use Linktree to provide all your links with ease.
How often do you post? Once a month? A few times a week? In order to be noticed, you must to be active on social media. Afraid you will lose followers or your friends will become annoyed? Ask yourself, why did I create my account? To have fun and post when I want or to put on a facade and impress people that make me feel less than myself? Your account is your own so post when you want to! The right people will stick around and you never know the connections you'll make! Personally, I found posting 3-4 times a week is my sweet spot. Use an app like Planoly to schedule your posts ahead of time. Seriously, it's a game changer.
Now here comes the fun part. A brand reaches out to you on Instagram! First, do a lil' research on the brand. Are they legit? Is it something you would actually use? Does it align with your morals and values? Just because a brand reaches out, doesn't mean you automatically say 'yes'. I have only turned down one company so far, as it did not align with my own brand. But, most of the companies that reach out to me already know my values just from my profile. Stay true to yourself and don't say yes to things that'll make you a sell out. Remember, your audience is watching. Practice what you preach.
An exchange of free products and/or money for content means you are now in business with this brand. Time to be a bit more professional. First off, if you haven't already, update your account type on Instagram. Either a creator or business account will do. Not only does it make you look more legit, it also gives you juicy analytics that you can use to your advantage. Do you have a business email? Put this in your bio. Your email inbox should be the only place where you even consider working with a brand. If they DM you on Instagram, more than likely it is spam. Real brands will send you an email and more importantly, they will not ask you for money or to purchase their products! Real brands will gift you products or pay you in exchange for content. Now it's time to follow through. Did they ask for an in-feed post? A video? Make sure you deliver your side of the agreement. Be sure they give you enough time to try and use the product before providing your opinion. After all, you don't want to promote a brand you end up disliking. More than likely, they have already provided guidelines for the content you promised - be sure to adhere to the rules. Now you have a connection with this brand and if all goes well, you could be considered again possibly in the near future.
What's next? For some, this is just a fun way to earn extra pocket change and get free products. And that is ok! As long as you are holding up your end of the bargain when working with a brand, you are golden. But, what if you want to take this a bit further? Create a media kit showcasing your brand and your social media analytics. Update it respectively and send it out to brands. Yup, you don't always need to wait until they reach out. Pitch companies via email and attach your media kit. You won't always get a response but it never hurts to try. Especially, if you have a business or impressive analytics. Have you been sponsored on Instagram? Tell me about your experience in the comments!
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