Did you know that the searches for the term “Instagram influencer” increased more than 150% between 2016 and 2017? That’s exactly how popular influencer marketing is.
And because of its popularity, many people are interested in becoming an influencer. But it isn’t easy to become an influencer. It takes a lot more than just posting some photos on social media.
If you are trying to establish yourself as an influencer, you need to build your personal brand. It will take a lot of hard work and it certainly won’t happen overnight. But if you are successful, you can land yourself some great brand sponsorships.
That means being your own boss and making money doing the things you love.
You may now be wondering how to find sponsors? In this post, we’ll take a look at exactly that.
7 Ways to Build Your Brand and Find Sponsors
Let’s take a look at the basics of how to build your brand as an influencer. Including everything you need to know about how to find sponsors.
1. Create Authentic Content
In order to generate interest and to gain genuine followers, you need to create authentic content. Don’t try to imitate others. Have your own voice and style.
You may think that fashion influencers on Instagrams get sponsors quickly. That can’t be a good enough reason for you to post about fashion if you have zero knowledge or interest in it.
Pick a niche based on what you are most knowledgeable and passionate about. And create useful and valuable content to post on your social media accounts.
You will need to put in a good amount of effort into doing so. Followers love unique and interesting content. So make sure your photos are high-quality and your captions are interesting and engaging. Do that and you will see your followers increase.
Charles Dowding is a British market gardener and permaculturist who posts informative and interesting content about gardening. He has a no digging, soil-friendly approach to growing crops.
He has more than 46,000 followers on Instagram owing to his interesting feed.
2. Post Consistently and Engage Regularly
You need to be consistent in posting content to your social media accounts. If you aren’t, your follower count will start dwindling due to the lack of fresh content.
Followers love fresh posts. And they will keep coming back for more if you stay consistent.
You also need to engage with your followers regularly. Respond to their comments and post content that encourages greater participation from them.
Ask questions, create polls, run contests – these are all great ways to boost engagement.
Most brands attach greater importance to engagement rates than follower counts. So while you’re trying to figure out how to find sponsors, make sure your engagement is awesome.
3. Follow and Engage with Brands
This is an important strategy. Once you start building your personal brand, you need to search for and follow relevant brands. Engage with their content to put yourself on their radar.
For example, if you are a food blogger, you can follow brands that make cookie dough, sell different kinds of flours, and so on.
The brands you follow need to see potential in collaborating with you. So make sure you only follow relevant brands and engage with them – if you’re looking at it from the perspective of finding sponsors.
If your niche is home decor, and you follow fashion brands, it will be a waste of your time. You need to follow the brands that are relevant to your line of work. Relevance is the key to influencer marketing.
4. Create a Media Kit
You need to create a media kit so you can share it when trying to find sponsors. It needs to include your value proposition, your social media stats, blog stats, and follower demographics. Also include a short blurb about yourself telling them what you can offer.
In a way, a media kit is your resume, so you need to put your best foot forward. Make sure that you include any information that brands may need to decide about a collaboration with you.
You can use tools like Canva or Adobe Spark to make your media kit look professional.
5. Join Influencer Platforms and Groups
Join relevant Facebook Groups which provide information about brands that may be looking for influencers. Simply search Facebook using the term “influencer” to find groups that may be relevant.
You can also join influencer marketing platforms or sign up with influencer marketing agencies. And you can follow local businesses on social media and ask them if they’d be interested in collaborating.
When you’re thinking about how to find sponsors, create a list of brands you wish to work with. Then focus on finding the email addresses of their PR, marketing, or social media teams.
6. Write for High-Authority Sites
In order to find sponsors and get them to notice you, you need to build your brand. Find high-authority sites and see if you can write guest posts for them.
This can give you a lot of visibility in the right circles. Your authority will increase, and brands will take you more seriously.
This strategy requires some planning. You will need to put in some work to find the right sites in your niche, pitch them, and then write for them.
7. Send in Your Pitches
By now you should have a list of brands you want to collaborate with along with their PR and media contacts. You should now work on creating a compelling pitch that you can send them.
When writing this, remember to focus more on the brand and less on yourself. They don’t need to know everything about who you are. Instead, they’ll be more interested in knowing how you can help them.
So make sure to mention your value proposition clearly, your follower stats and demographics, and what you can offer. Also, include a suitable call-to-action to increase your chances of getting responses.
Most importantly, don’t be scared to follow up if you don’t hear back. Wait a few days after sending your initial pitch and send at least a couple of follow up emails before moving on.
There are no shortcuts to become an influencer or a brand ambassador. You will need to work hard to build your personal brand. Create great content, engage with your followers, be active in influencer groups and communities.
Create a winning proposal, and send it to relevant brands. Most importantly, don’t be afraid of rejection or failure. Just be consistent and put in the hard work – it’ll surely pay off.
Do you have any other tips on how to find sponsors as an influencer? Let us know in the comments below.