Why You're Targeting the Wrong Brands for Sponsorships
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Today, we're gonna talk about why you're likely targeting the wrong brands to partner with for your brand deals and sponsorships.
So if you've followed other influencers and creators for a while, chances are, at some point, you may have seen someone do a sponsorship that made you say, "There is no way that they have ever used that product, right? Or there's no way that they like that brand." That is the worst-case scenario for both the creator and the brand, right? Well, I take that back; the actual worst-case scenario is if you see other comments on that post calling out the influencer because lots of other people also think that this sponsorship isn't authentic. Look, I get it; if a brand offers to drive a truckload of money and just dump it in your lap, it's hard to say no, but picking brand partners solely on who is the highest bidder is gonna slowly chip away at your connection with your audience over time.
How to Figure Out What Brands to Target
Okay, so first, I want you to stand up. Can you do that? Do you have your phone, you can just walk around? We're gonna go on a bit of adventure around your house. So I'm going to stand up, no, I can't stand up, I'm filming the video. Right, okay, so we're walking, we're walking, wait, stop. There's a full-length mirror right there on the wall, right? Okay, so if you're a lifestyle influencer, write down all the clothes you're currently wearing? What phone do you have in your hands? What perfume or what cologne are you wearing? If you're in sweat pants, that's fine. Just write it down.
If you're a niche content creator, just go over to that part of your house or your apartment where all your gear is, right, and just start making a list.
I call this the "Brands in your House" audit. I mean, you literally take a pen and paper, and you walk around your house, and you just write down every product that you already own and could authentically vouch for if you were to partner with that brand. And not to jump too far ahead, but don't you think it's gonna be much more compelling when you reach out to that brand, gushing about how much you love it, you've owned it for five years and, you know, you would love to partner with them and tell all your followers about it.
That type of authentic testimonial is extremely valuable to a brand. And not only that, brands actually have software that they pay for to search the internet, to find people online, like you, already talking about their brand. It's called social listening software, and they're trying to find people who have what's called brand affinity. If they have 10 influencers lined up and they're trying to figure out, okay, who should we partner with for this upcoming product launch or this seasonal promotion? Who do you think is gonna stand out? It's the creator who contacted them six months ago and continues to follow up, right? And that's what happens a lot of the time when you reach out to a brand. They may not be running any paid campaigns at that time, but by staying top of mind, you're gonna pop back into their heads when their marketing budget allows.
So the second way to identify your ideal brand partners is to think long and hard about the products and services your followers love and talk about. You should be keeping a running list every time you see a discussion going on in your comments section about a brand.
Screenshot everything. How powerful do you think it would be if, when you're reaching out to a brand, you send them like three full pages of screenshots of your audience talking about how much they love them, right? So now when you say, you know, I think my audience would respond really well to a partnership, you have proof to back it up. I think many creators don't really think about this point, which is that brands want to rent your audience to be able to talk to your followers, not necessarily just partner with you. I mean, yes, working with you is a significant part of it because you're the conduit to deliver the brand's message. But what they actually wanna do is reach your followers who are potential customers of the brand. And by the way, that's why brands often ask for your audience demographics. Because they want to know the genders, what are the ages, where does your audience live? So get into the mindset of your audience, right? When you make that Instagram post, or when you publish that sponsored YouTube video, will they be as excited as you are about this brand that you're partnering with?
So the third way to find that perfect brand deal partner is to figure out which brands are already working with creators in your niche. This point is crucial if you make content where it's not immediately obvious what type of brands you could collaborate with. So the best way to do this is to start by following as many people as you can in your content vertical. And this part is vital. You need to engage with them, become a known quantity in their comment section. Because sooner or later they're gonna get a sponsor, and because you've been putting in the work to support them this whole time, you'll feel more comfortable sending them a message and asking for an introduction to the brand. I've never really understood that a lot of creators are super competitive with others in their niche. And they're especially protective about their brand contacts. You know, in my opinion, there is enough money to go around, and supporting each other will help the entire community in the long run. And, you know, plus I'm a big believer in karma, you know, when you put positive energy out there into the universe, you know, helping people with no expectation of receiving anything in return, good things will come back to you.
So to quickly recap, finding your ideal brand partners is as simple as,
Number one is doing a brand's in your house audit, where you walk around and identify all the products and services you already use and could authentically vouch for.
Number two, identify which brands and products your followers love and talk about constantly.
Number three, figuring out which brands are already partnering with other creators in your content niche.
Let me leave you with something to think about. You can partner with good brands, and you can partner with bad brands. Both will earn you money, but only one will earn you credibility.
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