In this issue, I’ll show you how to get your first brand deal, even if you’ve got less than 10k followers on your biggest account.
Being able to sell sponsorships is a fantastic way to earn additional income. You create content to grow your brand and business anyways.
Why not build partnerships with brands that add value to your audience and can pay you for positioning them in front of your followers?
I’m not talking about selling yourself out or taking on any company that wants to pay you. Done the right way, brand deals can heavily benefit your followers and increase your audience.
Unfortunately, many creators don’t even try to get brand deals or sponsors because they think their audience is too small.
Let’s debunk that myth once and for all.
Brands want to work with creators, yet many creators play themselves too small.
I’ve spoken to many podcasters, bloggers, and social media content creators - everybody would love to get paid to create content.
Yet, they’re hesitant to go after sponsorships… most often, I hear one of these excuses:
- My audience isn’t big enough
- I don’t know why any brand would sponsor me
- What would I sell as part of a sponsor package?
- I have no idea how to price my packages.
Keep on reading to learn the answer to all these challenges, so you can get started working on your first brand deal within the next 24 hours!
Here’s how, step by step:
Step 1: Understand why companies would sponsor you
Sponsors want two things out of working with creators:
- Getting in front of an engaged and relevant audience (brand awareness).
- Driving leads or sales for their offers.
We’re in a “sponsor market.”
Many content creators compete for brand deals, giving the power to the sponsoring companies to select the creators they like the most.
You're not the only creator wanting to learn how to get your first brand deal - there's competition. Your personal brand (here's a free training to build your brand using AI) will be super valuable in setting yourself apart.
Don’t think that sponsors always want the biggest audiences, though. They want engaged audiences.
If you have a Facebook group with 2000 members, a newsletter with 5000 subscribers, or 10k followers on Twitter or TikTok, you’re perfectly positioned to get your first sponsorship - as long as your audience is engaged.
Sure, you won’t be able to charge thousands of dollars per sponsored post - but you can still earn a respectable income.
Here’s an example of price ranges for Instagram based on data from Influencer Marketing Hub:
You’re a Nano Influencer if you have less than 1,000 followers.
Micro-Influencers have 1000 - 10k followers.
Doing one weekly post could add $500 USD to your monthly revenue. That’d be enough to cover the rising gas prices for heating your apartment here in Germany 😉
If you think about evergreen promotions like sponsored podcasts, YouTube videos, or blog articles, the rates go up, and you can charge more. For summits, I charge $2k on the minimum and $7-10k on the high end.
Are you excited to learn more about how to get your first brand deal? Then keep reading.
Step 2: Get clarity about who your audience is.
Sponsors want to know who they can reach if you promote them on your podcast, on social media, or on your virtual summits.
For the sponsor to get clarity, you’ll need to prepare insights into the rough demographics (location, age, occupation, etc.) and psychographics (goals, ambitions, desires, pain points, …).
In my course, Get Your First Sponsor, I’m sharing two examples of how to present this data to a sponsor; in a website format and in a Google Doc.
Make it easy for a potential sponsor to see if your audience is a good fit for their offer.
Step 3: Do the leg work and start having conversations.
You’ve got the most difficult work done! Now, you can start researching companies and having conversations with them.
For example, you can look into #spons, #sponsored, #ads, and similar hashtags on Instagram to find companies in your niche.
You can look into who is sponsoring the relevant podcasts, newsletters, and events in your market.
And you can pitch companies whose tools you use yourself to sponsor you.
Find their “Head of Partnerships,” “VP of Marketing,” or people in similar positions on LinkedIn and start networking with them.
Ideally, you can engage with a brand 2-3 weeks in advance before making a pitch so they know that you’re a serious follower.
When bringing up the sponsorship, simply ask them if they engage in supporting content creators who have a relevant audience for their products or services.
Share the audience details with them and give them an estimate on what you charge for a post, a series of posts, one or multiple videos, or event sponsorship.
Step 4: Listen intently in those conversations.
You’ll quickly learn that your ideas of what a sponsoring company wants and what they want can be completely different.
That’s why having conversations with potential sponsors is so critical. To get your first brand deal, you've got to match the company's wants with what you can offer.
Sponsored posts or videos might just be one thing. Get creative in your sponsor packages.
Listen intently when speaking with the decision makers and realize they’re human, too.
They’ve got bosses to report to and goals to hit.
Once they understand that you’re determined to help them reach their goals, you’ve got a good chance of working together.
They might try to bait you with a “free gift collaboration.” Don’t fall for that if you have more than 1000 followers - know your worth.
Being flexible with your offering can help you to get that brand deal signed and that new income stream set up.
See you again next week.
Whenever you’re ready, here are three ways I can help you:
- Get paid for your content through sponsors, even if you've got a small audience.
- Learn hosting five-figure virtual summits with the Virtual Summit Mastery program (770+ members)
- Get more subscribers and earn more money from your newsletter with List Building School (3,900+ attendees)
- Book a 1-on-1 call to get your challenges sorted out.