So, you think you are ready to hop on the influencer marketing train? To get sponsored to talk about or show some fantastic products on your social media channels? Fantastic.
Maybe you have just heard that brands aren’t just looking at the big guys any longer. With the increasing use of micro-influencers, brands are turning their heads towards smaller communities with highly engaged followers. The niche approach brings many advantages, for the brand and also for you. Why for you? Well if you have a great following and view numbers as well as a growing channel, brands could be very interested in collaborating with you. Looking for ways to naturally find their way online and on the screen of many people, your personal approach, aesthetic and personality will draw your viewers to your channel. And these unique qualities are exactly what brands want to reach an audience authentically.
As this trend is still growing on this side of the Atlantic, many of you may not know exactly how to go about it. There is good news, that’s exactly what we are here for.
We will give you some advice on what to consider and how to go about brand deals.
Before approaching anyone about brand deals, ask yourself some questions. These may seem obvious but are important in deciding which direction to take. First, ask yourself ‘’what brand would fit your channel?’’ and ‘’Why would my channel be a good fit for them?’’. Brands want to advertise on YouTube and other social media channels. And your subscribers have a sense of loyalty to you and other creators they like, therefore brands are looking for a match in terms of content and personality. If you have a travel channel, for example, any company that offers travel accessories, backpacks, guidebooks or even sun lotion could be great. But a make-up brand may not be the best fit. Just because you like a brand, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the right fit for you.
Secondly, ask yourself, ‘’what does my growth rate look like?’’ Is it steady? Or are you just starting to kick off and have seen a recent spike? Before working on brand deals, it is important to have a committed following and loyal subscribers. Some people feel alienated when sponsored content is shown and may turn their back. The last thing anyone wants is for you to lose your support, so make sure it is the right time to go ahead.
Look into what other people have done in terms of brand deals and read some articles on how to go about it. If you have particular questions, you can always get in touch, you won’t be the first. There are many different variables to consider when going into this business and you need to find the right way for you. And besides the obvious questions whether you have enough followers or how much money you can expect, maybe there are some details that you aren’t sure about. It is worth finding out if there are any regulations in your country. In the UK for example, you need to clearly state that you are showing sponsored content. The brand should be aware of this, but may not be. So it’s a good idea to cover all your basis and have a basic understanding of what is going on in the industry.
There are two main ways to finding a brand deal. The first is approaching brands yourself and basically pitching how great your channels are and why you would be a fantastic fit. This can bring great results and you are sure to build a personal relationship with these companies. But it is also a lot of hard work finding the right contact person and a lot of the times, brands may not get back to you. Don’t be discouraged. This doesn’t mean it won’t happen, be patient and try to find someone in the right department for this. Usually, someone from the marketing team will know a lot more about opportunities and generally if the brand would be interested then someone in sales.
The second, and maybe easier way, is to work with a company that looks for brand deals for you. Don’t worry about any cost involved, these companies will get paid by the brand being the middleman between them and the creators. What can be a big advantage here, is that they will not only negotiate the best deal on your behalf but also look out for any suitable deals and approach you, basically do all the legwork for you.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a brand deal. Yes, they should be fun and enjoyable, but people’s careers are tied to the results of these deals. Just like your work on all your social media channels, creating content and growing your subscribers base, a brand deal is another task on top of that. Depending on the terms of your contract, you need to be ready to commit the time and effort to the work that you have agreed on. You need to ensure that both your sponsored and you are happy with the content to not jeopardise your integrity and the brands.
Just take this serious and remember that you aren’t just selling your online brand, you are also selling yourself and surely, you would like to work with brands again. Consider the amount of work before going committing to the project, can you actually achieve the required quality? If so, fantastic. If not, maybe negotiate a smaller amount of content or wait until you have to time to fully commit.
Once you have decided you are ready and can commit fully, it is time to negotiate. Here, again, a company that is the middle man can help. They will know what to ask for and how to talk to the brand to get the deliverables agreed on as well as the price. In no way should you, as a YouTuber pay anything to anyone for this. The brand will pay the company on top of what you are negotiation as your own fee.
So, what do you need to negotiate? First of all, you and the brand need to agree on the deliverables. This is the content that you will be posting. How many videos would they like? What is the time frame involved? Do you cross-share across platforms or are they only interested in one? If this involves products, how will you get them and when? Is the brand looking for a type of scripted video or do you have full creativity? What type of content are they looking for? Are links to be included and the brand mentioned or is this optional?
There are a lot of questions to consider, and these are just a few to start with. Make a list of things you are unsure about, no matter how small. And be sure to have this put into a contract, which both parties have to sign.
Agree upfront on what the financial terms of this are, of course, you deserve to be suitable imbursed, but also, be realistic and maybe talk to some fellow creators about their experiences. Don’t forget to also talk about termination of the contract and what reasons would cause the contract to be cancelled or revoked. It’s often better to pair with a company or lawyer that has some intelligence in this field, to make sure all the bases are covered and you have all the information you need.
Once all this is done, the last thing to do is get creative and produce some outstanding content to wow your fans!
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