I wanted to take some time to write this because I know there’s a lot of you mamas, daddies and homemaker who want to make a legitimate side hustle in branding (otherwise known as being an “influencer”). It can be a sweet gig, but unless you have a background in marketing, it can be a grueling area to break into. Nowadays, social media outlets are so overly saturated with images and content creators (there’s over a billion images on Instagram alone!) that it is VERY difficult to get a company’s attention. And if you do catch their eye, it can be equally difficult to stand out and cop a deal.
Many people wrongfully assume that numbers are all that matter. This obsession over having as many followers as possible has lead to a boom of people buying followers to make themselves more appealing to brands.
This method however will generally get you nowhere fast.
I don’t have the biggest following on WordPress, Facebook or Instagram. In fact, my audience size is quite small. But that hasn’t stopped several companies and organization from reaching out to me for collaborations and partnerships. This is because I know where my value lays and I market what I have to offer–not my numbers.
Why Numbers Don’t Matter. Kinda. Ish?
So, I don’t want to say that numbers don’t matter at all. These companies are looking to promote their products to real users who are likely to buy. So, if you have >100 followers across your social platforms, you’re not likely to get a partnership.
But there are people who have 20,000 followers+ and can’t get partnerships. Why? Because either a) the majority of their followers are bots, and you can’t sells to bots. Or b) the user can’t convert their followers into added value for the companies (read, new clients and buyer). Follow count doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t pass on dollars to the company you’re working with.
In contrast, across all of my social media I currently have about 3.5k followers. That number isn’t big at all. In fact, its really small. However I have a very specific niche, my followers are engaged and I use my background as a professional photographer to create high quality images brands can use. Because of these things, I can offer real value to companies that they can use to push their own business forward.
Finding Your Value.
Knowing exactly what you can bring to the table is the most important thing you can do if you are seeking out partnerships or collaborations. But figuring out what you have to offer can be a challenge in and of itself. Here are somethings to think about as you work on defining why you would be valuable to brands.
1.What’s your niche? Brands prefer to work with a targeted audience who are interested in what they’re selling. So if the majority of your following are mothers who like wine for example, you can offer value to wine companies.
2.What new perspective do you have to offer? Especially when there’s so much content out there, companies need fresh and new looks. Do you have any special skills that can add value to the brand (hint, hint at photographers!)? Do you have an opinion on a topic that differs even slightly? Share it! Brands will generally appreciate the honesty.
3. Are you knowledgeable on the topics you are covering on social media? Brand don’t want to work with people who don’t know what they are talking about. So before reaching out to brands, do your research first. Test their products out if you can and have constructive feedback ready for them.
4. Are you trustworthy? Being 100% authentic is one of the best things you can offer to a brand. This is because people will value your opinion more if you have a track record of being honest. Work on building trust within your niche by giving your honest opinions, even if you think brands won’t like it. At the end of the day, your value is impart based on how much your audience can trust your word. No matter how small your niche and audience is, your loyalty should always be with being truthful to them first.
You don’t need 100k following to start working with brands and companies. But you do need to have a clear idea on what you can bring to the table for them in order to even be considered. I hope these questions above help you start to really reflect on what you can offer.
Are you interested in working with brands? What do you offer in terms of value? And what are you looking for out of them? Chat with me down below!