You’re gaining status as an influencer, and your follower counts are high and climbing. You’ve tapped into a cultural current, and your content is resonating with members of a large and growing audience. Well done! That’s not an easy feat. And if the followers you’re attracting are the followers you actually want, that’s even better. You’re on a roll! It may be time to start reaching out to brands with the goal of convincing them to sponsor, support, or just signal boost you in some way that gives you even more leverage as an influencer. Ideally, a monetary contract would be nice, but there are several stops on the way to that goal that are also highly beneficial. So as you reach out for corporate attention, avoid these pitfalls that can get in your way.
Letting brands choose you instead of the other way around.
If you’re desperate or indiscriminate, you can lose control over your progress. Remember: you have a brand now too, and you don’t want to tarnish or dilute it by attracting associations that can bring you down. If your image is fit and outdoorsy, don’t latch onto a connection with a junk food or cigarette company just because they seem receptive. Respect your loyal audience and your existing vibe.
Failing to follow up.
A tiny lead is still a lead. If your favorite brand retweets you or makes a comment on your post, take action immediately. Post a witty response and then reach out to the company to make your interest in a relationship clear.
Underusing your connections.
If you really want a contract with a certain company, do a deep investigation of your network to find out who you know on the inside. You can cut to the front of countless lines and bypass plenty of hurdles by just having a shared contact with a social media pro or marketing executive inside the organization.
Brands will be more likely to partner with you if your stream of content is steady and continuous. No matter how attractive your posts may be, brands will prefer someone who posts all the time and treats the role of an influencer like a full-time job. Avoid popping up and then going silent for months at a time.
A clean record matters when it comes to brand partnerships that function and last. If you have anything in your background or social media history that could damage the company’s reputation by association, clean it up. This isn’t just about scandals or mistakes—it’s about alignment with the company image. For example, if you want to partner with a fit, outdoorsy brand, the company will likely hesitate if too many of your images show you smoking or chowing down on junk food.
Influencers who are ready to connect with brands should have the help of an experienced attorney. Interested in learning more? Click to read my LinkedIn article on the same topic.