The psyche of consumers is that if you are an up-and-coming brand and you land a collaboration with a major brand, you’ve made it. They believe that the brand apparently sees your value and so should they. Your audience begins to take you more seriously. Below are a few signs to gauge if you are prepared to work with the brands you’ve always dreamed of working with.
You’ve actually assessed what “ready” means
You’d be surprised how many people think they are ready to be pitched to brands when they are not. Brands definitely take a look at your stats (social media followers, subscribers, likes, comments/engagement, views, etc). That’s a given. But having a large following is not a requirement for every brand. Brands want to see great content. The fact that one mention from the right person/brand on social media can take your following from 100 to 10K in one day proves that all it takes is the right exposure. There’s a lot of talent out there but not enough exposure. That said, get exposed.
You know the difference between popularity and influence
Brands primarily want one of two things when partnering with a smaller brand, influencer, etc. – awareness or conversion. Let’s say a brand is looking for conversion and/or direct sales from a brand/influencer. The brand agrees to partner with you in exchange for social media or blog posts. Typically, there is some sort of measurable way to track sales/conversions like a special URL link or a promo code. The brand is saying, “We want to be able to track how many buyers you actually brought to the table”. That brand wants Conversion. On the contrary, brands will partner with you smaller brand simply for awareness because you have a very strong, targeted following. The brand isn’t necessarily looking for sales but perhaps they launched a new product and want to make people aware.
What’s the difference between popularity vs. influence? A social media “influencer” can easily have 100K followers and not actually generate any sales for the brand. That’s the difference between popularity and real influence. Influence is when a person/brand says that they love to use a certain product and people actually go buy because they want to have whatever that person has. They believe in that person and buy into whatever they are doing because they value their opinion. Purchases are based on trust. That’s influence! Being popular is simply when you have a lot of followers/subscribers who may not actually buy. This is the most misleading aspect of today’s consumers: They will double tap your photos all day but won’t necessarily buy from. Since stats and follower counts seem to be key these days, we are lead to believe that metrics equal value and that’s not always true. Know the difference.
Your content is pitch worthy
If you’re still convinced that brands won’t take you seriously if you don’t have a ton of followers, then get a ton of followers. It’s simple. But how to get a ton of followers isn’t as easy to answer. That’s because psychographics of what people may like about one brand may not be the same for yours.
The most important factor in what brands are looking for is the quality of Content, meaning that your content is original and personal. Study what brands that have large followings are doing (great pictures, interesting content, inspirational messages, etc). Consider your audience and their interests. However, being “pitch worthy” is not all about social. Take a step back and assess your brand for what it actually is. Get outside, objective opinions.
Your pitch materials are solid
The pitch phase is where most people go wrong. For some reason, people assume that everyone is impressed by their material and that they don’t have to do any selling. We all have to sell though! When it comes to pitching, you are reaching out to brands to communicate your value and how your brand would be an asset to theirs. Your pitch needs to stand out by grabbing attention and stating clearly (and early) exactly what you can do for the brand. You’ve got a small window of opportunity to get their attention, so you’ve got to make it good. Get right to the point of how you can benefit the company. Then spell it all out later once you’ve got their attention.
It’s imperative that when sending your pitch email, you speak the language of that brand. Tell them what they need to know in order to make a good decision about you. If your pitch materials are impressive, your email will be read and probably responded to in a favorable light.
Do you have a media kit? Is it amazing? It should be. According to publicist Ashley Moore of Moore PR Firm, a media kit is “your company’s resume. A very fancy one.” She adds, “For brands, a media kit… is a neat little document to show the media what you’re all about.”