Get Paid Now: 5 Steps to Land Successful Brand Deals in 2024

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Brand deals are the holy grail of the creator economy. They validate that your work is not just seen, it is valued. But with over 200 million creators vying for attention, how do you secure partnerships that not only align with your personal brand but also, and perhaps more importantly, pay the bills?

This article distills insights on how to land successful brand deals from an episode of ‘Uploading…’ with influencer marketing expert and Appsumo’s Head of Marketing, Nick Christensen. It outlines five simple steps that can benefit content creators in all career stages, from micro-influencers to superstars.


1. Understand what brands look for in creators

Step 1 in getting brand deals is understanding the factors that brands deem essential when selecting potential partners. When a brand looks to partner with a creator, it essentially invests its resources (time, money, and energy) into that partnership; hence, it wants to ensure it is worthwhile.

Create high-quality content consistently

High-quality content is a prerequisite for attracting any brand. Beyond good visuals, this means engaging narrative arcs or storylines that align with the brand’s values and message.

Your commitment to regularly uploading high-quality content signals to brands that you are reliable, have a disciplined content schedule, and are likely to handle sponsored posts with the same dedication.

Learn from successful brand partnerships in your niche

Survey the creator marketplace and pay close attention to what’s happening within your niche. What brand-creator partnerships are flourishing? What are the creators doing right that you can perhaps replicate or learn from? Study their content: How do they integrate branded content without disrupting their usual style or tone? Understanding these subtleties can help you figure out what brands in your niche value and seek from their creator partners.

Organically talk about your target brands

Brands are increasingly savvy about who they choose to work with. They look beyond the number of followers to the genuine engagement that creators foster.

It makes a difference when you talk about brands you genuinely adore rather than ones you've no real connection with. As you authentically rave about products or services you're passionate about, target brands will likely take note of your enthusiasm and see the potential in building partnerships with you.

2. Develop a professional media kit

Your media kit is your influencer CV and portfolio combined, showcasing your value to potential brand partners. With an optimized one in your arsenal, you can secure profitable and synergistic brand collaborations.

Document your content creation metrics

Metrics matter. Whether it's your engagement rate, follower growth, or conversion stats, these numbers tell brands a story — a narrative of your potential as an influencer. Make sure to include these metrics in your media kit to give potential brand partners a clear picture of your performance and influence.

Highlight your USP and achievements

What can you bring to the table that other influencers can't? Maybe it's your unique storytelling style, your niche expertise, or perhaps a demographic you resonate with that brands find hard to reach. Your unique selling proposition or USP and your past successes are your bargaining chips. Highlight these in your media kit to show potential brand partners why you're the best content creator for their influencer marketing campaign.

Showcase your best work

Your media kit should also feature samples of your best content. This can include high-performing posts, successful collaborations with previous brands, or even testimonials from these partnerships. 

Remember, quality over quantity applies here — it’s about showcasing the very best you have to offer. A well-curated media kit gives brands an immediate insight into the type and quality of work they can expect if they decide to partner with you.

an influencer writing a pitch to a brand

3. Pitch to brands you already know and love

Before flooding your email with proposals to brands you barely know, pick the ones you genuinely use and appreciate. Authenticity prevails in a world marred by constantly rising influencer frauds. Brands can spot pretentious feigns of admiration and will often prefer content creators whose affection for their product or service is genuine and palpable.

Write a personalized pitch for each brand

Mass-produced influencer pitches are a no-go. When reaching out to brands, embody the personal touch you bring to your content. Speak directly to their needs and how you can fulfill them. Articulate why their brand resonates with you and how it aligns with both your personal brand and your audience's interest. 

Show your potential brand partners the unique benefit they stand to gain from collaborating with you; this could be an untapped audience demographic, increased social engagement, or influencer-driven conversions

Above all else, remember that brands are not looking for just another sponsored content. They're in the creator space for authentic stories and genuine connections, so pitch your passion, not just your numbers.

Offer specific ideas for collaboration

Be proactive and create a video presenting concrete ideas on how you plan to promote a potential brand partner. Maybe it's through hosting a giveaway on your Instagram story or creating a dedicated content series for them on a podcast.

You might have the best follower count in the world, but if you're not showing brands tangible ways that they can benefit from your social media following, then those numbers are nothing more than vanity metrics. 

By offering unique influencer proposals suited to each brand's objectives, you show respect for their values and demonstrate initiative — two attributes every brand appreciates.

Thank the brand for considering your proposal

Politeness never goes out of fashion. Always thank the brand for considering your proposal, regardless of the outcome. This sets a positive tone for future interactions, demonstrates your professionalism, and also leaves the door open for opportunities down the line. Don't burn any bridges; remember that "no" might mean "not now" but could potentially turn into a "yes" in the future.

4. Set competitive prices and negotiate

Navigating the financial aspect of brand collaborations can be nerve-racking. You don't want to undercharge and devalue yourself, but overcharging could deter potential partnerships as well. Therefore, it's crucial to strike a balance that reflects the your worth while remaining within the brand's budget.

Research industry standards and benchmarks

Before sharing your desired fees with potential brand partners, do your homework. Research industry CPM benchmarks and pricing standards to ensure your rates are competitive yet fair. 

Understand how much someone with your following and engagement typically charges for what specific offerings. For example, a nano influencer or someone with under 10,000 followers would typically charge less for a sponsored Instagram post than a macro influencer with over 100,000 followers.

Just like Goldilocks, you're looking for the number that's just right — not too low that it undersells your value, not too high that it drives potential brand partners away.

Be flexible in your pricing approach

Just as every partnership is unique, so too should your pricing strategy be. Avoid locking yourself into a single model and instead be adaptive in structuring your fees. Beyond a flat rate for service, consider leveraging commission-based payments, where you earn a cut from every sale made through the collaboration.

If your follower base tends to purchase items or services you recommend, a commission strategy could bring far more lucrative earnings than merely asking for an upfront payment. However, don't shy away from mixing both methods — an upfront fee guarantees immediate payment, while having commissions gives additional incentives for the campaign's success.

Seek win-win solutions

Brand collaborations should be mutually beneficial so always seek win-win solutions when you negotiate. Be open and communicative about your expectations from the outset, but also listen attentively to what the brand hopes to achieve. 

Understanding both sides will help you create a package that benefits everyone involved. For example, if a brand has a limited budget for upfront payments, maybe they can offer more revenue share on sales or free products.

Additionally, consider adding value with extras such as promotional activities on additional channels (e.g., featuring them on your blog), services like content creation for their own use, or extending the partnership over a longer period.

influencer and brand relationship

5. Nurture long-term relationships with brands

Lasting partnerships can be far more profitable than one-off sponsorships. These relationships are built on trust and consistent value delivery, which takes time to establish but brings rewards in terms of stability, frequent work opportunities, and possibly brand ambassadorships. Here's your blueprint for endurance in the realm of brand deals:

Deliver your promises and exceed expectations

Securing the deal is just the starting line; nurturing that relationship is the marathon. Deliver not just what you promised but aim to exceed expectations. Surprise your brand partners with vaulted engagement numbers or perhaps an unscheduled but relevant shout-out. By consistently going above and beyond, you not only solidify your reputation as a reliable partner but also open the door for future collaborations.

Stay connected and engaged with your brand partners

Don't just disappear after the brand deal is done. Maintain regular communication with your brand partners to update them on your latest work, share insights about their industry, or simply check in on how they're doing. Regular engagement can deepen the integration between your brand and theirs and transform a once-transactional relationship into a valuable partnership.

Incentivize brand partners to work with you again

Create an irresistible proposition for repeat engagement — discounts on subsequent brand collaborations, preferential access to your content or product launches, or first-right refusal on new sponsorship opportunities. Offering these incentives gives brand partners a tangible return on investment and a reason to collaborate with you repeatedly. 

Proactively seek feedback from brand partners after projects. You can use positive feedback as testimonials and address negative points as areas for improvement for future projects. Make it known to brands that their satisfaction is important to you.

Start Making Money as an Influencer

Securing brand deals as a content creator involves several key stages. 

The process begins with your ability to create consistent, high-quality influencer content that resonates with the brand's audience. It's crucial to understand what your target brands value and seamlessly weave their narratives into yours where applicable.

Next up is putting together a media kit that reflects not only your quantitative metrics but also your USP backed by examples of noteworthy achievements and best work. 

Reach out confidently yet personally, offering specific ideas for collaboration. Love for the brand comes through clearly here, setting you apart from generic influencer pitches. No matter the outcome, thank the brand for their time and consideration. 

Pricing can indeed be tricky, so stay informed about industry benchmarks. Be open to negotiation as well — remember, it’s all about creating win-win situations here.

Finally and most importantly, treat any partnership like a living entity. Feed it consistently with performance beyond expectations and regular communication, fostering deeper integration between both parties' goals. Nourish the relationship by offering incentives to encourage repeat engagements.

At its heart, making money as an influencer is about cementing your importance within a brand's ecosystem. By providing value on multiple fronts, from exceptional content creation to proactive partnership nurturing, you mark yourself as more than just another channel for marketing. You become an indispensable asset.