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How to Create Powerful Deals with Brands? [Influencer’s Guide]

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Collaborating with the right brands can transform an influencer’s business almost overnight. But simply attracting a brand’s attention is not enough to create a powerful partnership that drives real value. As an influencer marketing expert with over 5 years of experience helping creators monetize their personal brands, I‘ve negotiated and closed dozens of lucrative collaboration deals.

In this comprehensive 4500+ word guide, I‘m breaking down my proven step-by-step blueprint for going from 0 deals to an influencer marketing money machine, building partnerships that endure.

Let‘s dive in.

The Importance of Discoverability

Before anything else, brands need to be able to find you. The most brilliant negotiation strategies mean nothing if you‘re invisible to potential partners. As such, mastering discoverability is critical.

Leverage Influencer Marketing Platforms

In 2022, over $20 billion was spent globally on influencer marketing campaigns. To connect with creators, 91% of brands rely on dedicated influencer marketing platforms like Ainfluencer.

By building robust profiles on these sites, creators make themselves visible and accessible to thousands of prospective brand partners. I‘ve personally landed high-paying partnerships with brands that discovered me on Ainfluencer and messaged me directly via the platform. They simplify the entire process.

influencer marketing industry statistics

Key influencer marketing industry statistics for 2023 (Source: Influencer Marketing Hub)

Showcase Niche Expertise

In a sea of general lifestyle influencers, brands crave subject matter experts who can create authoritative sponsored content in specific niches. Become razor focused on topics aligned to your passions and strengths.

For example, if you‘re a yoga teacher, emphasize your credentials in your profiles. Brands seeking influencers in health and wellness are far more likely to engage around potential partnerships.

Flaunt Your Metrics

Brands allocate their influencer marketing budgets based on audience size and engagement levels. To entice partners, ensure all your key stats and growth trends are prominently displayed. These include but aren’t limited to:

  • Followers
  • Average likes, comments
  • Video view counts
  • Monthly impressions

Dynamic growth can indicate better future returns on investment for brands. If your monthly follower growth exceeded 10% last quarter, highlight it.

Above all, stay transparent with brands about your authentic metrics and the value you can realistically deliver. Overpromising leads to frustration on both sides.

Setting Your Rates

When it comes time to talk money, having a clear sense of your worth is essential to extract fair compensation. Avoid leaving this to guesswork or just taking a brand‘s first offer.

Benchmark Against Comparable Creators

Rather than plucking figures from thin air, research what influencers with similar followings and engagement levels charge for branded content. Surveys like this report by IZEA reveal average sponsorship prices across platforms and audience tiers.

While your niche, creative offerings and production value impact rates, this data provides a sound starting point.

Factor in Campaign Scope

Are you being asked to promote a launch across multiple platforms? Develop several social videos? Travel for live events? Account for all the time, effort and expenses required to deliver when costing a campaign.

I broke down one of my first big brand deals by requiring:

  • 3 dedicated Instagram posts = $750
  • 2 Instagram stories = $400
  • 1 YouTube product review video = $650

The total $1800 fee reflected the multi-channel nature and my expanded production workload.

Charge a Premium for Exclusives

Particularly in the launch phase, some brands want to partner with just 1-2 handpicked influencers. If you’re asked to sign an exclusive promotion clause, requiring you not to work with any competitor brands for a set period, justify charging a fee premium.

Exclusivity limits business opportunities on your end, so ensure it‘s financially worthwhile. I‘ve successfully negotiated 30-50% higher rates for exclusive deals.

instagram influencer rates

Average Instagram influencer rates by follower count (Source: IZEA)

Bundle for Higher Total Values

Rather than incremental fees per post, propose bundled content packages with tiered pricing levels. This allows you to charge more overall, while offering brands varied yet integrated promotional assets.

For example, offer:

  • 5 static Instagram posts + 3 stories for $1250
  • 3 YouTube videos + 7 Instagram posts&stories for $2200

Creating Compelling Branded Content

Simply slapping a branded hashtag or product shot into your usual content won’t cut it. Successful sponsored posts blend promotional messaging with entertainment and inspiration that resonates with your audience.

Reviews

Share honest opinions and experiences testing products. Film yourself unpacking subscriber boxes or demoing software tools.

Unboxings / Hauls

Capture the excitement of discovering new products for the first time on camera. These videos drive organic hype and purchases.

Tutorials

Teach viewers new skills while subtly featuring sponsored items. Show how you make coffee with a signature branded mug or blender.

Brand Collaborations

Work on passion projects together, like co-designed merchandise collections or giveaways promoting a brand‘s launch.

Product / Place Features

Artfully showcase unique characteristics of brands through vivid photography and video. Convey why you‘re drawn to exclusive hotel properties or cutting-edge tech devices beyond just being paid.

Behind-the-Scenes

Give audiences insider access to your content creation process on shoots, campaigns and other brand collaborations via Instagram and TikTok Stories.

sponsored instagram post examples

Examples of effective sponsored Instagram posts

The key is ensuring your promotions provide genuine entertainment or value beyond just pushing products. I regularly brainstorm fresh ways to creatively integrate brands versus recycling the same stale formats.

Rewarding Your Audience Too

While getting paid, never forget the audience-first mentality that likely drew followers to you initially. Find ways to reward their loyalty through exclusive deals as part of your collaborations.

Negotiate Discounts

Pitch promo codes and special savings for your engaged community members offered through your partnership. I recently negotiated a 30% subscriber discount from an emerging athleticwear brand exclusively for my audience, driving purchases while delighting followers with VIP treatment.

Poll Product Preferences

Instagram Polls let fans vote on their favorite gear colors/prints before you shoot branded content. This makes them feel vested in video or post development.

Give Away Free Products

Run prize contests and giveaways of new product releases or coveted items given to you by brands. This captivates audiences while costing you nothing.

Share Pre-Launch Intel

For new product drops, provide followers sneak peeks of gear via Instagram Stories that no one else has seen. This sense of access and insider status excites audiences.

By keeping your community‘s experience front and center, you become more than just a promotional vehicle for brands. You‘re a connector between companies and audiences.

instagram giveaway contest

An Instagram giveaway contest drives major engagement

Pitching to Brands with Power

Reaching out to brands directly with partnership proposals requires strategic positioning. You must instantly convey credibility and value.

Know Their Products and Mission

Thoroughly research a brand‘s existing content, products, mission and target demographics. Then explain exactly how your assets and community align with and amplify their goals. No generic pitches!

Quantify Your Assets

Flaunt metrics showcasing the precise audience reach and engagement you deliver. For example, I state upfront in my outreach:

"With 850K Instagram followers, 4.5% average engagement rates, and videos driving 500K+ views, I can spread your brand‘s message to a highly targeted, actively-engaged audience of women 18-34."

Verify you have current Google Analytics data to support claims if asked.

Establish Trust and Authority

Highlight press features, case studies, testimonials and awards proving influencer marketing success. If a coveted brand has hired you previously, lead with that social proof.

Have Clear Deliverables and Benchmarks

Define exact promotional assets and metrics you will provide, tied to campaign goals. Squash doubts by connecting desired business outcomes like sales lifts to real follower actions:

"My 3 dedicated Instagram feed posts + instagram stories will drive 8,000+ clicks to your eCommerce site, resulting in an estimated 350+ additional online sales based on 3% conversion rates."

influencer marketing pitch

Key elements for an effective influencer sponsorship pitch

Closing Deals via Negotiation

You‘ve nailed the pitch. The brand‘s interested! Now convert the opportunity into a money-making partnership.

Know Your Worth

Reference competitive market pricing data and metrics analysis for justification if brands try playing hardball on fees. Be willing to walk away from deals well below market rate.

Offer Package Options

Provide 2-3 tiered deliverables bundles at different price points. This frames you as an expert solving problems for partners versus just chasing the highest fees.

Embrace Feedback, Stay Flexible

Expect back-and-forth communication to finalize agreements. Showcase creativity and range by responding to feedback with fresh promotional ideas versus rigid demands.

Sweeten the Deal

Incentivize preferred package selection and contract signing by adding bonuses like:

  • Premium Instagram grid posts
  • Additional Instagram story swipe-ups
  • YouTube video distribution to your channel

This clinches deals by going above-and beyond. Brands jump at extra value.

Staying agile in negotiations while conveying confidence and expertise results in transformative partnership deals with beloved brands then and now.

negotiating brand deals

Tips for negotiating win-win influencer brand deals

In Closing

The path to regular income and business growth as an influencer lies in securing consistent, lucrative brand sponsorships. While capturing attention is table stakes in this crowded arena, structuring powerful collaborations requires strategy and finesse.

By relentlessly improving content quality, monitoring performance benchmarks, identifying niche topics, showcasing assets to brands, creatively integrating promotions and negotiating optimal packages, incredible deals await.

Now grab your proposal templates, tap into platforms like Ainfluencer to unlock discoverability and forge evergreen brand relationships through the art of influence. Your best campaigns still lie ahead!

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