- Branded deals are a major source of income for many influencers.
- These collaborations often begin with a pitch, email or other methods.
- Insider spoke with creators on social media about how they portray brands.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
One of the first questions aspiring influencers will ask is: how do you start working with brands?
An influencer’s inbox — whether it’s emails or direct messages on social media — is often where this process begins.
Some influencers will start building relationships with brands by cold-casting them on social media, like Instagram.
Ashley Jones, a micro-influencer with around 50,000 Instagram followers, told Insider that her strategy is to post products she likes on Instagram and tag the brand. She then contacts the brand and explains why she would like to work with them. She will often also ask for a good PR contact, she said.
Learn more about how Jones lands branded deals and sets pricing.
Other creators, like TikTok star London Lazerson, are turning to LinkedIn. While some influencers feature PR or
contacts on LinkedIn, Lazerson rises directly to the top by DMing the CEOs.
Find out how 3 influencers are using LinkedIn to make money.
And many influencers, like Gigi Kovach (a part-time lifestyle influencer), go straight to email to pitch a brand. She keeps a “pitch bank” of email templates handy when contacting potential brands and sponsors.
Read one of Kovach’s word-for-word emails she sends to brands.
In addition to the pitch, many influencers create and attach a media kit – a document that includes basic information about an influencer’s account, engagement data, past work, and contact information.
Some influencers will send a media kit to each advertiser they work with. They keep this document up to date by adding new metrics and collaborations every few months.
“I think that’s super important if you want to take this seriously,” influencer Macy Mariano said of the media kits. “I now send them to everyone I come in contact with. It’s just a good way to express who you are and what you’ve done so they can see your past and current work.”
Read 13 real media kits influencers use when pitching brands.
Insider spoke with several influencers who all have different approaches to showcasing brands. Here’s how they present brands, including several email templates they use.
How to get a brand’s attention when promoting a paid sponsorship
It takes time to figure out what type of pitch sticks and grabs brands’ attention.
“You get a lot of no’s when you start pitching brands, but then you sort of refine your approach,” Kovach told Insider.
But getting started is an important step in building brand relationships.
Jen Lauren, a nano influencer on YouTube and Instagram, charges around $350 for an Instagram sponsorship (a post in the feed) or a YouTube sponsorship (brand mention), and this price will vary depending on the scope of the work, she told Insider in November. 2020 when she had just under 3,000 subscribers.
To land her first paid contract, Lauren used a media kit. She sends her media kit to brands she wants to work with directly, via email, direct message on Instagram, or sometimes she’ll even find an influencer marketing contact for a brand on LinkedIn, she said.
But a media kit isn’t just useful for getting started. Influencers that vary in size and follower experience across the industry typically use these materials to build new brand relationships.
Here’s how 16 influencers pitch brands, from email templates to media kits.
Email templates used by influencers:
Sending DMs to brands on social networks:
Pricing for sponsored content:
Examples of media kit:
- Marina Mogilko, business and education creator with 3.8 million YouTube subscribers. She has a 24-page media kit that she emails to brands she works with.
- A TikTok collective, called The HoneyHouse, with 1 million followers. The millennial creative group uses this 16-page media kit to pitch brands.
- Roberto Blake, a business and technology influencer with 527,000 YouTube subscribers. Here is his 26-page media kit for showcasing tech brands.
- Jade Darmawangsa, a tech and business YouTube creator with 380,000 subscribers. She shared her 4-page media kit.
- Lauren SoYung Lim, an influencer with 130,000 TikTok followers. She shared the 9-page media kit she used to showcase the brands.
- Macy Mariano, fashion and lifestyle Instagram creator with 120,000 followers. Check out his 9-page media kit.
- Jen Lauren, a YouTube nano influencer with 4,000 subscribers. She shared her simple 3-page media kit.
- Kayla Compton, a nano-influencer with a few thousand followers. Here is the 8-page media kit she uses.
“Building a relationship with brands and working with brands you already love, especially when you’re just starting out, is important to retain subscribers,” Lauren told Insider. “I will only partner with a brand if it also benefits my community and integrates organically with my content.”