July 20, 2020

How to Land a Paid Instagram Collaboration

Hey, y’all! I’m here to give you a step-by-step guide on how to pitch companies and land a paid Instagram collaboration! This can seem like a daunting task and honestly, it is! However, have no fear. Your favorite southern friend is here with all the tips and tricks you’ll need. 

Before you pitch to companies, let’s talk about a few precursors. 

Engagement Rates

How do you know if you’re ready to pitch companies? You have a great engagement rate! Taking care of your Instagram enjoyment rate is the first step to getting a paid Instagram collaboration. This is less about how many followers you have and more about your engagement rate.

An influencer with 2500 followers and an engagement rate of 11% is worth more than an influencer with 20,000 followers and an engagement rate of 2%. Why? Because it doesn’t matter how many followers you have if no one likes, saves, comments, or shares your posts. The lower your amount of followers, the higher your engagement rate should be. Here is a chart to help you see the average engagement rate per follower count. 

I talk about this more in depthly in my eBook. From Pitches to Payday.

Engagement Rate Chart from Influencer Marketing Hub

Always monitor your engagement rate, but around 1000 followers is the time to look at pitching. Yes, you can land a deal with 1000 followers! 

You calculate your engagement rate by finding the average number of comments and likes on your last 10 posts. You can use these engagement rate calculators:

How to Message Brands for Collaboration

Okay, you’ve been working hard and now you’re ready to start pitching companies! But what do you do first?

From Pitches to Payday
  1. Find and research companies. This is first because this is major! To find companies to pitch, look around your home, and think about your favorite companies to use. I don’t mean companies you purchase because their products are on the shelves at stores. I’m talking about companies you love because you can’t live without their products or because you love what the company stands for. Before choosing a company, make sure you have researched their mission, standards, and practices. Be sure that this company represents your brand.
  1. Find contact information. When you’re ready to pitch companies for collaboration, this is usually when things get rough. I usually go to the company’s website and see if they have contact information for their PR/ Media person. If not, I will email the general email. I have the most success by sending the company’s page a short DM.
  2. Greet the person by name, if possible. Once you’ve gained the email address, it is time to get to it, honey! Always address the person by name. If it’s not possible, I usually say “Hello,…” and then go on with my email. I feel like saying that is better than “Whom it may concern” or “Sir or Madam”. If you don’t have the name of the person you’re emailing, do what feels right. 
  3. Identify yourself, what you do, and where you’re from. This may seem obvious, but often people cannot give a proper introduction. I usually say, “My name is Johnnie May McDonald and I am a faith, lifestyle & mommy blogger & influencer from the New Orleans/ Baton Rouge area.” 
  1. Talk about what you like about the company and how you discovered them. Now is a great time to remember that this is not about you! Yes, we all know that you want to land a paid Instagram collaboration, but this email is about how you can help the company share their story. You want them to pay you cash or send you compensated products for you spreading their message. 
  1. Explain that you’d like to collaborate with the company and how you can help them get their message out. A simple statement like, “I would love to collaborate with this brand by sharing your product and company’s mission with my highly engaged audience.” Since this is the first point of contact, this is not the time to ask for money or mention money. You’re just letting them know you want to work with them.
  2. Conclusion time! Whew! You made it. Now it’s time to end this email. Closeout with a simple, “if this is something you’re interested in please let me know and I’d be happy to send over my press kit. In the meantime, please feel free to learn more about me via my Instagram or website.” 
  1. End it by saying, “Have a great/ blessed/ beautiful/ awesome… day!” Sincerely, XYZ Influencer”  Say whatever is most comfortable and on-brand. 

Instagram Collaboration Template

When I cannot seem to find a direct email address to the media/PR person, I’ll slide into the DMs of the company’s official Instagram page. I’ll send them a short message like, “Hello, my name is Johnnie May and I’m a mommy & lifestyle blogger interested in collaborating with your brand/restaurant/ business. Would you be able to share the email address of the individual who handles media and PR requests? I greatly appreciate your help!”

Earlier I said, if you do not get a reply from the DMs, go to the website and look for the email address for the media/PR person. If they don’t have it listed, send a message to the general email contact email address. I use this same message for DMs and emails to the general email address.

What to Do After You’ve Sent an Email

You’ve finally emailed. Now it’s time to wait. If it’s been a week and you still haven’t heard from the brand, send a follow-up email just saying that you’ve sent a previous email, are still looking to collaborate, and would love to discuss it further. Remember that you probably aren’t the only person who is looking to book a paid Instagram collaboration, so it may take time.

Make sure that your email notifications are on and that you check your email at least twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening. Try to reply promptly and try to sound enthusiastic about the collaboration. 

For more information on crafting follow-up emails and conducting negotiations, click here.

How to Land a Paid Instagram Collaboration: Conclusion

Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed this step-by-step guide on how to pitch companies for collaboration. Comment below if you have questions. If you’d like another post on how to get your engagement rate up, how to create a press kit or anything else, comment below and tell me. 

Don’t forget to share to Pinterest and your social channels. 

Love y’all! See you next time! 

4 responses to “How to Land a Paid Instagram Collaboration”

  1. Kim says:

    This was the most pitch help yet! I love how you broke it down. I’ll definitely be using your tips in the pitching world.

  2. Candice says:

    This is an awesome blog!

  3. Gayona says:

    This was great information. Thank you for sharing in such detail.