So you’ve been doing the social media grind and putting in the hours. Finally, you amass a respectable number of followers, get noticed and begin to feel Instagram famous.
But where are all the sponsorship and brand endorsements? Where are all the opportunities to turn this social media presence into something you can live off of?
The harsh reality is that being a social media influencer is one of the most popular career choices around today.
That means the competition is fierce, and if you want to make it to the big brands, you need to know how to find your own sponsorships and turn your influence into as many streams of revenue as possible.
It is easier than you think to find brands through Instagram.
Below, we are going to look at the whole process of finding brands to work with on Instagram.
From building your niche to finding brands that align with you and reaching out to these brands using a media kit, as well as the best platforms to help connect brands with influencers.
Our article will tell you everything you need to know about ways to find brands to work with on Instagram.
Step 1: Define Your Niche
To be successful as a social media influencer on Instagram, you have to find your niche and exploit it.
The importance of this cannot be overstated, as the age of generalism is over.
People’s interests have become increasingly specific, and our interconnectivity has ensured that everyone sharing a very specific interest is easily able to find one another and communicate and share their passion.
You need to find what you are passionate about, then connect with a target audience that shares this passion. This is your niche audience, and it is important to note here that you shouldn’t put the proverbial cart before the horse.
Your passion should determine your niche, and your niche should then determine your target audience.
If you try to force your passion to fit the most lucrative niche you can find, then your audience will see through you.
There are few things that can lose you followers as quickly as a perceived sense of inauthenticity, but luckily the opposite is also true.
Few things can get and keep followers as powerfully as authenticity, and if you are niching down into something you are genuinely passionate about, that authenticity will shine through.
Examples of Instagram Niches
Health and Fitness
This niche is highly popular, but therefore also highly competitive.
You will need a real passion for a lifestyle centered on health and fitness, and this is a niche where walking the walk is just as crucial as talking the talk.
Being exposed as a fraud who does not actually live the lifestyle they preach can come with a very heavy follower cost, and fewer followers means fewer interested brands.
Beauty and Fashion
Another highly competitive but potentially very lucrative niche, beauty products, and fashion have both become multi-billion dollar industries over the past few decades.
On Instagram, appearance is everything, and people who know their way around make-up and take pleasure in an elaborate skincare routine can take this to the next level and niche down.
This niche is especially rich with great brands to team up with.
Business and Finance
Perhaps you have a background in finance or a little bit of experience investing? If so, you could share your expertise with an avid audience on Instagram.
People are always willing to follow someone who can help them make more money, so if this is where your skill and passion lie, it might be the niche for you.
Maybe you’d be good at finding Instagram bloggers to find new streetwear brands, or find makeup brands for a makeup artist. Instagram is teeming with possibilities.
Whichever niche you decide to go with, try and find the perfect compromise between only these two things:
Passion, because authenticity is essential and cannot be convincingly faked for long.
Skill, because you will need something of value to share with your ever-growing audience, to keep it growing, and retain the followers you’ve already amassed.
Step 2: Research Brands in Your Niche
You may be wondering what niching down has to do with finding brands to work with.
Well, much more than you might think.
Niching down is a big part of defining your own brand, and finding brands to work with on Instagram is largely a matter of inter-brand compatibility.
You need to define your niche and brand before you’ll be able to identify and approach compatible brands for sponsorships or affiliations.
Where to Find Brands to Promote on Instagram
Now that you have identified your own niche, and started forming your own cohesive brand identity, you can start searching your niche for potential brands to work with.
Begin by putting together a list of all the relevant hashtags for your niche, and pair these with the hashtags #ads or #sponsored to see which brands are already marketing within your niche.
Be willing to make use of a variety of approaches, from direct contact over social media to networking with other influencers in the same or a complementary niche.
Whichever approaches you take, make sure you come prepared with a convincing pitch and a proper media kit.
Do not approach potential brands without these, as brands get inundated with approaches every day and anything below a certain level of professionalism won’t make it onto their radars.
Before you contact a brand, make sure that you look into the brand, its values, mission, history, and so on, to make sure that there is a good fit between your audience and theirs.
Ensure that nothing about their brand compromises or contradicts anything that is core to your identity.
This sort of lack of integrity will cause you to lose your most valuable resource: the trust of your followers.
These points show the absolute importance of doing your research and due diligence before considering any particular brand partnership.
Remember that as an influencer, you thrive or fail based on your reputation, and that means that aspects like authenticity and integrity form the core of the product you are selling to your followers.
If you lose them, you won’t have the opportunity to make any sponsorship deals.
Do not take a compromising deal out of desperation, as this will do much more harm than good to your status as an influencer over the long run.
A media kit is essentially just a convenient collection of promotional materials that make affiliations and networking, as well as approaches and pitches, as easy and simple for the brand you are approaching as possible.
A good brand kit shows a level of professionalism that makes you stand out from the endless hordes of accounts looking for a quick buck.
What’s in a Media Kit?
Basics like your bio and contact information, as well as all your links to other social media, your blogs or websites, or any other valuable online presence you might have.
Branding elements like your logo, taglines, brand fonts, and brand colors.
If you don’t yet have these, and you can’t afford to hire a professional designer, there are loads of resources available online to guide you.
You can also find a cheap professional solution on freelancing sites or look at a number of free templates on Canva.
Take some time to select colors and fonts that accentuate your brand, and spend some thought on your taglines.
If you only splurge for a professional on one thing, make it your logo.
Your mission statement, and product description, which in this case amounts to you, your social media presence, and your clout with your followers.
Once you have your basic media kit set up, make sure to edit and adjust it for each approach to each brand.
Brands easily see through a mass approach, and a few thoughtful and personalized approaches will give far greater returns than hundreds of spam approaches.
You want to fire your approaches with the precision of a sniper rifle, not the scatter of a shotgun.
Step 4: Reach Out to Brands
Now you finally have everything you need.
You’ve defined your niche, solidified your brand into a media kit, and done your research to identify a few brands you feel are good matches.
Now you can at last move on to the part where you actually approach these brands and turn your hard work into actual sponsorship deals.
Tips for Reaching Out to Brands on Instagram
For your first few attempts, use tried and trusted templates to help guide you in constructing your pitch.
Know that the process takes time, and the brand’s first response is only the initial step.
The best way to ensure long-term income from sponsorships is to build positive relationships with brands, and this can only happen over time.
Once you have made it over the bump of getting your first few responses, really focus on those brands and try to lay the foundations for a mutually beneficial relationship.
Find brands that are a win-win. That means that you can provide the brand with value by exposing them in a positive light to your followers, and they can provide value to you in turn.
Not in the sense of financial gain, but value to your followers.
It is very important that you put your followers first when considering sponsorship, as they are your greatest asset.
When reaching out, do some extra research on the brand and mention recent ad campaigns you liked, or products you appreciate, to personalize your pitch and set it apart from the hundreds of generic pitches top brands get every day.
Do not take deals out of desperation!
Especially if you reach the point where brands start approaching you, it is crucial not to get carried away, and to affiliate yourself only with reputable brands that are compatible with your core values and those of your followers – no matter how good the money may seem.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to and find big brand Instagram accounts.
Step 5: Join Influencer Marketing Platforms
In addition to sponsorship deals, you can further monetize your Instagram social media influence by joining a marketing platform for influencers.
There are two platforms in particular that are very accessible, user-friendly, reputable, and potentially lucrative.
Admitad Partner Network
Arguably, the best way to make money working with brands is through affiliate marketing.
You’ve definitely seen this sort of thing at work before when your favorite Youtuber shares their discount code for this or that. They aren’t just doing you a favor, but getting paid every time that discount code gets used.
If there is a brand product you adore, and you can market it to your followers, try to get an affiliate link from the brand.
That way, you are saving your followers money on a product you know is great, and getting paid for it.
One of the easiest ways to get started with affiliate marketing is through Admitad Partner Network, where you can find over two thousand companies, including big brands like Adobe and Canva.
With this kind of selection, it should be easy to find multiple brands that would be great fits for an affiliate marketing deal.
Admitad takes care of all the admin and bureaucracy, making the process smooth and easy.
If you’ve been wanting to break into affiliate marketing, but don’t have any idea where to start, then Admitad Partner Network is the right place for you to start making money.
If you’re looking to partner with large brands, Admitad can connect you to:
ConvertSocial is essentially a platform that connects brands with influencers, and it specializes in helping content creators monetize their social media accounts.
ConvertSocial also gives you access to top brands, like Nike and Sony, as well as a very wide selection of brands and monetization opportunities sure to fit your niche and align with your brand.
ConvertSocial acts as a middleman between influencers and brands, using its infrastructure to help facilitate the best possible partnership opportunities.
If you want to monetize your Instagram account as quickly as possible, then ConverSocial is the best route to take.
Much like Admitad, it works through using affiliate links, but its focus on social media makes it a better option for those focused on building their Instagram influence.
You should now know everything you need to take your Instagram influence to the next level: how to find brands for sponsorships on Instagram, how to find brands for Instagram collaboration, find Instagram influencers, connect with brands, and even become one of the brand ambassadors of Instagram.
Start by finding your own niche and getting to know the brands that might work well with it.
Next, set up an impactful media kit, and then use personalized approaches to reach out to the brands that seem the most compatible.
Remember to prioritize your followers above any deals, and focus on building long-term relationships with compatible brands.
Use platforms like Admitad and ConvertSocial to speed up and streamline the process even further.
So what are you waiting for? Get a sponsorship deal and find brands to work with on Instagram today.