Photos courtesy of Ian Michael Crumm and Sabir Peele. Photographers: @briana__louise and @cantwinklefty. Follow them on Instagram!
If you want to become an Instagram influencer in the lifestyle realm, there’s some business you need to take care of first. You need to figure out the core focus of your brand, determine your aesthetic and start honing in on your target audience. Then, it’s time to start bringing home the bacon. But blog traffic and Instagram followers will only bring in so much revenue — the real money lies in brand collaborations.
So where to begin? How do you turn your cool blog and burgeoning following into cold, hard cash? You need brands to notice you and pay you to feature them — and it all starts with a killer media kit. We chatted with style influencer Ian Michael Crumm (nearly 300,000 Instagram followers) and circled back to Sabir Peele of Men’s Style Pro (43,000 Instagram followers) to hear their tried-and-true media kit methodologies, so you can make brands fall in love with you, too.
1. Know your numbers. The first question brands will ask you is about your reach. Analytics are your bestie, because they help determine your influence and how many people will see a potential collaboration with a brand. Include the number of followers you have on every social media channel, your page’s monthly unique visitors, and average views on your site/blog per month.
2. Connect. Keep your brand summary tight, but with enough clickable information like buzzy press mentions, says Sabir. However, make sure to connect with the brand on a human level. Ian suggests adding some emotion to your proposal by using first-person narrative, sharing personal details throughout. It’s more impactful to say “I love helping people feel great about themselves through clothing,” rather than saying, “[Insert name] is a style expert who has appeared on E! News…”
3. Show off. Your past brand work is your portfolio, and nothing is more convincing to a possible collaborator than seeing the solid work you’ve already done. Sabir says make sure the brand work you highlight is diversified and current (within the last year).
4. State your rate. List different rates for different work on your end that brands can choose from. For example, as Sabir tells us, if a brand wants a dedicated post where they’re the only company featured, that will cost more than a post featuring several brands (like a shot of several pieces mixed together to make an outfit). Product reviews should be priced differently than social media campaigns — and pricing should vary depending on how many social media posts the brand is looking for. Know that your time is valuable, and your following is your power — set your rate fairly and don’t apologize for it.
5. Add references. Adding a few quotes from people you’ve worked with in the past can give your collaborator a vote of confidence. Make sure your references are ok with being included in this, Ian warns. They should sign off on you listing their contact info on your media kit.
If you follow these five steps, you should be able to whip up a strong media kit that’ll convince any brand to take you on. And if you’re a brand, media kits can help you separate the real influencers from the wannabes. Stay tuned for part two of brand collaborations: writing a brand proposal!
Looking for ways to discover influencers who have an authentic voice? Check out Curalate Explore, which can help you find influencers to work with, form relationships with micro-influencers and find high-quality content piece-by-piece.