Figuring out how to get a paid Instagram sponsorship wasn’t easy for me. I can’t tell you how many free products I took or how many times I undercharged for my sponsorships because of something I read on Google.
All that bad advice was written by social media experts who was never actually an influencer themselves. Learning how to properly pitch brands and sell my content creator services was the game-changer.
Pitching brands it a great way for new and current influencers to get in front of companies and grow their portfolio (while making $$$). And it can actually be quite simple once you master the tested strategies we’ll go over in this post!
So, as a full-time influencer and coach, I want to lay out everything you need to know about working with brands on Instagram—whether that’s through email pitches or within the new Instagram Creator Marketplace (more on that soon). These are the same tips I give my Instagram influencer course students.
We’ll also talk about the tool you need to keep landing brand deals on repeat!
Whether you’re trying to land your first sponsor or get more sponsors, this guide will help you fine-tune your influencer pitch strategy to make that money, honey!
When you’re done reading this post, read my other helpful influencer guides!
- How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm
- How Much to Charge for Sponsored Posts
- Create an Influencer Media Kit That Gets You Brand Deals
- Guide to Becoming an Instagram Influencer
- How to Make Money as a Content Creator Regardless of Follower Count
Let’s start with a few need to know details.
by Influencer Coach Dani The Explorer
Why You Should Monetize Your Instagram
Regardless of whether or not you see yourself becoming a full-time influencer, the fact that you have the opportunity to monetize an Instagram page in the first place is huge!
And you do not have to be a full-time influencer like me to score paid sponsorships on Instagram!
This can be a side hustle as well.
Imagine what you’d be able to do with the extra money you earn just from posting about your favorite products on Instagram!
And honestly, with Instagram Creator Marketplace, monetizing will be EASIER to do. Let’s talk about that.
Instagram’s Creator Marketplace
Instagram just announced that they’ll be rolling out their Creator Marketplace. This will essentially be a place within Instagram that allows brands to reach out to creators directly in the app to talk campaigns and $$$$.
It should be similar to the TikTok Creator Marketplace. With the Marketplace, you’ll be able to negotiate brand deals and accept campaign offers from companies without ever leaving IG.
While this feature is great, I still believe creators need to understand the art of pitching and negotiating brand deals. You need to be able to ask brands for money, AND you need to be able to upsell brands.
You upsell brands by pitching.
Not to mention, you can pitch brands for even MORE money if you sell them on the idea of posting across multiple platforms ;).
So sure, you can take small deals offered to you all day long, but the creators who know how to upsell their services will be making more on a single deal. So rather than do maybe 5 small campaigns to get $10,000, they can negotiate ONE campaign for $10,000.
And that takes a certain skill set to pull off. That’s what I teach influencers how to do.
So take all the tips I’m about to share and master them! That way, you can come out on top when this new feature rolls out!
Do Instagram Sponsorships for Small Accounts Exist?
Yes! You do NOT need thousands of followers to score paid brand deals—and honestly, the Creator Marketplace will probably be great for this!
Small accounts can get paid Instagram sponsorships too! Micro and nano-influencers are so valuable to brands.
You deserve to get compensated for your work, and you CAN. Don’t worry. The tips I’ll be sharing in the next sections will apply to you small creators too.
Just to give you an idea of what’s possible, one of my influencer coaching students landed a four-figure brand deal with under 5,000 followers. It just comes down to how you sell yourself!
While we’ll talk about the art of pitching brands more later, but if you have trouble selling yourself you’ll probably like my brand pitch templates! >>Click here to get the templates!<<
The Pitch Vault, as I like to call it, is full of fill-in-the-blank templates you can use to pitch & negotiate brand deals like a pro. Inside you’ll find templates for a bunch of different scenarios too (turn free product into paid deal, upselling, get free AirBnB stays, etc.).
They’ll be a great way for you to speed up the pitch process and use all the yummy tips we’re about to dive into—WOOT WOOT.
How to Get Paid Instagram Sponsors
Here are the quick steps on how to get paid brand deals on Instagram:
- Set your prices
- Create a media kit
- Find brands to contact
- Pitch brands
- Negotiate the brand deal
- Seal the deal with a contract
Don’t worry! We’ll be covering these in detail. Let’s begin!
Step #1 – Set Your Prices for Sponsored IG Posts
Getting paid means you need to set a price for your content.
You can get paid $10 per thousand Instagram followers as a rule of thumb.
If you have 10,000 followers, for example, you can get paid about $100 per sponsored Instagram post (10,000/1,000 = 10, 10 x $10 = $100).
Please note that the final number you choose to charge should also consider your engagement. That is just as important.
Also… THIS IS THE VERY MINIMUM YOU SHOULD ASK FOR.
I have a whole write-up on how much to charge for sponsored posts (click here to read). You can read it if you need more help setting your prices!
Step #2 – Create a Media Kit
Remember when I said there’s one tool you need to keep landing paid brand deals on repeat? Here it is!
A media kit is a document that lists out who we are in sum! Media kits are a necessary part of getting a paid Instagram sponsorship.
A successful media kit will clearly convey WHY brands should hire you. It’s not an autobiography.
It’s the one tool you need to sell yourself! So if you’re ready to start landing paid brand deals, you need a media kit.
I have a multi-page media kit template (click here) you’d probably like because it has everything a successful media kit should include.
PS: It also pairs really well with my brand pitch templates :).
Step #3 – Find Brands to Contact
Here are the steps you should take to find brand contacts for pitching a paid Instagram sponsorship!
Make a List of IG Sponsorships You Want
First, take some time to make a list of brands you would like to work with! Doing this will give you an idea of how many pitches you’ll be sending out and who to contact first.
Narrow Down Your Brand Sponsorship Options
Now look at your list and think about what brands you can work with today. In other words, if XYZ brand said, “We’re looking for influencers for our next campaign,” would they hire you?
Be honest with yourself.
Here are a few questions to ask beforehand:
- Does this brand work with influencers at all? When was the last time they worked with influencers?
- How big or small are the influencers they work with? Do they work with micro-influencers or macro-influencers?
- Does my personal brand match what this company would be looking for in an influencer?
It’s essential to do your research and be diligent about where you would fit into a potential influencer campaign.
There are quite a few ways to reach out to someone in your search for paid Instagram sponsorship contacts. One of the most common outreach methods is to go through an influencer agency.
Essentially, you’ll apply for influencer campaigns and get directed to speak with the person handling the campaign.
Your next option is to send the brand a DM on social media. Ask them who you can send your pitch to.
Instagram Creator Marketplace will act as an agency in a sense too! Using the tips above, you would essentially use your research to add brands, topics and points of interest to your Marketplace profile. This will help you get matched with brands.
So it’s really essential you do your research beforehand so your dream brands see your profile!
Step #4 – Pitch Brands for Paid IG Sponsorships
Now that we’ve done all of our homework, it’s time to start pitching. Here’s a quick list of what goes into a brand pitch email:
- Who you are
- Your social media handles
- Why you’re reaching out
But that’s not all!
You’ll need to keep in mind some key elements to make your pitches rock solid. Let’s talk about what those are!
Keep Your Pitch Short
“What makes a pitch successful?” My answer: keeping the pitch short and sweet.
When you want to get a paid Instagram sponsorship, a long dissertation on why the brand should hire you won’t do the trick.
You want to be able to describe the purpose of your email as quickly as possible, while also positioning yourself as the perfect influencer for marketing the brand’s products.
Ask for Money
Okay, so now we understand what should go in our pitch, right? Almost.
One key element here is that you will have to emphasize that you’re reaching out for a paid opportunity. It’s easy to accept free gear and items, but what about asking for money?
My advice is to just go for it! The worst thing a brand can say is “no.” And at that point, oh well.
No one ever got anywhere by quivering at “no.”
Make Your Pitch Personal
As you craft your pitch email, constantly personalize it. This is ESPECIALLY true if you’re asking for the big bucks!
If brands get the impression that you’re sending them a blanket email, they’re less likely to throw you a bone. Personalize it, and you’re more likely to get an Instagram sponsorship!
Write Amazing Pitches on Repeat
Honestly, writing a pitch was the hardest thing I had to figure out when I was a new influencer. The best thing you can do is practice the art of selling yourself!
Step #5 – Negotiate the Paid Brand Deal
Next, we close. You have finished pitching companies, and got a reply! So what the heck do you do now?
How do you complete the pitch and get that Instagram sponsorship? Let’s quickly discuss negotiating.
Set Up a Phone Call if Possible
When a brand initially replies that they are interested, that’s your time to shine and explain what you want to do for them and why you’re the perfect influencer to market their products.
To do this, I suggest getting on a phone call to talk through your vision. After getting this initial response, you can send your media kit for their review.
Ask for Money… Again!
Whether or not you have a phone call, you need to clarify what you charge. Ask the brand you’re speaking with if they allocate a budget to Instagram sponsorships and what that budget is.
Don’t know what to charge?
Expect a few negotiation exchanges to come to a price that works for both parties! Having a good handle on your prices will give you the most negotiation power.
Step #6 – Seal the Deal with a Contract
Always sign a contract!
You never want to get an Instagram sponsorship without one! Brands typically have a sample contract for freelance work, so make sure you ask them to put one together for you.
A contracted arrangement will help protect you from fraud and ensure you get paid!
What Do You Do When a Brand Contacts You on Instagram or Email?
As you get more experience and grow, you’ll begin to have brands reach out to you. Therefore, if you want to learn how to get a paid Instagram sponsorship and make money for content creation, you need to know how to respond to pitches, too!
Read Their Email Carefully
Understand exactly what the brand wants and what the partnership entails.
Do not be afraid to ask questions! If the brand doesn’t mention monetary compensation, ask them if they have a budget.
Attach your influencer media kit to the email and let the brand know you have attached it for their review.
Be sure to ask questions on anything that confuses you about the offer. Asking questions is by far the most crucial element to responding to brand pitches because doing so unravels details that may not have been expressed in the initial email.
Know Your Worth and Stick to It
I have run into many situations where a brand tried to undercut my rates by over 50%. I kindly let them know that my rates are firm, and I would love to make it work, but we can try again later if they do not have the budget to match my rates today.
Do not be afraid to negotiate!
This is your Instagram sponsorship!
Need help determining your rates? Click here for my free influencer rate calculator!
Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No.”
See above! Also, don’t be afraid to say no to a collaboration you’re genuinely not passionate about.
More jobs will come, I promise.
Sign a Contract
Never agree to any job without a contract.
PSSSSSST: We just talked a TON about media kits. Before we move on to cover brand deal FAQs, if you want some additional help making a badass kit that gets brands’ attention, you’ll wanna download my free Media Kit Checklist!
FAQ for Influencers Wanting Paid Instagram Sponsorships
Let’s cap things off by covering some frequently asked questions you might have about getting paid brand deals!
“Why Do Brands Pay Social Media Influencers to Advertise?”
Now more than ever, companies are starting to allocate more marketing budgets to social media advertisements. As a result, influencer marketing is now a multi billion-dollar industry.
Why? If a company wants to get in front of a specific demographic, it can do it in a single influencer social post.
In addition, companies can work with influencers worldwide and have their products featured in marketing material, like viral Reels, that they may otherwise have to pay a production team to create in small increments.
“How Many Followers Do I Need to Get Sponsored on Instagram?”
The answer? IT DOESN’T MATTER.
Start monetizing your social media channels now! This is one of my biggest regrets with my influencer business.
There are also lots of strategies on how to gain Instagram followers organically in case you want growth to be a priority!
“A Brand Has Offered Me a Free Product Instead of Payment, Should I Take It?”
That’s up to you. However, the next time a brand offers you a free product, consider how easy you’re letting them get off.
Please do not confuse this as saying you should never do free work! If this is your first rodeo, yes, do it for free and get some experience under your belt.
But, the second you agree to a free product, you’re agreeing to work as a free marketer for a brand, and all you got was a material item that you probably won’t have in a year.
I think you should help set the standards for brands and ask for payment for the long term! Just think, would you ever work your current job if all you got was free stationery?
“Exactly How Much Money Should I Be Asking For?”
That is entirely up to you and the project at hand. Was doing 3 Instagram posts for a total of $50 worth your effort?
What quality of work and what results are you getting? Would you charge XYZ again, or would you ask for a higher amount of money in the future?
“How Do I Pitch Through Influencer Agencies and Creator Marketplace?”
If you’re going through Creator Marketplace or an influencer agency, you sometimes have the option to send the brand a personalized note.
The note is where you would place your pitch in that instance! Doing so can increase your chances of getting the job.
Next Steps for Landing Paid Brand Deals
Earning money as an influencer isn’t easy. Pitching brands isn’t easy, and landing paid Instagram sponsorships isn’t easy.
But, there are hundreds of influencers in this space, and there is room for you.
You can make a living doing this too!
Don’t ever let anyone tell you becoming an influencer isn’t a real job or the industry is too saturated. That simply isn’t true. I hope this blog helped you realize that!
Next, check out these other influencer guides I have: