Influencer Tips

How to Pitch Brands & Land Your Dream Paid Collab

Sep 20, 2022

Your Influencer Coach & Fellow Content Creator

I'm an Instagram influencer coach and lifestyle content creator based in Arizona. I help others live out extraordinary lives through my influencer career advice, travel guides, and life hacks.

I'm Dani!

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How to Land Paid Brand Deals Even with Less Than 5K Followers!

As an influencer, I’ve seen a lot of brand deals come my way. And when new creators ask me the secret to landing 4 and 5-figure deals, I’m always surprised to find that these creators are waiting for brands to come to them.

So wanna know the secret to getting the paid sponsors of your dreams? Pitch to brands!

But I get it. As an influencer, sending an email pitch to brands is scary—what do you say? How do you know who to email? How do you get started?

This blog is going to cover it all! Written from my experiences working with brands like Adobe, Travel & Leisure, Mazda, and American Express. 

I hope this blog helps you gain a little more confidence with email pitching your dream sponsors and gets you one step closer to landing a paid brand deal!

Written by influencer coach Dani The Explorer

What Does it Mean to Pitch Brands?

A pitch to brands is a 2 to 3-paragraph email message you send to a company (or a specific person). You’re essentially presenting an idea to a potential social media sponsor in the email. The end goal is to work with the brand.

Here’s what’s included in an influencer pitch to brands:

  • Introduction
  • What you love about the brand or product
  • How you’d like to work together
  • Previous and relevant partnerships
  • Influencer media kit
  • Rate Card

When sending the previous examples of your work, it’s best to highlight the results you achieved with other companies you’ve worked with.

Even if those results just lead to more brand awareness!

My favorite way to do this is to have an influencer media kit template with case studies. In the case studies, you would highlight the purpose of the previous partnerships and the outcomes.

Why Should Influencers Pitch to Brands

Instagram influencers (and even TikTok influencers) should pitch to brands because: 

  1. Pitching can help you get brand deals faster
  2. Pitching can help you earn more money

Like I said earlier, I see a lot of influencers waiting for brands to come to them. But, unfortunately, the truth is, you can be waiting for a long time!

When a brand is sourcing influencers for their next campaign, they first sort through influencers.

Think about how long that can take!

When you email pitch to brands, you’re helping companies discover you much more quickly.

And if you write your email pitch the right way, you can pitch brands your biggest ideas, helping you make potentially thousands of dollars.

Even if a brand doesn’t work with you the first time, pitching can help put you on their radar of influencers to work with later.

Read Next: How to Turn a Free Gift Into a Paid Collab

How to Pitch to Brands: Writing Your Email Pitch

Here’s a breakdown of what to include in an influencer brand pitch email:

  1. A Great Subject Line
  2. Your Introduction
  3. What you love about the brand
  4. Your Idea
  5. Previous Examples of Your Work
  6. A Call to Action
  7. Your Media Kit
  8. Your Rate Card

And yes! You will be doing this in a few paragraphs! So let’s break down each of these in the following sections.

Read Next: 6 Reasons Why Brands Won’t Pay You

#1 A Great Subject Line

The key to a great subject line with brand pitch emails is to keep them short, sweet, and eye-catching.

Think about it: the person you’re sending this pitch to probably gets tons of emails coming their way. So your subject line needs to be easy to digest.

Pro-Tip: Add your name to the subject line to help it stand out!

#2 Your Introduction—How Do You Introduce Yourself as an Influencer?

A brand pitch email isn’t the time for an autobiography! So instead, think about your 30-second elevator pitch.

What you’re trying to do here is give the brand a taste of who you are. The highlights.

Think about what the brand wants to know about you, like your handles and niche.

You can even use this section of your pitch to highlight a few commonalities you have with the brand you’re pitching—values, purpose, etc.

Remember, the person reading your pitch will likely look through hundreds of other influencer pitches. So you don’t want to waste precious time writing a novel about yourself.

At the end of the day, brands work with influencers to market products to their ideal customers. So your introduction needs to help you sell your influence and show you are the influencer they need to work with next!

Grab This: 17 Influencer Email Brand Pitch Templates—Fill-in-the-blank email templates for pitching your dream sponsors. Save time writing pitches from scratch and stop guessing what to say!

influencer brand pitch email templates

#3 What You Love About the Brand

When writing pitches to brands, I always recommend going for brands you know, love, and trust.

Your pitches will be much more authentic, and brands will feel that. Not to mention, when you actually land your deal, your audience will feel that authenticity too!

Try thinking about your experience with their product or services!

And really let your love for that shine through.

This is an appropriate time to mention things like…

How you discovered the product or service

How it helped you in some way

Your favorite thing about the brand, product, or service

Additionally, take some time to do your research on the brand. What’s their mission? Their values? What are they about? Talk about how you align with the brand in those ways!

Read Next: How to Make Money as a Content Creator with Less Than 5,000 Followers

#4 Your Idea

How do you want to work with the brand? It’s one thing to tell brands who you are and what you like about them; it’s another to give them a reason to care!

In your pitch to brands, try to give them an idea of what you had in mind for working with them.

Hint: Brands love working with influencers who have some sort of creative input!

#5 Previous Examples of Your Work

You’ll want to show some social proof in your pitches. Brands prefer to work with influencers who have a little experience.

That usually ensures better ROI for the brands when they hire influencers. Give them an idea of what’s possible by sending them previous brand partnerships!

I’ve mentioned this already, but my favorite way to do this is with a kick@$$ influencer media kit template!

#6 A CTA

Close off your written pitch with a call to action. Should the brand schedule a call with you? Do you have a question before you work together?

Give the brands you pitch some next steps for developing a brand partnership with you!

Pro Tip: You can ask them a leading question that requires more than a yes or no answer.

#7 Your Media Kit

An influencer media kit is like your resume. It gives brands further information about who you are, your stats, and audience demographics. 

But a great media kit will show off examples of your work.

The best way to send your media kit to brands is to attach it to your brand pitch email as a PDF. That way, the brand can click through and pass your media kit to the company’s appropriate people!

My 6-page influencer media kit template is what my influencer clients and I use to pitch 4 and 5-figure brand deals with companies like Toyota, Alaska Airlines, REI, and more.

Click here to check it out!

#8 Your Rate Card

An influencer rate card is a professional way to show off your rates and content packages.

Andddddd, a great rate card can help you upsell brands so you can make more money from your brand deals!

But this poses the question, “What should my influencer rates be?” 

If you’re unsure about what to charge, click here to read my guide on how much to charge for sponsored content.

In that guide, you’ll also find my free influencer rate calculator you can use!

As a rule of thumb, though, influencers charge $10 for every thousand followers. This is known as the 1% rule.

The ISSUE with that rule is that it’s just a bare minimum rate and should NOT be all you charge for. 

The rates you send brands should be much more than that based on your expenses, rights you’re granting the brand, deliverables, and more.

To ensure you’re charging the right amount, you’ll want to read the rates guide I wrote for you!

Influencer Pitch to Brands Template

Not sure how to put all of these elements together in your pitch to brands? I got you:

Introducing the Influencer Pitch Vault!

The Vault is full of my bestselling pitch to brands templates that help influencers like you pitch their dream sponsors for paid deals.

The templates have helped my clients and me land brand deals with companies like Toyota, Mazda, American Express, and Marriott—even with less than 5,000 followers.

Inside, you’ll also find examples of how I’ve used the templates to land deals and upsell brands!

Click here to grab the brand pitch email templates!

influencer brand pitch email templates

Influencer Pitch to Brands FAQ

Have questions about pitching to brands? I have answers!

How Do You Find Brand Contacts?

Before you can even think about writing an email pitch to brands, you must find the right person or email address to send your pitch to!

Sending your brand pitches to generic contact@companyname emails can waste time. There’s no guarantee that the right person will find your pitch in that inbox!

Therefore, you should really take your time to research the brand and find the right person(s) to reach out to!

First, I suggest sending the brand a DM on social media. Ask them for a contact.

If that doesn’t work, try looking on places like LinkedIn and Twitter for people who work for the company you’d like to reach out to. You’ll want to find folks with “PR” or “influencer” in their job title.

These are usually the folks who handle influencer marketing and brand campaigns!

Read Next: How to Get More Followers Organically

How Many Followers Do You Need to Pitch Brands?

You do not need a large number of followers to pitch brands. You just need the right followers.

If you’re pitching brands, your followers need to be the brand’s ideal customers. And you should have a great relationship with your followers, which can be indicated by engagement rate.

I’ve had Instagram influencer course students land brand deals with as little as 1,000 followers—all from pitching!

So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there!

Read Next: How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm

How Do You Pitch a Brand to Get Paid?

You simply need to ask for money to pitch a brand to get paid. That’s why it’s essential to have influencer media kit templates and rate cards.

Using these tools and your email pitch, you can show brands your ROI and how much it is to work with you.

What Do You Say to Brands as a Micro Influencer?

Here is how to pitch brands as a micro influencer:

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Say what you like about the brand
  3. Mention why working together makes sense
  4. Share any collab ideas
  5. Link previous work examples and your handles
  6. End with a call-to-action
  7. Attach your media kit and rate card 

These are the exact same steps we’ve already covered! It’s all about how you sell yourself.

Free Tool: Media Kit Checklist—20 Things Your Dream Sponsors Look for. Click here to download!

free media kit checklist

How Do I Send a Message to Brands for Collaboration?

You can send a message to brands for collaboration by DMing the brand or by emailing them your pitch directly.

How Do I Get Big Brand Deals?

To get big brand deals, you should pitch brands long-term partnerships. The best way to do this is to develop a great relationship with the brand.

For example, after you work with them, send them a campaign report to show them your posts’ amazing results!

Final Tips for How to Pitch Brands as a Content Creator

Let’s cap things off with some parting tips for writing your pitch to brands.

Think Ahead

Brands plan their marketing efforts way in advance, so you need to plan your pitches in advance.

It’s better to send a pitch earlier than later. For instance, you probably won’t score many holiday brand deals the week of Christmas.

Send your pitches early!

Do Your Research Beforehand

Make sure you’re really researching brands before pitching! Ideally, you should already be posting about the brand organically on social media. That helps establish trust with your followers and signals to the brand that you use their products. 

But aside from that, look at their social media.

What projects is the brand currently working on? 

What social media marketing are they doing?

Have they worked with influencers before?

Do they have any new products coming out? 

Are there gaps in the content they post? For instance, do they not post a lot of Reels or TikToks?

These are all things you can use in your email pitch to brands!

influencer brand pitch email templates

Make Each Pitch Personalized

Avoid copying and pasting your pitches! Instead, customize each pitch to be specific to the brand you’re speaking to.

Let Your Personality Shine

We want our pitches to be professional, but they don’t have to be stuffy! Give your personality some room to shine with every pitch you write!

Have Your Personal Brand Figured Out

This goes without saying, but before you send a pitch to brands, you really must have your personal brand figured out.

Remember, brands hire influencers to get access to their audience. So while you don’t need THOUSANDS of followers, you need to have a well-established connection with those you have.

If you need some additional help in this department, check out my guide on how to become an Instagram influencer.

Analyze the Fails

Even though I’ve landed 6-figures in brand deals, it wasn’t always that way. I’ve sent many pitches to brands that have absolutely failed and gotten me nowhere.

When that happens, remember that it’s part of the process! Take some time to review your pitches.

Was it too long? Too short? Can your influencer media kit template use some work?

Try to think about what you can improve for the next pitch. Then, pitch some more!

influencer media kit template

Your Next Steps for Pitching Brands

Hopefully, this guide on how to pitch to brands gave you the little boost in confidence you needed, because hey, you got this 😉

If you want to step up your influencer game, land bigger deals, and maybe even make this a full-time career, check out these other ways I can support you:

Ultimate Instagram Influencer Course—A done-for-you roadmap on growing, building a recognizable brand, and monetizing

Influencer Coaching— 1:1 support for your biggest influencer goals

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I'm a burrito loving explorer who got fired from corporate America and turned that into my dream career as a photographer and blogger. Now I'm here to help you explore life's magic. Thanks for stopping by!