5 Ways To Land Your First Brand Partnership
First—congratulations. You’re doing it. You’re creating original content, which is no minor feat. So now, let’s talk about monetizing your content.
Partnering with brands is key for Creators to make money and, in turn, grow their businesses.
With Tara Liggins, Collective Voice’s Senior Director of Creator Partnerships, leading the way, we’re laying out everything you need to know to secure a branded campaign, from how you position yourself as a Creator to making the most of our tools and resources. Here are 5 tips to help you land your very first brand partnership. (You’ve got this.)
Tip #1: Find your niche and focus on it
There’s an important question that every Creator must answer before diving into the world of brand partnerships. And that is—who are you? As a Creator, you should know what you stand for, and what your followers expect from your content.
When your posts align with your identity, your personal brand becomes that much stronger—and your following, more engaged. And an engaged following is what makes a Creator more valuable to Marketers.
Our advice: Pick a focus, and really commit to it. “From a brand perspective, brands want to come to your page and see that you’re a good fit for them,” explains Tara. “If you do too many things, it’s hard for a brand to see that.” The truth is that no one can be an expert on everything, and trying to do too much can make your content feel scattered.
Tip #2: Commit to a platform that shows off your strengths
Some Creators feel like they need to be active on every platform in order to land campaigns. But each platform requires a different strategy and skill set, along with invested time to create and edit content for each platform’s requirements.
If you’re uncomfortable creating in new mediums, you may risk sacrificing the quality of your content. So instead, try focusing on creating content for a platform that feels natural to you. Creating for a platform that shows off your strengths will result in better content, and that’s what brands really care about. “Creators should lean into their strengths and build a following on their strongest platform, then repurpose content on other channels if they can,” says Tara.
And always remember that the quality of your content is more important than your follower count. “We’ve worked with Creators with all types of follower counts and paid them a lot for their content creation,” explains Tara. “There are plenty of Creators out there with less than 10,000 followers who are running successful businesses selling content to brands. It’s more about the quality of the content than the size of the audience.”
Tip #3: Build a channel you fully own
Owning a channel fully gives you complete control. While social media platforms are impactful in building your personal brand and business, your content is also subjected to variables that are out of your control. “I think it’s important to have an owned property. Something that no one can take away, that belongs to you and isn’t impacted by social media algorithms or trends” says Tara.
Which brings us to the almighty blog. As a totally ownable platform with direct access to your audience, a blog is a safe haven for your content and associated affiliate links. You can drive traffic to your blog from your other platforms and SEO, and unlike social media, blog posts can often receive visits for years to come.
A newsletter is another helpful, ownable platform; having access to your followers’ contact information gives you a direct line of communication with them that can’t be demonetized or taken away.
Tip #4: Get on the brand’s radar through UGC content
Securing a partnership requires having a relationship with a brand. And one of the best ways to get noticed by brands is by making content for them. “The easiest way to get on a brand’s radar is to create user-generated content (UGC) that a brand can share,” says Tara.
If you want to land a campaign with Gap, create content of yourself wearing Gap’s clothes in a way that’s true to your style while keeping Gap’s brand aesthetic in mind. When Gap visits your page, they’ll be able to see how your content supports and fits in with their brand.
Tip #5: Drive revenue
While brands appreciate quality content and engaged audiences, there’s one sure-fire way to secure a coveted partnership. “Driving revenue for brands is probably the number one way to get noticed,” says Tara. So show brands you’re able to make money with your content. An effective way to do that is to demonstrate that you have the power to drive sales through affiliate marketing.
And Collective Voice has all the tools for doing exactly that. The Collective Voice platform is built to make it easy for Creators to earn money by sharing content with their followers and inspire them to shop. These tools include:
- LinkIt: Create affiliate links easily and on the go, then watch the commission roll in.
- TapTo.Shop: Think of it as a game-changer for your link-in-bio. With TapTo.Shop, you can quickly create a customized shop of featured content, link it, and earn from any social media platform (e.g. Instagram).
- Product Widgets: Create a group of shoppable products, then add a widget to your homepage, blog posts, newsletters—anywhere, really.
- Looks & Collections: Group shoppable photos, or “Looks,” into Collections to feature on your blog or TapTo.Shop. This tool is especially great for a Shop My Instagram or TikTok page.
Like anything, growing as a Creator and securing successful partnerships takes time. Keep leaning into your strengths, focus on your niche, create quality content on your most successful platform, stick to what feels true to you, and the brands are sure to come. If you’re part of the Collective Voice community, you’ve already got a head start. Our connections in the Creator Marketing world run deep. We work with a range of brands, and consider ourselves experts at helping Creators get noticed by brands, which can lead to partnerships that make money for everyone involved.