How to Collaborate with Brands as a Content Creator [Expert Tips]

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As a content material creator, I’ve discovered the commonest query different creators in my circle ask is, “How do I collaborate with manufacturers?”

And it is sensible that it is high of thoughts for thus many creatives since model offers are among the many main sources of revenue for podcasters, influencers, YouTubers, streamers, and extra.

So, how can a content material creator safe a collaboration with a model? The place do you discover these manufacturers? And the way are you aware you‘re prepared? Although I’m a creator, I’m extra of a hobbyist.

So, I haven’t got a lot private expertise navigating model offers.

Nevertheless, I spoke with seasoned creators inside HubSpot’s community with expertise working with manufacturers. Hold studying to be taught every little thing you’ll want to learn about collaborating with manufacturers as a creator, in response to the specialists.

What’s a model collaboration?

When do you have to search model collaborations?

Discover Model Collaborations

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What’s a model collaboration?

A model collaboration is a partnership between a model and a content material creator wherein each events work collectively to create content material that promotes the model to the creator’s followers.

One of the crucial frequent kinds of model collaborations, for instance, is a partnership.

A model partnership is when a model works with an influencer or creator on a joint marketing campaign, providing, or different promotional exercise.

An instance of a model partnership could be when make-up and wonder influencer Jackie Aina partnered with make-up model Anastasia Beverly Hills to launch a line of eye shadow palettes.

When do you have to search model collaborations?

I used to assume I wanted a sure variety of followers or that I needed to have a plethora of content material earlier than even contemplating working with manufacturers.

So, think about my shock when my YouTube channel solely had about 100 followers, but I used to be already getting manufacturers and companies in my DMs asking if I needed to advertise their services or products.

It seems it would not essentially boil all the way down to excessive follower counts and viral content material when figuring out the proper time to work with manufacturers as creators.

“Folks can monetize and begin collaborating with manufacturers as quickly as they’ve an viewers that’s helpful to the model,” says Scott D. Clary of the podcast Success Story.

Nevertheless, Scott warns it is essential to grasp enterprise practices.

“It’s a must to perceive that while you begin working with manufacturers, you’re working with people who find themselves constructing their very own empires and corporations, and — if you do not have quite a lot of enterprise expertise — it may be overwhelming,” he says.

Scott explains, “They are going to ask quite a lot of you. They are going to negotiate contracts, they are going to attempt to ‘win’ in that deal, and they are going to attempt to get the absolute best bang for his or her buck with that individual creator.”

So, Scott encourages creators searching for model offers and partnerships to set themselves up for fulfillment by understanding the next:

  • The worth their content material brings
  • Their very own viewers and the way stated viewers will reply to the model that the creator is working with
  • What’s regular in a contract, equivalent to deliverables, reporting timeline, and cost intervals

“So, immerse your self in quite a lot of totally different YouTube movies, sources, or blogs based mostly on negotiate a superb deal and serve a model the perfect,” he says.

He explains, “It is nearly extra necessary to do the analysis and perceive the mechanics of promote promoting as a service first earlier than you bounce into mattress with manufacturers.”

Scott says it‘s doable to go in with out prior analysis and be taught as you go, “but it surely’ll be painful, and also you received‘t be getting good offers, otherwise you received’t be getting paid on time.”

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Discover Model Collaborations

So, you are feeling prepared to hunt collaborators — the place do you go?

Leanne Elliot of the podcast Reality, Lies, and Office Tradition suggests in-person occasions.

“We have now gotten nearly all of our content material partnerships from being at an occasion, representing the podcast, speaking to visitors, interviewing folks,” she explains. “From there, both members of their group or they themselves would method us for collaborations.”

Leanne says it is essential to focus on occasions you realize your required collaborators will attend, and I can attest to this.

Just a few years in the past, I needed to create a YouTube video for my channel diving into how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the voice performing trade.

I knew I needed to interview an skilled {and professional} voice actor for the mission, so I made some extent of attending a neighborhood conference and assembly with voice actors in attendance.

That day, I met actress Anairis Quinones, identified for voicing varied well-liked anime characters.

I instructed her about my channel and that I needed to be taught extra about her expertise in voice performing throughout a pandemic. Only one week later, we have been recording a video for the channel.

Although it wasn’t a model collaboration, the identical logic nonetheless applies.

So, you are a creator and located a model you need to work with — how do you pitch your self to that model?

“You do not,” says Al Elliot, co-host of the Reality, Lies, and Office Tradition podcast. “You do not pitch your self; you pitch what you’ll give to the collaborator.”

The podcast discusses totally different facets of Office Tradition, and Al says when he meets potential collaborators, he would not method the individual by occurring in regards to the podcast.

“I do the other,” He explains. “I am going, ‘I discover you’ve gotten some content material about office tradition, however not hundreds. I believe we will collaborate on one thing actually cool the place you’ll be able to inform me about the way you see office tradition.'”

So let the potential collaborator know you need to present a possibility for them to debate their model, product, or service — emphasize the worth your platform brings.

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Model Collaboration Instruments

In-person occasions are simply one of many choices for connecting with manufacturers. Scott says a number of instruments can be found to assist creators discover manufacturers and corporations to collaborate with.

For instance, should you’re a creator with a e-newsletter in search of model partnerships, Scott has just a few platforms in thoughts.

“For e-newsletter, you possibly can use Paved, Who Sponsors Stuff, SponsorLeads, or Sponsorgap,” he says. “These are all marketplaces the place manufacturers that love sponsoring newsletters are already in search of e-newsletter sponsorships.”

Scott additionally suggests subscribing to your favourite newsletters, listening to what manufacturers are sponsoring them, and operating outreach campaigns to the pinnacle of promoting for these corporations.

For those who host a podcast, there are on-line marketplaces so that you can search model partnerships as effectively.

“There’s AdvertiseCast and Gumball,” Scott says. “Or, it‘s going to your favourite podcast that’s in the identical area of interest as you and see who sponsors their podcast, then operating outreach campaigns to the pinnacle of promoting for that individual firm.”

Purple Flags to Look For

Whereas it is nice to hunt new alternatives as a creator, it is important to be selective about who you select to work with. A method to make sure you’re coping with the proper manufacturers and corporations is to pay attention to the next crimson flags.

Solely providing Efficiency- or Affiliate-Primarily based Funds

One potential crimson flag (or “grey” flag, as Scott places it) is that if a model would not appear to understand the worth a content material creator brings to a collaboration or partnership.

“Which means that in case you have an incredible viewers, you realize who your viewers is, and you realize a model will likely be profitable in the event that they work with you, and so they’re solely asking for a performance-based or an affiliate-based cost — I really feel like that’s not a perfect situation for lots of nice content material creators,” Scott says.

Efficiency-based cost means a model pays a creator based mostly on the outcomes the content material generates, such because the click-through price or social media engagement.

An affiliate-based cost is when a creator is paid after their content material instantly leads to a shopper shopping for the marketed services or products.

Scott explains, “It is how some folks get began, however I believe you must know your value as a creator, and you may’t pay your payments with potential future income.”

As a substitute, a greater choice could be for creators to have their very own price or negotiate their contracts to ensure a correct, constant, and truthful revenue.

Providing to Pay in Free Merchandise or Fairness

“That is much more of a crimson flag,” Scott says. “When manufacturers say, ‘We’re simply going to offer you free merchandise, and we count on so many posts.'”

The apparent problem with solely getting free merchandise as cost is that these things cannot pay your payments in the long term, regardless of how good they’re.

Like, thanks for the free shampoos, however I can’t precisely appease my landlord with these when it is the primary of the month.

Based on Scott, fairness compensation is one other cost technique to be cautious of.

For those who’re uncertain what fairness compensation is, it is when a model presents a creator a cost within the type of issues like restricted inventory or a efficiency share.

This type of cost is particularly problematic as a result of there‘s a superb probability the fairness isn’t actually value a lot and will not end in any money down the road.

“The fairness the model is giving you possibly can be so diluted, and the valuation of the corporate so overvalued, that you just’re truly in all probability by no means going to stroll away with any cash,” Scott warns.

The Model is Too Controlling

A model collaboration is meant to be precisely that — a collaborative effort, which means each events work collectively for a mutually useful final result.

For that to occur, the model you select to work with should respect the integrity of your work and never micromanage your course of.

Not solely can an excessively controlling model negatively impression your expertise, however it could possibly additionally harm your content material and harm your viewers’s belief.

“We see that so much by way of YouTubers and influences who’ve gotten quite a lot of warmth from the press and the YouTube neighborhood for selling merchandise and utilizing scripts,” Leanne explains. “You see the identical 4 or 5 influencers saying the identical issues about the identical merchandise, and it is clearly been scripted by that model.”

She says, “Significantly from a podcast medium, we have to be very protecting of our content material.”

It’s because podcasts are one of the vital trusted mediums for info, particularly amongst Gen Z. Actually, 47% of the Gen-Z on-line inhabitants within the U.S. are month-to-month podcast listeners.

And 64% of Gen-Zers within the UK say podcasts are extra reliable than different media.

“We have to be additional cautious, as podcast creators, to make sure integrity is admittedly excessive,” Leanne says. “So a crimson for me could be anyone who needs extra management, or extra say in my content material than I really feel snug with.”

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Inexperienced Flags to Look For

You need to work with manufacturers who’re clear and trustworthy about their cost strategies and who will enter into a good and equitable contract with you.

One other good signal a model is value working with is that they’ve labored with creators previously and have a way of how model collaboration works.

Lastly, you need to work with manufacturers who will respect you as a creator and belief you to convey their imaginative and prescient to life fairly than micromanaging your work or having an excessive amount of enter on the way you talk their model to your viewers.

Over time, I‘ve seen many content material creators get enthusiastic about the opportunity of securing a model collaboration or partnership.

Nonetheless, creators should know what to anticipate earlier than working with corporations; in any other case, there’s a powerful risk they‘ll get caught with a deal that doesn’t yield a excessive return on funding.

So, do your analysis, belief your self as a creator, and ensure to work with manufacturers who take your work critically and can compensate you pretty.

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