Dear Rosie, how do I collaborate with brands without having a big following?
By: Rosie Luik
If there is ever a question for the modern day, it is this one! Oh how sweet life can look on Instagram feeds, where it seems like an endless number of profiles are being paid for posts. The truth of it? Lots of people posting for free about a brand because they use them already, or other people use said brand, or they want to eventually work with the brand. As with everything on Social Media, there is so much more to it than meets the eye.
Working with brands is one of the great privileges I get to experience on most days of my Social Media life. It is one I never take for granted, because I know first hand how hard it is- not only to build a following, but to create content from scratch and be in a position to have brands pursuing me instead of the other way around. It was not always this way, that I promise you! Because I have been there and done that, I am uniquely placed to offer some specific advice and good news – which is, the ‘number’ of people on your Instagram is becoming significantly less important.
The most important metrics now for any brand are:
- Are your followers where they think their customers are from?
- Are your followers the right age demographic for their brand?
- Do you have the relevant balance of female to male ratio in your following?
- Is your audience engaging with the things you post on different topics? Specifically, do they engage highly with the posts that are relevant to the brand itself.
- Are you truly a person who is aspirational to your following? Do they want to be like you and have what you have?
That said, numbers do play a part. If you have 5000 followers or more and are ticking the above boxes, you will be a desirable candidate for brands. I know that 5000 followers may be a daunting milestone to some, but with a specific focus on who you are, what the interesting parts of your life are, and what you stand for, it is 100% achievable to gain the foundation of a loyal following before making the switch to being commercially orientated.
So how do I do it?
Avoid being a Business Profile for as long as possible.
Since Facebook bought Instagram, algorithms are the word you are going to hear a lot more of (if you haven’t already). Facebook set itself up over time to make sure that businesses had to pay for the eyeballs they received. Try a non-boosted business post on Facebook these days and see how many views and likes you get, it will be a ghost town until you throw some money at it. Personal accounts get a much better algorithm.
Work HARD on your content.
Instagram is cut throat now, if you are not posting the right kind of images for your following at the right time, it is going to be a hard climb to 5000 plus. People reward selfies over professional shots, so put some effort into what you are doing and take a lot of photos of the things that matter to you. Your passions will permeate through to your audience and you will most importantly stay authentic to yourself and what you love! Professional photography mixed in with your self-taken images will give great balance.
Instagram loves a progress story. Share your journey! Show that you are getting better at Fitness, Business, Wellness or even things like Language. There has been a rising trend of people not posting perfection all the time because followers now just want the truth, they want to relate and hear about the whole story – not just the best parts. I love movies like ‘The Intern’ with Anne Hathaway as a Girl Boss, because she is also a bit of a clutz and it is perfect and endearing. Spill things, snort when you laugh and be proud when you fix mistakes. It is these experiences that make you a stronger person in the end and your following knows it and will stand by you for it.
If it is time to pitch yourself, manage expectations from day one.
My management has shared with me some pretty wild stories of some of the pitches they have seen for talent over the years, both as applications and sent directly to big brands. One of the biggest lessons I learned from these is that the truth always comes out and you are so much better off being completely honest and underselling to overdeliver rather than the reverse. Some of the statistics and return on investment cases that are thrown out there are inflated and you have to do your best with what you have available. If it is not good enough for a brand, then so be it. You can always get better and get your numbers stronger with time and come back to a brand down the line. If you work with them once and completely under deliver, the phone will never ring again from that same brand. Get relationships off to the right start and they will always remember your name.
So go for it, girl! Back yourself, master your craft, and dream big!
Love, Rosie xx
Rosie Luik is a Mum of four, a successful Model, a published Author, a sought-after Public Speaker and an accomplished Business Woman. Her brand Love Rosie encompasses her books, her passion for business through mentorship and a workshop series.
To find out more about Rosie head to: http://rosieluik.com/