Instagram is a newly-emerged marketplace: Influencers are flocking to the platform and brand partnerships are more & more common.
Influencer marketing (having an influencer market your products) is becoming more and more popular and accepted.
This means a couple things:
- The space is getting more saturated. As more aspiring influencers enter the market, they create greater competition.
- There is a place for small accounts to work with brands. This is what we’re going to talk about!
Gone are the days when you had to have 10,000 or 100,000 followers to land a brand deal. This is because brands are realizing the value of influencer marketing, and are willing to work with smaller accounts that have highly-engaged, niche audiences.
I know because I’ve done it! I got my first brand partnership at around 900 followers.
Disclaimer: we’re talking about paid sponsorships here. Some brands will also offer free products in exchange for exposure, but for the purposes of this article we’re focusing on paid sponsorships.
How to Get a Brand Sponsorship on Instagram with Less Than 1,000 Followers
If you want to get a brand sponsorship on Instagram with less than 1,000 followers, keep these things in mind first:
1. Your feed should have high quality content.
Before you start reaching out to brands or they start reaching out to you: you need to be posting high-quality content. Your feed is full of:
- Images that are high-resolution
- Unique photos
- Engaging content
- Consistent aesthetic
- A variety of subjects
2 Your audience should be engaged.
When you have a small account, high engagement is crucial. Engagement is measured by the number of likes & comments that a post gets. Having high engagement numbers makes brands more likely to want to work with you.
Engaged followers are paying attention to what you do, post, and say. They’re genuinely interested in your content and find value in it. When you share about a product, they’ll take note.
3. Your account should be growing.
Even if you have less than 1,000 followers, aim for your account to be growing daily. This way, when brands check you out they can see that you have a positive trajectory.
4. Growth is Important
Also, if you have very few followers (much less than 1,000), it’s probably best to wait to reach out to brands. Brand deals at around 1,000 followers are possible, but they are challenging. It’s important to build momentum and be ready with a lot to offer brands that you reach out to. We’ll talk about this next!
5. You’re On The Right Track
OK, you’ve got a gorgeous feed, an engaged following, and are growing every day.
It’s time to reach out to brands!
Sometimes brands will reach out to you, but it’s more likely at this stage that you need to get in touch with them.
Reaching out to Brands 101
Find brands that you are already using or love, and that are a natural fit for your account. Choose the brands that you work with by considering your audience first. If they won’t get value out of you sharing about a product or company, don’t collaborate with them.
Next, send the brand an email or DM on Instagram and focus on highlighting what you can provide.
Brands get a lot of emails like this, so it’s important to focus on THEM. What can you give them that no one else can? Why should they work with you and not someone else?
The answers to these questions usually lie in why you want to work with a brand in the first place. Maybe you’re a long time fan of their product, or connect with their brand for a certain reason.
Include why you want to work with them – and be specific! Don’t make the mistake of sending out a copied and pasted template to a bunch of brands and expect to hear back!
Give Them Something Extra
When you have a small account, one way to get a brand’s attention is to offer more than just an Instagram post or story. Brands often need fresh content: high-resolution images, blog posts, etc. In addition to posting about a brand, you could offer to include photos, writing, or other marketing materials.
Don’t stress if you don’t hear back from brands that you reach out to. It takes time and dedication to find ones that are the right fit. Especially at less than 1,000 followers, you’ll need to find a brand that’s super-specific to your audience.
In the meantime, continue growing your account and focus on producing the best content that you possibly can!
For more on how to build an influencer business, get my 13-page guide here. This walks you through:
- How influencers make money
- Should you become an influencer?
- Influencer FAQ
- Checklist to launch your influencer business