Hello Darling… How did your week go? I’m super excited for this post because as a blogger I struggled getting paid collaborations from brands for a long time and I made the number of followers I had on Instagram restrict me and made me feel like I was too small to collaborate with big brands.
I’ll like to say you are really doing amazing with your blog and Instagram and I personally know the struggle of creating content, getting a camera/ photographer to take pictures, money for mobile data and the likes. I also want to say brands especially in Nigeria are not too supportive and will most likely approach you for free publicity or send you free clothes or bags in exchange for a review which is fine at a point or is still fine depending on the brand, but will free clothes put money in your bank account or replace money for data? NO!
I started blogging some years ago and one major thing that has made me feel like I I’m not doing the right thing as a blogger is the number of followers I have on Instagram. I won’t lie that there are brands that are not concerned about the number of followers you have on Instagram and will most likely not work with you if you don’t have over 21.5k followers and that’s fine because there are bigger and better brands that will still come your way if you are doing the right thing.
I currently have 3,719 followers and I have collaborated with big brands like Zaful (international), Jumia, Zaron, Wara cakes and the likes and I have been featured on big platforms like whowhatwear, Bellanaija, Lagos street style etc. I have also been on the same paid brand campaign with other bloggers and influencers with larger followers and I realized that the number of followers I had on Instagram didn’t matter and what was important was that I was doing certain things right.
Here are a few things you should be doing if you want to be visible by brands and get paid collaborations;
- Quality Content: I cannot over emphasize the importance of quality content on your blog and posting really good pictures on Instagram. I won’t lie when I started blogging my Instagram was a mess and I had pictures that were not clear with low resolution. I have seen so many bloggers posting dark pictures or pictures that are not well edited. You are a blogger and if you intend to get money from it and make brands notice you then you should really pay attention to your Instagram and post good pictures. Most brands rarely check the content on your blog when they approach you for a collaboration, they are more concerned with how your Instagram looks and how well you curate good pictures and videos. Also, the excuse of not having a camera is not acceptable again because with a good phone and great editing you are good to go. If you don’t know how to edit pictures, please read blog posts on how to edit pictures or ask people that know how to.
- Celebrate every milestone: When was the last time you celebrated a milestone? Do you realize the importance of celebrating them? Is a new logo or domain name for your blog worth celebrating?. Bear in mind that celebrating every milestone is a huge marketing opportunity and a way to be visible to brands. If you get featured or your pictures get reposted by bigger platforms like Bella Naija, Style vitae or even Linda ikeji blog please celebrate and repost on your instagram. If you get interviewed on television, radio or even by a fellow blogger on their blog, please post on your Instagram because it shows you are doing the right thing and more brands will want to be affiliated with you. Truthfully, most brands don’t know a lot of things and to them being interviewed or featured on other platforms means “you have blown” and you have a wider audience. I got a paid collaboration after I posted screenshots of my interview with Bellanaija and I realized that brands believe that if bigger platforms can reach out to you for a feature or interview then you are doing something right and they also will want to work with you.
- Consistency: You cannot be active on Instagram for a week and leave and come back after 3 months of no posts on Instagram or even on the blog and expect brands to take you seriously. Imagine going to work only twice this month and you are expecting your employer to pay you in full without query or even sacking you. Consistency is key because brands will be aware that you are putting in a lot of work and they can trust you with their brand and know you can handle the collaboration well. If you have no content to post on your page then try and be active via insta stories at least people still know you are around and can still reach out to when they want to.
- Attend blogging/ Networking events: I know many people are like but I do and I still haven’t gotten any paid collaboration?! Well maybe you are doing something wrong. Attend events that you know that other bloggers and brand owners will be attending and make sure you have a conversation with them and follow up with them because you know why?! Most bloggers are friends with brand owners and some brands ask them to provide names of fellow bloggers they think they can work with on a particular campaign. Most of my paid collaborations have been referrals from other bloggers that I met at events or through Instagram. Also, drop nice and sincere comments on bloggers posts on instagram, read their blogs and drop meaningful comments too. Also, network with brand owners at events, introduce yourself and give them your complimentary card because it will come in handy when they need bloggers to help create publicity for the launch of a new product. A lot of people have asked me how I get invites to so many events and one thing I want you to know is that there was a point I was never invited to all the cool events in Lagos but one thing I did was to send a mail to RSVP and I was shocked to get responses and my own invite to the event. So, don’t wait for them to send you an invite, if you feel you will gain a lot from attending the event, shoot your shot!
- Buy from brands with your money and tag them: I started shopping on Jumia with my own money and when I wear the dress I bought from them, I made sure I tagged them on Instagram and that was the norm till they reached out to me for a collaboration. Sometimes you have to use your money to purchase items from brands to become visible to them before you can then secure a paid collaboration with them. Even big celebrities like Toke Makinwa still use this technique where she will tag channel when she’s carrying a bag she bought from them and that’s because she’s trying to make herself visible to them just Incase they decide to launch in Nigeria and need brand Influncers to help push the campaign. Most times paid collaborations from certain brands come after you have personally bought a product or item from them and when they realize you have really great content they can reach out to you. Always tag big brands when you are at their restaurant, stores or if you are wearing a dress from them to bring awareness to your page and make them aware of what you do.
- Don’t ever think you are too small to be paid for a collaboration: The way you carry yourself and the mindset you have will reflect on your brand. If you think you are too small to be paid by brands then you will realize that no brand is reaching out to you for collaborations. Always carry yourself and your brand with so much dignity and high esteem and you will see how brands will reach out to you.
- Prayer: You might be doing everything right and still yet no brand has approached you for a collaboration or you have never been paid all through your years of blogging and you keep wondering what’s wrong. Always pray to God for growth and for your brand to be visible above every other brand. Prayer is sooo important and I make sure everyday I include my blog and my brand in prayers and you should do the same too because there’s a great God and he listens.
P.S: Don’t be too desperate to get money from brands and just end up working with every brand and for any amount. Make sure your principles are intact and you know who you are working with.
Also, include your email in your bio and state clearly what you do so that brands can visibly see what you do and send an email to you when they need to. I hope this helps someone to get that paid collaboration soon and if you have other suggestions on how to secure paid collaborations please drop your ideas in the comment section as I always love to hear from you.
Have a lovely weekend.