How to Find Authentic Brand Partnerships

This is a hot topic requested on my Instagram, so I wanted to write a post! I’m not sure if figuring out how to find brand partnerships that align with what I love is something I am always actively thinking about, but rather also a result of many of the other things I do. I will talk a bit about the overall Instagram presence and then give some general tips on how to find brand partnerships.

Let’s talk about your Instagram presence

Here are some questions to think about when working towards getting authentic brand collaborations that align with your personal brand and business.

What are your brand and content pillars? What do you like talking about?

What is your brand’s purpose? What do you like to talk about and what are the main topics you cover? Maybe you’re a lifestyle blogger who wants more food blogging opportunities. Or a small business owner who wants to partner with lifestyle brands. Be sure you are creating content that reflects the type of partnerships and community you want to have. It is super important to make sure your content aligns with what you want to talk about, and that it reflects your brand.

Example: If you want to be a food blogger, what type of content would you focus on? Cooking and recipes? Eating out? Burgers only? Make sure you are posting pictures of the type of content you want to be considered for! If you aren’t, brands will not know or see what you focus on or how they can fit into your content (and how you relate to their audience!).

how to find brand partnerships
brand partnership with Athena Club

How is your Instagram bio looking?

What does your Instagram bio say? Does it reflect what you are showing in your images? Your bio is a very important piece of your Instagram and works together with your images. Make sure what you write in your bio can be seen in your content. Also, do you have your contact info in it? Do you need more specifics on your bio? 

Example: Sticking with the food blogger. If your bio says you are a food blogger but you are only sharing pictures of cute animals, something isn’t lining up there! Make sure your bio matches your content.

How is your photo quality?

There are many different types of photography styles out there, and I have found photography to be a game-changer with partnerships. If you are wanting to create content for a brand you love, you need to be able to match the photography style they are wanting. If you are wanting to partner with a brand and promote them on your own platforms and in your own style, your photography style, and the actual photo quality can be very important. No grainy, low-resolution photos! Unless the style they want actually has a lot of grain/noise in it, lol.

Tip: Decide on the types brands you want to work with and see what kind of photos other bloggers/influencers are posting that work with them! This can give you a good indication of the type of photography style and/or quality they are looking for.

What hashtags are you using?

Hashtags are sort of like the icing on the cake, a very powerful icing that can do a lot of the work for you. The hashtags you use on your post have to be relevant to what you’re talking about in some way. I have found hashtags to really be a game-changer with getting partnerships opportunities in my DMs and email inbox! 

Example: If you want more local blogging opportunities, be sure you are using those local hashtags! I will use Tampa, since that is where I live. Some examples could be #tampaeats #tampafoodblogger #tampalifestyleblogger etc. Be intentional about your hashtags and think about which hashtags businesses and your community will be looking at.

how to find brand partnerships

Ways to find brand partnerships
(the actual logistics)

There are many ways to find brand partnerships but I have found mine through the following ways:

  1. Around You: Make a list of brands and businesses you already support and would love to collaborate with and reach out to them! (see next point)
  1. Cold Email: After you make that list of brands, get to pitching! If you can’t find the correct email address after doing some research on google, send a DM asking for a contact email. Usually, the person in charge of the social media can point you to the right person. NEVER pitch in the direct messages.
  1. Instagram DMs & Emails from businesses: Companies may reach out via DM to ask if you want to collaborate. This comes from utilizing hashtags and creating content that the brand can see themselves in. Also, it’s okay to say no! Try your best to only say yes to things that you are genuinely interested in, that fit your content pillars.
  1. Influencer marketing platforms: If you’re wanting to work with more national brands, influencer marketing networks are a great resource for paid campaigns.
  1. Ask someone you know: Have you seen someone do a collaboration that you think was cool? Ask them more about it! Sometimes people are open to sharing or giving you their own tips. However, I’d always recommend doing your own research first on the nitty-gritty and building up a genuine relationship with that person before barging into their DMs asking for all of their tips.

But seriously, just be yourself!

I’m still learning the ins and outs of brand partnerships, but the biggest takeaway I’ve had so far is to just stay true to yourself – really! Yes, there may be some new technical skills involved (like hashtag research or upping your photography), but all of it needs to speak to who you are. Just have fun with it!

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