How to Work with Brands as a Smaller Blogger/Instagrammer

Hey guys! I’m writing this with Jessica Braun on in the background, strawberry lemonade by my side, and Pura Vida bracelets on my wrist…it’s going to be a good day. (PS, you can DM me on Instagram if you want to get 50% off your first order from Pura Vida!)

I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how I’ve gotten to work with brands since I’m a relatively small influencer. I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve gotten and I thought I would share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over my past year and a half of blogging. If you’re reading this post, I’m assuming you’re an influencer (or an aspiring one). Before I get started I just want to say that you do NOT have to have brand deals or sponsorships to blog or post on Instagram! Do it because you love it, not because you want to get free products or money. I didn’t start my blog just because I wanted the privileges that can come with it, I started it because I love to write and take photos.

Alllll of that being said, let’s get into my tips!

1. Be Consistent With Your Posts

Uploading high-quality blog posts and Instagram photos frequently will increase the likelihood of a brand selecting you to work with. Even if your follower count isn’t particularly high, they’re going to appreciate the effort you put into your content. In addition, using high-quality photos means that they could potentially use your work on their own social accounts. I’ve had this happen a couple of times and it’s so rewarding to see your photo on a brand’s socials!

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out Via Email

It can be intimidating to email a brand, but you’ll never know if they’d want to work with you unless you try! Be respectful and don’t beg for a partnership – simply state what your ideas are for your blog/Instagram post and provide links to all of your social accounts. If you haven’t tried a brand before but are reaching out to them anyway, don’t lie and say you love the brand just because you want to get on the good side of their marketing team. ALWAYS be genuine in your interactions with brands and be up front with what your intentions are. For example, if you’re reaching out to Tarte Cosmetics but have never tried their products before, tell them that you would like to test out some of their products and provide a “first impressions” type post and an in-depth review!

3. Tag Brands on Instagram

Do you have a favorite pair of sunglasses you wear in every other Instagram photo? Tag the brand! They’ll see that you genuinely love their company and will be more willing to work with you in the future. You can send links to all of your posts containing their products in an email as well. I do this with makeup and clothing companies fairly frequently! I’ve also gotten gift cards and discounts from restaurants for posting photos of their food.

4. Look for Local Boutiques/Small Businesses

Up-and-coming brands are, in my experience, more likely to be willing to work with someone with a smaller circle of influence. You can find a lot of companies like this on Instagram just by searching “boutique”! I love supporting smaller businesses, especially when they’re run by girl bosses right here in the US. You can form genuine connections with the people behind the brands because they’re not surrounded by marketing teams or associates.

5. Join Ambassador Programs

As some of you may know, I’m part of the Jadelynn Brooke Ambassador Program! While this isn’t a “sponsorship” or “brand deal”, all of the reps receive packages 2-3 times a semester with products to feature on their platforms. This opportunity is for girls who are active in their communities and have a positive, uplifting social media presence. I love that they have this opportunity for girls of all follower counts, not just those thousands of followers.

Pura Vida is another great company with an ambassador program, and I’m sure there are many others I just haven’t discovered yet

I hope this post was helpful to all of my fellow small influencers out there! Working with brands can be intimidating and difficult, but it’s so rewarding in the end.

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!