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How to land your first PAID brand deal as an Influencer!

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

13 Step-by-step tips on how to land your first paid brand deal.


An influencer creating content with ring light

Are you tired of creating valuable content for free? 😩 As an influencer, it's time to turn your passion into profit. Whether you're new to the influencer industry or have been creating engaging content for a while, landing your first paid brand deal is an exciting milestone. 💸

However, it can be daunting to navigate the business side of the influencer world. Fear not! In this blog post, we will guide you on how to land your first paid brand deal as an influencer.

So, buckle up and get ready to make some money, honey!! 😍

Influencer saying "No autographs please"

Tip #1 - Check your mindset, gf

You could implement all the right strategies but still not see good results if you keep believing things like: You need 10k followers to start, the market is too saturated, brands aren't paying influencers, etc.

All of those things are false and you're holding yourself back by believing misconceptions about your opportunities in the Influencer space!

Tip #2 - Review your Instagram strategy

A few things brands look for on your page: 👀

  • Experience - Have you worked with brands before? If not, do you have examples of organic shoutouts to brands?

  • An engaged audience - Is your community leaving thoughtful comments? How do you engage with them on stories?

  • Personality & Authenticity- Is who you are online in alignment with who you are IRL? Do you showcase what makes you unique/different?

Tip #3 - Research

Begin by crafting your dream brand wish list 📝 and dive into some undercover research 🕵️‍♀️: Check out the creators they’re already partnering with. Do their vibes match yours? Are they cashing in on paid collaborations?

Start by writing down 5 brands that you want to work with (and I hate to say this but please be realistic). Start with the ones you use in your everyday life. What can't you live without? What are you always buying? (brands love when you already know about the product and/or brand like the back of your hand- it is proven that you show up much more authentic)

Tip #4 - Organic tagging

The secret sauce lies in creating ORGANIC CONTENT! 🌱 Show your favorite brands some love by being their loyal customer, and if they catch you creating content for them already, they won’t resist the urge to partner up. Win-win!

Tip #5 - Engage with brands

Want to level up the game? Follow those dream brands closely 👀, shower them with engagement ❤️, and tag them in your content.

Start with the brands you use all of the time. Like their content and leave intentional comments. And make sure to engage on the brands' stories! This is a great way to start the conversation! The goal here is to show that you love the brand and are taking the initiative to build a relationship with them.

Yes, I am saying flirt with the brand! Just trust me- if they see or hear your name enough then there's a large chance they will recognize your pitch!

Tip #6- Craft an intentional vision board for the brand

Get specific on how you would like to support them. What products/services do you want to showcase? What kind of content would you like to create for the brand?

Tip #7- Send out a pitch email to each brand

You need a short but sweet message to send that highlights what you can do for them and why you're an ideal partner for them to work with.

Need some help with exactly what to say? I have a Brand Pitch Template in my FREE Influencer Marketing for Beginners E-book Here.

Tip #8 - Show the brand your audience is interested

Pro TIP: If your featured organic content is sparking fireworks ✨ of high engagement, flaunt it shamelessly in your pitch! 📈 Trust me, it’s like waving a magic wand, and your success rate might skyrocket 🚀 (This works about 80% of the time for landing my brand deals).

Tip #9 - Don't include your rates in your first pitch

Hold your horses 🐎 before you reveal those rates in the first pitch email! Let the anticipation build up! Keep it flirtatious and exciting 😉. Wait for the right moment to dazzle them with your worth 💎.

Tip #10 - The fortune is in the follow-up

Be persistent! Don't worry, you aren't annoying the brand. A HUGE mistake creators make is sending a pitch and then never following up. If you don't hear back in 3-7 days, send your first follow-up email to them. Then follow up every couple of days for a week or two.

David from Schitts Creek saying he is going to follow up

Tip #11 - Get used to hearing "No"

Embrace the “NO” with a smile 😊! It’s all part of the game. Don’t take it personally! I have a pile of unanswered emails from brands! But hey, the right ones will come along, I promise! 💪

Tip #12 - Gifted trades can be a GOOD thing

Time for a bit of controversy! 🤫 Doing gifted trades is A-okay when starting out! Consider it your launchpad 🚀 to get on those brand radars. It’s like dipping your toes in the pool of potential partnerships! But, beware: make sure those products are top-notch! ✨ Is it a brand that screams ‘YOU’? Will it rock your media kit?

Tip #13 - Sign up for a few Influencer marketing platforms

This will help you dip your toe into how brand partnerships work. It can also be an awesome way to get on a brand's radar or begin your working relationship with a brand long-term.

My personal favorites are Aspire IQ, Mavrck, Fohr, Grin, Sway Group, Hashtag Paid, Soapbox Influence, Collectively, Obviously and Clever.


Get to know websites like FYPM. VIP & Hashtag Pay Me like the back of your hand! I use them every day and find nearly every brand partner using them!

💬 Ask me ANYTHING in the comments! Was this helpful?

Looking for additional guidance? Check out my SHOP for all of my freebies, eBooks, guides, 1-2-1 coaching services, and other awesome resources!

Follow along with The Katie Says So Blog for all things Instagram, Influencer, and Social Media Mindset Tips!!

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