Entertainment influencers

How to be a Paid Content Creator Episode 3: Creating revenue driving opportunities

How do content creators pitch themselves to brands or agencies for paid work?

Oh, if only business fell into our laps. Sometimes, you’ll get an agency or brand contacting you, asking you to post some content in exchange for product or small bit of compensation. This is awesome, but if you’re relying on this each time, you won’t make much. Unless you’re Kylie Jenner or a celebrity level ambassador, they will very rarely come to you offering heaps of money. So, because not every content creator is celebrity-level in terms of status, it’s important to be able to pitch yourself with some credentials to show your worth, and also to have something to send to companies you might like to be a content creator for. A talent agency like Digital Fox Talent will usually manage this process for you, but if you’re keen to manage your own business deals, here are a few tips.

Even when a brand contacts you directly, you should have some ammunition and be prepared. This is still a pitch from you to the brand. Because they have contacted you directly means they are very interested in working with you, so you should make the most of the warm opportunity by presenting what you can do for them with professional pitch material.

What should you have in your content creator / brand influencer pitch material?

We would highly recommend building this on Google Slides or even on a website so you can simply send a link to any potential brand partners. Include plenty of pictures or media from other projects you have worked on, or just existing content to show the potential client what you’re capable of.

Deadpool influencers
Laura has negotiated with huge entertainment brands in Australia directly and advocates using a "media pack" to showcase what content creators can do for them.

I would highly recommend curating a media kit. It can be as simple as a table with a list of all your social media accounts, the followings, and your rates for stories, posts, and/or videos. I find it often works in my favour to pitch a discounted “bundle” and will offer a lower rate for a combination of different promotional work.

Laura Gilbert (@infamousbylaura)

Things content creators can include in their brand influencer media packs.

What makes you a good brand ambassador?

This section should be a quick summary of yourself, what your content strategy is and your personality. This allows brands to get the chance to see if you’re genuinely a good fit for them.

Details around your content strategy.

If you have series of content that you publish, be sure to showcase those and if you specialize in an industry be sure to talk about how you produce content for that genre.

Your number of followers.

This section is important, and easy. Simply list out your reach across each social media platform you publish content on. This shows brands the reach they could potentially get by paying you as an influencer.

Your stats. Get your math on here.

First of all, not everyone is great with math or digital marketing metrics. If you struggle with this, it might be worth skipping this section, and signing up with a talent agency to handle all of this for you.

The savvier you are with presenting your stats, the better. It’s not solely about how many followers you have. If you can calculate what your estimated cost per view is, that’s invaluable when pitching to brands. Here’s how to work it out.

If a brand pays you $1,000 to promote them, and you get the brand 90,000 views of the sponsored content you’re posting, your cost per view (CPV) is $0.011.

You can calculate this by dividing the number of dollars the client spent with you by the number of views you gained.

In this case it’s $1,000 / 90,000 = $0.011.

You can use this calculation to work out what you should charge per post.

Take a look at your average number of views per content piece. Use at least 10 examples so you can get a good estimate. Then divide the cost that you’re thinking of charging by that number of views.

If it’s less than $0.02 then you’re costing is in a reasonable place. If it’s higher, you might struggle to get the brand partnership because traditional digital marketing methods are likely to beat it. But remember — it’s views, relevance of your content, audience, and credible influence that matters, not simply the size of your following.

A digital marketing person will consider a $0.02 cost per view as pretty good. The fact that you’re also providing the content production, advocacy, and a highly targeted audience of followers who may go on to buy their product, means they should be very keen to partner with you.

You can do this calculation across all of the social channels you plan to post on and give an estimate of the resulting views of the content. This helps you to make an effective pitch because it’s backed up by data. You’re beating other competitors and you’re also including an estimate of the results.

Brands are going to be much more keen to pay you when you’ve backed up your price with expert rationale, rather than someone who plucks a figure out of the air.

Your rates.

Use the above to work out a good rate for the views you will generate. Don’t Google what you should charge. The search results you’re given are often based on assumptions and the followers you have. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to based what to charge on how many followers you have. Even if that sounds easiest.

You need to work in the marketeers world. Marketeers will make decisions based on CPVs and the right fit for the brand.

You can work this out a good rate to charge by using the above calculation, or the below:

Your average amount of views of content x $0.02.

You can lower the $0.02 if you want your price to be more competitive and appeal even more to the brand you’re pitching to. Remember the $0.02 is just a very good cost per view rate in most digital advertising plans. By matching or beating this, you’re showing good value.

Who should you pitch to?

Here’s a full list of people that would be keen to hear from you, provided your pitch is good.

Social Media Managers

SMM’s generally have control of a brands social media presence. They are often looking for ways to increase their social media presence through influencers and amplify any content campaigns they are running through influencers.

Social Media Executives

SME’s work under SMM’s. They generally have less control to approve campaigns but are still very worth building a relationship with. Typically they work on managing social media communities and build out social media content calendars but do often integrate influencers into the strategies.

Marketing Directors

Marketing Directors are probably the most senior contact you might have a relationship with. They have the greatest power to approve campaigns but often won’t correspond with influencers directly very often.

Marketing Managers

Marketing Managers tend to have great control of budgets and are the ideal contact to have and to pitch to. Try to bounce off Marketing Managers and generate ideas and ways of integrating their brand naturally into your content strategy.

Marketing Executives

Again, Marketing Executives are great contacts. They tend to sign off on the smaller spends than Marketing Directors and Marketing Managers and are very good people to pitch to and build a relationship with.

Publicists

Publicists generally deal in trying to get as many media partnerships and opportunities for interviews as they can, but they do sometimes also get involved in influencer activities and may approach you to try to generate more exposure when an actor or actress is in town or when a trailer is launching.

PR Managers

PR Managers generally try to get as much exposure as they can for as little money as possible. It is in their best interest to do this and give the best value they can to their clients or brand. It is possible they may approach you without offering payment, and instead offer to compensate you with product or exposure. Remember to negotiate a rate back and don’t be afraid of missing out on the campaign. If you work for free once, you’ve set the bar at free moving forward.

PR Executives

PR executives are similar to PR Managers but more junior. The projects they approach you with or discuss with you may be smaller, but your approach should be the same. Again, they commonly ask for content to be produced in exchange for “contra”. Try to get a real feel for what they are offering and whether it’s valuable enough to you to do the work. If you struggle with this, Digital Fox Talent can manage it for you.

Which clients and brands should you pitch to?

First, consider which brands you are relevant for. Then build a list of brands like these that operate in the same industry. Then reach out, and contact them. Alternatively, sign up with a talent agency and they will do this for you.

It’s a good idea to mix small and large brands as targets to approach. Your level of reach might appeal to one or the other, or both. Also include PR, Media, Advertising, Influencer and marketing agencies who have these brands as clients.

This takes a bit of research but there are ways to narrow this down and create your list.

How do you find these brand partner contacts?

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a great platform for searching for and finding the right contacts. Build those connections up and don’t be afraid to drop people a message. It can be scary to contact someone in the industry and attempt to pitch yourself, but if you get the tone professional friendly and show how you can help you might actually be doing them a favour.

Learn to network

Networking at events is HUGE for content creators. Say hi to everyone, learn what they are responsible for and if it’s anything to do with marketing, present what you do. Grab that email address or business card and follow up with them later.

Networking +2.

It’s not just events that you can network in. You’ve probably been producing content for a while now and may even know who some players are in the industry. If you’re a beauty influencer, you could have a friend that works at Glossier as an intern. Perhaps they could chuck you the email address of someone who works at marketing there or give you an intro?

The more you do this, even if it’s just you keeping networking at the back of your mind, the more contacts you’ll make and the more people you have to pitch to.

To be clear, you might think pitching is annoying people. Sometimes it might be, but nothing will happen if you don’t. Without pitching, you’re relying on people contacting you. There are too many influencers out there to choose from to get enough business directed to you, so you won’t get the lion’s share. You’ll have to go out there and hunt it down.

How do you make Case Studies?

Let’s say you nailed a campaign. You want to show potential clients that this is what you’re capable of. Take the stats and performance and any testimonial/thank you from the client and get it in your About You/pitch deck.

Case studies are essentially a record of a campaign you completed at the results for that campaign. They can be reassuring for clients. The bigger the brand the case study is for, the more reassuring the case study and the more confidence the brand you’re pitching to will have with you.

How do you get this About Me/pitch deck to the list of contacts you’ve identified?

Email them. Write a simple two or three sentence email introducing yourself, offer to help, explain why you think it will work, and then link to the pitch deck you’ve prepared.

Remember, be confident in your pitch. There is plenty of budget in the influencer market that can be made available to you.

Reach out to Digital Fox Talent

There’s a lot of business stuff and negotiation in here. It’s a full-time job on it’s own a lot of the time. Talent agencies like Digital Fox Talent manage all of this for their talent team so if we can help, just let us know by emailing [email protected]

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