I get a lot of questions from different people about how brand deals work. It’s a pretty standard process once you have done a few of them, but if you’re new to the influencer world they might seem rather mysterious. So let me walk you through a standard scenario of what normally happens.
1. Reaching out
Typically it starts with a message: an email or an Instagram message from a brand or an agency. Agencies will usually email you and so will brands who are used to working with influencers. Brands who are new to the arena are more likely to message you using a social media messenger. I personally prefer email, because it’s an easier way for me to respond quickly and start a professional conversation straight away 🙂
So it starts with a message where the person tells you about a product, a brand or a campaign that they’re working on. Some of them will tell you whether it will be paid for from the beginning, while some will try to feel the situation and see whether you will agree to do a promotion in exchange for product.
2. Negotiation + contract
Some influencers will agree to do a promotion just to receive the product, while some will negotiate a monetary compensation. A lot of the times it will depend on the influencer and on the opportunity (for example, it might help them with their content). Unless it’s a charity or a non-profit with similar goals to mine, I will most likely send them a standard response saying that I have stopped promotion in exchange for products and attach my Media kit so that they can see my pricing.
During that negotiation stage, you and the brand will agree on deliverables, timeline and the total fee. A good practice after that is to sign a contract to make this relationship official. Agencies normally have their own contracts and some brands will too, but I like to have my own template just in case if the client doesn’t have one. Always have a contract in place, otherwise, nobody guarantees that you will be paid once you deliver everything.
3. Content creation
Alright, so once the official part is over you get to work! Some clients will give you creative guidance (a lot of the times they will send you a mood board), some will give you talking points and almost always they will give you hashtags that you’re required to use. FTC guidelines also require you to disclose the nature of this product placement by using #ad or #sponsored – and most clients will require that.
Depending on the timeline and the approval process (if there is one), you will typically deliver the content, get feedback from the client and make additional edits if needed. If the client needs to send you their product before you start creating content (e.g. if it’s a t-shirt that you need to wear in final pictures), you obviously will have to wait for that to start working.
4. Posting + invoice
I feel like this part of the process is pretty self-explanatory, but let’s go through it in any case. You will post the content on the dates that you have agreed upon and then you will send the client screenshots of the statistics or the insights – and then an invoice. Normally these invoices get paid within 30 or 60 days.
And that’s it! This is how standard brand deals work. Of course, you might find additional steps involved or skip some steps if you’re working with an influencer platform.
Please let me know if you have it questions around the brand deal process in the comments below and I would love to answer them with another blog post. Happy influencing!