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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Zfat

How to Approach, Pitch and Close a Lucrative Brand Partnership: IG Live with John Henry

Deal me in. ;)

In 2020, you don't have to be an influencer to want a lucrative brand partnership. Whether you're a chef interested in having a food partner, an athlete seeking an endorsement, or an author looking for a sponsor for your virtual book tour (!) a brand deal can re-imagine your income potential -- and transition it from active to passive.⁣

I was joined this week on IG Live by John Henry for a no-holds-barred convo with tips and tricks from a decade of working with brands like Samsung, Cadillac and American Express.

We talked about everything from getting on brands’ radars to turning a one-time deal into a long-term relationship and negotiating for higher pay.

Here are a few top takeaways from our chat:

  • If you’re working with a brand with a low budget, think about the ROI. When you’re starting out, create a sliding scale based on the leverage you have to offer a brand (i.e. your niche, following, unique content, reach, etc.). When considering an opportunity on the lower end of that pricing scale, only take the deal if you believe that it will lead to a bigger opportunity down the line or if the brand’s work resonates with you on a deeper level that outweighs the monetary benefits.

  • Price your value. Brands often formulaically price prospective influencers based on metrics like follower count, reach, etc. To reframe that narrative, build up the leverage to price your own value. If you’re in a situation where you’re in a free or low paying partnership, don’t be shy about upping your ask. Those partnerships may be worth it in one time and place, but if the ROI is no longer worth it, approach the brand to inform them of where you stand now based on the leverage you have and assure them that you would like to continue your relationship under these new parameters.

  • While you can’t ensure that a brand will choose you, you can ensure that you come up in the conversation. If you are working with an intelligent group of marketers, there should be an understanding at the beginning of negotiations that you are each testing the waters. Once those waters are tested and the value exchange proves fruitful, it opens the door to longer, deeper relationships with brands. Create leverage that cannot be ignored.

  • Trust your creative gut. If you don’t have a good feeling about the creative aspect of a partnership from the onset, you will kick yourself for it later. If you don’t vibe with your agent or brand because their goals do not align with your goals, trust that instinct. If a company doesn’t mesh with your style or tries to oversell themselves to you rather than get to know you, it will not be an equal value exchange.

Tap here for the conversation, and stay close to my IG for the next episode!

Interested in joining for an IG Live? Email to book!


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