- Brand deals are a top income source for many
- These collaborations often start with a pitch, through email or other methods.
One of the earliest questions aspiring influencers will ask themselves is: How do I start working with brands?
An influencer's inbox — whether it's email or direct messages on social
Some influencers will start building relationships with brands by cold-DMing them on social media, like
Ashley Jones, a micro influencer who has about 60,000 Instagram followers, said that her strategy consists of posting on Instagram about products she loves and tagging the brand. She then reaches out to the brand and explains why she'd like to work with them. She'll often ask for a proper PR contact too, she said.
Other creators, like TikTok star London Lazerson, take to LinkedIn. While some influencers pitch PR reps or influencer-marketing contacts on LinkedIn, Lazerson goes straight to the top by DMing CEOs.
And many influencers, like Gigi Kovach (a part-time lifestyle influencer), go straight to email to pitch a brand. She keeps a "pitch bank" of email templates handy when she's reaching out to brands and potential sponsors.
In addition to the pitch, many influencers create and attach a media kit — a document that includes basic information about an influencer's account, engagement data, previous work, and contact information.
Some influencers will send a media kit to every advertiser they work with. They keep this document up to date by adding new metrics and collaborations every few months.
"I think it's super important if you want to take this seriously," influencer Macy Mariano said of media kits. "I send them now to everyone I get in touch with. It's just a good way to express who you are and what you've done so they can see your past and current work."
Insider has spoken with several influencers who all have different approaches to pitching brands. Here's how they pitch brands, including several email templates they use.
How to grab a brand's attention when pitching a paid sponsorship
It takes time to figure out what type of pitch sticks and grabs the attention of brands.
"You get a lot of no's when you first start to pitch brands, but then you sort of fine-tune your approach," Kovach told Insider.
But getting started is an important step when building relationships with brands.
Jen Lauren, a nano influencer on
To land her first paid deal, Lauren used a media kit. She sends her media kit to the brands she wants to work with directly, through email, direct message on Instagram, or sometimes she'll even find an influencer marketing contact for a brand on LinkedIn, she said.
But a media kit isn't just helpful for getting started. Influencers with varying follower size and experience in the industry commonly use these documents to establish new brand relationships.
Here's how 21 influencers pitch brands, from email templates to media kits.
Email templates influencers use:
- Tori Dunlap, a personal-finance influencer with 2.2 million
TikTokfollowers. She shared 2 templates she uses to pitch brands on Instagram.
- Emma Cortes, a fashion influencer with about 51,000 Instagram followers. She shared the email template she uses to turn gifting offers into paying deals.
- Lillian Zhang, a TikTok influencer with about 22,000 followers. She shared the DM she used to get her first sponsorship deal.
- Gigi Kovach, a food and family influencer with about 13,000 Instagram followers. She shared the 200-word email pitch she uses to reach out to brands.
- Jalyn Baiden, an Instagram influncer with about 5,700 followers. She shared two of the templates she used to land her first few deals.
- Julie Tecson, a nano influencer with about 7,100 Instagram followers. She shared 3 email templates she uses to pitch brands for different types of sponsorships.
- Jack Betts, a college athlete with about 5,400 followers. Here's the email template he uses to score NIL deals.
Sending DMs to brands on social media:
- London Lazerson, a TikTok creator with 9.3 million followers on TikTok. He shared two examples of DMs he sends to brands.
- Ashley Jones, a micro influencer with 60,000 followers on Instagram. She shared her starting rates for brands and how she pitches brands over DMs.
- Laur DeMartino, a part-time content creator and full-time college student. She uses LinkedIn to find brand contacts and shared her 9-page media kit.
Setting rates for sponsored content:
- Baiden also shared her starting rates as a nano influencer.
- Tyler Chanel, a sustainability and lifestyle micro influencer with 13,000 followers. She shared the rate calculator she built to help her negotiate brand deals after a pitch.
- Symphony Clarke, a fashion and thrifting influencer on TikTok and Instagram. She broke down her rates and how she pitches herself to brands.
Media kit examples:
- Marina Mogilko, business and education creator with 6.8 million YouTube subscribers. She has a 24-page media kit she emails to the brands she works with.
- Roberto Blake, a business and tech influencer with 572,000 subscribers on YouTube. Here's his 26-page media kit for pitching tech brands.
- Joel Bervell, a medical student with about 631,000 TikTok followers. Here's his 2-page media kit.
- Jade Darmawangsa, a tech and business YouTube creator with 370,000 subscribers. She shared her 4-page media kit.
- Eric Stoen, a travel creator with about 340,000 Instagram followers. He shared his 1-page media kit.
- Lauren SoYung Lim, an influencer with about 254,000 TikTok followers. She shared the 9-page media kit she used to pitch brands.
- Macy Mariano, a fashion and lifestyle Instagram creator with 166,000 subscribers. Check out her 9-page media kit.
- Gigi Robinson, a creator with about 142,000 followers on TikTok. She shared the 17-page media kit she used to get brand deals with Amazon and Tinder.
- Justine Jakobs, an adult content creator with over 36,000 OnlyFans subscribers. Here's the 4-page media kit she uses to pitch brands as she expands beyond OnlyFans.
- Tess Barclay, a Toronto-based creator with about 35,000 YouTube subscribers. Here's the latest version of her 1-page media kit.
- And here are 4 media kits used by travel creators to score free hotel stays.
- Jen Lauren, a YouTube nano influencer with about 7,200 subscribers. She shared her simple 3-page media kit.
- Kayla Compton, a nano influencer. Here's the 8-page media kit she uses.
"It's important to build a relationship with brands and to work with brands that you already love, especially when you're starting out, to build subscriber loyalty," Lauren told Insider. "I will only partner with a brand if it will also benefit my community and organically fit in with my content."