Three Ways I Secured My First Brand Sale As An Entrepreneur
- Jen Glantz, an entrepreneur, manages social-media accounts as well as a podcast and a newsletter.
- She began to monetize her following and now brand deals account for 20% of her income.
- Reaching out is her first step. She posts free content to get their attention.
I am an entrepreneur. For the past 10 years, I have shared my personal life online. I started my business as a freelance writer. bloggereventually started to use social media, podcast, and an email newsletter as ways to grow my customer base and expand the reach of my personal brand.
It wasn’t until last season that I decided to start monetizing these content streams through collaboration with sponsors and brand partners.
After years of slowly building my following, I realized that I was reaching over 100,000 people per month across all my platforms. I could then start making deals with brands who wanted to have access to my followers. I started by creating a media package using a free template. Canva, which showcased what platforms I have, the types of content I create, and the numbers that support each vertical — from follower count to my email open rate to how many listeners my podcast gets every month, and more.
After having a media kit prepared, I began to search for brands who would like to work with me. Brand sponsorships now account for more that 20% of my income.
These are the three ways I found my first few sponsors without using an agent or manager.
1. I reached out to brands directly
My first step was to create a list of brands I loved and used often. I picked skincare, jewelry, and clothing companies I’d followed for years and reached out to them directly.
I searched LinkedIn for the name or title of the brand’s partner or influencer manager and found their email using a tool called Any Mail FinderI was drafted and pitched.
Here’s my email template
I’m Jen Glantz. It’s great to meet you electronically! I am reaching out because I have been a fan of [brand name]For many years, you have relied on [name of product]To get me through [a specific use case of when I use the product].
I’d love the opportunity to work with you as a podcast, social media, and newsletter content creator in your wedding space. [brand name]To spread the word about your amazing products, consider forming a partnership.
Today, I am sharing my media kit with y’all and hope to chat more about this season.
Although I didn’t hear back from any of the brands I initially pitched I was able close a small brand deal for a sunscreen company that I use frequently. SolaraPost an ad in my newsletter a TikTok video about its newest product launch. It helped me secure my first partnership with a well-known brand, which could lead to more business opportunities in the future.
2. I used an influencer–management platform
Free creator-management and influencer platforms are one way I have been able to secure new brand deals passively. These platforms allow you create a profile that allows you to share details about your content-creation channels (social-media channels or newsletters), as well as pricing information for brand deals. Prices can be based on what type of content or ads you’ll run. If they feel you’re a good fit, brands can contact you, from beauty to fashion to kitchen supplies.
These platforms can also be used to find brands that are interested in working with content creators. You can even pitch them directly through the platform. These platforms are free to use but some may charge a fee if you sign up for a deal with a company. Others charge the creator and not the brand.
3. I post for free and tag brands
If I’m interested in working with a brand and they haven’t responded to my email pitch I create content for them and tag them in my posts. I will share my favorite products and items in an Instagram story, mention them on TikTok videos, send a DM to the brand account, or talk about them through my newsletter.
I hope they will see these mentions and reach out to me about working together. I will have a portfolio of content that I can share with them about their product. This shows your brand that you are serious and gives them a taste for the type of content that you can create.
Use their branded hashtags and tag the brand in all your posts. These hashtags are often found by looking at the posts made by the brand in the past. Although I don’t recommend creators working for free, it might be worth doing this occasionally to get on the radar of a brand, especially when you’re just starting out.
This is what I did with a friend. skincare companyI found someone I liked and they didn’t respond to my two pitch emails. I was able to show them the work I had created for free and they were open to discussing a 2023 partnership.
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