How to Craft Irresistible Collaboration Proposals With Brands?

Brands are always looking for collaboration with people and other brands to cover new audiences and extend their reach on the potential customer pool. For brands, mutually beneficial partnerships are the key to successful business development, which means that collaboration proposals from freelance contractors and influencers generally fall on receptive ears.

But that does not imply these proposals can be sloppy or poorly researched! Below is the complete guide to crafting irresistible collaboration proposals with brands — from the moment you start researching potential partners to the time when you might need to send them a follow-up email (but hopefully, it won’t come to that). 

Target the Right Brands

The first and probably most important thing is to create a list of brands you can represent. First, you should make an initial list of companies you are interested in collaborating with. This will help you find your brand, along with all relevant contacts of its key employees;— for example, you can create a list of game developers, advertisers, finance institutions, airlines, or retail stores — whatever your niche focus is.

Chances are, you will get quite a lot of results because representing brands online is clearly not location-exclusive — you can collaborate with any company no matter where it is headquartered.

However, you cannot collaborate with a company unless your values and interests align with the brand’s values and products. For example, if you would like to work with game developers (promote their new games, write reviews, film video tutorials, etc.), you obviously need to narrow down your initial developer list. After all, there is a huge interest and user pool gap between Angry Birds and The Witcher. 

The same logic applies to any brand you want to represent — from beauty and skincare to hiking equipment. Narrow down as much as you can until you come up with a relatively short list of brands you can (and want to) represent. The length of this list is up to you, of course.

Also, there is a chance that you may find some huge names in a given industry. Well, bookmark them for later — especially if you are only getting started with influencer marketing and brand promotion. It’s all right to dream big, but it’s reasonable to start small — especially considering that small and mid-size businesses prefer working with micro-influencers

Establish Prior Connection 

Once you have narrowed down the list of brands you have enough experience (and passion) to represent, monitor them for a while. Follow them on social media, comment on their posts, and try to establish some prior connection. Yes, it’s very unlikely that your pitch will hit the inbox of a person in charge of social media accounts. But when your collaboration proposal does hit the relevant decision-maker’s inbox, the company will research you a bit, too. And, an already established contact (more importantly, your consistent interest in the brand, its social media policy, and its products) will score your collaboration proposal a lot of precious points with the decision-makers. 

One more reason to monitor brands on social media before contacting them is that you can find out more about their latest projects — something you should undoubtedly mention when writing your collaboration pitch. Plus, you can locate contacts on LinkedIn and other social media sites — unless you have already found them via other channels. The same services that list verified contacts in online databases usually have plugins that pull this data directly from social media sites. Hitting the right person’s inbox with a direct email is a way better strategy than contacting a brand over its website form — less chances of hitting the spam box and more opportunities to show the decision-makers that you’ve done your research and are serious about collaboration. 

Craft a Researched Pitch 

An impressive pitch should be informative, to the point, and personalized for each brand you reach out to. That is why the research stage is so important — it allows you to personalize your pitch and mention specific details about why you would like to work with the brand, what makes you a good candidate, and how exactly you wish to collaborate. 

The main six elements of an effective collaboration are:

  1. Quick introduction: this one has to be very quick because — let’s be honest — no one cares at this point. So, just say “Hi” and mention what you do, i.e., ‘content creator and game reviewer.’
  2. Niche and follower count: here, you should include more details about your niche focus. A game reviewer, for example, can specialize in action games, RPG, strategy, adventure, simulation and VR, puzzles, casuals, etc. And, of course, your followers count on relevant social networks — do not include any links to accounts here, but you can mention that you will list them below. 
  3. Past achievements and experience: can be anything that you find relevant — already published content, successful social media campaigns, or any social media posts relevant to the brand’s niche that gained a lot of attention from your followers.
  4. Why you want to collaborate: this is the part where you get specific. Avoid generic terms like ‘love your products’ and mention exactly what you like instead. Or, show that you monitor the brand’s updates and are interested in its new projects, for example: ‘I have been following the updates about your upcoming game, [game name], and I was very impressed by [give more details]. The details can be anything — plot, graphics, main idea, characters, etc. 
  5. How you want to collaborate: keep it short — you are not writing a business plan to attract investment here. For example, ‘I already wrote several game reviews that resonated well with my audience, and I would like early access to your demo version.’ Or,  ‘I would like to shoot a demo video for my followers who actively share such content.’
  6. Urging for a reply: it’s best to wrap up any collaboration proposal with a question that urges a reply — ‘Do you think we could collaborate on this one?’ or something of the kind. You do not need to come up with anything too blatantly advertising, like ‘Would you like to increase your audience reach?’ Brands want to increase their reach, and they understand why you’re messaging them in the first place, so keep it simple. 

Follow-Up Tips

Suppose you’ve sent your well-researched, personalized pitches, but no one’s responding yet. It’s absolutely all right to follow up — in fact, research shows that follow-up emails increase response rates by 22%. Sadly, there is no universal guide on how to follow up without becoming an annoying pest. Still, it’s safe to say that two follow-up emails are enough — if your pitch and two follow-ups are ignored, forget and move on. It’s also all right to send the first follow-up in 2-3 days after the pitch and the second — a week after the first follow-up. But, hopefully, your collaboration proposal will be irresistible enough to urge an instant reply! 

On the whole, most effort in crafting an irresistible pitch happens in the prep stages — during research and establishing initial contact. But spending some extra time on these stages is totally worth the effort – because well-crafted pitches tailored for each brand usually do not need a follow-up email! 

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