As an influencer, getting your first brand partnership is a big deal. And with new protections in place, even more creators, athletes and influencers can seek out partnerships with brands. Initiating that partnership effectively can be a challenge for influencers new to the scene.
For collegiate athletes, and any creator looking to partner with brands, creating a professional influencer media kit can help you set the tone for the relationship and ensure the partnership is mutually beneficial.
Traditionally, a media kit contains contact information, a brief description of your personal brand and a few work samples. For influencers, ambassadors, and creators, a media kit will bridge the gap between your hard-earned community and marketers at brands. But going beyond the basics can create better results, improve your response ratio, and ultimately, boost your professionalism.
Key Components of a Media Kit for Influencers
Building a compelling media kit should go beyond the basics. But which details feel superfluous? Casey Smith, Senior Social Media Manager at Kroger shares some of the core components influencers should include in their media kit.
“Share your passions – tell me something about yourself beyond just numbers. In terms of numbers it’s important to include audience demographics. The potential ambassador’s audience may be a really important one to us.”
A high-level overview of your audience demographics indicates a deeper understanding of how your content will resonate if you partner with the brand. But going one step further to customize the media kit for each potential brand partner can take your pitch to the next level, Casey explained.
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“We like to see examples of sponsored content, if available. If that’s not available, then include some social posts that showcase the kind of content we could expect if partnering together.”
Giving an example of your quality of work can help ensure your style will align with the brand’s style. It’s best to determine fit before the scope of work is agreed upon – by showcasing sample work, you’re able to front load a lot of the evaluation process.
Other metrics can also be helpful during the evaluation process. Adam Ornelas, former Social Media & Influencer Strategist at Chipotle Mexican Grill shared some of the top data points influencers should include on their media kit.
“Sharing your audience size can be helpful, but you should also include the channels you’re active on in addition to engagement rate can be helpful for brands.”
In a space that can be tricky to quantify, showing brands important data points can go a long way for influencers.
Should Influencers Make the First Move?
Even though a lot of influencer marketing is driven by brand outreach, some of the most successful collabs originate from influencer pitches. In fact, influencer managers source somewhere between 10-40% of their influencer partnerships from influencer pitches. Adrienne Young, Former Social Media Manager for FENTY Beauty shared that pitches can be a great ‘in’ for influencers looking to get started.
“In my experience, I’ve found that inbound inquiries are a great way [for brands] to find more micro to mid-tier influencers who are already big fans of the brand. I usually find that brands need to take initiative and make the first connection when it comes to macro to mega-influencers, however.”
Perfecting the Pitch
Having your top stats and key content samples bundled together in one document can be helpful, but crafting an authentic and relevant pitch to brands can set your first impression apart from the rest, according to Adam.
“Consistency and genuine love for the brand is key. Organically showing interest and affinity on social media goes a long way. Marketing teams take note of brand love and it helps create and build a relationship between you and the brand. Pursue a genuine relationship with the company and the money will come.”
In terms of delivering the pitch, it’s important to consider where your audience is most likely to receive it. Fortune often favors the bold, Adam shared.
“Focus on your authentic affinity and passion for what they’re doing. If you don’t, it’ll come across in the content you create and will fall flat with your audience. Sometimes it’s better to pursue startups and mid-sized hyper growth companies because it gives you a chance to grow with them both as a partner and financially.”
The Authenticity Imperative
The content that resonates best with any audience is authentic. Letting that authenticity shine through in your media kit and pitch is critical, according to Greg Meade, CEO of CROSSNET.
“Being authentic can go a long way with how a brand can onboard an influencer. I know from experience, if someone really wants to work and even sends follow up messages, we will be more inclined to act on that deal as they’d probably end up creating the most genuine content.One of our best partnerships to date is working with Sam Pedlow. He’s just a genuine person that sees the benefits of working with us (and vice versa.) Partnerships like this are the best!”
Authenticity in the media kit and in the pitch itself are equally important. Letting that authentic and genuine interest shine through can also set your pitch above the rest. Adrienne Young shared some key ways influencers can separate themselves from the crowd.
“A cold influencer pitch stands out when I can tell that the influencer is genuinely interested in working with our brand specifically, rather than sending a generic cut and paste email that I can tell that they’re sending to other brands. An influencer can also stand out by demonstrating how well they know the brand, by pointing to specific brand ideals or launches that they resonated with, which shows initiative.”
Bridging Professionalism with Authentic Passion
Being an influencer means you’re equally invested in your chosen passion, community, and being a professional partner with your chosen brands. With a strong media kit, your community and content will shine through and generate powerful collabs with the brands in your space – and in the long run, could result in lasting brand partnerships.