Given the tools at hand these days, it is not difficult for anyone to start creating content, packaging it attractively, and creating a small community on Social Media. The most frequent question that we get from aspiring bloggers and content creators is, of course, about monetising content.
How do I start earning money once I start posting stuff? How do I approach brands? What are the right steps? Here, we will give you a few easy tips on how to get started with monetising content and how you can approach the subject with brands.
Start with barters
If you are a beginner, chances are you are likely to hear the most dreaded word of all — barter. What this means is that a brand will give you their products in return for coverage and there is no money exchange. In the beginning, you will have to start working on a barter basis with most brands until you build up a credible bank of work and followers, which will then encourage brands to pay you.
The advantage of accepting certain barter projects is that you will build content while building your contacts in the industry. The idea is to have, on your feed, a host of brands, from your segment, so that for future reference when brands do their research, they will be able to see your associations.
Actively reach out to brands
Use your network, use the ‘contact me’ option, or use PR agencies to reach out to different brands. Get on a call with them, discuss possibilities, and suggest collaborations. Tell them what you can do for them, how you can add value to the brand. Remember to keep it easy and informal, and never to appear too desperate and pushy. Out of ten calls, you might bag two collaborations. Never be discouraged.
Part barter, part paid
As the name suggests, this is a mix between barters and a commercial fee. After you have built a body of work and followers, you can use your negotiation skills to get a bit of money. It may not be a huge sum, but it is the principle of it — that you are being paid to promote or endorse a particular product. You can negotiate a part barter part paid deal, once you have already established a working rapport with the brands or agencies. For this, you will have to rely on your negotiation skills and constantly suggest it to brands that approach you. Start with small amounts. And gradually grow and build on it.
If you are under the impression that everything on your feed needs to be paid collaborations, then that is the wrong approach. While brand endorsements and collaborations will definitely bring in the moolah, you need to also balance it out with creative, unpaid content, which is referred to as ‘editorial’ content. Here, your audience will enjoy the content that you have curated, which has an unbiased, creative angle. This will also give you more credibility as a content creator. This will also help you have a voice in the industry. Remember these simple words, paid and unpaid content needs to be balanced.
Throw in complimentary coverage
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Let’s face it, everyone loves freebies. Use this philosophy with your partner brands too. Throw in some free coverage now and then. It will make them happy and build goodwill. It will, therefore, push them to work with you in the future. If you have promised, three Insta stories, why not post four or five. Overdelivering content during collaboration is a great tactic. (Don’t go overboard though, as you should not be taken for granted).
Focus on engagement
Make sure that your engagement is meaningful and that you encourage conversations around the brand or product you are showcasing. Respond to comments, start discussions, and have a voice. Eventually, a brand will be tempted to work with you on a paid basis, if they see value in your engagement. Ten comments talking about the product is often worth more than a hundred comments like “beautiful”, “amazing”, “dope”, which do not translate into value for the brand.
Make a media kit
This is a small document in a pdf format, that you need to make so that you can send out to brands and agencies who approach you for collaborations. It needs to be simple and professional and mention basic details like your profile, what you cover and what are your platforms. Don’t forget to mention the demographics of your followers with details like age group, cities, gender, etc. Finally, make a list of all your possible deliverables and the costs for each. Remember, that these rates are ‘card rates’ and are a mere formality. There is always room for you to negotiate with each brand, in every collaboration.
All images: Courtesy Instagram/RiaanGeorge