How to Pitch a Collaboration
Ever wonder how some people on Instagram grow so quickly? Well, it is because they have figured out the fastest and most fun way to grow and that is through collaboration. Collaborating with other brands allows you to increase your following quickly.
In my last podcast episode, I talked all about the five types of collaboration and the four steps on how to collaborate. Now that you have this covered, you may be wondering how to actually pitch the collaboration.
Following my tips on how to pitch a collaboration with another brand will get you the answers you’re hoping for.
What to Do Before You Pitch
1. Lay the foundation.
Whenever you pitch to someone, you don’t want them to be seeing your name for the first time in a dm. Before you ever contact them, start following them and interacting on their stories and posts. Maybe it’s you responding to something fun or funny they posted about. Whatever it may be, you want to be building that relationship with them through their Instagram account.
2. Engage with them on social media.
It’s easiest to remember as: follow, like, comment, dm. Remembering these four steps will help you establish that relationship before you pitch, which will help them give an easier yes to it later on.
3. Analyze if it is a good fit.
These four steps will also help you know if it’s a good fit. You want to make sure this other brand serves the same audience you do, but in a different way. Following them and learning about their audience will help you do that.
It’s key to find the brands that complement your brand, and not compete with it. Finding those brands that complement yours will help you grow yours and their business. Yes! That’s what we want.
How to Pitch
How should I pitch the collaboration and should I send a follow-up email?
After you’ve established that relationship and have done a little research on their brand, you’re ready to send the pitch. I’ve had the most success when I send a dm and then if I don’t hear a response within 24 hours, I send a follow up email.
Sometimes people will have their preference of a dm or an email in their bio, but it’s best to send to both since a dm can end up in a black hole never to be seen.
It’s definitely OK to follow up. Don’t be afraid to do it. Most people want to help and be a part of something bigger than themselves, and a friendly reminder is what will help them be a part of it!
What should my brand collaboration pitch include?
The actual pitch needs to be short and catchy–three paragraphs max. Get straight to the point about what you want and how you two can get there. Also, add the benefits they would get from collaborating. I’ll go more into detail in the next section about what to actually write for the pitch.
It depends on what type of collaboration you are pitching to know what to write in it. My steps in the next section should work for the five different types, but can be modified as you see fit.
You can check out my blog post here about the five types of collaboration.
How to Write a Pitch
OK. Here’s the part you’re probably most interested in.
1. Write the Intro
Be super friendly when introducing yourself and your business. Compliment them on what you’ve seen and liked about their account. What posts did you like and connect with? What do you notice about their engagement with their audience? Use this paragraph to let people know that you are sending a personal message to them, that you already know them and follow them. Brands get a lot of DMs from people trying to spam them. Stand out by showing up and showing that you know who they are and what they’re about.
Whatever it is, give a compliment about what you’ve noticed since following them. This also gives proof that you are there to support them and not just looking for your own gain.
Example: Hey! I’m Michelle with Michelle Gifford Creative. I’ve been following you for a little while now and I love how you highlight a different product each week and explain how that would help a mom and entrepreneur.
2. Describe the collaboration.
Depending on the type of collaboration you’re wanting to do, this is where you will shortly explain what they would do to collaborate with you. For example, if you were doing a giveaway with some other brands and wanted them to be a part of it too then you could list the other brands you’re joined with and what the giveaway would be.
3. Benefits of collaboration.
This is where you want to be super clear and convincing. Help them know what they would gain from this and always make sure they are gaining more than you are from this collaboration. The cool part is that you both are growing your business because you are borrowing one another’s audience and spreading your brand to more of the audience you serve.
4. List of main points.
Since the pitch will most likely be skimmed, you want to have this bullet point list of what they will be agreeing to and what they will get in return. This makes it so it’s clear and quick to understand. When things are easy to understand and grasp right away, it’s easier for them to say yes.
5. Time limit.
Giving a time limit will help them respond to you in a more timely manner. Plus, if you are doing a giveaway then you do actually have a deadline because you have a date set for the event. Whatever type of collaboration it may be, a time limit will help you move forward and know what to expect from them.
6. Call to action.
End with a call to action that sounds super easy to do. Plus, it reminds them to send a response and not just to think about it and then end up ignoring it altogether.
Example: All you have to do is dm me yes to this collaboration and I’ll send you all the information you need.
Above all, be yourself when pitching a collaboration. And be OK if it’s a no. Getting a no is an OK thing. Don’t be afraid of it either. Almost all the people I reach out to say yes to collaborating. This is true with the following I have now and even shortly after I started out with my business.
You can follow me on Instagram @iammichellegifford for more tips and support on growing your business. I’m here for you, biz sister! Let’s do this together.
You can also check out my website here. I have lots of cool products and services available for you and your growing business!
FAQs on Pitching a Collaboration
What is a collaboration?
A collaboration is when you work with one or more brands to grow your business and audience. You provide some type of incentive for another brand, so each of you can benefit from this partnership.
How do you collaborate with another brand?
First, start following them and engaging in their content. Build that relationship and then reach out to them through a dm or email with your plan to collaborate and what they would receive in return.
How much should I offer to the brand in exchange for the collaboration?
It depends on how big of a following the brand has. Make sure you either ask them or do research of your own on the brand to see how much engagement they actually receive from their followers. The brand may also have its own criteria of how much they charge. Again, it depends on what type of collaboration you are doing, you don’t always do it in exchange for money. There are other benefits. (Check out the blog post here about the different types of collaboration.)
How do I find other brands to collaborate with?
Start by searching for certain hashtags or locations to try and find people who serve your same audience but in a different way. Remember, you want to find brands who complement your business, not compete with it. If you’re just starting out, it’s OK to reach out to other brands who are just starting out as well. You can reach out to bigger brands too, you could get a yes from them too!
Love this, Michelle. Thanks for serving us so well – this is extremely helpful!