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Get Sponsors on Instagram: The Ultimate Guide

Thinking about making some money on Instagram? Maybe you’re a model who wants to become a fashion influencer or a photographer who wants to get paid for a cool photo that he took. In any case and with any activity that you do on Instagram, there is a good chance to make money. If you want to know how to get sponsors on Instagram, buckle up, and read this article!

What is a sponsored post on Instagram?

A sponsored post is a type of indirect advertisement on Instagram. Basically, brands ask influencers to publish a specific post or story to introduce their products or services. You may have seen the term “Paid partnership with X” on top of some of the Instagram posts. This is one of the many types of sponsored posts on Instagram.

Why do brands invest in sponsored posts on Instagram?

1- Instagram is a great platform

As Instagram has the highest engagement rate among social media, it is the perfect platform to promote a business. More than 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business account per day. Also, Instagram has many tools that can come handy for promoting brands. These facts give many brands good reasons for investing in this new method of advertising on Instagram. They do this to gain more followers, boost sales, or even introduce a new product or service.

2- It’s a new channel of marketing

Some of the companies don’t like to advertise directly, so they prefer sponsors won’t use “paid partnership” or any hashtags that contain the words ad, ads, or advertisement. For example, say you are a makeup artist, a cosmetic brand will send you a free pack of makeup kit and ask you o become a sponsor by introducing the kit most naturally. You can either make a tutorial post using that kit and mentioning the brand, or simply share a story and say how much you enjoyed using this kit.

This indirect method of sponsorship is highly effective as the followers will not even notice it is an ad. Actually, most influencers agree to promote the brands that are aligned with their activity on Instagram. For example, you expect a cook to promote kitchen utensil sets, but it will surprise you if he or she promotes a brand new lipstick of MAC.

3- Brands can target precise audiences

With a sponsored post that is usually done using influencers, brands can access to a specific type of their audience. For example, if an influencer works as an oversized fashion model, she is an excellent candidate for the new clothing line of Forever21plus!

How do you get sponsors on Instagram?

To receive an offer for sponsorship on Instagram, first, you should be the right candidate. As mentioned above, you can find sponsors regardless of the type of your niche. Why? Because Instagram has more than one billion active monthly users, and you can discover absolutely anything on the platform.

So the first step to take in the journey of getting sponsors on Instagram is building your personal brand.

1- Build your brand

Building your brand on Instagram does not necessarily mean you should sell a product. As a sponsor, it ratter means you have your own theme and unique personality. You must somehow be different from your competitors in the niche. For example, if you are a photographer or traveler, you can post thematic pictures. Here is the famous founder of #followmeto, @muradosmann:

To build your brand, follow these steps:

1.1- Create a beautiful Instagram page

Instagram is all about visuality. Photos and videos are the building blocks of Instagram. The overall look of your feed is the first thing that comes to every visitor’s eye. So, you should put a large proportion of your energy on the appearances of your account.

One of the best approaches that you can take to make your feed look fabulous is by selecting a theme. Based on your interest or the niche, pick a filter or a color pallet, and stick to it. Instagram has a perfect set of inbuilt filters:

If you are a professional editor, you can use tools such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom to edit your images. But you don’t have to be a pro to be able to create eye-catching posts; you can easily design your posts using templates on websites such as Canva.

Preview is another excellent service that gives your feed a great look.

1.2- Pay attention to your bio

Getting your feed looks great is one thing, but another essential part of your profile is the bio. This 150-character limited part of your Instagram must contain the most vital information about you in the most concise way.

In your bio, you can write shortly about your experiences, what you do, other Instagram profiles that you own, interests, website address, or your other social media links. But wait, this is a lot to say and you only have a 150-character space! As you can see, you cannot mention all of these items on your bio, and you have to choose some of them. Moreover, Instagram won’t let you put more than one external link to your bio.

But luckily for you, we know an excellent service that allows you to have an optimized bio with the ability to add unlimited external links. Here it is:

AiGrow Bio Link

AiGrow is an Instagram marketing platform that offers a wide range of tools that help you to grow your account effectively. Bio Link is one of the exceptional tools that AiGrow created for Instagrammers. Instagram bio acts like a vitrine for your profile. Visitors immediately slide their eyes on bio when checking your account. AiGrow understands the importance of Instagram’s bio and is aware of the limitations, and it came up with Bio Link as an excellent solution.

Simply add your shop address, website, and social media button to the Bio Link. Also, using Bio Link, not only can you add unlimited external links to your bio, but also you can add various links to each post. Amazing, right? This feature can come real handy for all Instagrammers, especially those who care about connections on Instagram. To use this practical tool, sign up for AiGrow for free.

Working with AiGrow is a piece of cake. Just add your account(s) to the dashboard and click on “BIO LINK” tab. Then claim your unique URL. This link will be on your Instagram bio, and after you add all the buttons and links you want on your Instagram, it looks like something like this:

As you can see, you can also add a coupon button and collect your followers’ email address. Remember, as someone who wants to get sponsored by brands, it is vital that you put your contact information in the best way on your bio.

1.3- Write great captions

After a visitor – hopefully, a brand manager looking for a potential sponsor – saw your bio and feed, he or she will go through your posts randomly and check your captions. It’s vital that you have engaging captions because captions reveal your tone, your language style, your thoughts, and how you communicate with your followers.

For brands who are looking for a sponsor, the communication skill of the candidate is a priority. After all, the sponsor must introduce the brand’s product and service through her words. You cannot just upload photos with a few emoji as captions and expect brands to come to you offering sponsorship. So, next time you want to publish a post, make sure you put some thought into writing a killer caption. Don’t forget to start your caption with a hook! Here is a good example:

2- Gain more followers and engagement

The next step for you in the journey of finding a sponsor on Instagram is gaining more followers. Although you can get sponsors on Instagram only with 1,000 followers, most brands prefer to sponsor Instagrammers who have at least 5,000 followers. Why? It’s obvious: people will see their sponsored posts on a larger scale.

More followers mean more likes, comments, shares, and, eventually, more exposure on Instagram.  You might be thinking: Instagram started hiding likes, so why should I bother attracting more followers to get more likes at the end?

Well, actually, what you need is engagement. Instagram engagement is the most valuable thing that you have on Instagram. It shows how much you genuinely interact with other users and Instagram experts guess that – yes, it is something of a mystery – it’s determined by the number of likes, comments, and followers that an account has. Even if Instagram hides the likes, it does not affect their importance in calculating the engagement.

2.1- Can I buy followers on Instagram?

You absolutely cannot gain any engagement with fake users or bought likes. That’s why we seriously recommend you to not fall into that trap – although it might seem alluring. What you need are real followers that are willing to follow you because of the content you offer them. A close-knit community where you are the leader and your followers put much trust in you is exactly the thing you need to become a successful influencer.

Additionally, having engaged followers is the most valuable asset if you want to make some money on Instagram. Studies showed that an engaged follower on Instagram worth almost $10 more than an engaged follower on Facebook.

But how to get these loyal and engaged followers? Don’t worry; we’ve got that all figured out for you: AiGrow’s VIP packages.

2.2- AiGrow VIP Package

Here’s come AiGrow again to save the day! AiGrow has several Instagram promotion packages for every taste and budget. If you want to start strong and get those engaged followers, our suggestion is the AiGrow VIP package.

Why? First of all, it gives you a minimum of 500 real and engaged followers per month, regardless of your current account status. As a virtual assistant (specialized in your niche) take over your account, you can be sure that all of these new fans are real people who are genuinely interested in following you.

Secondly, this dedicated assistant will check and use relevant hashtags and geotags to ensure you benefit from your Instagram to its fullest potential. Also, using AiGrow, you can save much time because your assistant will work 30 hours per month exclusively on your account. You can use that precious time to create new posts or making new Instagram strategies.

Finally, when you purchase AiGrow’s VIP package, you can use all the other features such as Bio Link, DM to Email, and Scheduler, which lead us to the next step to how to get sponsors on Instagram.

2.3- Gain local followers

As someone who just started to make money on Instagram, it’s better to focus on gaining local followers. The reason is that local followers have easier access to local brands too. In the following, we will explain why you should start with local businesses and brands. You can use AiGrow and geotags to modify what type of followers you need to attract.

3- Post constantly

As someone who wants to become an influencer and get sponsored by brands, it is necessary to be visible to its followers. You have to understand that being a winner on Instagram requires a lot of energy and patience. Brands need to see that you are an active Instagrammer and post regularly. You may share photos or videos on your feed once or twice per day or use Instagram stories to communicate with your followers.

Not only is it essential how often to post, but it is also essential when to publish posts on Instagram. Sometimes, the majority of your followers live in a country that has a considerable time-difference from your location. Well, you cannot wake up at 2 a.m. just to upload a post or story. Unfortunately, it is not possible to schedule posts on Instagram, but using Instagram manager tools such as AiGrow, it is a cakewalk!

With AiGrow’s scheduler, you can plan feed posts and stories not only for future days but for the next months!

Just design and plan your content and let AiGrow do the rest. If designing a post is an issue for you, you can ask AiGrow designers to create some really cool posts for you!

4- Reach out to brands

Now that you have your feed looks attractive, you optimized your bio, and you have a steady publishing plan, it’s time to reach out to brands. There are several ways that you can try contacting brands. If you get lucky, there’s possible that brands reach out to you and offer a sponsorship, even if you are still a micro-influencer. But let’s ignore that possibility for now and only focus on what you can do.

Here’s what you can do:

4.1- Discover brands on your niche

As a pro-Instagrammer, you should already know some of the best Instagram pages related to your niche. But if you have no idea where to start, that’s ok. We’ll show you how. You can use hashtags to find brands. When you find some of them, go through suggestion pages, you will find similar pages there. Also, you can go to the explore page and tap on the “Shop” to see some of the related pages to your niche.

As you’re just getting started to find sponsors on Instagram, it’s better to focus on the brands that are relatively small (has less than 10K followers). The chances that these small businesses become your sponsor is much higher, as they cannot have the budget to pay macro-influencers.

So, make a list of these brands and then narrow your choices down to the more promising ones. For example, if you are a fashion model, you can choose local boutiques and jewel stores in your city. Write down every detail about these accounts.

4.2- Interact with selected brands

Now that you’ve narrowed down your choices and selected at least 15 brands to focus on, it’s time to show yourself! You need to interact with these brands as much as you can. You must like their posts, leave engaging comments for each post, and even DM them if you have any questions. As mentioned before, these brands are small; so, they can spot an enthusiast fan among their followers.

If you use AiGrow VIP packages, you don’t have to be worried about this step. Your virtual assistant can take care of these interactions instead of you! Positive interaction with brans can lead your relationship to a possible sponsorship. However, you cannot just sit and hope that they notice you one day. That’s why it’s vital to take the next step.

4.3- Pitch paid sponsorship to brands

This might seem a little bit odd for you at first, but you have to understand that sending pitch paid sponsorships to brands is totally ok. Actually, many influencers – even macro-influencers – pitch to well-known brands to have a paid partnership with them.

Moreover, you don’t have anything that holds you back from doing it! If you take the previous steps that we share with you, you already have a beautiful and optimized Instagram account with engaging followers. So, how to get sponsors on Instagram using pitch? Well, you can first contact these brands via direct message or email. You might even want to try LinkedIn and influencer marketplaces.

Now you have to write a formal text, explaining these:

  •       Who you are
  •       Why you are contacting the brand
  •       What niche you work in and your experiences
  •       Information about your followers, average likes and comments, and your overall engagement rate
  •       Explain how you can help the brand if you get sponsored by them
  •       Your contact information like your Instagram username, email, and phone number

Writing a text like this might take some time, but the more you work on this, the more your chance to get sponsored on Instagram. Don’t copy and paste a text for all the brands. Make sure you modify them for each brand. Here is an email template for a pitch to brands that might give you some ideas.

Pitch template

Hi [name],

My name is [name], and I run the Instagram account [@username]. My account focuses on [niche], based on my [your experience]. The people who follow me tend to be [young/student/gym freak], which seems like a good match for the audience your brand targets with marketing. I currently have [x] followers, and an [x%] engagement rate on my posts, and [mention any related awards/achievements if you have any].

I think there’s an opportunity for us to benefit from each other, and I’d like to propose a partnership. Here are my initial thoughts on how that might look:

[# of posts, payment terms, timeline, etc.]

Would this be something of interest for [brand]?

Thanks for your consideration!

[your name]

You can also give them some creative ideas about their page and how they can promote their brand. Little businesses live to hear fresh and interesting ideas.

4.4- Know your worth

When contacting a brand, it is essential to know your worth and how much you want to charge them. If you don’t negotiate over money or show them that you have no idea about your worth, it shows that you are an amateur and have zero experience. Well, that’s not good! But how can you determine your worth as a sponsor?

Normally, for every 1,000 followers, influencers charge $10. However, micro-influencers charge between $200-$400 for each post and more if it’s a package of feed posts and stories. Even as a new influencer, you need to understand that the process of knowing a brand, designing and preparing a post, editing it, and scheduling it might take you tremendous time. And we all know that time is gold! So, do not underestimate yourself just because you’re an amateur.

Another great way for you as a new influencer to try is to receive products or services instead of cash. For example, you can sponsor a beauty salon and get your nails done for free and, in return, publish stories and posts during the process. It’s both fun and also great for your portfolio!

5- Attract brands’ attention

While you send pitches to your selected brands, you can attract other brands’ attention, even the worldwide brands. And yes, it is possible to get sponsorship from a major brand with only 2,500 followers! Surely you know the leading brands in your niche. For a fashion influencer, it’s a dream to get sponsored by Gucci, Dior, or Channel. But you also aware that you have to compete with Natalie Portman!

But believe it or not, many major brands such as Coca Cola, Google, GoPro, Puma, Forever 21, Lego, Samsung, and Nike heavily invest in micro-influencer marketing.

Why major brands invest in micro-influencers?

You may wonder why these celeb brands bother finding micro-influencers with such low figures that they have as followers. Well, they have some good reasons. First of all, studies show that micro-influencers has higher engagement compared to macro-influencers and even mega-influencers.

Moreover, major brands want to show their audience that they care about their customers. So they try to show this by constantly sharing this type of user-generated content.

Here are some examples:

Coca Cola is one of the leading brands that use micro-influencer marketing:

How these micro-influencers get sponsored by major brands? They either tag the major brands on their feed posts or using the brands’ specific hashtags, or even participate in Instagram challenges run by these brands.

5.1- Tag brands on your post

This is one of the most common ways of getting sponsored by major brands, even fashion brands. Here is an example of a post by micro-influencer @lifeoflanie that got sponsored by @forever21 only by mentioning the fashion account in her post.

5.2- Take part in challenges

Many worldwide brands such as GoPro and Nike run challenges regularly and share the best content on their Instagram page. @nike recently started a challenge called #livingroomcup, which the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo introduced. In this challenge, you should do core crushers in 45 seconds and try to beat Cristiano’s record.

Cristiano asks you to use the hashtag #livingroomcup so that he can see you. And look, @coachbooshy with only 6k followers get a sponsored post offer by Nike!

And that’s how you get sponsored by Nike!

So you got sponsored on Instagram for the first time, now what?

If you do all the mentioned tips about how to get sponsored on Instagram, the chances are very high that you find a sponsor. Hopefully, after a while, you find a brand to match and gain more experience in being a sponsor and become an official micro-influencer, congratulations!

You might be wondering what steps you need to take now? Well, we recommend expanding the scope and think even bigger. Now that you have influencer job experience, you can make a media kit!

Build a media kit

A media kit is like a resume for influencers. It’s a 2-3 page document that lists all of your experiences in the niche. For example, if you are a fitness model, after introducing yourself, you can talk about all of your modeling experiences and the path you take to become a model. Then, add a list of your previously sponsored posts or even featured posts.

Finally, like giving pitch that we talked about, tell the brands about the benefits of working with you. You may even include a package; for example, 3 feed post + 5 stories worth $1000.

Sign up for an influencer marketplace

Another way to find to get sponsored by a brand is to join influencer marketplaces. There are many websites and applications that match brands and influencers. Working with these tools is simple; you create a profile on their platform and write a really cool bio that will catch the band’s eye. If the brand finds your profile and Instagram page interesting enough, they will send you a sponsorship offer.

A great example of this type of website and application is Ainfluencer. With Ainfluencer, you can easily match up with brands of all sizes and start a business with them.

Became an affiliate

Some brands look for a long relationship with their influencers. They might offer you to participate in their affiliate marketing. It works this way: in addition to regular sponsorship, you put a trackable link of that brand’s shop on your Instagram bio. The rule is simple; for each click from your page that leads the potential customers to the website, you get a commission. There are networks such as AWIN, C J Affiliate, and NichVendor that welcome influencer.

One of the drawbacks of the affiliate marketing on Instagram is that you can only put one link on your bio. But if you remember, AiGrow has a unique feature called BIO LINK. You can become an affiliate and add as many promotional links as you want to your bio.

Final words on how to get sponsors on Instagram

Getting sponsored on Instagram is no easy task. It requires a lot of energy and persistence from you. It might be a time-consuming process, especially if you absolutely have no experience before. But we assure you that if you take the steps that we mentioned carefully, you will find a sponsor soon.