When I talk about influencer marketing to up-and-coming influencers, one of the most common questions they have is how to get paid. Of course, if you’re using the platform to build your personal brand you definitely want to find ways to monetize it. There are a ton of tactics to this (a full guide to come later!), but here’s one that’s an easy proactive step you can take toward starting to make a paycheck for creating beautiful and engaging content.
While my first brand deals came directly from a brand through a relationship or strategic way of pitching myself, one of the most streamlined ways to start getting paid deals is joining influencer marketing campaign platforms.
These types of platforms work with brands to manage influencer campaigns through the people who are signed up on their network. Translation: you - the content creator - signs up and waits to be a “fit” for a campaign and then works with the platform to create, deliver, publish and report on a partnership. Many of them are also super easy processes from being briefed (told what you need to do) through payment in a jiffy! These are best fit for influencers with under 200,000 followers, as many times after that size you can work with an agent to get you high-paying gigs at the same speed.
There are many brands that I love from both using as an influencer and using as a brand person, but I’ve rounded up a few favorites based on what I consider their specialty.
Lifestyle Voices: Collectively
If your specialty is in the general lifestyle space - from shopping to apps and home tips - then this one is for you. Collectively wins for me in their recruitment through reporting process. You get opt-in surveys to share more information when you’re flagged as a potential fit for a campaign. Later, if you are selected, you get all the information you need clear and upfront. Their brands have mid to large-sized budgets, so it’s always fair compensation. And if something came in under your rate, you can negotiate with a ~real person~ on the other side of the screen. Finally, once you’re actually working with them they send very in-depth briefs that inspire you to create high-performing content for your partners.
The Nano: Obviously Social
This platform basically invented the nano influencer - check out this New York Times article about them - which is a content creator that sits in the 1,000 to 10,000 follower range. They have a wide range of major, major brands (I have worked with Google multiple times) that are looking to tap smaller influencers mostly in exchange for product and their reward system: virtual corgis! The more of these you collect, you have opportunities to earn gifts and cash from the platform. They have a super clear briefing process and a dedicated project manager to help you along the way. As of late, they’ve been paying influencers cash based on program and audience size as well as giving opportunities to earn money selling your image rights for a brand to reuse.
Fashionista, and Some: InfluenceHER Collective
Ever read Her Campus? This is their Gen Z influencer platform. Now, Gen Y (me!) is also always welcome, though some campaigns may require you to share audience insights to see if you have a Gen Z following if the campaign requires it. Many of the brands sit in the fashion & lifestyle space, though there are also some really cool campaigns with major conferences and lifestyle brands — there was a New York Times collaboration recently! They also have one of the best communities for influencers to connect with other creators and learn tools to growing their influence and digital presence. Seriously, it’s like an influencer encyclopedia. They also pay very, very fair for the deliverables asked.
Rising Industry Expert: Fohr
If you have yet to watch A Drink with James on YouTube, you’re seriously missing out! Each week, James Nord, founder and CEO of Fohr.co, shares his industry insight by answering up to 3 user-generated questions. Beyond that, this platform was one of the first to launch a “verified following” system called Fohr Card so that you can prove to brands and fans that you had an authentic following (no bots, etc.). While the card itself was eliminated due to Instagram API changes, they have other systems to show demographics and give you that sought after badge. Many major brands - have seen mostly fashion and beauty as of late - are using Fohr because of their public industry expertise. They are also notorious for paying at your rate, no questions asked, so if you’re a bigger influencer that still wants to take advantage of these platforms then this one is great for you. Even if you’re not getting brand deals through them, it would be wise to follow along to sharpen your influencer marketing knowledge.
Latina Jefa: #WeAllGrow
Formerly Latina Bloggers Connect, this is a network made for and by Latinas to connect with other creators, brands, and find resources to grow. Beyond straightforward brand deals, this platform also provides opportunities for influencers to attend and sit on panels, join conferences and build a community that inspires. When a brand deal comes your way, they’re also streamlined in how you work with them as they have a dedicated team for these types of partnerships. If you’re latinx and want to grow your influence, this is a place to go.
Others you don’t want to miss:
Hashtag Paid: One of the best user experiences during a campaign
Takumi: Via an app, really intuitive and great brands available
Activate: Formerly Bloglovin’ and now with a really neat platform to search brand deals
Wellness Amplified: Really niche for health, wellness, fitness and nutrition, major brands love using
Octoly: Product sampling heavy, really great for beauty enthusiasts who like to try and review products
Reward Style: For style bloggers, you have to be on this one! Not just liketkit, but their influencer network for brand deals
Whalar: One of the first influencer marketing agencies, now great for bigger lifestyle bloggers
Ahalogy: If you love to shop, this one specializes in retailer-forward campaigns
Clever: An easy-to-use platform, works with major brands including Facebook
Influenster: The OG product sampling platform. Great if you just want to try new products in the beauty and wellness space in exchange for a review!
Don’t be discouraged if it takes some time for you to get your first brand deal through one of these platforms. Many times brands set specific guidelines that rule out otherwise great people so it’s not you, it’s us. Others also may have higher requirements for approval (follower count, category, engagement rates, etc.), so revisit them at a later time if you’re not quite there, yet.
A great way to always stay on their radar for campaigns is to make sure you connect with them on social, engage and be a great partner when you’re signed for a campaign!
Let me know in the comments if there are any other platforms you also liked working with!