How to get paid collaborations as a nano/ micro influencer with less than 5K followers on Instagram
Everyone (or at least a lot of people) want to become an influencer nowadays. It looks so fun to get free stuff all the time and paid for going to a coffee shop and to take cute pictures all day long. Behind all this is a gigantic industry. Brands switch more and more to micro influencers with a small but very active and real following. This is your chance to hop on the trend and earn some extra money!
First of all, it's important to define what a nano and micro influencer is. There is actually a big difference between those too and you should know in which category your account is in.
A nano influencer has between 1K-10K followers whereas a micro influencer has between 10K-50K followers. Sounds like a lot, right? But don't worry I will teach you some tips that helped me get gifted as well as paid collaborations with only 2K followers on my new Instagram account.
Tip #1 - Join these influencer websites
You can get paid for your content and find upcoming brand deals on specific influencer websites. Companies upload their campaigns and you can apply to them through the platform. You also get paid through them and receive the products to create the content. Here are my favourite websites (oh and they are all for free so don't worry): IZEA (you can submit your rate for every campaign and only search for paid options), Octoly (they only have gifted campaigns), Brandbassador (gifted campaigns), Aspire (paid campaigns available), Dovetale and many more.
Tip #2 - Pitch emails to brands
A true game changer was when I created an email template and started reaching out to brands myself. Most of my money came from those collaborations. I usually send out the same email and just change the brand name every time. I also linked my social media accounts and told them a bit about my account and myself in the email. In the last 2 months I earned around $1,530 just by pitching to brands.
P.S. Please let me know in the comments if you want my email pitch template!
"Don't wait for the brand to reach out to you. Take matters into your own hands!" – Katrin Eisenmann
Tip #3 - Slide in their DM's!
I also send DM's to brands I want to work with. Here's what I send every time: "Hi! Is your brand interested in collaborating? Best, XY". Short and sweet. Usually their social media manager gives me a better email address to an actual team member or we negotiate in the chat. I recommend switching to email though so you seem more professional and also to keep everything in one spot. Otherwise you may miss deadlines or other important information if you have multiple conversations on different platforms with one brand.
Tip #4 - Earn money through badges in life videos
You can earn money directly from your audience when you share real-time videos with Instagram’s Live feature. As you showcase your talents, products and so on, viewers can buy badges, which are essentially tips, to show support. Badges cost $0.99, $1.99 or $4.99. You’ll see heart symbols next to comments from people who’ve purchased them.
Pro tip: Promote your upcoming Live video sessions through posts or stories to get the word out beforehand. Then, try using the Q&A feature or give shoutouts to commenters while you’re broadcasting to boost engagement — and hopefully, badges.
Tip #5 - Join the Pinterest Creator Rewards Program
I already shared a blog article on "How to join the Pinterest Creator Rewards Program (2022)". You only need 250 followers and check a few more boxes and can earn up to $6K a month as a micro or nano influencer!
Last but not least...
I don't like it when agencies tell you you can't earn money with a small following. This absolutely not true. I created a new Instagram account around 6 months ago and started to get paid collaborations through my tips within 2 weeks. It is super easy to get a bunch of free products but more difficult to earn money (and I am not talking about $50/ post like some brands try to sell you). ALWAYS NEGOTIATE!
I always talk to other creator friends and most of the time I get more product value and more money from the exact same campaign and brand just by negotiating better and longer. This makes a huge difference trust me. If you want to learn how I negotiate with brands and what contracts I use for campaigns let me know if the comments!