In this issue, I’ll show you how working with the brands you already use can grow your revenue and take you to the next income level.
After closing well over six figures in brand deals for my bootstrapped marketing projects around virtual summits, I boiled down a framework that works in other areas, too.
And I’m finally ready to bring it to the masses.
Unfortunately, many creators or solopreneurs think their audience isn’t big enough to work with brands.
Or they insist on being independent of sponsors, thinking that a brand deal would ruin their transparency and would limit what they can say.
There are ways around all this, and I’m showing you the path today.
Working with brands gives you influence, revenue, and reach
You like to build stuff.
Writing, coding, designing… those are your core competencies, and if I could, I would write content and code fun stuff for WordPress or smart home automations all day.
But we need to keep the lights on. That is why sales and marketing are critical skills you need to either learn or delegate.
Here are four reasons I believe that working with brands can be the growth catalyst you’ve been waiting for:
- You gain immediate authority by working with brands your audience will recognize
- You can negotiate deals and discounts your audience benefits from
- You build a new revenue stream and relationships with influential companies
- You can structure the partnership around money, exposure, or both
What's cool is that you don't need to compromise on your values nor need to have a huge following to leverage this strategy.
Step 1: Understand that working with brands does NOT impact what you say or how you say it.
If anything, working with a brand should amplify what you’re already doing. They should not just tolerate your personality but let you fully tap into it, as your personality is what builds your audience.
Brands are looking for any of these four things from my experience:
- Brand awareness
- Direct conversions
- Market insights
- Authority and positioning
As a creator or solopreneur, you have people following you. Even with just 1,000 followers on your biggest platform, you can still work with brands because you can deliver any of these four values.
The point is not to always give a brand the biggest reach possible. They want to reach the RIGHT people.
If you’re using specific tools for your SaaS, newsletter, podcast, or virtual events, you can showcase those brands to your audience and share why you love them.
Since you’re likely a nano-influencer (below 10k followers) or micro-influencer (below 50k followers), you can engage with your audience on a more personal level than the big players could.
That personal engagement is what brands cannot do - and why they’re actively looking to support creators and solopreneurs.
Step 2: Identify how you could position the brand in front of your audience.
You’re already building an audience to promote your own products or services.
We’re creating content because we believe it will grow our business and let us earn more revenue.
Most creators don’t realize they’re sitting on a revenue stream if they'd just position the brands they work with in front of their audience.
While conversing with your followers, you likely recommend tools, platforms, or services to them. Hopefully, you’re giving them an affiliate link.
Do you truly believe that brand is relevant and helpful for your followers for any affiliate link you give out? Keep reading if you nodded…
You could also approach the brand for sponsorship or collaboration on branded content.
For example, you could launch a public case study where you’re using their platform and get paid to run that project.
Or you could pitch them to book an ad slot on your podcast or in your email newsletter.
Think about where your audience is. On those platforms, you could weave brands into your content. And get paid to do so.
Instead of just dropping affiliate links in your content, you'd work with the brand directly and get paid to mention them.
Don’t think that your audience is too small.
Brands want to specifically work with nano-influencers (<10k followers) and micro-influencers (<50k followers) because those have engaged audiences.
The size doesn’t matter. The quality does.
Step 3: Stay yourself
To advertise brands in your content, you do NOT have to change your tone of voice or sugarcoat everything to make the brand look good.
It’s quite the opposite.
Brands want to work with content creators who stay true to themselves and let their personalities shine through in their content.
You simply keep writing the blog posts and email newsletters you’d write anyways - and position the brand in that content. That’d be called a sponsored post or sponsored email.
Statistics show that brands will invest more and more money in this type of marketing - and I, for one, want a part of that pie.
I’ve always been a big fan of sharing what I do in business and shining a light on the lessons I’m learning.
I am currently working on a sponsorship package for this newsletter.
It won’t change how I write those emails. Nor will I start pitching random or irrelevant brands to you.
The newsletter will stay focused on sharing a strategy that works to grow your audience and revenue as a solopreneur or content creator.
But the sponsorship will open a new revenue stream for my business, and it will be four figures per month even with just my tiny list of just ~4200 subscribers.
What would four figures of additional revenue do to your business?
Would it be worth considering taking sponsorships for the content you create anyways?
Let me know. I would LOVE to hear your opinion!