How to make money with brand collaborations

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& Lyss!

Maine-based freelance content creators, filmmakers, and drone pilots. When we're not out shooting, catch us riding Onewheels, camping, beekeeping, doing some kind of DIY project, or cooking a tasty meal!

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Hey there! Are you looking for ways to make more money from brand collaborations? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Let us walk you through ten simple steps that can help you achieve this goal.

First things first, create a pitching system that works specifically for you. Your pitching system is a set of procedures and actionable steps that’ll help you check off your goals. We spend about 1 day a week doing outreach. You’ll want to have your media kit, website, and portfolio ready to go before you pitch.

Staying organized is really important when reaching out, as it’s really embarrassing to email the potential client twice or even get the brands mixed out. (We’ve been there!) It’s good to keep track of where you are at with the brand as once you start reaching out to hundreds of companies, you’ll start to get lost if you’re not organized. Are you waiting for a response? Is it time for a follow-up? Or has the brand responded and are you in the negotiation phase? Have they hired you and do you need to now create the content? Do you need to deliver the content or send an invoice? Create a spreadsheet or a workflow on a project management software like Asana or Trello. We personally use Asana as our “to-do” list and use Google Sheets to keep track of our outreach.

Unpaid brand collaborations can be a great way to build your portfolio and gain experience! However, if you want to start making more money and turn this from a side hustle into a full-time income, it’s important to know when to stop accepting unpaid projects. If your portfolio is built out, then you’re ready to start charging. Your time, expertise, and energy are valuable – so don’t undervalue yourself. Sometimes we like to do an unpaid collaboration if there’s an item we really want, but don’t want to buy it. For example, if we want an expensive sauna, then we would still do an “unpaid collaboration” as sometimes we frankly just want to save money, so instead of buying an item, we will try to get the product for free in exchange for some content. This is totally up to you how far you want to take this, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to keep the “barter card” in your back pocket if you’re going to buy an expensive product. You will just want to make sure that the exchange is equal.

Long-term brand partnerships can be lucrative in building your content creation business. If you’ve worked with a brand once and you enjoyed it, try pitching a monthly retainer to them. This is a great way to grow a relationship with the brand, make consistent income, and provide more value.

If you really love a specific product or brand, sign up to be an affiliate! Since you are already creating content for them, it makes it naturally easy to promote them on your social media. This allows you to create passive income, especially if you have a blog/website where your affiliate codes can live. Affiliate marketing is a great addition to growing your content creation business.

Stand out by pitching specific, creative ideas! Brands get emails daily from creators, so don’t be scared to share a specific idea you may have. Are you going on a road trip or vacationing in a beautiful location? Tell them where you’re going! Get them excited and create a visual that will make your offer irresistible. Share a mood board, photos, or video concepts. Taking this extra step will help you stand out from the crowd. It also shows how serious and committed you are to working with them.

Network network network! Relationships are your greatest asset. If you’re having trouble landing clients by yourself, join a PR agency or use an influencer marketing platform to make your life easier.

We started off working solely with brands, but over the years have expanded into different niches. We know some creatives preach to pick “one niche,” but we have personally found success in being multidisciplinary content creators. We create content for brands, real estate, construction companies, tourism boards, weddings, events, and more. If you want to expand your income, you’re going to have to expand your network.


The fortune is in the follow-up. If you haven’t heard back, send a follow-up email! Brands receive hundreds of emails a day and it can be easy for your email to get lost. You want to always follow up until you get a response, so you’re constantly pushing your email to the top of their inbox. Following up is about being proactive and showing that you care. We’ve seen it time and time again in our own business. The more we follow up with our leads, the more sales we make. So, if you want to increase your chances of success in business, remember that fortune truly is in the follow-up. Be proactive, be consistent, and always be there for your leads.

We fully believe that the opportunity to make a full-time income from creating content is possible, as we’ve been doing it for 7 years now. The question is: are you going to believe in yourself? Setting up a system and getting organized is a great first actionable step. Once you have a clear plan, don’t be afraid to reach out and pitch yourself. Be intentional and work smarter.

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