IF you’ve ever wondered how to get free stuff on instagram, I have great news for you. What if I told you all you have to do is…ask? Here’s how I do it.
If you have an instagram, most likely you follow big influencers. These influencers create work by promoting brands (who most definitely pay them) on their instagram. I’m by no means an influencer of a large nature. In fact, one might not even consider me a micro-influencer. This doesn’t matter.
If you have around 1,000 or more followers and post pretty pictures you take on your own, then congrats, you can do this experiment too.
Start by tapping on your first story of the day. You’ll soon be targeted by an ad. This usually makes sense to message them, as they creepily have been targeted to your online interests. If you like the brand, tap on their instagram and send a DM. The direct message should sound something like this:
Hello _______, I admire your brand and would like to trade you content in exchange for your product. Here’s are my channels for reference: (insert blog, youtube, whatever else shows your personality. If you've worked with other brands in the past, @ them in a list to show a lil credibility) Let me know if this is something that could benefit you, as I'd love to make this collaboration come true!
Pretty soon you’ll get a response from someone asking you to please email this to their team. Once you get that email, send something like this:
Hello, I was given this email by a member of your company on Instagram. I admire your brand and would like to trade you content in exchange for your product. Here’s my link: www.instagram.com/meggle Let me know if this is something that could benefit you, as I'd love to make this collaboration come true!
Cute right? That’s really it! You’ll get denied, you’ll get acceptance. Regardless of a green-light or not, it’s really helped boost profile views and helps with your engagement (a cocktail of people in your dm’s, likes, comments on your posts). Some brands will even give you a follow, but it’s certainly not required. Oftentimes, you can make your way onto a company’s permanent PR list and the goodies become non-stop (let’s just say I won’t ever have to buy kombucha or panties ever again).
A realistic downside to this is sometimes the brand will ask A LOT of you in your ig posts. This has become excessive at points because in the beginning of my experiment, expectations were not strongly communicated. By expectations I mean:
• when to post
• caption content (hashtags to use, @’s)
• what to wear, if any restrictions
• location to shoot
• time of day to shoot
• instagram story or post to feed
Here’s what I’ve concluded: a post to your feed deserves *some* sort of payment the further you get into this method. But, until your engagement is A++) Even though most of the ig audience is checking stories, your feed is your portfolio. It’s what get’s your follower’s jazzed. It’s what creates a fan! Granted, you can always save out a story as a highlight, but it’s more work to tap through 100 times than to scroll with no effort.
Make it very clear from the get-go what you are going to deliver. If the brand has deadlines and contracts, make sure to add those dates to your calendar as a reminder (I’ve definitely forgotten before).
Brand partnerships are a neat way to experiment with your content and receive cool products at no charge, but it’s also a job. In order to do a good job, you have to care. If Instagram is something you have fun with, like I do, try and see where this takes you. It’s turned me on to so many cool communities and has inspired me to create every day. I’d love to know if this works for you, because it’s definitely changed my life for the better.
Let me know what your experiment was like @meggle on instagram : )