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How to Collaborate with Brands + FREE Media Kit Template

How to Collaborate with Brands + FREE Media Kit Template

Having a media kit is essential for any creative, but do you know what you should include? Whether you’re a content creator, photographer, blogger, Youtuber or influencer working in the digital space, you will no doubt be contacted by brands that want to work with you. Chances are you may be wondering how to collaborate with brands on Instagram even if they aren’t reaching out to you.

But what’s a media kit? Why is it important? How do I make mine stand out? How do I send my media kit to brands? What do I include in my initial pitch to brands? These are just a few of the questions I get asked weekly through DM on Instagram.

Don’t miss the rest of my tips and tricks series including my guide to getting the perfect Instagram picture and writing meaningful Instagram captions, my tips for growing a community on Instagram, and my tips for growing your blog and email list.

Lisa Homsy in Paris works with brands on Instagram like Away luggage
Paid Partnership with Away luggage

What is a Media Kit?

Over the past few years, media kits have become somewhat of my specialty. I’ve even hosted workshops in Tulum and Bali focusing on building a media kit to reflect your brand and help you land brand deals.

No matter the size of your online presence, a media kit is an essential marketing tool for any Influencer. It’s like a portfolio of your work. A media kit tells a brand who you are and what you represent, like a CV. And just like a CV, you want to make it stand out.

Lisa Homsy working with F1 racing on an Instagram brand collaboration at Montreal Grand Prix
Collaboration with @f1 @f1gpcanada for the Montreal Grand Prix

What goes in a Media Kit? (+ Get My FREE Media Kit Template!)

Your media kit should be both creative and informative. Consider the fact that brands are being sent media kits from creators daily. You want to outshine the others in the pile, so don’t be shy. This is your time to flaunt it!

Your media kit should always include:

A cover page: Make sure to have a great photo to show off your work and give your name or your business/blog name

An about me: Tell people who you are and give them reasons to want to work with you

Your social stats: Play up your best stats and social channels and let brands know about your audience

What you’re willing to offer: This is your best chance to convince brands to work with you. Even if you don’t have great social stats think about other things you can offer a brand like a blog post for their website, a review, photos/videos for their social channels, etc.

Who you’ve worked with before: This one is obviously tough if it is your first brand collaboration, but think about pages that have shared your work, websites you have guest posted on, etc. Once you start working with brands, make sure to update your media kit with those brands.

Lisa Homsy on the beach at W Hotel in Dubai for the Wake Up Call Music Festival after learning how to collaborate with brands on Instagram
Paid Partnership with W hotels for Wake Up Call Music Festival

Still confused? Don’t worry – I’m giving you my FREE Media Kit Template. Once you subscribe below, you will get a link to my template in Canva. If you don’t have a Canva account, it is completely free to sign up and use.

My template dives deeper into how to find everything you need to make your media kit stand out. I included step by step directions to help you fill it in and be ready to collaborate with brands.

Subscribe below to unlock my FREE Media Kit template for Canva!

Lisa Homsy working with Away luggage on a brand collaboration on Instagram
Paid Partnership with Away luggage

What’s the difference between a media kit and a rate card?

A media kit focuses on key statistics about your brand. A rate card is a short document that typically includes details about the rate for each service mentioned in your media kit. You can even include potential packages or bundle options on a rate card.

Determining your rates is simple once you understand your influence. Know the value of your work, understand your reach and engagement and what services you can offer a brand.

Don’t undervalue yourself though. That just hurts everyone in the industry. I know it is hard to know what prices to charge at first, but keep in mind how much your time is worth, how much advertising to your audience is worth, and how much value you are able to provide to a brand with what you offer them.

Lisa Homsy in a citrus bath in the Dominican Republic after using her free media kit template to get a brand collaboration
Paid Partnership with Barcelo Stories

When do you discuss pricing?

It is up to you how you choose to collaborate with brands. Some creators choose to send rates right away. This allows you to determine right away if they have a budget to collaborate.

Personally, I like to present a brand with my media kit and rates at different times. From experience, brands can sometimes get scared off by a number. Woo them with your media kit so they come back saying they HAVE to work with you!

Lastly, be prepared to negotiate your rates. Brands might not always be working with a large budget. Determine your base rate (the lowest you could go without compromising your self worth), and settle on a price both brand and you, the creator, determine to be fair.

Lisa Homsy in a rose bath with Pantene products for an Instagram brand collaboration
Paid Partnership with Pantene

How to Collaborate with Brands

I get asked all the time how to collaborate with brands on Instagram. If you have an audience on Instagram, your blog, or a different social channel, you can reach out to brands to see if they want to work with you.

Emailing for a Brand Collaboration

First of all, NEVER EMAIL BLAST! Rather than hitting “send all”, it’s best to do your research before sending out your media kit. If there is a brand you really want to work with, do your research to find the proper address and personalize your email. This takes a little longer, but I promise it’s worth it.

I have a standard email template I’ve created that I use when reaching out to a brand or hotel. Then I’ll swap out the contact name, the brand name and add in a little personalized message about what I love about them or why I want to work with that brand/ hotel.

Lisa Homsy in a La Mamounia spa in Morocco working with a tourism board as an influencer
Partnership with the Tourism Board of Morocco

Networking to Work with Brands

Influencer Platforms

One of the easiest ways to start collaborating with brands is to join Influencer platforms. Platforms like Fohr, Collectively, and Reward Style, just to name a few, help to connect brands with influencers and can help you land some amazing brand deals.

Fohr and The Cirql have great insights (much better than Instagram in my opinion), so I like to look to those when mentioning your top countries in my media kit.

Use Instagram analytics in your media kit to pitch brands for collaborations
Instagram Analytics
Circl insights for Instagram which should be included in your media kit for brand collaborations
Circl Analytics

While there are lots of influencer platforms out there, know that not every influencer platform will be a good fit for you. Many only offer exchanges and no payments. Others focus more in certain niches. If you are not in that niche, there will be less opportunities for you.

If you are friends with others in your niche, see which influencer platforms they have tried. Which ones have they tried? What did they like or not like about them? Do a little research before just signing up for a bunch of them at once to see which ones are a good fit for you.

Nike brand collaboration on Instagram with Reward Style and Lisa Homsy
Paid Partnership with Nike through Reward Style

Get on a PR Mailing List

Since I focus on travel, I never really posted from home. Because of that, I would never get invited to events in my city. Finally, I realized it was because brands didn’t even know I was Canadian. Introducing myself to both local and international agencies has allowed me to have more brand partnerships.

Lisa Homsy on the beach in the Dominican Republic with Sephora on a brand collaboration
Paid Partnership with Sephora through Collectively

Research PR agencies that represent the brands you love and introduce yourself. This is a great way to connect and get your name on their media lists for events and packages.

Lisa Homsy at Cirque du Soleil in Montreal Canada
Paid Partnership with Cirque du Soleil after making myself known in my local market

Find your tribe

Network with other creators within your niche. They will become your best friends. Seriously, I have met some of my best friends on this platform! Whoever said not to trust strangers on the internet didn’t know what they were missing! Just kidding – haha.

Most people working in the modern 9-5 world will not understand you spending all your time on social media. A lot of friends still don’t understand how I can be making 5 figures from something like Instagram. That’s why finding your tribe will become essential to your growth and your sanity!

Lisa Homsy, Officially Quigley, Mel Vandersluis, Elona, and Globetrotting Gingertravel in Hawaii
Just some of my incredible besties I’ve met online
@officiallyquigley, @mvandersluis, @elona, @globetrotting_gingertravel

Plus you can bounce things off of them. What would they charge for what this brand is requesting? Which influencer platforms do they love? And when you’re having a bad day or something exciting happens, it’s always nice to have friends who understand.

In Fiji on a press trip with Cara Jourdan, London Ellis, Jamien Kidd, Lisa Homsy, and Maya Gypsy
When Instagram brings together an American, European, Guatemalan and two Canadians @carajourdan, @london_ellis, @jamienkidd, @maya_gypsy

What Now?

So what now? You’ve got all these tips, but where do you go from here? If you haven’t even started yet, start NOW! You’ll only regret waiting later.

Download your free media kit template and start making it your own!

Remember there is no right or wrong way to design it either. Take mine and make it your own. Make it vertical, horizontal, however you like as long as the information is there. This is your chance to really show your personality and your style right from the start.

If you’re interested in more Instagram tips, make sure to check out my post about writing Instagram captions and pushing your creative boundaries and my tips for growing a community on Instagram. I’m also sharing my best tips for growing your blog and email list as a part of this series.

I’d love to hear from you if this was helpful! And please let me know what else you’d love to learn from me!

xx Lisa

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If you want to work with brands and do brand collaborations, this is a must read! Learn how to pitch brands and get a FREE media kit template! Get the answer to how to make money on Instagram or from your blog by working with brands here. #influencer #blogger #instagram | blogging for money | how to be an Instagram influencer | how to work with brands on Instagram | how to work with brands as a blogger | media kit template free | media kit template layout | media kit template Instagram

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