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  • Writer's pictureReed Morales

How to Win Sponsorships on Instagram

Influencer marketing has become a booming industry, with Instagram at the forefront. In fact, according to one influencer marketing report, the industry is set to grow to approximately $9.7 billion in 2020. The report also notes that 90% of all influencer campaigns include Instagram in their strategy. Needless to say, there is major potential for influencers to make big money on Instagram.

If your goal is to become a successful influencer, you need to learn how to win sponsorships on Instagram. Sponsorships are one of the most lucrative sources of income for influencers, but brand sponsorships don’t just fall into your lap. Here are 7 steps you should take if you want to attract brands and secure sponsorships on Instagram:

Build Your Brand

Influencers who have successfully built a brand within a well-defined niche are more likely to win sponsorships on Instagram. Finding a niche such as food, fashion, action sports, fitness, or beauty, is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough to attract big brands. First, you’ll need to establish an identifiable and dependable brand of your own. Branding includes everything from your messaging and personality, to the way you style and filter your photos. The more consistent your messaging and style are, the more brands will want to work with you.

Grow a Loyal Fan Base

When it comes to securing sponsorships on Instagram, remember that the quality of followers is more important than quantity. For example, a following of 500,000 isn’t worth much if your engagement rate is next to nothing.

To score brand deals and grow your business as an influencer, you need fans, not followers. Fans not only engage with your content and share it with their friends, but they also trust your opinion and are more likely to make purchases based on your recommendations. A devoted fan base is what companies are looking for when choosing the right influencer for their brand.

To turn followers into loyal fans, you need to post consistently, stay on brand, engage, and then engage some more.

Utilize Hashtags and Geotags

Hashtags and geotags can be a powerful tool for attracting potential brand partners, growing your following, and increasing engagement on Instagram. For an effective hashtag strategy, make sure you’re only using hashtags that are relevant to your niche and brand. You’ll also want to make sure you’re using hashtags that aren’t too broad. Your post is more likely to gain some traction with a less competitive hashtag. For example, #professionalathlete, which has just over 37,000 posts, is a more effective hashtag than #athlete, which has over 16,000,000 posts.

You should also utilize geotags when appropriate. Geotags allow you to tag your post with a location, such as a city, venue, or even a theme park. For example, if you go out to eat and post a photo of your meal, you can add a geotag for the restaurant. This allows people who are interested in certain locations to find your content. It’s also a great way to attract brands who may be looking for influencers within a specific region.

Let Brands Know You’re Open to Collaborations

If you’ve got thousands of engaged Instagram followers but zero sponsorship prospects, the problem might be your bio. Instagram limits your bio to just 150 characters, so you need to make them count. Make it crystal clear that you want to work with like-minded brands. Provide your contact information, such as your email address, and add a link to your website. Brands are more inclined to work with influencers who are taking their business seriously and your bio is a chance to show you mean business.

Tag and Engage with Brands

Simply writing “open to collabs” in your bio is usually not enough to win sponsorships on Instagram. You need to make a genuine effort to engage with the brands that you want to work with. If you love a specific product, then purchase it, make a quality post about it, and tag the brand. Comment and engage with the brand’s Instagram content, as well. Once you’ve established yourself as a true fan, you can approach the brand as a potential partner.

Of course, you’ll need to be realistic when setting your sights on a particular brand. If you’re a relatively new influencer with a modest following, it may be difficult to attract the attention of big-name brands. Instead, start by cultivating relationships with smaller brands and start-ups while you build a portfolio.

Pitch Yourself

Don’t wait for Instagram sponsorships to come to you. After you’ve spent some time engaging with brands that you hope to work with, it’s time to pitch yourself. Write a professional pitch that outlines who you are, why you’d be a valuable partner, and what you can do for the brand. You should also include important metrics, such as your follower count and engagement rate. Rather than get lost among hundreds of DMs, do a little digging to find an appropriate email to send your pitch to.

Get Representation

Understandably, most influencers prefer to spend their time doing what they do best, creating valuable and authentic content for their fans. Engaging with brands, forging relationships, and pitching yourself is a tough grind, but it’s also essential for winning sponsorships on Instagram. If you’re ready to secure bigger and better brand deals, but want to continue focusing on content creation, it may be time to hire representation. An agent can help you cultivate genuine relationships and land paid partnerships with the brands you want to work with.

At Agency 133, we specialize in the management of truly epic and unique talent, including facilitating brand partnerships and procuring endorsements. For more tips about how to connect with, build, and grow notable and authentic brands, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you, shoot us an email at

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