How To Get a Paid Instagram Sponsorship (Land Your First Collab)

Figuring out how to get a paid Instagram sponsorship wasn’t easy for me. I can’t tell you how many free products I took or how many times I undercharged for my sponsorships because of something I read on Google.

All that bad advice was written by social media experts who was never actually an influencer themselves. Learning how to properly pitch to brands and sell my content creator services was the game-changer.

Pitching brands it a great way for new and current influencers to get in front of companies and grow their portfolio (while making $$$). And it can actually be quite simple once you master the tested strategies we’ll go over in this post!

So, as a full-time influencer and coach, I want to lay out everything you need to know about working with brands on Instagram—whether that’s through email pitches or within the new Instagram Creator Marketplace (more on that soon).

These are the same tips I give my Instagram influencer course students.

How to Get a Paid Instagram Sponsorship
How to Get a Paid Instagram Sponsorship

Written by Influencer Coach Dani The Explorer

Paid Instagram Sponsorship Must-Knows

Let’s start with a few need to know details.

Why Should You Monetize Your Instagram?

Regardless of whether or not you see yourself becoming a full-time influencer, the fact that you have the opportunity to monetize an Instagram page in the first place is huge!

And you do not have to be a full-time influencer like me to score paid sponsorships on Instagram!

This can be a side hustle as well. All you need to know is how to sell yourself to brands, which is why fill-in-the-blank brand pitch email templates (like these) come in handy.

Imagine what you’d be able to do with the extra money you earn just from posting about your favorite products on Instagram!

And honestly, with Instagram Creator Marketplace, monetizing will be EASIER to do. Let’s talk about that.

Read Next: How to Turn a Gifted Collab Into a Paid Partnership

Paid Brand Deal with Theo Chocolate
Paid Instagram Deal with Theo Chocolate

Do Instagram Sponsorships for Small Accounts Exist?

Yes! You do NOT need thousands of followers to score paid brand deals.

Small accounts can get paid Instagram sponsorships too! Micro and nano-influencers are so valuable to brands.

You deserve to get compensated for your work, and you CAN. Don’t worry. The tips I’ll be sharing in the next sections will apply to you small creators too.

Just to give you an idea of what’s possible, one of my influencer coaching students landed a four-figure brand deal with under 5,000 followers. It just comes down to how you sell yourself!

Read Next: How to Grow Organically on Instagram

How to Get Sponsored on Instagram

Here are the quick steps on how to get sponsored on Instagram:

  1. Set your prices
  2. Create a media kit
  3. Find brands to contact
  4. Pitch brands
  5. Negotiate the brand deal
  6. Seal the deal with a contract

Don’t worry! We’ll be covering these in detail. Let’s begin!

Step #1 – Set Your Prices for Sponsored IG Posts

Getting paid means you need to set a price for your content.

You can get paid $10 per thousand Instagram followers as a rule of thumb.

If you have 10,000 followers, for example, you can get paid about $100 per sponsored Instagram post (10,000/1,000 = 10, 10 x $10 = $100).

Please note that the final number you choose to charge should also consider your engagement. That is just as important.


I have a whole write-up on how much to charge for sponsored posts (click here to read). You can read it if you need more help setting your prices!

Free Download: Find Your Rates Roadmap— influencer pricing guide

Paid Instagram Sponsorship with Mazda
Paid Instagram Sponsorship with Mazda

Step #2 – Create a Media Kit (A Paid Instagram Sponsorship Must)

A media kit is a document that lists out who we are in sum! Influencer media kits are a necessary part of getting a paid Instagram sponsorship.

A successful influencer media kit template will clearly convey WHY brands should hire you. It’s not an autobiography.

It’s the one tool you need to sell yourself! So if you’re ready to start landing paid brand deals, you need a media kit.

Step #3 – Find Brands to Contact

Here are the steps you should take to find brand contacts for pitching a paid Instagram sponsorship!

Make a List of IG Sponsorships You Want

First, take some time to make a list of brands you would like to work with! Doing this will give you an idea of how many pitches you’ll be sending out and who to contact first.

Narrow Down Your Brand Sponsorship Options

Now look at your list and think about what brands you can work with today. In other words, if XYZ brand said, “We’re looking for influencers for our next campaign,” would they hire you?

Be honest with yourself.

Here are a few questions to ask beforehand:

  • Does this brand work with influencers at all? When was the last time they worked with influencers?
  • How big or small are the influencers they work with? Do they work with micro-influencers or macro-influencers?
  • Does my personal brand match what this company would be looking for in an influencer?

It’s essential to do your research and be diligent about where you would fit into a potential influencer campaign.

Reach Out

There are quite a few ways to reach out to someone in your search for paid Instagram sponsorship contacts. One of the most common outreach methods is to go through an influencer agency.

Aspire IQ, Mavrck, and Whalar are a few more popular influencer agencies. Influencer agencies are an excellent option for small creators who are just starting!

Essentially, you’ll apply for influencer campaigns and get directed to speak with the person handling the campaign.

Your next option is to send the brand a DM on social media. Ask them who you can send your pitch to.

Read Next: Why Your Aren’t Landing Paid Brand Deals

Paid Sponsorship with Theo Chocolate
Paid Sponsorship with Theo Chocolate

Step #4 – Pitch Brands for Paid IG Sponsorships

Now that we’ve done all of our homework, it’s time to start pitching. Here’s a quick list of what goes into a brand pitch email:

  • Who you are
  • Your social media handles
  • Why you’re reaching out

But that’s not all!

You’ll need to keep in mind some key elements to make your brand email pitches rock solid. Let’s talk about what those are!

Keep Your Paid Instagram Sponsorship Pitch Short

“What makes a pitch successful?” My answer: keeping the pitch short and sweet.

When you want to get a paid Instagram sponsorship, a long dissertation on why the brand should hire you won’t do the trick.

You want to be able to describe the purpose of your email as quickly as possible, while also positioning yourself as the perfect influencer for marketing the brand’s products.

Ask for Money

Okay, so now we understand what should go in our pitch, right? Almost.

One key element here is that you will have to emphasize that you’re reaching out for a paid opportunity. It’s easy to accept free gear and items, but what about asking for money?

My advice is to just go for it! The worst thing a brand can say is “no.” And at that point, oh well.

No one ever got anywhere by quivering at “no.”

Make Your Pitch Personal

As you craft your pitch email, constantly personalize it. This is ESPECIALLY true if you’re asking for the big bucks!

If brands get the impression that you’re sending them a blanket email, they’re less likely to throw you a bone. Personalize it, and you’re more likely to get an Instagram sponsorship!

Write Amazing Pitches on Repeat

Honestly, writing an email pitch was the hardest thing I had to figure out when I was a new influencer. The best thing you can do is practice the art of selling yourself!

influencer brand pitch email templates

Step #5 – Negotiate the Paid Brand Deal

Next, we close. You have finished pitching companies, and got a reply! So what the heck do you do now?

How do you complete the pitch and get that Instagram sponsorship? Let’s quickly discuss negotiating.

Set Up a Phone Call if Possible

When a brand initially replies that they are interested, that’s your time to shine and explain what you want to do for them and why you’re the perfect influencer to market their products.

To do this, I suggest getting on a phone call to talk through your vision. After getting this initial response, you can send your media kit for their review.

Ask for Money… Again!

Whether or not you have a phone call, you need to clarify what you charge. Ask the brand you’re speaking with if they allocate a budget to Instagram sponsorships and what that budget is.

Don’t know what to charge?

>>Click here for my free influencer rate calculator!<<

Expect a few negotiation exchanges to come to a price that works for both parties! Having a good handle on your prices will give you the most negotiation power.

Example of a paid sponsorship on IG
Example of a paid sponsorship on IG

Step #6 – Seal the Deal with a Contract

Always sign a contract!

You never want to get an Instagram​ sponsorship without one! Brands typically have a sample contract for freelance work, so make sure you ask them to put one together for you.

A contracted arrangement will help protect you from fraud and ensure you get paid!

What Do You Do When a Brand Contacts You on Instagram or Email?

As you get more experience and grow, you’ll begin to have brands reach out to you. Therefore, if you want to learn how to get a paid Instagram sponsorship and make money for content creation, you need to know how to respond to pitches, too!

Read Their Email Carefully

Understand exactly what the brand wants and what the partnership entails.

Ask Questions

Do not be afraid to ask questions! If the brand doesn’t mention monetary compensation, ask them if they have a budget.

Be sure to ask questions on anything that confuses you about the offer. Asking questions is by far the most crucial element to responding to brand pitches because doing so unravels details that may not have been expressed in the initial email.

Paid to Post on Instagram with American Express
Paid to Post with American Express

Know Your Worth and Stick to It

I have run into many situations where a brand tried to undercut my rates by over 50%. I kindly let them know that my rates are firm, and I would love to make it work, but we can try again later if they do not have the budget to match my rates today.

Do not be afraid to negotiate!

This is your Instagram sponsorship!

Send a Media Kit

Attach your influencer media kit to the email and let the brand know you have attached it for their review.

You can use my bestselling influencer media kit template—it’ll save you precious time and is designed to help you turn brands into paying clients.

influencer media kit template

Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No.”

See above! Also, don’t be afraid to say no to a collaboration you’re genuinely not passionate about.

More jobs will come, I promise.

Sign a Contract

Never agree to any job without a contract.

Free Download: Find Your Rates Roadmap— influencer pricing guide

Paid Instagram Sponsorship with Karma Foods
Paid Instagram Sponsorship with Karma Foods

Instagram’s Creator Marketplace

Instagram just announced that they’ll be rolling out their Creator Marketplace. This will essentially be a place within Instagram that allows brands to reach out to creators directly in the app to talk campaigns and $$$$.

How cool!

It should be similar to the TikTok Creator Marketplace. With the Marketplace, you’ll be able to negotiate brand deals and accept campaign offers from companies without ever leaving IG.

While this feature is great, I still believe creators need to understand the art of pitching and negotiating brand deals. You need to be able to ask brands for money, AND you need to be able to upsell brands.

You upsell brands by pitching.

Not to mention, you can pitch brands for even MORE money if you sell them on the idea of posting across multiple platforms ;).

So sure, you can take small deals offered to you all day long, but the creators who know how to upsell their services will be making more on a single deal.

FAQ for Influencers Wanting Paid Instagram Sponsorships

Let’s cap things off by covering some frequently asked questions you might have about getting paid brand deals!

“Why Do Brands Pay Social Media Influencers to Advertise?”

Now more than ever, companies are starting to allocate more marketing budgets to social media advertisements. As a result, influencer marketing is now a multi billion-dollar industry.

Why? If a company wants to get in front of a specific demographic, it can do it in a single influencer social post.

In addition, companies can work with influencers worldwide and have their products featured in marketing material, like viral Reels, that they may otherwise have to pay a production team to create in small increments.

“How Many Followers Do I Need to Get Sponsored on Instagram?”

You don’t need a certain number of followers to get a sponsorship! You can land brand deals with as little as 100 followers. It’s all about how you sell yourself.

My advice: start monetizing your social media channels now! This is one of my biggest regrets with my influencer business.

Read Next: How to Make Money on Instagram—Even with under 5,000 followers

instagram influencer sponsorship with american express
Influencer paid sponsorship with American Express

“Exactly How Much Money Should I Be Asking For?”

That is entirely up to you and the project at hand. Was doing 3 Instagram posts for a total of $50 worth your effort?

What quality of work and what results are you getting? Would you charge XYZ again, or would you ask for a higher amount of money in the future?

“A Brand Has Offered Me a Free Product Instead of Payment, Should I Take It?”

That’s up to you. However, the next time a brand offers you a free product, consider how easy you’re letting them get off.

Please do not confuse this as saying you should never do free work! If this is your first rodeo, yes, do it for free and get some experience under your belt.

But, the second you agree to a free product, you’re agreeing to work as a free marketer for a brand, and all you got was a material item that you probably won’t have in a year.

I think you should help set the standards for brands and ask for payment for the long term! Just think, would you ever work your current job if all you got was free stationery?

Tools You’d Like: Ultimate Influencer Starter Pack—Media kit templates, brand pitch email templates & more!

“How Do I Pitch Through Influencer Agencies and Creator Marketplace?”

If you’re going through Creator Marketplace or an influencer agency, you sometimes have the option to send the brand a personalized note.

The note is where you would place your pitch in that instance! Doing so can increase your chances of getting the job.

“I Want to Pitch Brands, Help?”

If you want more information on pitching brands, I recommend you read my detailed guide on how to pitch to brands. You should also pick up my brand pitch email templates!

Instagram Influencer Feed

Next Steps for Landing Paid Brand Deals

Earning money as an influencer isn’t easy. Pitching brands isn’t easy, and landing paid Instagram sponsorships isn’t easy.

But, there are hundreds of influencers in this space, and there is room for you.

You can make a living doing this too!

Don’t ever let anyone tell you becoming an Instagram influencer isn’t a real job or the industry is too saturated. That simply isn’t true. I hope this blog helped you realize that!

Next, check out these other influencer guides I have:

  • How to Beat the Instagram Algorithm
  • Create an Influencer Media Kit That Gets You Brand Deals
  • How to Write a Pitch to Brands

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