How to Find Sponsors on Instagram
For many people, finding a sponsor on Instagram is the ideal way to make a living. Imagine being able to earn money by posting photos of yourself working out, using products you’ve been sent or just looking great in free clothes.
In short, you will be able to make money by doing the things you love and even getting moderately famous for it!
That’s an amazing dream but how can you make it a reality? Here are some tips that can help…
The first thing to recognize is how creators get in touch with sponsors in the first place. The answer is that this can happen one of two ways: either the sponsors find you and get in touch, or you find them and ask if they want to sponsor you.
If you manage to grow your channel large enough, then you can rest assured that sponsors will get in touch and you don’t need to worry about chasing them. This is a pretty easy way to get paid for doing what you love, so all you need to concentrate on is getting big!
On the other hand though, if you can’t wait, then you can find sponsors by looking online at platforms designed to pair off creators and sponsors. Many of these exist and they’re very easy to use. Of course, the more followers you have though, the better deals you will be applicable for. Once again then, your priority is to grow your account.
Create a Strong Brand and Stay On Message
It’s not all about the numbers though. Another important tip if you want to find sponsors is to make sure that you have a strong brand and that you’re on message.
This is very important because sponsors are always looking to find partners that are aligned with their goals. That is to say that they want to find people to work with who echo the principles and who have the same values.
This is why it is so important to avoid controversy or to avoid being too off topic. If you make a controversial statement and you are sponsored, then effectively means that the sponsor is endorsing what you are saying. This is a quick way to put big brands off of working with you and it means that you will potentially miss out on opportunities going forward.
It’s also important to ensure that your message is consistent. Occasionally, your Instagram posts are likely to be ‘off topic’ but this is fine. Just try to make sure that for the most part, you stick with your niche whether that be fitness, fashion or music.
When a sponsor checks out your channel, you want them to find a long list of excellent images, all highly related to the subject matter that they are wanting to promote.
And of course, you also need to ensure that your photos are high quality and that they have a professional looking sheen. No one will want to associate with grainy, poorly composed photos!
How to Sell the Dream Through Pictures on Instagram
Part of your aim as an Instagram marketer, is to sell a dream. You want to promote a certain lifestyle and communicate a particular way of life that your audience will find inspiring and that will convince them to follow your channel and hopefully buy from you.
If you have a fitness brand for instance, then you need to portray a lifestyle that’s all about health and fitness and that makes you appear to be in amazing shape and to have everything going for you. If you have a clothing brand meanwhile, then you need to show people looking beautiful and attractive and thereby sell that dream.
So, the question is… how do you go about selling the dream?
Think About the details
When it comes to painting a picture with your Instagram pictures, it’s crucial that you pay attention to the small details. You need to communicate an image of being successful, organized, healthy and confident. No one wants to buy from someone who seems as though they can’t get their own act together!
And it’s the tiny things you forget that can imply a lot about you.
For example, if you are taking photos of technology in order to make it look desirable on Instagram, then you need to think about the condition of the tech and you need to think about the backdrop. Is the phone that you’re showing off covered in dust? Because if so, then it’s not going to look premium or desirable!
Is there a coffee stain on the table? Because if so, it’s going to make your home look untidy and therefore unprofessional!
Even the weather matters. If you take a photo of someone outside in the sun, then that will look glossier and more professional than the very same photo taken in the rain.
Telling a Story
What you also need to think about, is how small details in your photo can allude to other things about yourself. Think about the story you are telling through the things that are present or absent in your image.
For example, you can take a photo of yourself running, or you can take a photo of your running shoes covered in mud with your headphones strewn next to them for effect. In just a few words, this is telling your audience that you’ve just been on a run and it says something about your determination and your love of fitness.
When you leave the viewer to fill in the blanks, it can often be more impactful than if you come right out and attempt to ‘say’ something with your photo.
Settings and Filters
Of course Instagram is all about the filters and this is one of the things that makes it so well suited to being used for marketing. A filter can increase the saturation and contrast in a photo, thereby making a sunny location look that much brighter and more vivid. Even if the viewers know it isn’t true to life, it’s all about the way it makes them feel.
Other filters can make a photo more retro, or more ‘grungy’. Think about the emotions you want to evoke and tweak your photo to suit!
How to Take Better Photos for Instagram
Instagram is the second largest social media platform on the net and is one of the very best in terms of engagement. Instagram has an ability to inspire like almost no other platform thanks to its highly visual nature and the ethos of aestheticism that it promotes. Using Instagram, you can make your products and services look more glamorous and more exciting and sell a dream to your audience.
But in order to do all that, you’re going to need to learn how to take great photos. In this post, you’ll discover just how to do that…
Take Time and Consider the Details
One important tip is that you always need to spend time constructing your shot and thinking about the details.
In other words, it is not enough to simply point and shoot – you need to think about things like the angle of the lighting and the backdrop. All it takes is to notice the angle of the sun and to move around your subject to create a much more professional looking shot that will be more visually interesting.
As a general rule, it is usually advisable to try and create ‘Rembrandt lighting’. This means that the light will be shining on your subject from a right angle, thereby lighting one side and leaving the other side in relative shade. Use a window, or better yet: create lighting using a soft box or another accessory.
Likewise, you need to think about your backdrop. Make sure that the background is visually interesting without distracting from the subject.
When choosing an angle and setting up your shot, you should think about the foreground, middle ground and background. This will great more depth and give your shots a feeling of being three dimensional. Ideally, there should be something of interest at every level, as well as elements that will lead the eye from the foreground and into the background (such as a path leading into the background or a river).
You can also consider scale: ask yourself how you can portray the relative sizes and speeds of different objects. If you want to show how big something is, make sure it is surrounded by smaller items for scale and it will have much more impact!
Drama and Telling a Story
Finally, try to avoid photos that simply show an object. Instead, think about the emotional impact of your images and how they can tell a story. For instance, you can tell a story by using ‘clues’ in your photos to suggest something that has previously happened or that is yet to happen. Footprints in the sand can show that you have been jogging and are a little more interesting than a simple photo of someone running!
Likewise, you can create more drama or interest by choosing interesting, contrasting items that wouldn’t normally be in photos together. Another tip is to change the angle of your photos, which can help you to present more dynamic and dramatic imagery. Having a photo taking from a lower angle, for instance, can make any subject appear larger and more imposing!
How to Use Instagram’s Live Video
Live is all the rage on social media right now. First there was Periscope and Meercat. Then came Facebook Live and now we are seeing live video on Instagram too.
There’s a good reason for this. Live video is one of the biggest and most important innovations in social media so far and is one of the best tools that marketers have at their disposal for engaging with their audience.
Why Live Video Matters
The first thing to recognize about live video, is that it can effective transport a viewer to another place, live. That means that you can invite your viewers along to join in in your workouts, to attend events with you, or to join you over your morning cereal.
Whatever the case, you will this way be able to more directly engage with your audience – while your audience will be able to share in a ton of different experiences.
While live video is only just catching on, there may well be a time when most of us are able to experience news live through the accounts of people we follow, or where we can get multiple different views of a concert or an event.
How to Harness Live Video
For now though, marketers and creators have a very unique opportunity. There is an audience out there that is excited for live video and yet it’s something that a lot of creators are not yet capitalizing on. That means that if you post live video, you will stand out as one of the only creators doing so – and that’s a great way to get more attention for your channel and to get more engagement.
And there are countless ways that you can use live video to promote a product or a service and to better engage with your audience.
One of the best things about Instagram Live Video for instance, is that it will allow you to see comments posted live on your videos as you’re filming them. That means that you can then respond to those comments live and your audience can feel as though they are talking to you directly.
Imagine how much this can improve your engagement and trust with your viewers, when they feel that you are a real person they can actually communicate with directly! Imagine if they can share their concerns about your products or services and you can directly put them to rest.
Imagine if your favorite content creator were to go live over a breakfast vlog and if you had the opportunity to ask them questions and to tell them how much you appreciate their content.
Imagine if you could look through their camera – live – and feel what it’s like to walk down a red carpet with them, or to stand at the top of a mountain on their holiday.
These are the possibilities that live video creates and this is why you should get involved in Instagram Live! Simply tap the ‘Plus’ symbol at the top of your Instagram account to open up your Stories camera and then select ‘Live’…
The Best Hardware for Winning At Instagram
If you want to make a big impact on Instagram, then you need to know how to take great looking photos – it’s that simple. Instagram is an entirely visual medium and in order to sell your value proposition and to stand out as a top creator, you need photos that immediately grab attention and that look the part.
Partly this comes down to your own ability to take great looking photos. But it is also a matter of your hardware; meaning your camera, your lighting and more. Just because Instagram is primarily an app that you run on your mobile phone, that doesn’t mean that every photo you take need to be made with your smartphone camera!
Let’s take a look at the best equipment for growing your Instagram account and how to create your own set-up.
Some of the time you are going to be using your phone camera to upload to Instagram. There will always be a place for these kinds of photos because you are always going to have occasions when you want to quickly take a photo of something but you don’t have a professional camera to hand. Taking photos on your smartphone is simply quicker and easier too, which means you’ll be more likely to keep a consistent and steady flow of content coming to your channel.
Getting a cameraphone that has a relatively high pixel count is one good way to do this. You can also benefit from a wide-angle lens and other features like manual focus for when you want to create macro effects (where the subject is in high definition but the background appears blurred).
But when you have the opportunity, it will always be better to use a DSLR camera or a bridge camera and to pick something that will let you play with your shutter speed, your focus, your ISO and more. All this will help you to create more stunning effects and all your photos are going to appear more crisp and more high quality – like they belong on the cover of a magazine.
Cameras are not everything when it comes to taking photos on Instagram though. What’s also highly important is the lighting equipment and a well-lit photo is always going to look considerably more professional than a poorly lit one.
A great way to get good lighting is with a ‘softbox’, which will enable you to increase the contrast in any photo without making it look overly bright. Try to light objects from the side for more interesting shadows and a more dramatic effect.
Another tip is to consider getting colored lighting, which you can achieve with bulbs from LifX or Hue. These can create some very attractive effects that will look great if you are taking photos of products – especially if you can place them onto a clean and somewhat reflective surface such as an oak desk.
This is something else to consider: the props, backdrops and other elements that you can bring into your photos. These don’t have to cost a lot of money but a few of the right props can make your photos much more exciting!
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