3 ways to collaborate with brands as an influencer.

How do I collaborate with brands? How do I talk to them? Will they exploit my hard work? What is the correct way of brand collaboration for me? Will I get paid? How much do I charge? How do I become confident asking for what I want?

All these questions kept crowding my head in the initial stages of my influencer journey. I had no one to guide me through the nitty gritty of these brand collaborations. This unawareness drove me to learn things myself.

As I read somewhere, ‘become someone you needed the most’. So here I am going to simplify all the details for you. I hope this blog finds you in the right stage of your journey, and you become more aware and educated.

Let’s jump right in.

1) Barter Collaborations

You must’ve read the term barter exchange in your 8th grade economic books. Can you recall? If not, don’t worry, I’ll explain. Before the 18th century, people use to exchange wants for wants, with no involvement of financial terms. For eg: A shoe seller could buy 1 dozen bananas in exchange for a pair of shoes to the fruit seller (if the fruit seller wants).

This is the same situation. Here, the brand offers you a product, free of cost, in exchange for you to market their product to your followers through your content. No monetary terms involved.

Who can benefit from this brand collaboration type?

This is the best collaboration option for beginners building their influencer business. You need variations in your content to keep your audience entertained and informed. So different brand collaborations will give you the opportunity to create content with different products. So, collaborate with brands and produce amazing results for them with your content. This will help you attract macro brands in the future.

Note: You are not supposed to pay anything in this deal, not even the shipping charges.


2) Paid Partnerships

You must’ve seen tags above some posts. Like ‘Paid partnership with XYZ’, or Instagram stories that have #ad in it, or captions that read ‘in partnership with XYZ’? All these are examples of this category.

The term ‘paid partnership’ is self explanatory. The brand pays the influencer, to market their product to their audience. This payment excludes the cost of the product they send to the influencer.

The negotiations on payments and deliverables are discussed by both parties involved.
You can set different charges for different verticals of social media. A different price for a youtube video, a reel, or a swipe up story. There are no fundamentals on how to charge as a beginner influencer, so I set them myself based on my insights.

To avoid any fraud or mishap to happen, make sure you’re taking a 20%-50% advance of the total amount. You can even build your own contract and get it e-signed by the brand while they make you sign theirs.

Note: Negotiations are a crucial part of this collaboration type. Keep a little wiggle room before fixing your prices.

3) Affiliate Marketing

One of the most underrated collaboration strategies and probably not heard by many newbie influencers. I am sure even you were unaware of this too.

Closely read Instagram captions of influencers or content creators. Sometimes they use phrases like “Use code: XYZ10 to get a discount”. Listen to a Youtuber saying “Click the link in my description to buy this product”.

Why are they doing this? Are they giving the coupon code just to save our money? Is the YouTuber providing direct links to the product saving our surfing time? Well, all this is true but with a hidden twist. The influencers earn a small percentage everytime someone buys a product using their code or by clicking on their link.

The links and codes are curated separately for every influencer. This helps brands calculate the sales generated by each influencer and their commission.

But how will it benefit me?

When you collaborate with brands by joining their affiliate marketing program, there is no end to how much you can earn from these affiliate marketing programs. The more people use your codes and links, the more you earn.

People earn lakhs of rupees just from Affiliate marketing. This is a win win situation for brands, influencers, and the customer.

You can enter into different brand affiliate programs, and earn from different sources.


Don’t forget to value your creativity and hard work. Hope I was able to clear your doubts in this area. You can know more in depth about influencer business by joining my Beginner Beauty Influencer 101 course.

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One Comment

  1. Though not an influencer myself yet, the blog certainly did help me understand the basic nuances of where to begin and the dos and donts. Very concisely written too! Well done!

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