19 February 2018 James Pilkington

The perfect brand collaboration proposal

Perfect Brand Collaboration

You’ve become an influencial figure within your online community. You are finally at the point where you feel that you could start reaching out to brands and collaborating with them. It is time to start monetizing your passions, but you don’t know how to start the conversation.

Blogger, influencer and founder of New Age Explorer, James Pilkington has developed the perfect proposal to land these brand deals and to start getting paid to passionately explore your purpose within the New Age.

1. research

You cant just go out there and start speaking to every brand you see. You need to have a strategy. Slowly build up your collaborations with smaller less-known brands until you feel that you have enough experience and the resources to approach bigger brands.

Find a couple of niche brands that you can relate to: Brands that have products that you would be willing to rep, even if you wouldn’t get paid. Dwelve into their online presence, find their purpose and passions, and see if it aligns to yours.

2. relate

Brands don’t just want to give away free stuff to randoms. They are a business and want value for their money. Tell them where you found them, what you like about them and your experience with their products/services. When approaching them your intro paragraph needs to mention how you relate. Look back at their purpose and passion and mention how it aligns to yours.

“I was wandering around social media and had come across your brand. I saw the styling and designs and am very impressed. I took a look at your well-designed e-Commerce website along with your about section and must say that I love the idea of bringing both Nature & Culture together through high quality, eco-friendly and comfortable clothing that provides a bold statement - To go against the norm - I resonate all too well!”

Talk a bit about your past experiences with similar brands and ask if they would me willing to set up a mutually beneficial influencer marketing campaign.

“I've been doing some digital campaign's with some similar brands and I think that your brand actually stands out amongst all of them. I really enjoy your clothing and I was wondering if you would be interested in setting up an influencer campaign that could benefit both of us in the process. Im looking to take more lifestyle photography and would love to use your clothes to my trip to Cape Town. Influencer marketing has 10x higher ROI than traditional forms of marketing.

 Let me know if you would like me to write up and send you an in-depth proposal with some benefits of influencer marketing.” 

3. Who are you

Once again, a brand is not going to just give away free stuff to some random. Think of the 2-minute elevator talk. When someone asks you “what do you do?” If you’ve got two minutes to sell yourself – what would you say?

 “I am a passionate visionary ready to leave my legacy on the world - Always give more than you take; To communicate and empathise above all. I want to travel the world and share my journey in an influencial way.

 I am passionate about music & Traveling. Exploration has connected me to people and their stories. Social media is a great space to share my "Truth" & story, connect to people no matter who or where they are and set the up-and-coming trend. 

 I Currently work as a freelance photographer and that’s what allows me to travel the world and explore different cultures.”

4. Why you

This is where you make or break it! Mention some of the brands that you have worked with and collaborations that you have worked on before.

“I have worked with brands such as Samsung, Guess, Converse, Powerade, Cotton-On and TAG Heuer.”

 Start listing the facts. Mention all your social media profiles; the amount of followers you have, the maximum engagement you have had on one of your posts, the amount of average engagement you have had per post. If you’ve got production equipment to capture and devlop high quality content for them – mention it!

 “I have 42 000+ followers on Instagram [ @AvidExplorer ]. My max engagement on a post is 8446, whilst I average 40 000 impressions per post and average 5 850+ likes per post with an average of 256+ comments per post.

I have 17980 followers on Facebook [ @AvidExplorer ]. My best post receiving 3 100 link clicks, 1830+ reactions, 95 comments and 136 shares.

I have 28250+ followers on Twitter [ @avidExplorer ], my best post receiving 2895 ReTweets and 1068 favorites.

I have a personal website where I also have a blog that I use to express the lifestyle of exploration and photography that I live, and the brands that allow me to travel the world and get paid for it.

I have a GoPro, Drone, Camera, Lighting & Photoshop to be able to not only take crisp, clear quality photo's & Video's for my social media but also provide you with HD product photo's for your brand.”

 Any potential asset you have in your arsenal – use! Leave it all on the table.

5. The great idea

No brand will take on an influencer without direction. Tell them how you wish to tackle the collaboration. Give multiple ideas on the content you wish to create and the giveaways you plan to run. Tell them why this type of content will resonate well with your similar audiences and entice potential sales.

“Being a freelancing photographer and avid traveller allows me to really divirsify myself in rich cultures all over the world. I work with a lot of alternative models and would love to have a photoshoot with some, wearing your products. I have posted similar type content before and my audience really enjoys your type of trendy. I see a huge opportunity for your company to expand its client base to South Africa.”


  • Don’t mention money. It’s an investment into a long-term relationship. Prove yourself first before you start talking about remuneration for future campaigns.
  • Send the brand links of other work you’ve done and your portfolio of content.

You are not going to land every proposal you send out. You give up hope. Theres always a few brands that arnt ready to change with the times. Find modern millennial brands that see your vision. Once you’ve got a few projects under your belt. It gets a lot easier to approach brands, and for them to trust you.

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