In a recent post, I mentioned how bloggers and freelancers make money by working with big brands. They do this by partnering with big brands for sponsored content, affiliate relationships and brand ambassador work.
This can be an extremely lucrative venture – especially when the large corporate brands start getting wind of your potential and they reach out to you. I recently landed my largest corporate sponsorship yet and it’s really opened my eyes to just how much money freelancers can make when they begin to work with big brands.
Here are some the strategies ou can start implementing so that you can begin to work with large brands.
Work on your personal brand.
Big brands are looking for freelancers who are also, for lack of a better term, influencers. They want trusted, credible individuals who have built trust with their audience. Big brands hope that by partnering with these individuals they will then be able to get new customers by tapping into the freelancer’s audience.
This is just one of the many reasons why it’s so important to work on your own brand. As I’ve said many times before, you’re not just a freelancer. In fact, you must start seeing yourself a subject matter expert, and preparing yourself in every way possible to be that expert in a particular field.
For more on how to build your own personal brand make sure to read 3 Ways to Balance Client Work and Building Your Brand.
Build your network.
Some of the ways in which I’ve been able to work with big brands has come purely from networking. For example, I recently went to a local event where I met some individuals who were looking for millennial finance bloggers that their corporate clients would be able to partner with.
I didn’t go to the event with the intention of finding a potential corporate sponsor, I simply showed up at the event to be a part of it and to hopefully learn something, because networking is a big part of running a business. As a result, I’ve made it a point to get specific about the events I attend as well as making time to attend at least one event a month.
Create a community and build a following.
Even though social media and subscriber numbers aren’t the most important thing, big brands are interested in these numbers. This is why it’s important to focus some of your time on creating a community and building your following.
The best example I can think of is Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche. She created a totally free financial class called the Live Richer Challenge complete with a Facebook group that serves as a free private forum. As it stands, the Facebook group has over 66,000 members.
Aliche then uses this following as leverage to land corporate gigs including Fortune 500 companies and non-profits. She now makes more in a month than she did as a school teacher in a year. Tiffany Aliche has found her niche and is providing value to thousand of people – especially the women who’s lives she touches. Aliche is trusted because she has provided value and benefitted many thousands for years. This is the type of person the big brands are looking for. Someone who can be trusted for good advice.
Working with big brands as a freelancer is completely doable. After all, Aliche started as a blogger and still runs a successful website. The difference is that she worked on her brand and created a large community that now helps her work with big brands. Aliche learned her trade forward and backward and has been able to influence many people for the better.
This process of building a brand takes time and effort. It takes knowledge in a chosen field and a willingness to put yourself out there to help someone else.