As a small business owner, you might think that your business isn’t “important” enough to work with large brands, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, large brands work with individuals and small business owners all the time. You just have to know how to partner with them. Below are some tips on how to do just that:

1. Expand Your Reach

You might be a one person business, but your reach is exponential. Work hard to get a social media following and grow your numbers. Brands like to work with companies that have thousands of loyal followers. They just want a return on their investment, so if you can prove to them that you’re a valuable influencer in your space, many of them will likely work with you.

2. Reach Out To Brands

If you sit and wait for brands to approach you, it could take years for that to happen. However, it’s never too early to reach out to the brands you love and want to represent. The worst they can tell you is “no.” Many brands will also take notice if you continuously tag them on social media. Just recently I took a picture of my twins driving the tiny shopping carts in Whole Foods and tagged the store. They left a comment on the photo and also mentioned me on Twitter. This is the type of interaction that brands will notice if you do it continuously.

3. Be Extremely Professional

If you do reach out to brands or the public relations firms that represent those brands, be sure to be extremely professional in your interactions. Remember, if you want to get paid to work with large brands, you need to come across as someone who will do an excellent job in your partnerships. This means sending e-mails without typos, addressing people the right way, following up, and saying thank you. If you have stats or other helpful information that a brand can use after working with you, please share them with your contact after the fact. If you’re easy to work with and do a great job, brands will work with you again and again. Plus, if you’re working with a PR firm, you could also be considered for work with their other clients too.

4. Don’t Undervalue Your Worth

When I was a brand new blogger several years ago, I remember being SO excited to secure my first sponsored blog post. It was for a brand I absolutely loved, and I was so thrilled they said yes. Well, now I realize they probably said yes because of my $25 fee for my sponsored post! I had no idea how much other bloggers were charging, and I was just happy to make the first few dollars off of my blog! Now, years later, I charge several hundred dollars per sponsored blog post. The moral of the story is to make sure that you constantly talk to your business colleagues who also work with large brands, whether they are bloggers, graphic designers, speakers, or have some other type of small business. Knowing what your market rate is and what you deserve is all a part of working with brands in the future.

Have you ever worked with a large brand as an entrepreneur? How did you get the job?

Catherine Alford is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions, earn more, reach their goals, and take on a more active financial role in their families. Named the Best Contributor/Freelancer for Personal Finance in 2014, her writing and expertise have been featured in dozens of notable publications and in national media.

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