As Told To: An Influencer Manager Explains How To Get Brand Deals In 2024

how to get brand deals - a hand reaching out of a computer handing someone money as a symbol of money from a brand deal
How To Get Brand Deals Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock Here/Shutterstock Remix by Caterina Cox

The following is an as-told piece from Samantha Zink, the founder of Zink Talent, an influencer management agency. It has been edited for length and clarity. 

I began my career in 2013 in the PR industry, working with numerous high-end fashion and beauty brands. As Instagram gained momentum around 2014, I closely observed people emerging as influencers on the platform.

Tracking their growth and success with brand partnerships, I consistently advocated within my workplace for the inclusion of influencer management in our services. 

how to gets brand deals in 2024 - Zink Talent founder Samantha Zink
Samantha Zink Photo courtesy of Samantha Zink

Unfortunately, the companies I worked for never realized these ideas. At that time, PR companies didn’t want to work with influencers because they honestly felt like they were tacky.

Many of these PR agencies were stuck in the traditional world. They felt like being in a magazine was more important than being a blogger covering a brand or a designer.

They just weren’t open-minded about it. 

In 2018, I took the leap and established Zink Talent, my own influencer management agency. We now represent over 60 influencers, with partnerships established with top-tier brands across various niches.

We facilitate millions of dollars in brand deals annually, collaborating with industry giants such as Reebok, David Yurman, YSL, Charlotte Tilbury, Victoria’s Secret, and Alo Yoga.

Every year, brands seek innovative ways to collaborate with influencers. As a content creator, staying ahead of trends is paramount to capturing brands’ attention and budgets.

Having secured over 100 deals for my clients in January alone, here’s what brands are prioritizing in 2024.

How To Get Brand Deals In 2024

1) Brands Prefer TikTok Creators Over Instagram Creators

TikTok on the top of the app chart
Tada Images/Shutterstock

While Instagram remains relevant, the focus of brand partnerships is shifting towards TikTok creators. I saw this start to happen in 2023 when influencers like Alix Earle started getting a lot of attention. They could see that when she posted a beauty product, people bought it. Now, every brand wants to target Gen Z, and they feel like TikTok is the place to do that. 

Embracing the platform’s authenticity and raw content, creators are encouraged to leverage their presence on TikTok and attract followers from other platforms.

Brands recognize the platform’s growing user base and increasingly invest in creators with engaged audiences on TikTok, especially in the hair care, beauty, and skincare space. Data also supports and shows that people spend more time on TikTok than any other platform. 

2) Brands Are Focusing On One-Off Partnerships

Brands are favoring one-off partnerships over long-term commitments. This approach allows brands to assess campaign performance before considering further collaboration.

The dynamic nature of the creator landscape makes brands hesitant to lock into extended contracts, preferring the flexibility to explore new partnerships and campaigns.

3) Brands Care Most About Analytics

how to get brand deals - analytics matter most to brands, image of a man standing in front of a giant wall of analytics

Brands now prioritize backend analytics over superficial metrics like follower count. While follower count remains a factor, brands place greater importance on engagement consistency and audience demographics.

Creators with stable performance across their content portfolio are more attractive to brands. For example, go on TikTok and look at a person’s profile. Brands want to make sure a creator’s videos have consistent views and that some aren’t super high while others are very low. 

Social media platforms provide creators with in-depth analytics, enabling brands to make informed decisions based on comprehensive data. For example, brands analyze metrics such as video views, audience demographics, and engagement rates to gauge a creator’s effectiveness in driving brand awareness and conversion.

If a creator with 200k followers receives only 2k story views, while another creator with 70k followers garners 40k story views, it’s evident which creator has a more engaged audience and ultimately achieves better reach.

4) Authentic And Less Curated Content Is Trendy In 2024

Brands are increasingly drawn to authentic, uncurated content that reflects genuine personalities. Creators are encouraged to showcase authenticity, personality, and relatable experiences.

I’ve had brands tell me that they want to work with creators who make their audience feel like they are FaceTiming with a friend. Brands overall are gravitating towards content that’s authentic and not overly filtered. 

5) Niche Down Then Spread Out

highway signs that say niche market and general market
febri ardi antonius/Shutterstock

Creators are advised to focus on niche content to cultivate a dedicated audience initially. However, diversifying content gradually allows creators to appeal to a broader range of brands and opportunities.

Niching down means identifying your target audience and focusing on them. Once you’ve found an audience, you can expand. Expanding content themes while maintaining consistency allows creators to attract diverse brand partnerships across various industries.

I think people should start trickling in other types of content immediately. If you’re posting hairstyles and you’re starting to get followers and you’re building, when you start getting momentum, I would start posting other things as well.

Try not to wait too long, even a few months after starting out as a creator could be a good time to diversify your content. 

Alix Earle is the perfect example of this. She was first well-known for her Get Ready With Me videos but now she posts more well-rounded and lifestyle-based content, allowing her to work with different brands. 

Navigating the evolving landscape of influencer marketing requires adaptability, creativity, and strategic thinking.

By understanding and aligning with brand preferences and industry trends, creators can unlock diverse opportunities and establish long-lasting partnerships in the dynamic world of influencer marketing.

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