August 26, 2021
Have you ever thought: “Ugh, I’d love to work with some brands and land some brand partnerships but I have a small following on Instagram.” Well, today is your lucky day!
In today’s podcast episode we are speaking with the wildly wonderful Julie Solomon. Julie is a brand strategist, digital marketing expert, and host of the chart-topping podcast The Influencer Podcast with a Tennessee accent, sweet husband, two beautiful babes, and a passion for helping creative visionaries!
As an expert in marketing, PR, and personal branding, Julie’s supported businesses, authors, and personal brands over the last decade in growing their impact and income with the power of influence. Julie spearheaded book campaigns that broke New York Times Best-Selling records and worked with dozens of best-selling authors who have collectively sold over 100 million books worldwide as well as trained, mentored, and taught tens of thousands of entrepreneurs how to pitch to the media, gain exposure, and strategically grow their businesses.
Julie shows up today with SO much information. We cover everything from what pitching is, what follower count you need to have to land paid brand deals, how to find the right brands to pitch to, how to get them to actually notice you and pay you, how to find your uniqueness, your zone of genius, and so much more. Julie ended out the conversation by giving some MUCH needed permission on own what ONLY you can do, and learning to let go of the rest. Seriously, we cover a LOT of ground in our conversation with Julie today, so if you’re ready to start making money on your Instagram REGARDLESS of your follower count (yep, even if you have 350 followers).
Business coach, influencer marketing expert, and PR expert. Before coming into where she is now in the online business and marketing world, she was a publicist for ten years in the music and book space. With a vast and enriched background in a lot of different marketing and communications in the PR world, Julie started her online business as a blogger back when she lived out in LA as a way to meet people, and sink her teeth into this new thing called Instagram at the time.
From there she ended up creating a course that took off, which lead to creating the Influencer Podcast, which is a marketing and business podcast that teaches and supports leaders who are ready to accelerate their impact and really grow their network and create that iconic success that they are wanting.
That is what settled Julie into what she does now, which is a course leader for that program, as well as a network mastermind called Shine. Inside Shine they work with leaders who are amazing at what they do, they have a little program that no one really knows who they are due to their lack of exposure and brand awareness. Their ability to make that massive impact has plateaued which also means their income has. They come to Julie for help to go bigger.
Pay attention to those moments, really listening and watching what is happening around you. Then allowing it to reveal itself to you. That is what happened to Julie.
Know how to pitch yourself, how to brand yourself, cultivate yourself.
Where is there a need? How do you get that out to them, where people can actually get the results?
You don’t have to have XY and Z to pitch yourself. You are ready. You have enough followers to pitch yourself. You want to monetize your brand, start pitching yourself. There is no magical time.
There is no magical number before you start pitching.
Does your follower number matter? It depends. It depends on the brand’s goal, focus, and strategy.
There are certain things that you need to do before you pitch a brand. One of the things is you have to do is research the brand. You have to know what you are getting into before you even pitch the brand. Because if not you may be wasting a lot of valuable time pitching brands that are not the right fit for you.
For example: if there is a brand where Instagram stories are an important part of their strategy then obviously you need to have ten thousand followers to go on Instagram stories and be able to use the swipe-up because that is going to be important to the brand. Whereas maybe another brand doesn’t care about swiping up at all, they’re looking for brand awareness or a giveaway promotion, or someone to do 15 reels for them.
It depends on what is the goal of the brand. For us, as content creators, it is our job that we are researching the brand before we pitch them. It is our job to make sure we are asking the right questions before we get to the pitch because the quickest way to not get a response is to go in unprepared.
You need to be clear on what is it that you have to offer a brand that would make them even remotely interested in responding to you. If you don’t know the answer to that question, figure that out first. What makes you, unique and interesting. If you are saying nothing, first let’s work on your confidence. Everyone has their own uniqueness. What about your expertise makes you different?
You have to get clear on what that brand realistically would want to work with you about in where you are at right now. A little bit of that is guessing and a lot of that is research and data mining. There are certain ways to do that quickly but it’s mainly doing your research, paying attention to what is online, and what brands are paying sponsorship.
You have to get clear on what you also want, do you want to get paid or do you want to get a gifted product? Those are two different strategies. Pay attention to what brands are paying content creators versus what brands are just gifting them. Make a list of the brands you want to work with and that’s where you go out and start your pitch.
Make sure that you are creating organic content that you really truly love and shouting out brands that you love because you want to build a relationship with them. Because at the end of the day it’s all about building relationships.
It’s not about what you want, it’s about what you can provide them. If you are wanting to pitch and wanting to make money, think a little more creatively and outside of the box. It’s not about the follower number, yes it works if you have it, but if you don’t you have to start thinking about what you do have working for you. Think outside of the box.
Consistency, meaning start consistently posting. Storys, Reels, whatever is your flavor. Start doing that consistently.
First, make sure you are following the brand, sounds like a duh moment but so many people don’t do it. If they get something from you and go to your page and you’re not following them, they’re probably not going to respond to you.
To get on their radar the best thing to do is organically tag them, mention them here and there. You can see your history thread whenever anyone has posted about you or mentioned you. Organically and naturally start having the conversation. Then you can reach out to DM or email and start building it from there.
Most of the time it is due to two things. Lack of confidence or lack of asking or straight up saying no to gifted sponsorship. As well as a lack of understanding of how to negotiate. If you don’t have the confidence to ask for what you want, are afraid of hearing ‘no’ then you subconsciously are staying in this gifted cycle. If the brand does say yes, then what are the next steps? How do you properly negotiate out of the gifted model into the paid one?
You have to get really good with hearing ‘no’ and then learn from your ‘nos’. If you are learning from your ‘nos’ that means you are pitching enough to get ‘nos’. The goal is to not get yes’s, the goal is to pitch. If you get a yes that’s the reward for doing the job. Your job is to pitch, your job is not to get a yes. If it is your job to pitch you have to pitch enough. With every 1 ‘yes’ you’re going to have 10 ‘nos’. You want to get the nos because that’s where the good data it at
Another thing is if you get a no from a brand, ask them why. Then you’ll be blown away with the research you receive that can help you tremendously when you go to pitch someone else or go back to pitch that brand in the future.
Your zone of genius is what you are the absolute best at that you also love doing. Why a lot of business owners and creators get burnt out is because they don’t know who to hire and so they don’t make a decision and they end up doing all the work themselves. Getting burnt out without getting the support that they need or they are so afraid to invest and spend the money.
The easiest way to do that is through the zone of genius, zone of competence, and zone of incompetence. You have to get clear on what these three things are.
Zone of Incompetence: These are the things you should absolutely never ever spend your time on.
Zone of Competence: Make a list of all the things you need to run your business but you don’t need to be doing it. Then you have the list of your zone of competence, you’re competent in but not the best use of your time.
Zone of Genius: The things that you are not only awesome at, but you absolutely love doing it. That will help you get to your goal the fastest.
These are all related to your goals and what you need in your business to thrive.
It is always changing. You have to be okay with that. There is always a level up, something new to learn. Allow yourself to take action. People who don’t learn that lesson, never actualize their dreams.
Gigi Pip: https://ctgro.com/VUumgWLeq
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Content Creation Freebie: www.theheartuniversity.com/content
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WASSUP FRIENDS. We’re Evie + Lindsey, co-founders of this wild partayyy called The Heart University. Our goal is to empower entrepreneurs to kick freaking BUTT in their businesses, dive down into the heart of their why and how, and serve you with all possible tools you’ll need to up-level your business game and CRUSH those goals of yours.
Whether you’re coming to an in-person workshop, joining our online course, or soaking up all the strategies via this blog or our podcast, we’re STOKED you’re here + can’t wait to see you out there kicking butt.
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