Wild Insta Part 11: How To Collaborate
The next thing is collaborations. You want to collaborate with other people that are doing what you’re doing. They have similar audiences. You want to make sure you reach out to the right people. So when you’re trying to figure out who to collaborate with, here’s a couple of really key factors: you want to make sure that they’re growing.
So looking at their social blade saying, Hey, you know what? This person, every day, they’re gaining another 500 followers. I should work with them. Because in a few months, they’re going to be a lot bigger. I remember one time two models wanted to work with me. One had a million followers, and one had only a hundred thousand followers, but they both wanted the same time slot on the same day, and I only wanted to work with one or the other.
So most people would be like, you dummy, go with the million followers. Of course. But I looked at their social blade, and the person with a million followers was losing. 1,000 followers every day where the person who had 100,000 followers was actually gaining 2000 every day. So I worked with the person who had 100,000 followers because they appreciated since they appreciated so much, people are becoming hyper-aware of them, and therefore they were hyper interested in who they are and who they hang out with, who they take photos with, who they surround themselves with, what they’re into. They’re hyper-aware at that point when they’re growing so fast. So that’s the time to be working with them. Now, the other girl who is losing a thousand followers every day, people become so uninterested that they don’t want to see her again.
They’re unfollowing. So why would they care about the photographer that they’re working with if they barely care about her anymore? So that’s why I picked 100,000 over the million because one had a better value, and if I were to shoot with them, then in five to six months, when they hit 500,000 followers, I can be one of those people that shot with them early on before they got really big.
Right. And I can be like – hey, remember when we shot when you only had 100,000 and all those different things. So it’s like a little investment. So make sure you’re picking people that are growing and developing. You don’t want to work with people who can barely do it anymore, who don’t like doing it because that’s very uninspiring, and it’s not going to do much for you.
No matter how much they have, those followers will not be very engaged, and you’re probably not going to get a whole lot out of it. Ensure you work with the right people and make sure that those people also align with your branding. Align with what you’re doing. Make sure their mindset mixes with yours because those followers will resonate with you best.
Now, when you do collaborate with them, make sure you brainstorm clear and concise ideas to do with them. Okay. It’s important to have really good thought-out ideas with these collaborations because just a little extra time and extra 30 minutes just thinking about the idea. Holy moly, you’ll converse such great ideas when you take extra time to think about them, which will greatly improve your content.
There will be well thought out. It will be very clever. It will be good. That’s how you make it better. You just think about it a little bit longer than everybody else. If you have better content, more people want to follow you. It just takes one good photo, one good post to blow up one good one. If you’re thinking of five new good post ideas a day, you’re just throwing the odds so much more in your favor.
Out of all these other people that won’t even think of one post idea a day. Think about it. Think about what you’re going to do with these people before you reach out to them. Now, when you write the email to them, here’s my email template. Here’s, here’s what I do. When I reach out to a brand or another creator, an influencer, I write, Hey, name.
If there’s a name, maybe it’s a brand, and there’s their name associated with it. I’ll say, Hey, you know, name. And I’ll say, okay. A genuine compliment. So something that speaks directly to them. Not, I love your style, not, I love your work, not, I love your clothes. You know, whatever it is you want to say, Hey, I love how you work with this person.
I thought it was really awesome that you guys did this. Hey, I love what your company stands for. Something to that extent. Okay. The genuine compliment that lets them know that you’re talking to them. Okay. The next thing is – you then want to introduce yourself. If you can introduce yourself with authority, even better, okay?
What that means is when I introduced myself. Let’s just say I’m trying to reach out to a singer. Well, then I say – hey, my name is Nathaniel. I’m a photographer. Uh, I’ve also shot with other singers such as this person, this person, and this person. And when I list those people, their names are hyperlinked. So if they click on their names, it will take you to their Instagram account, to a post that they made.
That is a photo that I have taken of them. So they will see that when they click on those people’s names that I have actually worked with them. And the work we created was so good that the artists used it. So it’s very clear, almost testimonials. And when I do that, I become an authority on what I’m talking about.
All of a sudden, I’m not just a photographer. I’m a photographer who shoots singers, which was good at that, including social proof. The social proof being other singers like them have worked with me as well. And in the beginning, when we have a genuine compliment, we’re increasing likeability, we’re increasing relate-ability because we’re, we’re genuinely complimenting them.
After you’ve introduced yourself, you then want to state what you want to do for them. That’s important. How I worded, that’s really important. It’s not what you want because they don’t care what you want. What they care is what they want. So you want to write how you want to be of value to them.
Hey, I’d love to help you with your next ad campaign. Hey, you know, name, I’d love to take behind-the-scenes photos for you. Hey, I loved, you know, help you out with this or that. You know, I’d love to, if you’re a model – hey, photographer, I’d love to, be your model for your next shoot. If you need anything for a brand that you’re working for, whatever it is.
How you want to be of service to them. Because then that says – hey, you know, you don’t just want to work with me. You want to help me; you’re on my team. Okay. And the next thing, and here’s the most important, is having a unique selling proposition. This is really important. Something that makes you unique, and therefore we’re including scarcity, okay? Because you’re unique. This is how you stand out. So I will always say something like – if you’re interested, here are three reasons as to why this is going to be a different kind of shoot. There’s going to be a different collaboration. And number one, maybe I’ll send you all the edited photos.
Number two, I’ve got this great unique idea. Number three, I could do this for you too, and I try to include three reasons that will make it different than anything else that they’d done before because now you’re piquing their interest. Now, this is a scarce and unique opportunity to be diverse. Maybe you can appeal: Hey, I’ll help you with your next IGTV video, and as we know, IGT V’s on the come up.
So now you’re helping them in some way, and you’re like – maybe I should do this. You really get their gears turning with this part. Okay. The last thing. In the end, there is what I’ll say is – if you’re interested in seeing examples of my work, click here to see my portfolio. Click here to see my Instagram.
I never include full links. It’s always – click here, hyperlinks, and things like that because you want it to be short, concise, and to the point. This is the gazelle looking for the pond. You want to make it very clear and nothing too flashy. Nothing too crazy. Make it simple. Draw them in. Get them to the pond.
Okay, so very clear, concise to the point after that, instead of saying, let me know, everybody says, let me know at the end of an email, you want to say something like, I look forward to hearing back from you. I look forward to working with you by doing this. You’re prompting the next response. They’re saying, well, you’re saying to them is, Hey, I’m going to be waiting for you.
You better get back to me, and they’ll feel now compelled to get back to you because you have value, b) they like you more because you’re on their team and you complimented them and you, they have social proof. They say – oh, other people have worked for them. I got to work with them too. And they must be good at what they do.
Cause these people worked on work with them. You start to appeal to all these different factors and emotions that make them want to work with you. And then at the end, you just do your all, sign off, your name sincerely, you know, cheers, your name, whatever it is. I remember one day I’d worked with this one influencer that had over 10 million followers.
Okay. And their manager told me I had one of the best emails that they’ve ever gotten. They’d only worked with three photographers ever. And I was one of those photographers with over 10 million followers. I remember spending the day with that person. They showed me all the emails that the influencer had gotten, and all of them said the same thing.
Hey. I’m a photographer from LA. I want to work with you. I’d love to work with you. Let me know if you’re interested. Here’s my Instagram. That is not a good way to stand out. Use this method. I have taught you here today to reach out to other people to collaborate with, and that is. Hey, you know their name, a genuine compliment, introduce yourself with authority and then say how you want to value them. Then you give them your unique selling proposition. Followed by if you’re interested. Here are examples of my work. Click here, and then I look forward to hearing from you, sincerely, your name.
That is a much more powerful template that will get people’s attention, that is still professional, simple enough where they don’t open it up and say – whoa, this is 90 paragraphs long.
I’m not going to read this. This is clear. Okay. Now when you’re reaching out to a creator or a brand, or an influencer, there are a few factors. Number one is to be cool and be patient, okay? Sometimes if somebody doesn’t get back to you, it’s not because they’re not interested, it’s just the open day, and they got busy, or they didn’t feel like replying that day they got other things going on.
It doesn’t mean they don’t want to work with you. There could be a million other factors that are, you know, being taken into account for that particular moment. It’s okay to follow up with them. I remember this one person, they emailed me five times, and they kept on saying – hey, like I just want to make sure you got my last email and finally by the fifth one I was like, all right, I got your emails.
You know, I’m totally down. I’m sorry. I’ve been swamped. Let’s make this happen, and I made it happen. The persistence paid off. I wasn’t bugged by it. I understand. You know, they want to work with me. And I appreciate the persistence. So being a little persistent, you know, once a week or once a month, reaching back out saying – hey, did you get my last email?
I just want to make sure this happens. You will get a response. You will get their attention. Okay, but be cool about it. Be patient; they don’t want to work. It’s okay if they’re trying to charge you. Be cool and be patient. These are just normal people that are trying their best to get their shit together.
Okay. You never want to burn a bridge, bad bridge. You don’t want to get all upset about anything, no matter how ridiculous they might be. They all of a sudden say, Oh, I’ve got to charge you $9 million, and you’re like, what the hell, you know? That’s not a time to be like you are full of it. No, don’t get angry because they’re going to tell all their other influencer friends, Hey, don’t work with this person.
Look how angry they just got. Be cool. Just say – oh, that’s awesome. They charge that much. I can’t afford that right now. But if you need somebody for backup to help you with anything, you know, I’m super interested in being at least a helping hand in the time being before I can pay you, find some way. To mitigate it, to make it happen anyways, find a loophole in their thinking that will still at least get you in the door. Because if they’re saying yes, but you are charged or yes, but they just are looking for the right excuse to approve you. Okay.
All right, so the next thing is you want to make sure your content represents what the person you’re reaching out to likes to post. For instance, if you’re reaching out to models as a photographer and you only post landscapes, you’re probably not going to get a reply because.
They need photos of themselves, and you seemingly can only take photos of landscapes, or if you’re a brand, we’re reaching out to an influencer. You’re some sort of, you know, underwear line, and you’re reaching out to, you know, somebody who only posts in very, you know, conservative or, you know, like in long dresses and like that.
If they don’t post anything like that, they’re probably not the right person to reach out. Make sure what you post represents what they like to post. It should be harmonious. So here’s something that I do, and this is very sneaky, okay? If I know that there’s somebody in particular that I really want to work with, I will make sure that my next nine to 12 posts will be somewhat looking like what they like to post.
Okay. I will first start by trying to reach out to them. And if I do not get a response, then I’ll start to do this. And on top of that, what I will do is if I really want to work with somebody in particular and they’re not getting back to me, I will look at the people that they follow and try and shoot with as many of those people as I can.
So I’ll find the smaller people who have smaller followings that they follow, who would love to work with me no matter what I go and I work with them. Because if I shoot with all of these different people, and then I send them all of their photos at the same time, and all of them start posting me, and then all of a sudden this person that I want to work with a start seeing me all over their feed and they say, wow, look at all of my friends and look at all these people I followed that are working with the sky.
I should work with them too. And then they’ll look at my feet again. They realize, Oh, he takes photos that I like to post. So, therefore, now it’s brand alignment. Now they know that they’re going to get something that they can use. And other people work with them that they know you must be a trusted source and you must be, you know, a good person that they should work with.
So this is something else. I used to do a lot to get the right people to want to work with me, and it’s obviously worked very sneaky. Another thing you can do, and this is what got me in Forbes, was this little Trek right here. Because there are three different forms of people on Instagram that want to work together at all times, and these are brands, creators, and influencers.
Anything can be any mix of the three. You could be a creator and an influencer. You could be a brand and a creator. You can be just one or the other. Usually, just the models are just models. Those are influencers. Now, like myself, I’m a photographer, but I also have a following. Therefore, I’m a creator and an influencer and a little bit of a brand as well because I’m selling these things, so you can have any mix of the three.
But if those three can get together somehow, now you have a good amount of power, and you have a lot of strength because all three want to work with each other. Influencers need content. That content comes from creators, but they also want to get paid. And that comes from brands. Okay, so they need all three.
If you can be a connector, that is how you win. Now, this is the strategy that got me in Forbes. You know, this is. Obviously, a moral gray area cause it starts with a little bit of a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny lie. Just a small little lie. It’s not going to hurt anybody. You know what I would say is I would try and find, cause I as the creator, I would fill the creator role.
Okay. So I didn’t need to look for any creators. If you’re just a model or an influencer, then you’re going to have to look for, um, you’re going to have to look for, you know, a creator to pitch this to. Okay. But I felt the creator role. So I’d find about three models that all had similar vibes, and I would find are trying to figure out a brand that all three of them would like to work with.
So if they’re all like a swimwear, like kind of vibe, then I’ll be like, okay, well Boutine is in swimwear company that’s really big that they might all want to work with. So what I might pitch to them as I might say – hey, I’m making this trip for Boutin, and I’ve reached out to these other two influencers as well that I’m talking to them about going to, and we’re going to go out, we’re going to create content.
It’s an all-expenses-paid trip. Are you in? And they’re going to be like, wow, I’ve always wanted to work with that company. And these are other influencers might come to – yeah, I’m in. Let’s do it. Okay. Even if you haven’t gotten the yes from the other people, just say, I’m talking to those other people too, so they know, you know, they the kind of idea and you pitch them a place, you know, like – oh, we’re going to go to, you know, San Diego. We’re going to fly out to LA. We’re going to go somewhere. We’re going to go to Florida. All right. Whatever it is, just pitch a plan, an idea, because they will, a lot of people want to travel. Now, here’s what you do. Now you can go around, you go back to the brand, you go to the brand, and you either messaged him on Instagram, you email them, you find a way to contact them, and you say, Hey, I’m going to this place with these influencers. We’re going to be creating content. We would love to shoot some products for you. I’d love to have these influencers shout you guys out, so you guys get exposure. If you’re really savvy and you know that they do Facebook ads, you can say – hey, we’d also be happy to try creating a few test content pieces for your Facebook ads.
That is a really big seller for brands. By the way, if you can create test pieces for their Facebook ads, they will love that. So you said – hey, we can do all this different stuff. We’re just looking to get the trip expenses paid for. And most of the time that you have these big influencers, they’re gonna be like – hell yeah.
And by the way. Most influencers under 200,000 followers will typically take the all-expenses-paid trip. Some of them are a little bigger, we’ll look for compensation on top of that, but you know, if it’s a big enough person and it’s right, and the prices rise, sometimes the brand will do it. So here’s what you do is you say, okay, it’s going to cost $400 for gas, for flights, whatever it is, $400 for everybody to go here and stayed there.
For the night or for two nights or whatever it is, and then I want to get paid $200, so you go, and you pitch the brand – hey, it’s gonna cost $600, and now you get paid. You get to travel and work for this company. You get to work with the influencers you like. Everybody’s winning across the board. If you are a model, you can try and find two other models like influencers, and you can try and find a brand and then a photographer or videographer or whatever it is, and bill all the positions.
Okay. And now you get to be cross collaborating cause you’re creating content, too, on top of getting paid. And if you’re a brand, you know, a good thing you can sell is, Hey, you know, we’re setting up the shoot with this model. Do you want to be the photographer for it? And then you just pitch on the other side – hey, we’re sending on the shoot with this photographer.
You know, do you want to be the model for it? Whatever it is. And you try and pair those people together. Hey, we’re going to send you guys some stuff. Because the photographers want to work with the models. The models want to work with photographers that the content creators, even if you’re a musician, you could be like, yeah, you know, I want to create the music for all these different people.
You know, I want to create a music video. Maybe I can get videographers and models and brands to all work together, and I’ll just create the soundtrack for it. I’ll use one of my songs. Something like that. Finding a way to tie yourself in as a creator to all the different things, influencers, or brands and connecting them.
And that’s the way when you get to work with everybody because even if you’re not as qualified, if you bring plenty of other qualified people to the board, everybody else is going to want to come to, they’re going to want to be a part of it. So that little thing actually got me out of my first job.
Because I started doing it about every single weekend traveling with different content creators and influencers and shooting for brands, and many of these brands went on to want to do it every month, and they would pay me on top of it. And that’s how I got out of my job initially, was just bridging this gap between everybody and doing it well and harmoniously, and making sure that the content I delivered was exactly what they were kind of looking for.
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