A brand collaboration proposal is often required to finalize your influencer campaign. Make sure you follow these tips from an industry insider and an expert in working with travel influencers!
You’ve pitched a prospective client and now they’ve asked for a proposal – congrats!
Now it’s time to seal the deal with a well thought out and presented collaboration proposal. This shows you’ve listened, you’re professional, and that you can meet – or exceed – their expectations.
The proposal is the first taste of what it will be like to work with you, so give it the attention it deserves.
As you’re putting it together, keep in mind the proposal is not just for your point of contact. Most prospective clients need to discuss the terms with their boss or other team members before moving forward.
So write your proposal as if your audience knows nothing about you or what was discussed. It will show your value before the collaboration even begins!
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To get started, follow these Do’s and Don’ts to turn your brand collaboration proposal into a statement of work.
What is a Brand Collaboration Proposal?
A collaboration proposal is a sign that a brand is interested in working with you, but they need more detail to better understand what you’re offering and determine if it aligns with their goals.
Serving as an outline of your suggested collaboration, a sound proposal answers the who, what, when, where, and why.
You should expect some form of negotiation — from the number of posts, to the platforms used, to the cost.
You don’t have to accept all of the brand’s requests in order to secure the business. But some creativity and flexibility will increase your likelihood of moving forward.
Brand Collaboration Proposal Do’s and Don’ts
Start With Branding
Since this proposal is the first taste of what it will be like to work with you, make sure the proposal reflects who you are.
When creating your brand collaboration proposal, make sure you:
- Use your branded letterhead.
- Provide a short (2-3 sentences) overview of who you are.
- Include links to your website and/or social channels.
- Overshare – the brand has already expressed interest in working with you, so you don’t need to “sell” yourself here. Instead, just give a brief context to anyone not familiar with your work.
State the Objective
Brand partners want to know you listened and that you’ve created a custom collaboration proposal based on their needs and goals.
Stating the objective ensures everyone understands the purpose of the collaboration and aligns everyone’s expectations.
In your proposal, make sure you:
- Use the client’s words to explain what the campaign is and why they are seeking influencer support (1-2 sentences).
- Emphasize why you’re the best choice for the job, i.e. highly targeted or engaged following, subject matter expertise, etc. (1-2 sentences).
- Explain how you will interact with the product or service and on which channels you will share your experience (1-2 sentences).
- Include too much detail about the number of posts or specific deliverables (that should be included in the Tactics section).
- “Find and replace” the company name from an old proposal. It’s okay to replicate the structure, but the proposal should be custom-built for each client. Trust me, we can tell when it’s not!
Read next: Tips for Micro Influencers
Create a Timeline
This section of a brand collaboration proposal should be short and sweet. It acts as a helpful complement to the Objective. Together they create the total package of who, what, why, and when.
In your timeline, be sure to:
- Include suggested or agreed upon date(s) for the brand experience to take place.
- Provide approximate date(s) for various deliverables to be complete.
- Give an approximate deadline for reporting the KPIs (key performance indicators).
- Give the impression that the timeline is fixed or non-negotiable. The purpose of this section is for your client to grasp how long the whole collaboration will take, as opposed to finalizing details.
Share the Tactics
Now it’s time to get down to details for your collaboration.
Map out each channel you will be posting to or creating content for, as well as the number of posts on each platform.
If you are proposing two or more packages at different price points, go through this exercise for each option.
Always be sure to:
- Be as specific as possible. For example, “500-word original article posted to www.blog.com” or “2 Instagram feed posts with [Client] tagged in caption.”
- Include non-content items, like money set aside for boosting, any other groups or outlets you will share the content with, rights to photography, etc.
- Share the cost for everything mentioned.
But you don’t need to:
- Say what you won’t do. For example, if you want to say that rights to photography are not included, put that in the Terms & Conditions section. Everything here should be what you WILL be doing for the client.
At the end of the day, what matters most to the client is the results.
Show you are committed to serving their needs by outlining a campaign report.
Read next: Campaign Reporting for Influencers
Providing a campaign summary or report at the end of your collaboration ensures the client’s goals have been met and proves your professionalism.
In this section of the proposal, be sure you:
- Include how long after completion of all deliverables that the metrics will be shared.
- Commit to a minimum number of views or engagements (if possible), depending upon the goals of your partnership.
- Offer a backup solution if the minimum number is not met, such as a second blog post. This is a great way to give your client peace of mind!
And definitely don’t:
- Leave this part out! Many influencers stop after the deliverables. But, in order to justify the cost of doing business, your client needs to be assured you are holding yourself accountable for the agreed-upon results of the campaign.
Terms & Conditions
This is the part where you outline anything you don’t want to do.
In the appropriate context, sharing these limitations can actually make you seem more professional. It’s also a great way to set expectations.
Make sure you:
- Include any extra fees for a-la-carte items, transportation costs, etc.
- Indicate what’s not included; i.e. rights to photos or content.
- Share any blackout dates with your own schedule.
- Think of a laundry list of items that potentially could come up. Think of this section as the things your client may want or expect, but that you’re not able (or unwilling) to deliver. Consider any items that have caused misunderstandings in the past.
Send Your Proposal
After you’ve given one last proofread, it’s time to send off your brand collaboration proposal.
Be sure to put your best foot forward and avoid some common pitfalls before you do.
When finalizing your proposal document, make sure you:
- Keep it to 2-3 pages, turn it into a PDF, and attach it to an email.
- Include a brief message.
- Offer to be flexible with the deliverables.
- Follow up a week after you send it, if you haven’t heard back.
But please don’t:
- Paste your proposal into the body of an email.
- Give too much away in your email message – it will spoil the wow factor of your proposal!
Final Notes on Brand Collaboration Proposals
Creating a full brand collaboration proposal may be time-consuming your first time around. But it will get easier the more you do them!
And, remember, the payoff makes it all worthwhile. Collaborating with brands might be the next step in your career as a content creator, so always put your best foot forward and offer a professional, thorough proposal.
Did we miss anything? Let us know your brand collaboration proposal tips and techniques!