Reading Time: 34 minutes

Over half of B2B buyers say that they rely on industry thought leaders and influencers to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in their field.

It’s no wonder then that 59% of B2B marketers say that they plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in the coming year. In an industry that reached $16.1 billion in 2022, influencer marketing has become extremely lucrative, and competitive!

Which means there’s a lot riding on every pitch and proposal and presentation from an influencer trying to land work with a brand, or even brands looking to partner with other brands.

If you’re interested in making sure your next pitch to a brand gets the attention it deserves, you’re in the right place.

Because that’s what we’re covering in today’s episode of Partnership Unpacked.

Welcome back to Partnership Unpacked, where I selfishly use this time to pick the brains of experts at strategic partnerships, channel programs, affiliates, influencer marketing, and relationship building… oh, and you get to learn too! Subscribe to learn how you can amplify your growth strategy – with a solid takeaway every episode from partnership experts in the industry.

Listen, whether you’re a partnership leader for your brand, or you’re a B2B influencer growing an audience and building revenue streams, you have one major challenge in common:

You have to be able to successfully pitch another brand to buy in to your ideas and pony up, whether that’s a sponsorship fee, co-marketing campaign, or some other investment.

The problem is, as I mentioned at the beginning, the influencer marketing industry is huge and successful brands are getting inundated with LinkedIn connection requests, cold emails, Twitter DMs, and more… all begging for their attention.

How can you make sure that it’s your pitch that get’s seen and accepted?

That’s exactly what our guest today, Justin Moore, is going to talk to us about.

Justin brings a very unique perspective because not only has he been a creator in the trenches doing sponsorships for years but by running an agency, he has insider knowledge behind how big brands choose which influencers to partner with and why they pass on others.

He is a Sponsorship Coach & the founder of @CreatorWizard, a school & community that teaches you how to find & negotiate your dream brand deals so that you stop leaving thousands on the table.

Having made over $4M working with brands over the course of 8 years, I knew this was a conversation we wanted to have.

Partnership Unpacked host Mike Allton talked to Justin Moore about:

♉️ How to start working with brands as an influencer

♉️ The most common mistakes influencer make with their pitches

♉️ How to craft a winning sponsorship pitch

Learn more about Justin Moore

Resources & Brands mentioned in this episode

Full Notes & Transcript:

(Lightly edited)

How to Craft a Sponsorship Pitch No Brand Will Ignore with Justin Moore

[00:00:00] Mike Allton: Over half of B2B buyers say that they rely on industry thought leaders and influencers to stay up to date on of the latest trends and developments in their field. It’s no wonder then that 59% of B2B markers say that they plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in the coming year. In an industry that reached 16.1 billion with a B in 2022, influencer marketing has become extremely luc.

And competitive, which means there’s a lot writing on every pitch and proposal and presentation from an influencer trying to land work with a brand, or even brands looking to partner with other brands. If you’re interested in making sure your next pitch to a brand gets the attention it deserves, you are in the right place because that’s what we’re covering in today’s episode of Partnership Unpacked.

This is Partnership unpacked your Go-to Guide to Growing Your Business through partnerships quickly. I’m your host, Mike Alton, and each episode unpacks the winning strategies and latest trends from influencer marketing to brand partnerships and ideas that you can apply your own this as to grow exponentially.

And now the rest of today’s episode.

Welcome back to Partnership Unpacked, where I selfishly used this time to pick the brains of experts at strategic partnerships, channel programs, affiliates, influencer marketing, relationship building. Oh, And you get to learn too. Subscribe to learn how you can amplify your growth strategy with a solid takeaway every episode from partnership experts in the industry.

Now, listen, whether you’re a partnership leader for your brand or you’re a B2B influencer, growing an audience and building revenue streams, you’ve got one major challenge in common. You have to be able to successfully pitch another brand to buy into your ideas and pony up, whether that’s a sponsorship fee, co-marketing campaign, or some other in.

The problem is, as I mentioned at the beginning, the influencer marketing industry is huge and successful. Brands are getting inundated with LinkedIn connection requests, cold emails, Twitter dms, and more, all begging for their attention. How can you make sure that it’s your pitch that gets seen and accepted?

That’s exactly what our guest today, Justin Moore is gonna talk to us about. Justin brings a very unique perspective because not only has he been a creator in the trenches doing sponsorships for. But by running an agency, he’s got in insider knowledge behind how big brands choose, which influencers to partner with and why they pass on others.

He’s a sponsorship coach and the founder of Creator Wizard, a school and community that teaches you how to find and negotiate your dream ran deal so that you’d stop leaving thousands on the table. And he’s made over $4 million working with brands over the course of the last eight years, and I knew this was a convers.

We wanted to have. Hey Justin, welcome to the show.

[00:02:58] Justin Moore: What’s going on Mike? Thanks for having me. [00:03:00] Mike Allton: Thank you. I appreciate your time. And let’s just get started with some background, particularly for those creators and executives watching who wanna become a B2B influencer themselves. How did you get started working as an influencer with brands? [00:03:12] Justin Moore: Sure. So my wife and I, uh, actually started our first YouTube channel in 2009, if you can believe it. So this was way back in the day before there was a partner program. Before many people thought that you could even make money, like, you know, uploading content onto the internet, basical. and initially it brands were not offering to pay us, they were offering to send free product.

Right. And this, this is the, you know, still happens today. Obviously they’ll reach out, oh, you know, give you access to our software free trial. Just post about it. Just talk about it. It’s awesome. It’s, it’s worth $500. It’s worth a thousand dollars. Right. And honestly, candidly, in the beginning we were stoked about the free stuff, right?

Because we were young, we didn’t have a bu you know, much money. And so that was like an exciting thing for. , but slowly but surely brands started offering to hey, they say, Hey, we’ll actually compensate you to talk about us on your social media platforms. And like that was mind blowing to us cuz we very much for a long time viewed this as kind of a side hustle.

You know, I was, you know, an engineer by background, so I was in, you know, I was in medical devices actually full-time. My wife was a preschool teacher full-time. And so it’s very much kind of the creating content was just a thing that we did from five to nine, basically every day. It was not the main. . And so over time we started making, you know, more and more content, different verticals, different types of platforms and formats and so on.

And we started making, you know, pretty significant income working with brands to the point that we had this decision. We came to a point where we’re like, look, there is an opportunity cost. Do we, you know, continue to do this as a side hustle? What if we could spend. 40, 60 hours a week completely focused on this growing business on social media.

And so we made a plan, essentially, and we decided that, okay, once we hit this, like incremental income above our, you know, kind of nine to five, uh, salary, we have to quit. Otherwise we’re never gonna do it. And so my wife quit in 2012, and then I ended up quitting my full-time gig in 20 14, 6 weeks after my first son was born.

And so it was like a very. Scary decision because everyone in our life thought we were absolutely nuts. They were like, you’re quitting your full-time job to be a YouTuber, really. Right. With health insurance, all that. So I get it. I get it. It’s like kind of a novelty, like what the heck? Especially in 2014, this is not really very common.

Right. And yet at the time, you know, Had also started to kind of diversify our own business, where, as you mentioned, I started an agency bringing partnerships to other creators. And so we were starting to kind of build out the diversification kind of revenue picture so that we didn’t have all of our eggs in one basket.

And so, yeah, over the years, uh, have done. Personally, literally over 500, uh, partnerships ourselves as well as over a thousand through the agency. And so I’ve had the repetitions, I’ve basically seen it all, whether it’s both B2C or b2b. I’ve done lots of different types of campaigns. So yeah, that, that’s kind of we’ll get into kind of how I’ve started coaching creators, but uh, that’s kind of the evolution of my experience.

[00:05:58] Mike Allton: I love this story so much because it resonates, I think with almost every influencer who probably started the exact same way, right? We were all working full-time for somebody doing something maybe had nothing to do with what we were going to eventually be destined to be an influencer in, and we had to make that leap and it was scary.

I was in a very similar situation around the same time period, I quit my job to become a blog. And my wife was like, what is a blogger? What are you doing ? You know, there was a lot of those questions there. And I also loved how you talked about how. When you first started, brands were approaching you with free products, free apps, free subscriptions.

That’s actually still to this day how I often approach initially the influencers that I wanna work with at a Gore Balls. By the way, I’ll hook you up with a complimentary solution. It’s worth about $2,000 a year, . You’re just gonna love it, right? It works. It’s a great way to get started, but as you said, you eventually wanna move on into those paid sponsorships, and we definitely wanna get into how to win and land those sponsorships.

But before we do, I’d love to hear from you what some of the different kinds of sponsorships you’ve seen brands offering, and what can influencers expect to actually make from those deals.

[00:07:10] Justin Moore: Yeah, I mean, it really runs the gamut. I mean, you know, initially when I got into this, I very much was focused on, I guess, what you would call social media creators, right?

People who are creating content on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, you know, like the, the social platforms, right? But interestingly, as I’ve been educating and coaching creators around sponsorship strategy, I started getting a bunch of people come to me who, what I, best way I can describe it, is called owned platform creators, right?

These. Bloggers, podcasters, newsletter operators, course creators, community, you know, folks, people who have, have built their influence in, in a way in which they have more of a direct relationship, uh, with their community. And so the reason this was very interesting to me was because, you know, obviously my experience came from the B2C side, but I’ve had so many, I’ve done so many one-on-ones.

I’ve had so many people in my courses who come from that world. It kind of hit me over the head, that man, what I am. Is universal. So regardless of whether it’s, oh, I’m gonna create content for this brand and I’m gonna post it on, on social media, or Oh, maybe the brand wants to hire me to actually create content for them to use on their podcasts or their social media, or use for paid advertising or, or whatever.

Or maybe I actually have an in-person conference, right? I’ve helped lots of creators who have these in-person events and there’s lots of brands banging down their door, wanting to sponsor them, have signage on their swag and all this stuff, and, and it really, You have to be quite strategic about that as well in terms of the packages you’re putting together in proposals and pricing and all that stuff too.

So it really runs the gamut. You know, it depends on, you know, what the product is, what the niche is, you know, who is the audience, who is the customer, essentially. And so maybe I’m like, sidestepping that, that, that question. But, but really, honestly, it really does pay. I have, I can’t even tell you the, the, you know, types like, here’s like a, a concrete example.

Like one of my favorite examples. . I have a, an ongoing coaching client who he has a podcast to help lawn care professionals grow their business. This is, he has a podcast that’s getting hundreds of thousands of downloads every single month all around helping lawn care professionals. And you can imagine Lowe’s and all Toro and all these like huge, uh, conglomerate brands are banging down his.

Bond because there’s not that many people doing this. Right. And so it’s like, it, it’s very fascinating because the more, a lot of people think that, oh, the, the more niche I go, the less opportunities I’ll have, which is actually the opposite. Like you are now a much larger fish in a smaller pond.

[00:09:25] Mike Allton: I love what you just said.

I’m gonna end up pulling that out as a pull quote. I have no doubt, because it is so true, particularly in the B2B space. I often teach, you know, we’ve got these different tiers of influencers and it’s largely based on the size of their audience. You mega influencers, macro influencers, and so on. B2B companies, they wanna work with nano and micro influencers because they know if they’re picking them correctly, they’ve got a smaller audience.

But it’s so much more targeted, so much more effective than a reaching. The kind of people the brand wants to pay to reach, right? I could spend 10 grand on having, but someone send a tweet, who’s gonna see it? Are they gonna act on that tweet? Probably not. But if I could have your lawn care podcast guy share the latest seeds that I’ve developed, obviously I’m not in this business.

I’m making this up . That could be really lucrative for me as a brand.

[00:10:13] Justin Moore: Like another example is that I, I actually consider myself, you know, with my coaching software, I’m actually helping people with sponsorship strategy. I actually kind of consider myself more of a B2B influencer because, you know, I look at myself, there’s that whole story around how the people who really got rich during the gold rush, where the people selling the pickaxes and the shovels, right?

And so like I am at this nexus where I have the ear. A lot of creators. Yes, I am, I’m speaking to them and I’m helping them with content and all that stuff too. But now this, a very unexpected development was I have now have all of these companies, creator, economy, startups, all these folks coming to me and say, Hey, we wanna partner with you, Justin, because you have the ear of a bunch of other people in this E.

So it’s like a, I’m kind of like a meta creator. I, I never ex expected that this would be the case, but now I’m forging all these partnerships. I’ve got this newsletter with about 13,000 creators. and there’s brands banging down my door to partner with me, which again, was not something I expected. And so you extrapolate this to like, oh, I am a, you know, I had someone in my, in my, one of my recent cohorts who has, is a LinkedIn influencer.

They have 60,000, they’re a data science LinkedIn influencer with 60,000 followers, and she’s getting hit up all the day. People wanting to her to, you know, promo their conferences, their webinars, their, you know, X, Y, Z and it’s like, this is happening. I think not a lot of people realize like, th this is an untapped, you know, format and medium that I think is just gonna explode.

[00:11:32] Mike Allton: And I love , that analogy you just gave. Don’t go mining for gold. Sell the pickaxes. That’s where the money is. Mm-hmm. . Love it. So if I am just starting out as a B2B influencer, before I actually take that step to get to the pitch, which we will get to, what’s some of my first steps that I should take? [00:11:51] Justin Moore: Well, I think that a lot of creators make a big mistake early on, which is thinking that, okay, if I am a niche creator, let’s say I’m a niche B2B creator, I’m, I’m a software developer and I talk about software automation, I’m making it up right here, but like that is my niche, right?

And so you think to yourself, you know what, the only types of of partners that I could ever work with are people who make automation. Right, like people who are like directly relevant to the content that I’m creating, the, the, my writings and so on, right? And yet, if you take a step back and rather than thinking like about the, let’s say demographics of your audience, right?

All the ages, the geographies, like yada yada. It’s thinking about the psychographics, right? The psychological characteristic. What types of jobs does your audience. Where are they consuming your content? Are they in line at Starbucks, like, you know, scrolling their phone for two minutes? Or are they sitting down every Sunday and they’re reading, you know, the, your last five, you know, blog posts or, or you’re listening to your last five podcasts or whatever, right?

How are they interacting with your business? Look, what are the problems that they have? What, what is keeping them up at night? And because I guarantee you that, It’s not just software automation. There’s lots of stuff going on in their life. Maybe they are working in nine to five, but they also have a side hustle.

Maybe they’re an indie builder and they’re tinkering with their own SaaS tool or whatever. I guarantee maybe, you know, partnering with, with Product Hunt or partnering with other, you know, indie maker type focus companies or startups or SaaS tools that could serve them. Would be an interesting addition.

It could help a non-trivial segment of your audience. And, and a lot of folks listen to this and think, well, yeah, but how could I ever know, like more about my audience? You literally ask them, you make a Google form or a type form and you put it, you know, you send out an a newsletter blast and you say, Hey, I wanna learn more about you.

And then you ask these questions, you could ask, heck, you could ask them about their household income if you feel comfortable as an optional question, right? And you start to enrich this data of. Who is in your audience? Who is following you and who’s, who’s consuming your content? And then you, you, you could even ask them, what brands and products are you using and loving right now?

And you use that as fodder to go and start pitching those brands. Hey, guess what? I have, you know, 47% of my audience who is already loving and using your product or something. Right? So I think it’s just a matter of understanding like there’s this, a much broader perspective of types of, of folks that you could partner with.

When you look at it from an audience first perspective, how can you make them.

[00:14:09] Mike Allton: Love that approach. And it’s kind of a corollary to one that we talked about from my listeners back in episode seven with Fara Rashti, who’s from Roone, and he was actually talking about Rand Fishkins app, spark Toro. Where Spark Toro, you can run searches and you can find out what your audience is reading, what they’re really interested in, and use that to find these corollary audiences and.

One of the things I, I had to selfishly say I love about this show is when I have guests like you come on and basically you just validated why I’m doing this show. Gore Pulse is not an influencer marketing or a partnership tool. We’re a social media marketing tool, but we want to get into the ears of the CMOs and the CEOs that are listening to me.

Right now. So we created a podcast that helps me do that in a lot of different ways. So thank you for validating that.

[00:14:56] Justin Moore: We never actually talked about the terms of how much you were gonna pay me to, to like validate that. So, maybe we can, maybe we can talk, maybe we’ll do that off the air. It’s fine. It’s fine.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s awesome.

[00:15:05] Mike Allton: Yeah. I’ll, I’ll get you some, some better background shelves, right? [00:15:09] Justin Moore: How dare you. [00:15:11] Mike Allton: For, sorry, podcast listeners. Justin and I have almost identical shelves in mm-hmm. in the background, so you’ll have to watch some of the video snippets to see that [00:15:19] Justin Moore: I had it first, but yeah, go ahead, Mike.

Yeah, . Awesome.

[00:15:23] Mike Allton: One last question before we get into the pitch itself. How have you worked with brands to ensure that they’re actually seeing an ROI in their influencer marketing investment? Something, I mean, just like you, you’re talking about audience demographics, someone could probably include in their pitch some of their ROI results. [00:15:39] Justin Moore: Okay. So a very important concept to understand is that ROI means different things to different brands and different companies. Most of the time as creators, as podcasters, as B2B influencers, we think that the only way a brand or a company will be satisfied with a partnership is if we drive some sort of measurable outcome, right?

Sales, you know, software downloads, trial signups, conversions, right? Because that’s what we think every single brand cares about, and when in reality, that is only one type of campaign. So when you work with a. A hundred percent of the time, it’s gonna be one of three goals that the brand is gonna wanna accomplish.

That first one, yes, being conversion, right? They wanna drive something very specific and and measurable. But the next type of campaign goal type is called a repurposing campaign, where the primary reason that a brand or a company actually wants to partner with you is to get some great compelling content that they can actually utilize in other ways.

So yes, posting about it on your platform may be. One part of it, but they primarily want to like get that content to run advertising, write some paid ads, so like, you know, boost signups for their conference or, you know, virtual event or whatever. Maybe they just want to get some great content that they can repost on their social media or embedded on their blog or their website or whatever.

So that’s another type of campaign which is different than a conversion campaign. Then the last type of goal is an a. Campaign, and this is where maybe they’re launching a big new feature or you know, previously they were only available in APAC and now they’re launching in emea or they’re launching in, you know, north America or whatever, right?

And so this is about making a big splashy entrance into this industry or this niche. And the reason that it’s so important that you understand which goal the brand has with this partnership is that your pricing should change , right? Because, and you have to actually ask the brand, Hey, what is your. You literally ask them, what is the goal?

What does success look like to you for this partnership? And you need to get this information. And lemme give you a concrete example. Let’s say you ask that question and the brand tells you, Hey, you know what? Actually, yeah, that repurposing thing you said, that’s what we actually, we love your content. We just wanna be associated with you and your name and likeness.

We just think you’re a great voice for this space. Your content looks great. We don’t really have a lot of ability to like make content. We’d have to go out and hire a production company or an agency or whatever to do that for us. We’d actually just like to hire you, make some great videos for us, and you.

So fascinating. Thank you for that information. So rather than you going back and pitching and being like, I can integrate you into 10 of my podcasts and I can in talk about you on my YouTube channel and my newsletter and blah, blah, blah, the brand just told you they don’t care about that . They told you that they want content from you.

So your pitch to them is, Hey, I can actually make five 32nd videos for you that you can utilize for paid a. I’m not even gonna post on my platforms. You told me that this is your goal and it’s gonna be 10 grand to do that, or 20 grand to do that or whatever, but this is what you told me you want. Here’s the proposal for that.

And so the beautiful thing about that type of setup is that now the amount that you can charge, Mike is completely detached. From how many downloads you get on your podcast, how many newsletters, subscribers you have, how many followers you have on social media. It doesn’t matter because they told you that’s how they don’t care about that, right?

And so it’s, it’s like a very important mindset shift to understand that you have to actually be a detective as a creator. Ask these questions so that you can provide to them a compelling proposal that actually aligns with their goals.

[00:18:52] Mike Allton: Love that so much. We actually did something very similar to Agorapulse last quarter where we were launching TikTok support.

So I worked with a couple of influencers because I wanted that brand awareness piece. I wanted their audience on TikTok specifically to know that we supported that feature. So thanks for sharing that. Now folks, we’re talking with Justin Moore about getting more sponsorship deals as an influencer, and he just got done sharing how to prove your ROI if you’re an influencer.

And on that note, let’s hear from our cmo, gore Paulson, how brands can prove ROI for another important channel, social media.

It’s the arc of triumph. Can you imagine if you’re in charge, if you’re the CMO of marketing Paris, what are your main channels? Wow. There’s the Arcta Triumph, there’s the Eiffel Tower, there’s the Louv.

Those are your channels. You’re gonna use the drive tourism dollars in. Okay, now, but you’re not the CMO of Paris. In fact, you’re the CMO of your company product service. So what are your main channels? So I’m gonna. There are things like pay per click, maybe trade shows, events, maybe content. Those are all pretty predictable, right?

Let me ask you this question. Are you treating social media as a main channel? By the way, only 1.8% of you today measure social media and can prove an ROI in that investment. HubSpot and Gartner say, social media’s the number one channel to invest in this year. Are you doing it? If not, I can tell you.

You’re not doing it because you don’t have the tools, you don’t have the mentality, and that’s okay. We’ve got you covered. You changed the mentality. We’ll give you the tour of We Pulse tracks, all the ROI for you. One place to manage all your social media activity, your number one channel, change your success.

Treat social media as a Channel one CMO to another. My name is Daryl. I’m with the Gora Pulse. I’ll talk to.

All right, Justin, let’s get back to sponsorships and the question, everyone’s been wondering how exactly does one craft a sponsorship pitch that no brand will ignore?

[00:20:51] Justin Moore: All right. Well, this is one of my most favorite topics because I think we’ve all been there, right? We have lovingly crafted what we think is a super compelling pitch.

We send it over to press brand.com, and then. You know what we hear? This is what we hear, Mike. We hear crickets. . Okay. Has anyone ever been there? I bet you haven’t. It’s okay because I’ve been there too, especially early on. And the reason being is twofold. Number one is that your pitch probably sucks. , your pitch is probably not that interesting, Mike.

We oftentimes, you know, put together these pitches that are very narcissistic. Candidly, it’s very me focused, hi, my name is Justin Moore. I’ve got this podcast with this many downloads every month, and I, this is my audience demographics and here’s how blah, blah, blah. It’s like very, very me focused. And a brand or an agency opens that email.

They have no idea who you are, delete. They just deleted your email. Right? And the reality is, is that you actually have to shift that focus to be, to make it being. Focus. So in your initial, in the first line of that pitch, it’s Habe company, I saw that you are trying to accomplish X. Okay. Let’s, let’s take a step back here because I have a, a pitching methodology that I teach in my course called the rope method and R in the rope method stands for that.

Your pitch has to be relevant to a campaign that the brand has either run in the past or is currently running. The O stands for organic meaning that you can tie your pitch back to organic content that you’ve. Published to show that you have Affinity P stands for proof, meaning that you can show how you’ve helped other brands achieve results.

And E stands for easy to execute when they say Yes. So instead of saying, oh, we would love to discuss about how we could collaborate, right? You’re giving them more work and they’re thinking, oh my God, I don’t know. No, I, I have no idea. I delete. Right? And so when you look at the Rope framework and we look, when we talk about how you can make your pitch of them focused, the form it takes is like, Hey, I saw a brand that you’re trying to do X, Y.

My audience has been hungry for more content, more, you know, solutions around this, this thing that you’re talking about. And you link your post where, where you have, you made that organic piece of content, right? They can read the comments. Maybe it’s on social media or maybe it’s, you know, emails or dms or screenshots of notes and comments that you’ve gotten from your audience, right?

So you show that. And then you actually pitch them something. You say, Hey, I’m gonna do 10 Integra. I can help you promote this campaign, uh, in the following ways. I can do 10 integrations on my, my podcasts. I can do, and I can repurpose those and give you some audiograms that you can repurpose on your social media.

I’ll give you the usage rights if you wanna run paid ads for three months. I can get the first two done within two weeks. Are you free on Thursday at 10:00 AM to talk about that. So, and I’m happy to share results from a recent partnership I did with, you know, brand y. Right. And so it’s about giving them something tangible to react to Mike, rather than just making it all about you.

You were, you were helping them realize like, okay, this person did their research. . They looked at our press releases, they looked at our job boards, they looked at our open, you know, open positions for a social media manager and saw what we’re having issues, you know, who we’re trying to, uh, recruit to like fill a gap in our company.

And they are now pitching that they can do this for us and sit. Right. So it’s like, it’s about, it’s a matter of being, again, a detective. You’re not just a creator, you’re a consultant. You, you do a little bit of research. It doesn’t take that much. , you do a little bit of research and make sure that your pitch is actually going to be solving one of their business objectives.

So that’s number one, Mike, the second one is, You’re probably not pitching the right person, right? How I mentioned earlier, like you, you know, you’re, you’re actually emailing press brand.com. Literally they’re looking at that email. It’s mostly spam, right? That’s not probably being, you know, if, if it’s a larger organization that’s probably been delegated to their agency who is not gonna respond to you, they’re the gatekeepers, right?

And so you do have to educate yourself around the types of titles that you want to be targeting. So if you’re a B2B in. . You know, most brands now, most companies have a partnerships manager or they have an affiliate manager. If it’s a consumer brand, they have a probably an influencer marketing manager, right?

Understanding that the social media manager probably has absolutely nothing to do with paid partnerships, right? They are responsible for community engagement, right? Responding to people who sending questions on social media. They’re not responsible for partnerships, right? That’s just a small example, is like you have to educate yourself around this stuff because if you can solve those two components, your response rates are gonna sky.

[00:25:04] Mike Allton: Well, first of all, I really feel called out here. . . [00:25:08] Justin Moore: That’s my job, Mike. It’s my job. [00:25:10] Mike Allton: I know my pitches have sucked in the past, that’s for sure. But I, I completely understand and relate and appreciate everything that you just said. Making sure that you’re talking to the right people, that you’re delivering them.

I mean this, a lot of this is really marketing one-on-one, and that’s okay cuz a lot of us need to be reminded of these truths, right? Make sure you’re talking to the right audience. Make sure you’re teaching them and talking about benefits, not features. , so I love that fact. Now, there was something that I saw you talking about on your channels, and I want you to talk about it here.

Talk to me about your sponsorship wheel and how that helps influencers land even more deals.

[00:25:44] Justin Moore: All right, so I think that a lot of creators think about sponsorships very simplistically. It’s like, okay, opportunity lands in my inbox. I get an email from someone, right? They’re not doing anything proactively, right?

An opportunity lands in my inbox. I negotiate with them on the. They say yes or no. If they say yes, I execute the deal and then I invoice them, I get paid. I publish it. End of story, right? It’s this very simplistic kind of three step process over the many, many sponsorships that I have done. There is a lot more to it than just this like very simplistic, you know, process that I think most creators comprehend.

And so what I’ve done is I’ve broken down the sponsorship process into eight steps, and I call it my sponsorship wheel. And so to just quickly run through it, the, you know, step one is what I call the pitching phase, right? And so this is not only if you are actually reaching out to a brand, but if a brand reaches out to you, use.

Still have to pitch them because they still, there’s still question marks in their mind. They’re reaching out their soft gauging interest, and they’re saying, Hey, would you be interested in this? How much is it gonna charge? Are you the right partner for this? Right? And so you still have to put a proposal together, put a pitch together to convince them why you are the right person and why they should pay you this amount, right?

So that’s the first phase. The second phase is the negotiation, right? So you actually pitch them and then you have to go back and forth about over the deal terms. You have to understand. Maybe you have to pull some stuff off the table to actually make this deal happen. Right? So you go through that negotiation phase then is the contracting phase, which is something that’s very important.

And no, Mike, you cannot use an email thread as the contract. Okay? , you have to, you have to get all of this enumerated and articulated in a written document where everyone is understanding what the expectations are on both. , and it’s not because you know you’re gonna take this brand to court or let’s take this company to court.

If they don’t hold up to the letter of the law, that’s not the point. They’d have to be a pretty substantial deal to actually go litigate this. But it’s when, when two parties sign on the dotted line, it’s a heightened level of accountability and it’s just, it, it’s going through that process. It’s just so, so critical.

And then after the contracting phase is what I call the concept phase. And this is something that most people completely gloss over. They just say, you know, the brand says, okay, like we signed the. Get going, right? And they say, we trust you. Like, you know, dude, do your thing, right? You’re, you’re a great creator.

And when in reality, so much miscommunication happens where the creator or creator thinks, oh, you know what? The brand trusts me. I’m gonna go into my little cave where, you know, my, my creative genius happens, and then I’m gonna emerge with the, you know, the Mona Lisa. I’m gonna emerge with, uh, Michelangelo, like some sort of creation.

And, and they’re super excited and they deliver to the brand and the brand’s. . Well, this isn’t what we had in mind at all. Can you completely redo this? Right? And you’ve probably been there, Mike, right? And it’s like, and so this is very demoralizing for creators. And so even if the brand is not asking you for this, you actually have to speculatively send them your concept for how you’re gonna bring this partnership to life and allow them to provide you feedback on that, because that’s gonna like eliminate so much of this back and forth of you having to do revisions and re-shoots and all, whatever, you know, whatever format.

you’re just gonna be working much smarter A and not harder, right? So that’s the concept phase. And then after the concept phase is the production. So they’ve greenlight your concept and now it’s this phase where you, you have a checklist of all the things that you do to ensure that you’re hitting all the key messages in the content.

You have the appropriate calls to action. You’ve actually analyzed this creative brief that they’ve sent you where they told you all the things that you want them to talk about. And maybe before you even shot, you went back to them and said, Hey, you know what? Thank you for these 50. Talking points on a gore pulse.

But Mike, I need you to, I need you to distill it down to the three most important things you want me to talk about. , right? You like these? What is the main takeaway? Otherwise, my, my audience is gonna fall asleep, right? It’s your job as a creator to tell that to them. And also if you tell me, Mike, oh, go, you know, follow a Gore Pulse Instagram, and oh, go sign up for a free demo, and oh, go do X, y, Z and here’s a free coupon for, you know, blah, blah, blah.

And I’m, uh, my job as the creators, I’m gonna tell you. , what is the one call to action? What do you, what is the most important thing that you want people to do? If I talk about a gore pulse in my content, and you’re gonna, you’re gonna say to me ago, post.com/demo that just send them to that call to act. I think that’s what it was.

Right? Right. Like that’s, yeah. Right. That’s, you got it. The most, that’s the most important thing. And I’m gonna say thank you, Mike. And that’s the one I’m gonna say in the content, right? And so it’s, it’s your job. It’s your job as a creator to educate the brand about why that’s important, for it to be succinct.

And so that’s, that’s the production phase. And then once you deliver it is the feedback ground. You actually have to have the humility, have the objectivity to allow the brand, to allow the partner to provide feedback on it, right? Because they, again, this is a business transaction. They’re comp, hopefully they’re compensating you for this partnership, and so they’re allowed, and hopefully you’re, you’re adding this into the contract phase about how many rounds of revisions they’re allowed to give you and, and what, what actually constitutes a revision.

And then once the feedback is over is the publication round, right? They’re actually going to greenlight the publication of the content. You’re gonna post it everything on time, all the links are gonna be a adequate, you’re gonna post it on the right day, all this stuff, right? And then the final phase, Mike, is the analysis phase.

And this is one that 99% of creators do not do. Yeah. Maybe they, the brand says, Hey, send me a screenshot of like the downloads on that podcast, or Send me the YouTube in insights, or Send me the clicks on the newsletter blast that we did with you, or whatever. Right? And so the in influencer screenshots that they send it.

They kiss it in the, into the abyss and they say, here’s my invoice, pay me. And then they literally never talk to the brand of the company again, right? So many creators do this, and I believe that one of the primary reasons is, is because they’re concerned that the partnership did not go well. They think, oh, I didn’t get that many clicks on the newsletter blast, or, I didn’t get that many downloads on the podcast.

The brand hates me when in reality the brand probably does not hate you. The brand is probably thrilled. And so it’s your job to actually lean into that put, provide. , what I call something I teach my course is a post-campaign report where you’re not just providing quantitative data, but you’re also providing qualitative feedback insights into why you think, you know, this partnership went well if it didn’t go so well.

Here’s a couple of reasons why, you know, how this could be improved for the next idea, which I’m gonna pit pitch you now in this proposal, right? And so it’s about. You know, honestly, business minded when it comes to these types of partnerships, because this is so much easier to convince a brand that you just partnered with to hire you again than it is to like never talk to them again.

You’re back there or out, they’re on the street, like spare change, like a new partner. Can you work with me again? Right? It’s like, no, like you know this, right? It’s like it’s about retention. It’s not about how you having to fill this leaky bu bucket of your sales pipeline essentially, or your sales process.

You just have to convince the brand to work with you again. So this, this is like a very quick summary of my sponsorship wheel, but if you can understand this, it’s an absolute game changer because you’ll no longer wonder like, where, where’s my next deal gonna come from? You just look at your pipeline, you look at your sponsorship wheel and think, oh, okay, I have all these, these people at these different phases.

Let me go grease the wheel and and get this spinning again.

[00:32:22] Mike Allton: I love that you mentioned contracts because we just talked to Goldie Chan in a previous episode and she was sharing a very similar horror story where she had this client, she thought they was fantastic. And then they started giving her notes.

And it would’ve been fine if she’d have been given all 50 notes at once, but they gave her a couple and then a couple more, and like two run a Saturday and then three more were Saturday night and four more Sunday morning. And you know, now she’s going back and forth over and over and over again. And if all that had been stipulated in the contract, we’re gonna go two rounds of revisions, get ’em all in, they’re gonna be done during business hours, you know, whatever the turnaround time is.

She’d have been happier. Those expectations would’ve been set. And I also love that you’re really helping us not just understand the very specific things that have to be done, but you’re actually talking about a mindset shift. That’s the way I’m feeling it. Right? Whereas an influencer, . I have to view myself as the professional, as the expert.

I know what’s best with my medium. Like you said, it’s yourself as a marketer, we know one CTA brands don’t know that. I mean, maybe if you’re talking to the cmo, they’ll hopefully know that. Right. But if you’re talking to the owner of a particular company, his or her expertise is that company, that industry that they’re.

So show up as the expert, be the professional, be confident in yourself, right? And that will be respected and it’ll come off well. What other kinds of mistakes do you see influencers making in this pitch phase?

[00:33:47] Justin Moore: Man, using like language that’s terrible. Like, you know, unfortunately I cannot do it for that rate.

Or, you know, they’ll negotiate against themself. They’ll say things like, I usually charge a thousand for this, but I’m really excited. So I’m gonna do it for 500, right? It’s like, like the brand literally did not say that. They don’t have the budget. You’re literally just negotiating against yourself. It happens so frequently.

In fact, I have a whole YouTube video on my channel about what I think it’s called secret words to make brands pay you more. Because it’s like, honestly, the words we use matter and they communicate, like you said, your confidence, they communicate your professionalism, right? And so it seems very subtle, but it means a lot, right?

Because if, if a brand or a company senses that you have expertise, right? That you understand your niche and your industry. Platform that you have built up your influence right now. I think a lot of creators feel as though all brands. Have figured it out. Oh, everyone’s suing influencer marketing. Every brand is working with creators.

There is hundreds or thousands of brands who have literally never worked with a creator, ever. Right? And so you could be that person who is their very first partner. And some creators would be like, well, I don’t want, I just don’t want to educate the brand. Like, that’s not my job. This is an okay. If you want to have a sustainable business, a sustainable sponsorship, income and strategy, you have to look at yourself like educating brands is part of my.

As a creator that comes with the territory. And if you have this mindset shift and be like, oh, okay, yeah, sure. You know what? Sometimes I may, you know, be pitching a brand and I, I get on a couple Zoom calls with them and I walk them through kind of how this whole thing works and all this stuff. You know, what?

It may not pan out, it may not work out. I may not get this deal right now, but you know what? Maybe that marketing, that C M O or that director of marketing or that partnership manager moves onto another company in six months and they remembered the time that I spent with them and that I was an expert in this thing, and they’re gonna call me back and be like, Hey, you know what?

We’re more savvy now. I’d really appreciate your expertise on this. Let’s work together. Right. So it’s, it’s a very much kind of a relationship business. It’s so people move around constantly, as you know, in this space, right? And so if you shift your mindset from like, being one of this kind of transactional one-off partnership mindset to like, how can I just like be a good human and like help these people within reason, I get it, right?

You have to draw the line somewhere. But you know, with certainty you can ascertain how serious a potential partner is. And yeah, maybe you’re gonna, I do this all the time, Mike, like sometimes I will send. To a brand, they’ll ask a question and they’ll be like, how does this thing work? And I’ll be like, here, lemme just fire up Loom.

I’ll like screen share. I’ll do a like four minute video and be like, here is, this is how it works on Amazon Live. Cuz we like do Amazon Live, right? So this is how it works. This is where the videos go. This is how the carousel, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it’s like a customized video. And then the brand, the agency sends that to the brand and they’ll be like, Hey, look at this video.

Right? And then the brand’s like, Ooh, that’s cool. Let’s work with them. Right? So you can get creative and it really does not take that much time, honestly.

[00:36:31] Mike Allton: I love that. So you’re talking about, you know, we mentioned using the correct language or not certain words, right? To look professional, you know, being confident in yourself.

What about data? What kinds of data points and analytics can an influencer bring the table that’s gonna help them land that deal?

[00:36:47] Justin Moore: Again, going back to the campaign goal types, Mike, right? For a conversion focused campaign, what they’re gonna care about is right sales. Conversions, click through rate, right?

Like downloads app and solves, like that’s what they care about. It’s measurable, right? For a repurposing campaign, the metrics you’ve gotta bring are, can you create cutdowns of this asset that can go on all these different platforms, right? One by one orientation for Facebook newsfeed, and nine by 16 for, you know, stories or, or short form content wide landscape for YouTube or whatever.

Or turnaround time, right? How quickly can you get these assets? Cause they need to start this paid advertising campaign in the next like seven days, right? Those are the metrics that they care about. For a brand awareness campaign, that’s where they’re gonna care about the vanity metrics, right? That’s where you’re gonna send them the, oh, I’m getting, you know, this many impressions or this engagement rate or these, you know, com as views, whatever it is, right?

It has to be apples to apples. Cuz if they have a conversion focus campaign and you’re giving them a brand awareness data, impressions and views, they don’t care about that. They just told you. Right. And so the metrics that you’re sending them have to be in alignment with their goals for the campaign.

[00:37:48] Mike Allton: That’s so true. Now one last question I’ve got for you. You actually touched on this earlier and I love it. You don’t, you talked about how. Ideally, the influencers are forming relationships with the brand so that they’re not churning, they’re retaining those customers and that sort of thing. How about you?

How important have relationships been for you in your career and in this particular industry?

[00:38:08] Justin Moore: Dude, Mike, if you look at my wife and i’s quote unquote influence, Over the last, you know, since we started 2009, we are literally at the Nadier right now. , right? Like our, you know, height of our quote, viewership and influence all this stuff was like probably eight years ago or seven years ago for a lot of our content.

And yet we have made the most amount of money we’ve ever made every year since then. . And the reason is, is because brand partnerships has always played a hugely significant part of our business, and they know brands and agencies know that. Then when they come to work with April and Justin, they will get a high quality piece of content.

We will hit every talking point, every key benefit. We will do it on time and we will not give them a bunch of. Crap when they come back to us with edits and simple feedback requests. Like, Hey, can you trim out these five seconds? We just do it here. Here you go. 30 minutes later. Right? So they know that that’s the level of service.

We have an SLA basically, right? When you work with April and Justin, and so. Like literally more than 50%, 60% of our partners on an ongoing basis are just people that we’ve worked with in a past life, or a previous agency, or the same brand, or the same agency just continuing to come back to us over and over and over.

Because remember, it’s not just about the numbers. It’s not just about the numbers. So much of it has to do with like, Hey, if we’re gonna pay this creator 20 grand or 15 grand, or five grand, or a thousand dollars, your contact at the brand is putting their butt on the line. . And so if you can help make them win, whether it’s, you know, providing them screenshots of people in your comment section, being like, thanks, I never heard of a goer pulse.

I’m gonna sign up for a demo today. Right? Like even an anecdotal, something like that, that you’re contacting forward to the C M O , right. To your boss Mike, and be like, look, this partnership with Justin went really well. Right. Even something as simple as that goes so far with these types of partnerships.

So it’s just getting creative, it’s putting yourself in their shoes. If I was them, what would I want? Forward on, is it this post-campaign report glossy PDF that I can forward on to my boss or the client if I’m an agency? Right. So it’s, it’s about having this perspective. It’s not just a one-off thing. If you wanna have this long-term career, you have to think of it like a business person.

Right? And so this is like the fundamental tenets of what, of what I teach in my courses, of my coaching and so on. It’s just about these ongoing relationships that you have to build over.

[00:40:25] Mike Allton: What a fantastic answer, and this is why I asked this question virtually every interview because there’s truth there and I can say that truth over and over and again myself.

But then I love having other voices come on and, and basically reiterate and repackage that truth. Relationships are important. Relationships are everything. Thank you so much Justin. This. Fantastic. This time has flown by. Let everyone know where they can find you. I know they’re gonna wanna sign up for your course and, and really just dive into your teaching on sponsorships and pitching.

[00:40:56] Justin Moore: All right, well, like a good creator, I’ve only got one call to action for you, Mike. Okay. . It’s my newsletter. I have a free newsletter where every single week. Again, guys, this is a free newsletter, okay? And every single week I send you paid sponsorship opportunities. In the newsletter. I’m literally putting this on a silver platter and being like, here, click here.

Apply to this campaign, or send this brand an email. They’re trying to find creators to work with. And not only that, I share, you know, all the, if you liked, if this kind of was tingling, your brain, this whole conversation, I share, you know, tips and videos and articles, all this stuff about sponsorship strategy, that is all I focus on.

And so you could just go to creator wizard.com/.

[00:41:32] Mike Allton: Fantastic folks, that’s all we’ve got for today. Don’t forget to find Partnership unpacked podcast on Apple and drop us a review. We’d love to know what you think. And remember, we’re live once a month on all the AGO Pulse socials. So if you want the opportunity to tune in, live and ask our guests questions, subscribe to the show calendar at agorapulse.com slash calendar.

Until next time.

Thank you for listening to another episode of Partnership Unpacked, hosted by Mike Alton and powered by a Agora Pulse, the number one rated social media management solution, which you can learn more [email protected]. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe on your favorite podcast player. Be sure to leave us a review.

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