How micro influencer Alina Birjuk gets sponsored on Instagram

By: avery
August 11, 2018

How to get sponsored as an instagram micro-influencer.

Social media influencers with small, hyper-engaged audiences are getting sponsored creating Instagram content for brands they love. This article will teach you how they get started earning money as content creators.

In this article, you’ll learn how Tallinn-based micro-influencer Alina Birjuk is earning money with just a few thousand Instagram followers.

More specifically, you’ll learn why brands agree to sponsor Alina, how you can turn your hobbies into sponsorships, why she wants to keep her audience small but mighty and how to sell sponsored posts to brands. 

How to sell sponsored Instagram posts to brands

“Every good brand needs content. Even if you write 30 DMs and only one answers you, that’s a huge success. Don’t be afraid to ask.” – Alina Birjuk

Reaching out to brands is a simple matter of taking action. When choosing brands to contact, be realistic. Start small and build your way up. Starting with local businesses in your area will raise your chances that they have heard of you and will agree to collaborate.

Make sure your content style suits the brand. They will, of course, check your profile to see you share their vision. Alina’s posts often portray a colorful, adventurous, and active urban lifestyle, making her a perfect fit for a Tallinn-based smoothie brand, cafe, or even a whole shopping center.

Tap into your network: Who do you already know working in a cafe, managing social media for a local company, or selling high-end handmade jewelry? If you come recommended, your odds of closing the deal are a lot better.

In our discussion, Alina spoke about only reaching out to brands she truly loves. Being genuine will shines through. Working with brands you don’t love will make your audience feel cheated and the brand will be misrepresented, meaning they won’t get the results they are looking for.

Making money with Instagram sponsored posts

It’s one thing to find a brand willing to collaborate, but it’s quite another to charge them money. Overcharging for Instagram posts won’t get you far. Even if you do convince someone to over-pay the first time, there won’t be a second time. You also shouldn’t succumb to unfair pressure in any negotiations. Some deals just won’t make sense for you, and you shouldn’t work for less than you’re worth.

“Any project I do, I do it for me. It’s not only about the money, it’s about the people and the ideas and the inspiration and really being a part of someone’s story. It’s about trust.” – Alina Birjuk

Brands care about ROI (return on investment). The more value you create for them, the more you will be rewarded in return. Make sure you can clearly express why you charge the amount you do. At Modash, when selling our software to agencies and brands, we explain that every tier of the platform allows marketers to 10x their investment. We back that up with data from our previous clients’ campaigns.

You can do the same. Explain how your partnership isn’t only going to get a couple more customers in the door, but that it’s going to solve a real business problem. Maybe it’s clear their marketing team is struggling to create enough content to maintain their social media channels. Maybe they haven’t found ways to reach the right target audience. Figure out the problem they really need solved, and you can truly embed yourself in their business as a solution.

Long-term relationships mean better sponsorships

Building long-term relationships is what helps Alina provide the most value and get the most in return.

“I make offers to brands I really love. Brands trust me to manage their social or to do their photography work because our ideas and vision are aligned.” – Alina Birjuk

Would you rather have a brand pay you for one Instagram post, or three a month for a year?

Statistically, long-term brand ambassadorships are the best form of influencer marketing. It’s better for you, because not only does it mean you can do repeated work for the same brand, but it will open opportunities to work together. It’s better for the brand, because over time your audience will be exposed to their products repeatedly.

Alina began doing sponsored work for a local high-end restaurant. They quickly realized how good she is at what she does and offered her the opportunity to manage their social media accounts. On top of that, Alina does photography work for the restaurant, designing their business cards and doing sponsored posts for their other locations.

She reached out, built a strong relationship off of doing good work, and is now a key part of the company’s marketing budget.

Doing great work

Getting more sponsorship opportunities, keeping your current ones: it all comes down to doing great work. If you help brands grow and create incredible content, the word will spread. Brands are hungry for great content and solid promotion, so if they see that you have it, they will be eager to work with you. Keeping a portfolio site to showcase your work will demonstrate that you are a professional, not only a hobbyist and give brands confidence in their decision to work with you.

Keep coming back to brands with creative ideas: social media takeovers, opening a new account for them, doing a collaboration with your influencer friends. Coming up with creative, unique, and effective content ideas will guarantee that the brands you work with stick with you.

Microinfluencers Alina Birjuk great work

Join an influencer community

Get involved with other influencers in places where brands are looking for promotion. This is a great way to grow your own audience and find ways to make money with Instagram content. These communities come in many different forms.

Alina has built a community around collaborating with other influencers called tallinnhome. Since the initial writing of this article, Alina has leveraged her influence to build tallinnhome into a boutique social media marketing agency.

Modash is focused on making it easier for brands to work with creators and becoming a portal for creators to monetize their passions. That has been our mission from the beginning. We want to make it easier for people who love to create to make money doing so.