If your goal is to earn a living from content creation—and a good living—learning how to pitch your brand deck to land paid collaborations will become your most valuable skill.
You’ve seen your favorite bloggers, influencers, and digital publications partner with big-name brands like Audible, Hello Fresh, and Hilton. You know they’re cashing in big bucks from the collabs, but how do they do it?
While many influencer partnerships are the product of brands reaching out to influencers, just as many happen the other way around. Pitching, also known as cold outreach, is often the secret weapon of content creators that quickly ascend to the rank of “six-figure entrepreneur.”
Luckily, the process isn’t as mysterious as you might think. All it takes is a persuasive cold email pitch template, and a well-crafted brand deck to go along with it.
If you’re ready to turn your content into cash, this guide will give you the information you need, including:
- What is a brand deck?
- Brand deck vs. media kit vs. portfolio
- Why are brand decks important for content creators?
- What goes into a brand pitch deck?
- How to build a brand deck
- Where to pitch brands for collaborations
- How to write an email pitch for brand collabs
- Cold email pitch template for freelance creators
What Is A Brand Deck?
A brand deck is a visual sales pitch for your services or company. Brand decks, also known as pitch deck presentations, are slideshows showing off key information about your products or services, target audience, results, testimonials, and work history.
Brand Deck vs. Media Kit vs. Portfolio
One of the more confusing aspects of navigating brand deals and collaborations is figuring out what the heck the difference is between a media kit, creator portfolio, brand deck, sponsorship deck, pitch deck—the list goes on. Which one do you need?
Here’s the tea: There is no definitive difference between these terms. From my experience working with multiple brands and agencies, they will use any of these names to refer to the same type of document. So you’re not alone in being confused, we are all confused.
At the end of the day, no matter what you call it, these documents serve the same purpose of introducing the brand to who you are, how you can help their brand, the services you offer, and the unique impact of your content.
Why Are Brand Decks Important For Content Creators?
A brand deck is your secret weapon for cold outreach, giving potential collaborators a quick understanding of who you are, what you do, and why they should work with you.
When doing cold outreach, an email pitch is step one and should be used to introduce yourself and your brand. Step two is to follow up with your brand deck, which will do the heavy lifting in terms of showcasing your skills and communicating your value proposition.
Brand decks can also be used by digital publications and startups seeking funding. Potential investors often request this type of documentation to help them understand the company's brand and potential for growth.
What Goes Into A Brand Pitch Deck?
We’ve previously covered in-depth steps to building an influencer media kit and content portfolio, and your brand deck design process is quite similar.
Here’s a quick refresher of what you’ll need inside your brand deck:
- About Section: Short introduction to you, your personal brand identity, social accounts, interests, skills, etc.
- Benefits of Working with You: This is your chance to sell yourself. Explain why this would be a beneficial collaboration for the brand.
- Audience Size And Demographics: Who watches your content? Include demographics like age, gender, location, etc. The closer to the brand’s target market, the better.
- Analytics: Show off your results! List metrics like engagement rate, follower growth, monthly visits, conversions, etc.
- Past Collaborations/Work: Include videos, blog posts, and case studies of relevant work you’ve completed.
- Pricing and/or Next Steps: Include a rate card if (and only if) you’ve received a brief of the campaign goals and requirements. If not, detail the next steps for the collaboration.
- Contact Information: Drop your social media accounts, LinkedIn, email, or phone number where the brand can contact you.
Are you more of a visual learner? Head over to our round-up of 5 UGC Examples Every Creator Should Have in their Portfolio for some more inspiration for your brand deck.
How To Build A Brand Deck
Your brand deck can be constructed in many ways, with the most common options being:
- PowerPoint presentation
- Google Slides
In my opinion, Canva is the best tool to quickly create a stunning visual identity, thanks to its vast collection of presentation templates, which include pitch deck templates, media kits, portfolio web designs, etc.
You can even create a logo design! This is the easiest route to go if you do not consider yourself a graphic designer (and it’s free!) Pop over to our guide on Influencer Media Kits and How to Create Them if you need a quick tutorial on how to navigate Canva.
Of course, there are also Google Slides and PowerPoint templates available if you’d rather go that route. Whatever your design weapon of choice, just be sure the final product is in .pdf form so it can be accessed on any computer.
Where To Pitch Brands For Collaboration
Once your brand deck is complete, where should you go to find brands to pitch to? Here are a few ways to connect with brands and put yourself in front of the right people:
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a great platform to connect with professionals in your industry, including those at your favorite brands and companies. You can use it to find the PR manager or marketing manager at a company and reach out to them directly.
- Instagram: Many brands and companies have active Instagram accounts and use the platform to connect with influencers and content creators. Reach out to them through direct messages or by commenting on their posts.
- Email: Email is still one of the best ways to reach out to brands and companies. However, finding the right email address can be challenging. Use free Google Chrome extensions like Hunter.io to find the email of the PR manager or marketing manager.
@deniseseva Screenshot if you want to work with brands for collaborations ✨ #microinfluencer #instagramgrowthtips#growoninstagram #socialmediagrowth #collabtips #igtips ♬ Love You So - The King Khan & BBQ Show
How To Write An Email Pitch For Brand Collabs
Once you’ve found your brand contact, it's important to personalize your pitch and make it as compelling as possible. Here are a few tips to help you perfect your cold email pitch:
- Do your research: Before reaching out to a brand, make sure you have a clear understanding of their target audience, values, and what kind of content they typically collaborate on. This will help you tailor your pitch and increase your chances of success.
- Personalize your pitch: Never send a clearly copy-and-pasted pitch email. Take the time to personalize it for each individual company. Mention specific examples of how your content aligns with their mission and values.
- Skip the attachments and links: For your initial pitch email, do everything in your power to avoid being lost to the spam folder. Unfortunately, attachments and links (such as to your brand deck) are often flagged as spam.
- Be direct and to the point: Keep your pitch short and concise, and directly address the brand's needs. Include a call-to-action, such as scheduling a call to discuss further.
Sample Cold Email Pitch Template For Freelance Creators
Subject: [Your Name] - [Your Brand] - [Type of Collaboration]
Dear [Brand Name],
My name is [Your Name] and I'm the founder of [Your Brand]. I came across your brand and I am impressed by the quality of your content and your dedication to [Brand's Niche/ Mission].
As a [Your Niche] content creator, I believe my skills and expertise can bring added value to your brand and help you reach your target audience. I have created some amazing content for [Your Past Clients] and I'm confident that I can create the same for your brand.
I would love to discuss further about the possibility of collaborating on [Type of Collaboration] and how my content can benefit your brand. Please let me know if you would be interested in scheduling a call to discuss further.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Now Pitch Baby, Pitch!
With your brand deck (or media kit, portfolio, or pitch deck) at the ready, it’s time to push past the imposter syndrome and start reaching out to brands. Most successful freelancers pitch between 10-20 brands per week, so get going!
Remember, landing paid collaborations take time and persistence, so don't get discouraged if your first few pitches don't result in a collaboration. Keep refining your pitch; eventually, you will find the right fit for your skills and expertise.
You can also check out our list of the Best Media Kit Examples of 2023 if you need just a smidge more inspiration before pitching.
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