The Best Things in Life Are Free … Clothes

By now, just about everybody knows what an influencer is. You’re probably most familiar with macro-influencers, people who are typically considered famous within their respective field and have a lot of followers that they influence to wear certain things, purchase certain products, etc. 

A somewhat newer type of influencer is called the “micro-influencer.” Micro-influencers are those with smaller follower counts who often “apply” to become sponsored by a company, opposed to macro-influencers who are usually sought out by brands. 

Macro-influencers have hundreds of thousands of followers, while micro-influencers typically have 10,000–50,000 followers. But what about those who don’t fall into those two categories? 

You may not know it, but you are considered a nano-influencer if you have between 1,000–10,000 followers. According to mediakix.com, “nano-influencers’ audiences are small, niche, and highly engaged,” which could very well sound like your own Instagram following. 

Photo from mediakix.com

Brands recognize the advantage to partnering with nano-influencers who have a smaller follower count and they make it pretty easy for you to get free stuff.

So now that you know you have the potential to be a nano-influencer, how can you start partnering with brands and getting free goodies sent right to your door?

Join Influenster 

Joining Influenster is probably the easiest way to get free stuff. By connecting your social media accounts to your Influenster profile, it evaluates your followings and uses that to determine if they’ll send you a “VoxBox” or not. The Influenster VoxBox can contain free clothes, skin and hair products, and depending on your impact score (the higher the score, the better), they might even send you something extra special like a Keurig coffee machine. Influenster is a great first step in getting free items because the company recognizes that smaller accounts with close-knit follower communities can do a really great job at spreading the word about the products they’re testing.

Curate Your Instagram

Curating your Instagram and other social media accounts so that they’re representative of you and your values can be key in getting partnerships. If your feed is full of selfies and lacks creativity and pictures of you showing off your personal style, a clothing brand is less likely to want to partner with you. Turning your Instagram into a platform that expresses your interests can be really helpful to you, as it shows off who you are as a person and can help a company to better understand you and your goals.

Reach Out To Companies You Like

From Tinder to Milk Bar to South Moon Under, all different types of companies need brand ambassadors. Whether they send you free things in exchange for posts, require you to post in exchange for money or simply just send you things for the fun of it, brand partnerships are another easy way to get free products. While some companies put their ambassador application online, others may reach out to you through direct messages or in the comment section on one of your posts. If you don’t see an application for an ambassadorship with a brand you really love, reach out to them through their direct messages, comments or email to try and spark their interest in you!

Investigate Companies That Reach Out To You

Speaking of companies reaching out to people who they’d like to see as their brand ambassadors, it’s always super important to research the companies that reach out to you. A lot of smaller, more unknown fashion brands that are based online use third-party accounts to reach out to “normal” people who they’d like to influence for them. However, if a brand that’s new to you feels a little shady or doesn’t carry products that represent your style and values, don’t feel obligated to take up the opportunity. If you aren’t going to feel good representing their product, and you’re unsure about the company as a whole, you’re better off just saying “thanks, but no thanks.”

Look Into Campus Ambassadorships

Aimed at regular college students, campus ambassadorships can be found in your local campus community as well as online. Stores in State College like Lions Pride have partnership programs that you can apply for each school year. Larger companies like Daniel Wellington and Lulus have campus ambassador programs that accept a larger number of students at various campuses across the country, so be on the look out for those as well. It also doesn’t hurt to simply Google, “campus ambassador programs” — you can find a lot of opportunities from a simple search!

Join Communities

If you’re finding it difficult to get influencing opportunities on your own, try joining communities like Her Campus and College Fashionista. Online groups like these partner with other companies and often search for influencers and ambassadors who are a part of these groups. Her Campus and College Fashionista, among others, often share opportunities on their channels. Thus, instead of having to seek out collaborations on your own, you can simply wait for the day one of the communities you’re in shares that a certain company is looking for people to partner with.

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