A Brand Partnership from Start to Finish

Brand Partnerships are a lot more than snapping a photo and hitting post.


Jensen Kentel

1/17/20235 min read

Ever wondered how brand partnerships really work? Are you seeing other creator's landing big brand deals but don't know where to start? Or maybe you are just really curious about the industry?

Before I started creating content, I had no idea how this all worked either! Here is a breakdown of a brand partnership from start to finish:

The first step to a brand partnerships is to establish a relationship with the brand. There are 3 main ways to land a brand deal:

1) Pitching

Pitching is essentially reaching out to a brand or agency and offering your services. There are 2 main types of pitches; cold and warm pitches. A cold pitch is to a person or brand that you have no previous relationship with while on the other hand a warm pitch is to someone you already have some sort of relationship or connection to. Both are great ways to get your name and services in front of the right people and start the conversation about a brand partnership. If you want to learn more about pitching and my method you can download my free pitching guide + template below!

2) Inbound

Inbound requests are a content creator's dream! This is when a brand finds you on their own and sends you a message inquiring about a partnership. To increase your inbound partnership requests, I recommend creating a business email account and putting the email directly into your social media bio to make it easier for a brand to contact you!

3) Baiting

I have to admit, I made this name up. I don't know if there is an official term for this, but I like baiting so that's what we will go with. Baiting is organically engaging with a brand on social media to get their attention. Examples of this are following their social media, leaving meaningful comments, connecting with their marketing team on LinkedIn, anyway you can get your name in front of the brand! This is effective because brands want natural and organic partnerships, so if you are already using, loving and engaging with the brand online you will become the natural choice for their next campaign!

Paid Partnership with Premier Protein Summer 2022

Step 1: Pitching & Discovery


Now that you have started a conversation with the brand or agency and they are interested in partnering with you it's time to start negotiation! If there is one thing I have learned about brand deals is that everything is negotiable so don't skip this step.

Negotiation is an art-form, but don't let a lack of experience scare you away from trying. The best way to learn how to negotiate is to practice, my advice is to ask lot's of questions and don't be afraid to speak up if you don't understand something or it seems unfair!


Once you finally reach an agreement with a brand it's time to get it in writing to protect both you and the brand. I don't have time to go into too much detail about contracts but this is an important part of every partnership. I advise my clients to never start any work before a contract is signed, this protects your intellectual property and work.

Step 2: Negotiations & Contracts

Once you have secured the deal, it's time to create the content. Oftentimes the brand will send over a creative brief with direction for your content so it's very important to read over all the material before you start! Content is more than just photo's and videos, don't forget the editing time & copy writing.

The moment of truth is always submitting your content to the brand for approval. If it is a paid partnership, revision requests are commonly made by the brand or agency. If your content or copy needs tweaking you will need to repackage the content and submit it all again to the brand for final approval!

PRO TIP: make sure you always include re-shoot's & revisions in your contract, this protects you from the brand simply changing their mind about the concept and asking for multiple re-shoots!

Step 3: Create Content

Step 4: Posting & Engagement

Once your content has been approved and you agree on a posting date, it's finally time to upload and post the collaboration! For a lot of creators this can be a very stressful part of the process as we all want our content to perform well!

When uploading your content there are lot's of little things you need to remember:

-tagging the correct brand accounts

-using the campaign hashtags

-writing alt text & closed captions and

-using the approved copy & captions

Community Engagement is the second half of posting day! Now that the campaign is live, it's time to engage with your audience and nurture those relationships. Responding to comments, leaving meaningful comments on others accounts and sharing your post to stories are a few strategies to build the trust between you, your audience and your brand partner to ensure a successful campaign.

Paid Partnership with Bao Laboratory Fall 2022

After all the deliverables have been posted and are live, there are still a few more steps to before the partnership is officially complete.


Generally, within 10 days after you post your content you need to send the brand a report of how all deliverables performed. This includes; views, reach, likes, saves, shares, link clicks, story views, comments, messages and any other relevant details about your partnership. This step is crucial for brands when it comes to reporting but it also gives you an opportunity to show the brand how valuable you are!


After everything is said and done, it's time to send the brand an invoice for the project and then you can get paid!

PRO TIP: Make sure you discuss payment and include the method and timeline in your contract! Many brands will opt to pay via paypal (they take fees) or pay net 90 and if you need that money right away to pay your bills, 3 months is a long time to wait!

Step 5: Follow Up's, Analytics & Invoices

Brand Partnerships are a lot more work than you may think, the average brand partnership from start to finish takes me between 15-20 hours of work! I hope this breakdown helps you to understand the time and effort that goes into creating content!

Next time you see a creators sponsored content, be sure to like, save & leave a comment. Those little actions make world of difference and allow creators to continue to put out free content!

Paid Partnership for Canada Dry Summer 2022

Thanks for reading,

xoxo Jensen