Justin Moore has helped creators to earn millions from brand deals, regardless of their audience size. He's a sponsorship coach & the founder of CreatorWizard, a school & community that teaches you how to find and negotiate your dream brand deals.
In today's episode we spoke to Justin about:
- why you don't need a larger audience to get sponsored
- how to pitch to brands
- what to include in your media kit
- how to negotiate brand deals
Our sponsor: Riverside
Use the code PASSIONFROOT2022 to get 15% off any Riverside membership plan.
[00:00:00] Justin: Yes, I'm getting lots of views, which is great. Yes, brands do care about that, but how can I illustrate to a prospective partner that I can help them accomplish their own marketing objectives by sponsoring me?
[00:00:21] Akta: Justin Moore is a sponsorship coach and the founder of Creator Wizard, a school and community that teaches you how to find and negotiate your dream brand deals, along with his wife April. He's been a full-time creator for over eight years and has personally made over $4 million working with brands.
[00:00:37] So my wife and I started on YouTube in 2009, so this was way back in the day before There was a partner program before you could really make any money on, on YouTube, on social media.
[00:00:48] Justin: Very much was kind of a hobby. I was in medical devices at the time. My wife was a preschool teacher, and so it very much was like a. Side hustle. It wasn't even a hustle. We weren't making money on it, so it was just a hobby. Right? And so, um, I think that, like, that was, we got our start in the days where it was like very much a passion project, right?
[00:01:05] Justin: So my wife, uh, was very much into makeup and cosmetics and, and skincare and all that stuff, and she didn't have any friends in her real life who was into that. And so she found this community on, on YouTube who she could share all this cool stuff she was finding and trying and all that stuff. And so, um, in the beginning it was very much like brands would reach out.
[00:01:24] Justin: Offer to send free stuff. And she was just like so stoked. So over the moon, you know, like makeup cosmetic skincare is super expensive, right? And so a brand reached out, oh, free hair, hair wand or hair curler. Sure. That's awesome. Right? . And so that was, we were just like, you know, we were young in our early twenties at this time, and so we were just like very, very stoked, uh, to, uh, to be able.
[00:01:47] Justin: You know, stuff like that. And so, um, for, for a long time it was just that, like even she got rejected from the partner program, you know, multiple times. So it wasn't, it wasn't like this like stratospheric rise to success for us. It was very much like trials and tribulations for a long time. But, um, honestly, when brands, so brands, it was the free product thing first.
[00:02:04] Justin: And then, uh, when the first brand reached out and. Actually offered money to, to, to actually compensate, you know, her, to actually make a video. She was just like, what is, what is happening here? Right? And so I was in business school at the time and so she basically asked me like, can you like intervene here, can you like, talk to these people? I, I don't even, I really don't know what I'm doing. And I obviously had no idea what I was doing either, but. I basically figured it out. So started, you know, jumping on the phone with these brands, having a conversation, figuring out how to price negotiate. It was just like we had no idea what we were doing.
[00:02:36] Justin: Right. And so, um, meanwhile, you know, we were, things were starting to grow. You know, we started, uh, you know, people started getting really interested in our relationship and so we started a vlog channel, started a cooking channel. And so we started all these different types of content brand, you know, more and more brands started reaching out.
[00:02:51] Justin: And so, you know, we started making some pretty significant income, um, you know, working with brands. Um, but kind of fast forward, uh, about to about the 2015 timeframe, um, I decided to essentially start a, an, an agency. So I was like, you know what? We're making pretty good money working with brands ourself, but how can we diversify something you talk a lot about, right?
[00:03:12] Justin: Mm-hmm. , like, how do you diversify this, this. Business that we're doing, it's going okay now, but like what happens if it doesn't next year or two years? Right? , right. And so, and so, I was like, let's, let's start an agency. Let's try to help other creators get deals, right? And so that was the, the thesis. Um, and, uh, and so, you know, made, you know, over the last seven years, uh, and generated millions of dollars for other creators as well.
[00:03:34] Justin: And so, Have this very unique perspective of being a creator for many years doing, you know, my wife and I have made over 4 million working with, with, with brands over the years. I talk about it a lot on my content and stuff, uh, but also helping other creators get deals. And so, um, I, I basically was sitting here thinking, man, this is like a very interesting perspective I've seen.
[00:03:52] Justin: So many mistakes that that creators make when they're interacting with, with our agency. You know, trying to, just being super unprofessional, not communicative, not adhering to deadlines. Um, and so I thought to myself like, how can I just create some content to help people, right? Like mm-hmm. How do you price yourself?
[00:04:06] Justin: How do you reach out to a brand and like actually give 'em a compelling pitch? All the, a lot of the stuff I think we'll talk about, but like, that is how I started kind of this sponsorship coaching because I just felt that there was this big void, uh, and need for, for people to be more professional. Here we are.
[00:04:22] Akta: I think it's, there's such a gap in the knowledge I feel with sponsorships cuz you have no idea what you're doing. What is like the most common thing that you have to coach people to overcome, to successfully do brand deals?
[00:04:35] Justin: Okay, so the number one thing, honestly is that people have a very, me, me, me focused mindset when it comes to sponsorship.
[00:04:42] Justin: So they think, oh, you know, I have this YouTube channel, or I have this podcast, or I have this web series or blog or whatever. How can I just go out and find sponsors to pay me ? That, that's the mentality. I just, I'm getting all these views and like, how can I just find this brand who will just, I can. do a product place or do a little shout out and like, they'll be super happy, right?
[00:04:59] Justin: Because it's, I'm getting all these views, right? And so as creators, we're very much in this kind of like mindset where it's, it's about performance, it's about views, it's about comments, it's about engagement, it's about performance relative to our last posts, all this stuff, right? Um, but the, the, the cold truth of it is that brands don't care about any of that stuff most of the time.
[00:05:18] Justin: Like a lot of times they have, basically what they care about is their own market. Objectives. Mm. They don't know you. They don't care about your channel. Whether you're getting millions of views, whether you have millions of followers, thousands. They don't care. They don't know you , right? Yeah. And so what I, what I coach people on is the most, the most fundamental mindset shift in the beginning is how can you have a service mindset?
[00:05:41] Justin: How can you go and think to yourself, okay, yes, I'm getting lots of views, which is great. Yes, brands do care about that, but how can I illustrate to a prospective partner that. , I can help them accomplish their own marketing objectives by sponsoring me. Mm-hmm. . So it's about them. It's about approaching it and saying, Hey, I saw that you're trying to target the college student demographic to, you know, try and get their first job.
[00:06:05] Justin: I can help you do that. You, you can reallocate some of the, you know, budget that you've already, you know, decided that you're gonna spend towards this segment by sponsoring me. And so it's like, it's very much, it's, it's accomplishing the same thing, but it's just a problem solution mindset, which is a very different thing.
[00:06:23] Akta: I find it really interesting that you said that views aren't really the most important thing, which makes me question, does it matter what your audience size is before you start doing sponsorships? If views and the metrics. That's significant.
[00:06:39] Justin: So let's split hairs a little bit here. So, uh, a another thing that I teach, which I think is again, there's kind of these, these core fundamental, uh, principles of, of my education and, and one of them is that, is understanding what the goal of the campaign is for the brand. Mm-hmm. , because a lot of creators, they think it's just oh, views, right? Because, and, and this oftentimes comes from certain sponsors or certain brands, if you have worked with brands, yeah, maybe they do care about that. But as you get, uh, as you do more and more deals, what you'll find is that there's basically three goal types that every brand has when they want to do a campaign with a creator, the first one is conversion focused, right? And so this is where the brand reaches out and they say, oh, you know, we love your channel. Um, but really all we care about is we just wanna drive sales, or we just want to drive coupon redemptions or app downloads or clicks on this link, or whatever it is. It's like something very measurable, right? Yeah. Um, the second type of campaign goal type is. Content repurposing campaign. So when you ask them this question, what's your goal? They basically said, well, you know what, uh, we actually just love the way you create content. And really what we wanna do is we wanna embed this video on our website or a landing page, or we wanna use it for paid advertising, you know, something like this.
[00:07:58] Justin: Right. Um, and then, . The last goal type is brand awareness. That's where they care about the views and the impressions and the engagement and all that stuff too. Um, and the reason it's so important that you actually ask the brand is because your proposal should change a as well as your pricing. Because let's say that they, you know, said to you, Hey, you know what content repurposing, that's what we care about. Mm-hmm. , well, you know what? , what you propose to them then is not, oh, I'll do one integrated YouTube video. No, the brand just told you they don't care about that. What you then propose is, oh, I will make five 32nd Cutdowns 32nd videos for you. Mm-hmm. that you can run as paid ads, and I won't even post them.
[00:08:39] Justin: You told me that your goal is content repurposing, so I in fact, can. You know, create a bunch of different assets. I can give you different hooks. I can give you different calls to actions so that you can test a bunch of different things in the Facebook business marketplace or TikTok or whatever, right?
[00:08:53] Justin: Yeah. And the goal says, oh, and the brand says, oh, wow, that's actually quite interesting. And so the beautiful part about that now is that the amount of money that you can charge them is completely detached. Yeah. From how many followers you have or how many views you get, or downloads your product, whatever, right.
[00:09:06] Justin: And so and so I, I think that's just like a very simple example of how you need to think strategically. And not just like when a brand reaches out and they say, oh, how much for one Instagram post or one YouTube video? You, you spit back one number. It's like, no, you have to be much more, uh, thoughtful about this process and act actually interested in the outcome.
[00:09:25] Justin: Mm-hmm. .
[00:09:25] Akta: And so what about the other two then? So like, brand awareness, that's more to do with like metrics, impressions, and it's conversion more to do with like, things like click through rate and showing that you've got past experience of being able to funnel into something.
[00:09:41] Justin: Yeah. And so, so taking like, to, to take that one step further, I mean, we, we talked about the pricing thing and, and the reason Yeah.
[00:09:47] Justin: Um, that a lot of, uh, creators really get frustrated when they're trying to negotiate with a brand who all they care about is like sales or conversions or whatever. Yeah. The reason is that, you know, let's put ourself in the brand's shoes here. Okay. They. Some sort of very specific, what's called c p a cost per acquisition metrics, where they say, okay, um, if we, you know, sponsor AKA's podcast, then we know that, you know, let's say it's, I don't know your metrics and I'm just making up numbers, but like, let's say 10,000, you know, downloads on, on this episode.
[00:10:19] Justin: Then of the 10,000 people who, who listen to this episode, uh, let's say, you know, we, we. 10% or whatever, 10, 10% is going to actually click through to the link, right? So a thousand people. And then of those people, then maybe a hundred people are actually gonna sign up for a free trial of Cajabi or something.
[00:10:36] Justin: I'm making it up. Right? . Um, and so of those people who sign up for a free trial, then a certain percentage is gonna convert to a paying customer. And so they do that math, right? And so they'd say, okay, then we need, we, we cannot pay her more. A thousand dollars for this ad read, because that is the math that we have done based on our prior experience working with other creators, similar creators, right?
[00:11:00] Justin: And so creators would be like, why is this brand so cheap? Like, why aren't they negotiating with me? It's because their goal for the campaign is conversions or signups for cajabi or whatever it is, and they are not going to pay you more than that. . Mm-hmm. , right? And so you have to understand that and not get frustrated.
[00:11:14] Justin: Con con contrary or conversely with brand awareness, um, the metrics that they're looking at, as you mentioned, are very different. They're not looking at like, oh, it's gotta be, you know, we, we could, we have to pay. We can't pay her more than a thousand. It's like, no, it's more about brand affinity and getting the name out there and spreading the word.
[00:11:31] Justin: It's a product launch, it's a seasonal promotion. It's something like this, right? And so your negotiating leverage now has skyrocketed because their willing. To negotiate with you is just going to be, uh, ver vastly different. Right. And so again, it's so important that you understand these as a creator because mm-hmm.
[00:11:46] Justin: your pricing should change. And so
[00:11:48] Akta: how does pricing differ then for each, each one? So would you say that brand awareness you could charge potentially the most?
[00:11:53] Justin: Exactly, so, so starting with conversion, your price sensitivity, the brand's price sensitivity is the highest, right? Mm-hmm. with conversions, because again, like they have to derive some sort of ROI on that partnership, right? With content repurposing, it's more of like a medium price sensitivity for the brand because they understand, hey, look, We have to pay her to actually create the content. If we weren't gonna hire her, we'd have to go out and hire like a production company or something, hire actors, actresses to star in the content. Mm-hmm. , you know, we have to have, pay someone to edit it so they understand there's a cost associated with that. Right. Yeah. But then with brand awareness, yes. Like it, it's their, it's the lowest. Price sensitivity for the brand because of all these other factors, right? It's like, it's the, the, the, the metrics that they're gonna be analyzing are squishy, I like to say. Right? It's like, I don't know, like, does it, did it, you know, uh, increase, uh, you know, awareness or brand lift or whatever. Like a, a lot of times it's, it's really hard to know. Yeah. Um, and so, so yes, like, it, it, it very, it very much kind of follows that, that hierarchy.
[00:12:50] Akta: But then even then say if you understand what their goals are and you're confident that you can deliver, how do you know what?
[00:12:57] Akta: Where to price yourself, like how to price your own value, that you can offer that brand without having any benchmarks from previous experience.
[00:13:05] Justin: Yeah. So, uh, a couple different, I love frameworks, I love acronyms, I love hack these little tricks and stuff like that. So, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna give you a couple.
[00:13:12] Justin: So, um, the first one, the, the first one is, uh, something I, I call the do rule, so d u e to get paid what you're due. Okay. And, um, the, the, the first thing you have to understand is what are the deliverables going to be? Mm-hmm. . Because a lot of times brands reach out and they say, oh, we just love your content and we have you be, have you be an ambassador and collaborate and all this stuff. And it's very unclear exactly how much or what they want you to do. Yeah. And so it's actually, the onus is on you to actually double click and be like, no. Okay, , like, how much, like, what are you actually looking for me to do? Like, how many video?
[00:13:48] Justin: You're laughing cuz I'm, I'm sure this happened to you, right? Like, like how many videos do you want me to do? Right? How many videos, if it's on Instagram, is it gonna be a reel? Is it gonna be a carousel, is it gonna be, you know, whatever TikTok, like is it an, if it's YouTube integrated versus dedicated? Right. So it's like you have to ask these questions, you. Pull the thread and actually extract it out of them, because a lot of times they don't know. Right? And so, so if you, you, if you don't know that, there's no way that you could price it. So that's the D the U. Usage rights. What did the, what does the brand actually want to do with your content beyond you actually posting it and publishing it on your platform?
[00:14:22] Justin: Right. Because as we discussed before, a lot of times they want to get extended mileage out of the asset by running paid ads or putting it on a landing page or a website, e-commerce partner, and so on. Right? And. The E in the due rule is the exclusivity. Are they saying that you cannot work with their competitors for a certain duration, right?
[00:14:43] Justin: Mm-hmm. . And if so, what is the category of, of the exclusivity, right? And so these are the three major category or three major things that you need to consider when you're pricing yourself. Because if you don't know those things, you Abso. Cuz what a lot of creators do is if they just spit out a price and then they get the contract and the brand says, okay, sounds good.
[00:15:00] Justin: and they get the contract back and then they'd be like, wait, wait, wait. You didn't say that there was gonna be any exclusivity. Or Wait, wait, wait, you didn't say that you're gonna run paid ads. Yeah. Or whatever. Right? And so then they go on back and try and renegotiate and that is a terrible look. Yeah. Because now you have made your contact at the brand look like an idiot. They have to go back to their superior or their boss. Or if it's an agency, they have to go back to their client and say, Hey, I told you that this creator was locked in, but they're actually not. And so they have pie on their face. Right. . Um, and so, so again, like your whole, your whole. With these kind of re relationships and negotiations is to help your contact win and look like a hero, right? Yeah. Um, and so it's your job to actually ask a lot of these questions, uh, so that you can extract this information so you have everything you need to actually be able to properly price it.
[00:15:43] Justin: Um, and so then the other, uh, the other thing, so I, I, again, I do have, um, like a very well researched, uh, calculator that I, you know, utilize in my courses and, and coaching and things like that too. But an another like really important. A really helpful, uh, tactic that I have found when you're having these conversations with brands is to ask them a very simple question.
[00:16:04] Justin: Um, it's okay. You know, this all sounds great. Like, thank you so much for all this information. Um, what I would like to do now, I'm, this is me, I'm creator talking to the brand . Um, What I would like to do now is I'd like to go back and put together, uh, a proposal, put together a couple options, uh, for, uh, you know, what a potential partnership could look like.
[00:16:23] Justin: Typically what I do is I put together a couple different tiers to help you understand what's, what's possible, you know, at, at different investment levels. Do you have a sense of, uh, what those three. Investment tiers would be from a budget feasibility perspective. So this is a little bit different than just saying outright, Hey, what's your budget?
[00:16:42] Justin: Yeah. Because a lot of brands will be like, you just told us. Right. You let us know. Right. We're still trying to figure it out. Right, and And a lot, because a lot of brands don't wanna be backed into a corner. Yeah. But what I have found is that when you actually give them an out and say, Hey, gimme a range, a ballpark range, so that we're at least in the same.
[00:16:57] Justin: You know, ballpark, um, the, oftentimes they'll be like, oh, okay, well, sure. Like, you know, 1, 2, 3 K or, you know, that's very different than like 15, 20, you know, 30, right? Yeah. So it's like, it, like it, it oftentimes allows them to, uh, give you kind of a, a, a realistic range to, to help you understand, okay, like, how much time should I actually invest into this proposal?
[00:17:19] Justin: And, and how serious is this brand? So again, like this is the, this is the meat of, of what. People do is like really nail their pricing. Mm-hmm. , because the, the, the, again, you should not have a standard pricing page in your media kit if you do delete it immediately. Okay. Because every deal that you do is going to be different, like we just discussed.
[00:17:39] Justin: Like every, you know, goal is gonna be different for every different brand or every agency that reaches out. And so a lot of it comes down to having a pulse check of the situation, understanding the brand's outcome, you know, their objectives and, and then pricing the deal according.
[00:17:52] Akta: That's such a great idea.
[00:17:53] Akta: It's something that I've never thought of, but it's such a professional way of dealing with sponsors. Um, I'm glad that you touched on media kits because it's something I wanted to ask about. How important is a media kit for working with brands and what sort of stats should creators be showing or what should be on that page?
[00:18:12] Justin: Yeah. So, you know, I know a lot of creators really, um, spend so much time making a pixel perfect and the design and all this stuff, and feeling as though, uh, hey, I, I have to have this ORs, brands are not gonna wanna work with me. I would say like of the last, you know, 50 deals that my wife and I have done, maybe one or two have actually asked for our media kit.
[00:18:34] Justin: Um, yeah. And, and I think that's because, uh, well, a couple things. Part of it is that we do have a lot of established relationships already and we've worked with a lot of brands and agencies already. Mm-hmm. And so they kind of have, uh, some track record working with us. However, um, what I do think a media kit is helpful to do is that it forces you to sit down and think. Your creator identity. How are you marketing yourself in, out there, in, in this ecosystem, right? Mm-hmm. , like, you know, understanding more about your audience, right? Not just like, uh, taking a screenshot of your demographics or something. Like, that's helpful, but like understanding more about them. Have you surveyed your audience?
[00:19:12] Justin: Do you understand their likes and dislikes? Going more from a psychographic perspective. Mm-hmm. , um, like understanding where they're consuming your content, understanding, you know, the types of jobs they have, like, like that is really at the end of the day what a brand cares about, okay? Mm-hmm. because, What you are, what you represent as a creator to a brand is a conduit to help them reach perspective.
[00:19:34] Justin: Customers. Yeah. The brand does not really care about you, . Sorry. Right. They care about, they care about you being able to connect them with their ideal consumer. Yeah. Right. And so if you have this, this, if you can be very low ego about that and understand that, really at the end of the day, that's what it's all about.
[00:19:52] Justin: Um, of course, like you, you know, you have to protect this relationship that you've built with your audience. Yeah. And so you're not gonna just like, Uh, let any brand access them, of course. And so it has to be this kind of mutually beneficial thing, but if you understand that and you just kind of can remove the, the ego from it mm-hmm.
[00:20:08] Justin: it'll, it'll, it'll a, allow you to be, uh, to find that these partnerships are much more, uh, enjoyable. Because I, I know a lot of creators get very emotional about, oh, this brand is being so difficult, and they're just like, I just can't believe they're asking this. And you just have to understand. Business, right?
[00:20:22] Justin: They are, yeah. They're going to be compensating you for this, right? Um, and so if, if you don't wanna work with the brand, fine, but understand that this is a business transaction, right? And so, um, again, like it's helpful to sit down, make a media kit to like, you know, really think through, okay, how am I positioning myself?
[00:20:37] Justin: What am I, what is my value proposition for brands? And then just from a tactical perspective, a a big error that a lot of creators make with their media kit is it's all about them, them. Like, okay, this is me. This is my bio, this is my demographics. This is like, you know, like awesome posts I've made and like this is how many views I'm getting every month and all this stuff.
[00:20:54] Justin: The, again, the brand does not care. You know what they care about? Case studies and testimonials. Mm-hmm. , that is what page 1, 2, 3 is all that other stuff about youth. That's the appendix. They probably already know that stuff because they wouldn't have reached out otherwise. They saw your profile, they looked at that, they say, Hey, this person's probably a good fit.
[00:21:11] Justin: Now let's reach out. And so when you, if you do send them your media kit, you'd be like, Hey, this is just another illustration that I am the right fit for you. Because look at how I've helped other brands achieve results.
[00:21:20] Akta: Hmm. I love that. I think that's a, I think it's really clever that you've related it back to the audience.
[00:21:25] Akta: And what's the best way of finding brands that are the right fit for your audience? Do you have any advice? For
[00:21:33] Justin: sure. So, Honestly, the best way is just follow everyone in your niche, , right? Like a lot of creators are just so, they're so, they're so mystified. Like, I don't even know what brand would like work with me.
[00:21:44] Justin: It's just I don't, I don't, I don't understand. Like, and so it's like literally go follow everyone else and see what types of brands are partnering with them. Uh, like, like, honestly, that is the, that not, not only do you have, uh, now you have knowledge of what brands actually find value in investing in creators in that niche, right?
[00:22:02] Justin: Mm-hmm. . Now you, your next step should be reaching out to those brands because the brand is thinking, wow, this partnership with this creator over here went really well. How can I find 50 other creators just like that so we can duplicate this, this success? Right? Because a lot of creators get upset. They get jealous.
[00:22:19] Justin: Oh, how come that person. Doesn't even eat a Chipotle. Like I, I'm the one who's been eating a Chipotle for the last three years. They didn't, I've never seen them post about it on Instagram stories. They were like, whatever people, they get this into this weird toxic, it's like, no. Like if, if that person is getting a deal, that is a good thing for you.
[00:22:36] Justin: That means it might be you next week or next month or next year. So true. Right? And so, yeah. Yeah. And so it's like, it's like really what I say is like start following everyone in your niche and become. A known quantity in their comments section every time they get a deal. Oh, get that bag. Congratulations.
[00:22:52] Justin: This is the perfect partnership for you. Be, be, be authentic. And you know, because honestly, ev all, all creator, I feel like a lot of creators are there. Everyone's just a little self-conscious. So every time they post this sponsorship, oh my God, people are gonna hate me. Like, oh my God, I don't, I don't, I don't.
[00:23:06] Justin: Right. Until you, if you're the one in there being like, yes, get your good, congrats. This is amazing. Right? You better believe they're gonna remember that. Mm-hmm. . And so, you know, if you. You know, fast forward three months, six months, they're gonna know how, how vocally advocate of an advocate you have been.
[00:23:21] Justin: And so the next time that they get a partnership with another of your dream brands, now you slide in their dms and you say, Hey, congrats again on this partnership with Canva. Um, would you be willing to introduce me to the brand? Oh, that's wow. Right. And so you have to, you have to deposit into the Goodwill Bank before you ask and try and make a deposit.
[00:23:39] Justin: And, and again, you have to be doing the work on your end to be building a platform Worth recommending. Of course. Yeah. Right. But. . Um, but like, this is, it all comes back around. Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I've recommended just introduce people like, Hey, you should work with this. You know, I have a newsletter, so I, I recommend other newsletter creators, like, you should go work with that person.
[00:23:57] Justin: And just, and, and then they recommend people to me. So it's just like the, it's, it's, this is not a zero sum game. is the point, right? Like rising tides float all boats. There's billions of dollars being, uh, spent in, you know, in the influencer, you know, economy, uh, and will be, you know, year over year. And so it's just like there's no reason to have this, um, you know, scarcity mindset.
[00:24:17] Justin: Absolutely.
[00:24:17] Akta: I love that. It's like when one creator wins, all of us win. Um, so it's a great attitude to have. And do you think that you always be the person, like reaching out to brands, because for me, I was like, oh, I should probably wait for brands to start reaching out to me before I start thinking about even doing sponsorships.
[00:24:34] Akta: Or should you always have like quite a proactive
[00:24:36] Justin: role? No. Oh my goodness. And, and so this is one of the fundamental things that I teach in my course, in my coaching is that, um, a lot of creators. Feel as though sponsorship income is unpredictable. Yeah. Even creators with hundreds of thousands or millions of subscriber or, you know, followers and subscribers because they think, ah, you know, yeah, it's nice when I can get this income, but I just, I never know when those opportunities are gonna land in my inbox.
[00:25:02] Justin: And this is the big, the biggest, the, this is the biggest myth. Is that, yeah. If you're sitting on your hands and you're just waiting for deals to come to you, of course it's going to be unpredictable, right? And so this is, this is what I teach to even very established creators is like you have to be supplementing your inbound deal flow, outbound cold pitching, no matter where you're at in your creator journey.
[00:25:25] Justin: It doesn't matter if you have a million. Right? Right. And so it's like, essentially you are, you have to look at your, uh, your sponsorship income as a, essentially a sales pipeline you have, because there's, I, I teach that there's eight different steps that you go through when you work with the brand. Right. You've got the. Pitching, you've got, you know, negotiation, you've got contracting, you've got the concept phase, you've got the, you know, the publication phase, the re, you know, the, the, uh, sorry, the, uh, the production phase, the, the research, uh, the, the feedback phase, the, uh, you know, publication and then the analytics phase.
[00:25:54] Justin: And so you've got these eight steps. Um, I made this, uh, YouTube video about this to, to understand that like you have to be filling. Leads and perspective, you know, partners that you're working with in, in each of those buckets so that you're always kind of putting stuff back into the top of the funnel so that you, you never wonder again where your next deal's gonna come from.
[00:26:15] Justin: You, you, you know, we have certainty like looking months and months out of what our income is gonna be, working with brands because we have this pipeline and I think it's, it's a very, um, it's a very. New way for a lot of creators to look at their business. But heck, you know, the vast majority of creators out there, especially social media creators like sponsorships and brand deals, are one of their largest revenue streams.
[00:26:38] Justin: And so if you are not taking a strategic approach to how you plan this out, well then it's gonna be, you know, it's gonna be really challenging for you to forecast your income. Oh, I think that's
[00:26:48] Akta: such a good point, because like you said, so many of us associate being a creator with uncertainty, so I like how you've maybe made that feel like that's not the case. Um, but I feel like I remember, I can't remember who, it was a YouTuber saying that they try to only have like one sponsorship a a month. So not every single video is sponsored. Do you think there's such a thing as having like too many ads or, or too many sponsorships and like, I know some creators feel like their audience might be put off by it.
[00:27:15] Akta: What advice would you give?
[00:27:18] Justin: My advice is, uh, a fundamental mindset shift around this. Mm-hmm. , um, which is that. Your job as a creator, in my opinion, is to serve your audience and. If you can serve them by introducing them to an amazing sponsor or brand or product that's gonna improve their lives measurably, there's no reason that you can't have a sponsor every single video or every single podcast, in my opinion.
[00:27:43] Justin: Mm-hmm. . Um, because again, like. If, if working with brands continues to allow you to give them, to give your audience free content, , right? Let's re let's remember here. It's free content that people are receiving, right? And so if it's a, if it can be a win, win win. Obviously you receive compensation, that's the first win.
[00:28:02] Justin: The brand wins because they're able to be connected to prospective customers. But that third win, that's what most creator. Like failed to think about is like your audience has to win in some way. They get, you know, exposed to a new product, they get a discount code, they get, you know, uh, you know, they understand, you know, uh, future futures or benefits about a product that they didn't realize before, right?
[00:28:19] Justin: So it's like, how can you help them win? And the way in which you can actually ascertain. , like which brands would help solve some sort of problem in their lives is to ask your audience, right? Because a lot of creators don't do this. They don't survey them, they don't understand, oh, I don't know what type of brands or products would be good for my audience.
[00:28:36] Justin: That's cuz you didn't ask them. You didn't like ask them. You know, Google, Google form type form. Instagram story poll, like it's community tab on YouTube. It's not hard. It's not hard, right? Yeah. And you can even ask them what brands and products are you using and loving right now? You can. Them and then use that at list to go target those brands.
[00:28:52] Justin: Hey, did you know I have a segment, you know, of my audience that, you know, loves your brand already? Like, let's partner. Right? So again, um, in my mind this, this whole idea of like doing too many sponsorships, like even if you two extra three x, the amount of sponsors you would do would still be low probably relative to the amount of free organic content that you're already putting.
[00:29:12] Akta: Mm sure. That's so simple, but that's so eye-opening. I feel like it's completely changed my mindset on sponsorship, so thank you for that. Um, and that's how you make it successful, of course, for your audience. How do you make it successful for the brand so that they want to work with you again? Like, how do you make sure that you maintain that relationship, you know, from that starting point right up until the end?
[00:29:36] Justin: Oh my gosh, it's not hard. Just be professional, be communicative, literally adhere to deadlines. If you just do those two things, you will be now in literally the 99th percentile of creators. Like, I can't tell cuz I ran an agency for seven years. I, I recently shut it down to focus on creator education. But, um, honestly, like I, I can't tell you I've worked with.
[00:29:58] Justin: Thousands and thousands of creators now at this point. And the amount of people who actually tr take this seriously respond to emails in a timely fashion. Because like, again, you're, you're being empathetic to the, your other, you know, the brand contact, the agency contact, the understanding. They're probably working with 20, 30 other creators on this campaign, not just you.
[00:30:15] Justin: Right. And what they're doing is, this is actually helpful. Let's go a little bit behind the scenes here. Would that be good about how these campaigns actually come together? Let's do it. Okay. So when you actually, what a lot of, a lot of creators get frustrated because when they submit their content for review to a brand and say, or to an agency and say, Hey, you know, just here's the, here's the content.
[00:30:34] Justin: Like, you know, let me know when I can go live with it or what your feedback is. And then, , you know, maybe it takes a week or two and they, and they feel like they've gotten ghosted and the brand is, and the brand is not responding, or the agency's not responding with feedback. They're like, what is going on?
[00:30:48] Justin: This agency is super professional. They're screwing up my upload cadence. I was supposed to go live with this video, this type of thing. You have to understand again, They're probably working with 10, 20, 30 other creators. And what they're doing is they're collecting all of those assets at once from all 20 partners before they send it to the brand for review.
[00:31:07] Justin: They're not sending it piecemeal like, oh, here's a, here's one creator's video, here's another creator's gimme feedback here. Right? And because that is not the value proposition that the agency gave to the brand, they said, Hey, hire. We will make a streamlined package. We'll, we'll handle all the logistics.
[00:31:21] Justin: We'll be your liaison. You don't have to do any of that. Pay us 20% of this, of this, you know, $500,000 that you're spending on this campaign. We will do it all right? And so that is why there's a delay, because they're waiting for everyone else who's del, you know, not adhering to deadlines, to package this all up nicely and deliver it in one tiny, tiny package to the brand.
[00:31:39] Justin: And so again, that's just like one small detail of like how things actually happen behind the scenes. And so it's not that. Purposely trying to like delay everything and be rude and all this sudden, yes, they should be more communicative about the delays and, and when you can expect feedback and all that stuff too.
[00:31:52] Justin: But it's just like understanding how this stuff happens behind the scenes really will help you have more of an EM empathetic mindset as a creator for how these deals go down. No, I appreciate
[00:32:01] Akta: you giving us that behind the scene look. And what was like one of the most common mistakes that you were seeing creators make when running your agency? Like what are they, because you said like professionalism was a huge thing. So what, what were they doing that wasn't that professional?
[00:32:17] Justin: Responding to an email, A very long email with multiple questions. Yes.
[00:32:24] Akta: really
[00:32:26] Justin: like, yes. I, I like, okay, you think I'm joking, but I am not joking. Like the amount of crew, like I just don't understand.
[00:32:33] Justin: I think, okay, here's the thing. I think. Part of the challenge is that a lot of creators, especially up and coming creators on platforms like TikTok and so on, they may have never had a real job. Right? Hmm. Like coming outta school, coming outta college. Right. And that's true. Being a creator, their social media or whatever blew up like.
[00:32:51] Justin: Right outta school. And so this is all they've ever known. So having professional email etiquette, right? Understanding salutations, right? Addressing people formally like that is not a thing or has never been a thing for a lot of folks, right? And so, but when you're interacting with a senior marketing manager or an influencer marketing manager at a large consumer brand or a B2B brand or, or whatever, right?
[00:33:12] Justin: Like that, Not gonna cut it, right? That's not gonna be the type of person who is gonna feel comfortable paying you $20,000 for a deal. Like your job is to give them, give them a warm and fuzzy feeling that, hey, if they fork over this dough to you, that, that you're going to like, Get them results, right? And so part of that is pack packaging your, uh, your business as a creator in a professional way, right?
[00:33:38] Justin: And so a lot of it comes down to like, you know, other things that I teach is like, um, you know, professional proposals, right? Not just doing this via email. Like how can you actually package something up that looks nice in canned, but giving them multiple options. Creative concepts and so on. Um, you know, how, how can you do a post-campaign report at the end?
[00:33:57] Justin: You're not just sending a screenshot of your analytics or whatever, which is what most brands ask for. No. You're actually going above and beyond and delivering a report, and you're giving them qualitative and quantitative data. You're saying, Hey, here's what I, you know, some lessons learned based on feedback that I got from my audience.
[00:34:11] Justin: I got some dms I got. You know, email replies asking for more details about X, Y, Z. And then by the way, you're using that post-campaign report to pitch the next collaboration idea based on that feedback. Right? Um, how can you, how can you create case, again, going back to case studies, right? Where you say, Hey, brand, you know, new brand access, trying to work with me.
[00:34:29] Justin: Here's a case study of how I helped another brand in a similar category achieve, you know, You know, results in, in for a conversion focused campaign and so on. So it's just like, again, professionalizing yourself understanding that the types of people that you're gonna be working with, this is the type of, this is the way in which you get them to just hire you over and over and over again.
[00:34:48] Justin: Because it just feels like when they pay you money, things go well and they look good to their, to their counterparts internally.
[00:34:55] Akta: No, I love how that's such a underrated thing that is gonna make the world of a difference because brands aren't used to seeing it. So that's a really good tip. Can I just ask like, what is the biggest brand deal that you've come across or seen?
[00:35:07] Akta: With a creator? Like what kind of Gimme a ballpark
[00:35:10] Justin: figure. . Oh man. I mean, I've, I've definitely been, uh, you know, part of, like my wife and I, I think our top deal that we've ever done was like 42 K. Oh, wow. Um, and yeah. And then, oh my gosh, I've done deals for significantly more than that, than, you know, through my agency for, for larger creators.
[00:35:28] Justin: Um, and so, Yeah, I mean, like, you know, for us, like, you know, the, we, we really, my wife and I don't really do deals for less than five figures now. Uh, just at this part of point in our journey, like, you know, and that, you know, that can be several posts, YouTube videos, Instagram, like, you know, newsletter, sponsorships, all this stuff.
[00:35:46] Justin: Yeah. Uh, but it's like most of our deals are from. You know, again, like that's another thing we haven't even touched on is like so much of our success working with brands over the years has just been from repeat customers, repeat clients. They just keep coming back to us because like we, we talked about, we just do good work.
[00:36:01] Justin: We're professional, we're li we're reliable. And going back to this whole thing like our, our. Viewership. Our level of influence, our level of like reach, like top line, just from like a metrics perspective is literally at the lowest it's ever been in the last like decade , right? Oh wow. If you look at it, and yet we're making the most amount of money that we've ever made, like every gosh year since.
[00:36:22] Justin: And it's because, it's because of the fact that like so much of like working with brands, it's not just about that. It's not just about the views, it's about them knowing like, oh my gosh, we got, we gotta turn this campaign around in like 10 days. Uh, let's just go back to April. And Justin, we knew it, w we know it went well last time.
[00:36:37] Justin: Like we, let's just give it to them again. And like, so much of our, of our success has been that. Over the years and like, this is the knowledge that I'm trying to bestow to people it, for especially, and, and it's honestly, it's, it's a breath of fresh air for so many creators who feel as though like, man, they're just been pummeled by the algorithm and their organic reach has, has declined so much.
[00:36:56] Justin: And like, and so it's like, here I am this like bastion of truth over here being like, look, It's not all about that. Let me teach you how to like, be professional and like how to stand out from the crowd. And you don't have to just rely on like the, the social media, you know, like hamster wheel. Like you can like make a great life for yourself if you just learn these fundamental like skills of, of, you know, doing great work for brands and just, just keep them coming back.
[00:37:22] Justin: See
[00:37:23] Akta: if our audience needed any more proof that you were the guy to go to for sponsorships. I feel like that was definitely it, and that's actually really reassuring. I mean, I definitely feel that way about being a creative can sometimes for like a hamster wheel, it feels like you are always chasing and I feel like mm-hmm.
[00:37:38] Akta: What you've said really takes the pressure off. So that's really helpful. Um, I'm gonna end now with a quick fire round and I'm almost gonna make you switch your hat from sponsorship coach to creator because you do have your podcast. All right. Let's see. Newsletter, your name on Twitter, so I feel like it's still relevant to you.
[00:37:54] Akta: Um, so what's your favorite thing about being a creator?
[00:37:58] Justin: Oh my gosh. My favorite thing about. Being a creator is there is an unlimited ceiling of opportunity. Mm. I love that. I mean, un unlike, unlike, unlike a nine to five job where you can get one to 3% cost of living upgrade or maybe a bonus here and there, , uh, raise, um, like literally li literally, I mean, if you work harder, Uh, you can make more money , like in our experience, like if you just like put your nose to it, like bust your butt.
[00:38:25] Justin: Like, and, and that's really been true and that's what really attracted this being a creator, um, to my wife and I, uh, you know, early on. And, and it's just been, it's just been such a wild ride and I can't even
[00:38:37] Akta: tell you how motivated I feel from this core, honestly. It's crazy. Um, what's one thing that gives you the most inspiration for
[00:38:45] Justin: creating.
[00:38:47] Justin: Wow. Um, helping people achieve results. Honestly, like when, when I, when someone dms me and told me that they just got their first paid deal after only getting gifted stuff forever, or someone, you know, tells me like, you know, I just negotiated. , you know, two or three X the amount, you know, going from like five to 15 K on a deal with the same amount of deliverables, just because I understood the usage rights that they were asking for and the exclusivity like that.
[00:39:13] Justin: That's really a lot of what I teach is like understanding like the levers that you can pull in these negotiations. You don't have to. Like offered the brand five times the amount of, of posts to make five times the amount of money. That's like a big myth. Uh, and so like I am so motivated when people can like give me those wins and like, oh my gosh, just inject that into my veins.
[00:39:32] Justin: Oh, I
[00:39:33] Akta: love that. And I love it when you share your wins on Twitter as well. Cause it's, it's always really nice about other creators to see that it's possible. Um, what's one tool that helps you with creating or what's your favorite tool to.
[00:39:45] Justin: Oh my gosh. Convert kit. I am like, I've like gone so deep. I've gone so deep down the email rabbit hole over the last two years, like I've really rediscovered my love of writing.
[00:39:55] Justin: I used to write a lot when I was younger, um, but like going down the kind of YouTube rabbit hole and filming and like all this stuff , uh, I haven't written in so long. And so like having an outlet to be able to. Articulate my feelings and thoughts about being a creator, um, in a different format has been, uh, really liberating and unexpected.
[00:40:18] Akta: And you've got 10,000 subscribers now, right? For your
[00:40:20] Justin: newsletter? Oh my gosh. I've, I've 10, not just 10,000 subscribers, 10,000 creators of the newsletter. Right. It's, it's like that, that is honestly, my, my, uh, uh, the, the, uh, yeah, it's been, it's been such a blast. Like I had, the craziest thing is that I literally, 18 1,844 creators on January 1st, 2022.
[00:40:42] Justin: And I just hit I just a time of recording. It's mid-December 2022, so I hit I five x the newsletter in. Less than a year. And it's like the, the growth has just been absolutely in, in incredible. And, and, uh, but shameless plug, by the way, I dunno if we're and done with the, with the lightning round, but like if you want to be one of those creators, just go to creator wizard.com/join because you know what, uh, I literally will send you paid sponsorship opportunities every single week in that newsletter for free.
[00:41:10] Justin: So I don't think anyone listening to this has any excuse not to be on there. No, I can
[00:41:13] Akta: vouch for that as well cause I'm one of your subscribers. Um, so what's something that helps with your work-life balance?
[00:41:22] Justin: Okay, this is a, this is a hard one. Um, candidly, I've always struggled. I mean, honestly, like I think. Especially for us, aka like, you know, because our life is our work. Mm-hmm. , you know, we've been family vloggers, we've shared our life for so long, behind the scenes and all this stuff too. Um, the line of like where work and, and our life begins and ends has always been pretty murky.
[00:41:47] Justin: Um, I'll tell you this, like, I work way harder than I ever did in a nine to five. Like easily. Um, because it's just like, wait. You don't know when to like shut it off. It's like, it's not like you come home at 5:00 PM and you're just like, oh, lemme turn on the TV and like veg out. It's like, does it, it's always like, oh, what's the next video?
[00:42:01] Justin: What's the next post? Like, what's the next email I'm gonna send? You know, this sponsorship we're working on, right. So, um, I think my kids helped me stay grounded a lot. Like my life. Totally. Our life totally changed when we had kids. Like we couldn't be workaholics really anymore, even though we still work a lot.
[00:42:13] Justin: But like, you know, we, we've been, you know, contrast that though with like, we've been so present in our kids' lives, uh, because we've been able to work from home even, you know, before the pandemic for like the last eight years we've been doing this full-time. Um, So it's like we've been ever since my, our first, I actually quit my j my full-time job six weeks after my first son was born.
[00:42:33] Justin: So it was like, I'd literally been there for ev, you know, almost every day of their life. And so, um, the thing that helps me stay granted is, is definitely my kids. No,
[00:42:40] Akta: I love that. It's actually one of the reasons that I changed careers as well, because I wanted to work from home. So when I have kids, I can literally just do the same as you be present.
[00:42:49] Akta: Um, last question. What's one piece of advice that you would give to other creators? This can be really sponsorships or anything in general.
[00:42:57] Justin: You have value. I think that a lot of creators. , they look at their, you know, they, they measure themselves relative to their peers. Oh, this, you know, person has, so they've grown so much more than me, or they have so many more followers than me, or they're getting so much more views or downloads or what, whatever it is.
[00:43:14] Justin: Um, and I'm here to say that there exist brands and partners out there who will absolutely jump at the chance to partner with you if you. Tell them that if you reach out to them and and advertise that they can . I think a lot of times creators don't realize, like brands, a lot of times brands don't even realize how you can help them.
[00:43:35] Justin: It takes you actually looking at their press releases, looking at their Instagram, like looking at their job boards and seeing that they're trying to find a social media manager and you actually reaching out and being like, Hey, I can actually help you do this on a freelance basis. You don't have to hire a full-time employee.
[00:43:50] Justin: Yeah, it's gonna be $5,000 a month, but here's my credibility. Go look at my platform. This is my portfolio. I'm not saying that I'm gonna like talk about you on my platform, like I will help you do this. Right. But it took, it's, they're not gonna reach out to you and, and, and pitch that, right? And so, again, like you, you have, you, you don't realize how.
[00:44:08] Justin: How much expertise and knowledge you have gained from actually creating content for years or whatever on a lot of these platforms. And it takes you actually reaching out and doing the dog and pony show to the brand and, and helping them realize that.
[00:44:20] Akta: No, that's great advice and I think that's a great piece of advice to end the call with.
[00:44:23] Akta: Justin. Thank you so much. This has been an incredible call, but with so much advice and so much that I'm gonna definitely take on forward and hopefully all of us creators can get those brand deals. So thank you so
[00:44:34] Justin: much. Absolutely. Thank you so much for having me, and any, anyone who wants to follow up me, I'm basically at Creator Wizard, uh, everywhere on social media.
[00:44:43] Justin: And again, my newsletter is creator wizard.com/join.
[00:44:46] Akta: Check out Justin's newsletter Creator Wizard, or you can find him on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and LinkedIn. And since we're talking about sponsorships, if you want to do them without the hassle, then check out passion through. We help you to do sponsorships, collaborations, and payments all in one place.
[00:45:03] Akta: I'll see you in the next one.