Your Guide To Brand Partnerships

Have you noticed that the influencers are taking over your timeline and FYP? Not just those that have accumulated a massive following and are flown out by brands to all corners of the world. (Psst, we haven’t forgotten about that Tarte influencer trip to Dubai.) I’m talking about the micro-influencers who are now casually bumping shoulders with some of the most sought-after social media marketers the digital world has ever seen. The once closed-off clique is now becoming even more accessible to everyone, no matter the follower count or level of recognition. Speaking from personal experience, there have been learning lessons at every corner. I’m still rather new to making content for bigger companies but working with affordable and high-end brands hasn’t been that difficult at all. This brand partnerships guide will serve as an exclusive look into brands and companies I’ve personally worked with, some if not all being micro-influencer friendly!

1. Her Campus

I joined my university’s Her Campus chapter during my freshman year. Three years later, I’ve written many articles ranging from the wellness section, and most recently, the arts & entertainment section. Being a member of my chapter has also allowed me and my fellow writers to gain the opportunity of working with various brands looking for honest and insightful reviews. If you’re a college student looking for a way to expand your journalism portfolio and/or want to explore brand partnership opportunities, inquire if your school has a Her Campus Chapter. If not, gather some friends and start your own!

2. College Fashionista

CF is the crème de la crème of the digital community (not that we’re biased). Whether you’re a writer or a budding influencer, College Fashionista has options for everyone. Applying to join the CF community is super easy and won’t take more than 5 minutes. Once accepted in the community, you’ll begin to receive weekly newsletters on trends in fashion, beauty, career advice, etc. You’ll also be eligible to receive applications for paid partnerships with big brands. Recently, I did a partnership with YSL, which included the gift of 20 samples of their Black Opium Eau De Parfum to distribute amongst family and friends. You also get the chance to help promote top-secret product launches, which would be great to have in your media kit!

3. Topicals

Topicals was one of the first brands I ever cold-pitched myself to via email. They never responded, how embarrassing. I knew I just couldn’t stop there, knowing they’re a Black-owned brand made them an even more attractive company to want to work with. They’re incredibly special to me because they’re always promoting self-care which doesn’t only include skincare, it’s also about mental health and prioritizing wellness.

After realizing that emailing the brand wouldn’t lead me anywhere, I searched to see if they had an ambassador program or opportunities for college students to represent them on campus. Fortunately enough, they did! I applied and in December of last year, I was finally accepted into the community. I used my minor experience in ambassadorship with a local skincare brand as my reference. Since being accepted, I’ve been able to test and review products before their launch and even make suggestions to revamp current products, and possibly new ones *wink wink*. 

Apply here for the Topicals Insider program!

4. Glossier

Glossier is the one-stop shop for an everyday routine. There are products ranging from makeup to aluminum-free deodorant and everything in between. I’m all for a brand that doesn’t limit itself to pretty lipstick. I always admired the cleanliness of their packaging and their Cloud Paint cheek colors are Black-girl friendly, which is always something I look for when buying from any brand. I was scrolling TikTok, as I always do, and a Glossier affiliate was reviewing some of their products.

I started researching the process and finding out how affiliates reviewed the program from their own perspective. Finally, I decided to just go for it. I got an acceptance email the next day! Attached to the email were my official affiliate link and the perk of gaining a commission rate when my followers use my link. 

Apply here for the Generation Glossier Affiliate program!

5. BUBBLE Skincare

Bubble Skincare has its finger on the pulse of Gen Z. We, the people, don’t want ingredients we can’t pronounce or that test on animals. Aside from those concerning factors, Bubble is also very affordable. Their Bubble Slam Dunk Hydrating Moisturizer ($16 at Bubble) has been called an inexpensive dupe for the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Firming Moisturizer ($68 at Sephora).

The mess-free containers are a die-hard favorite for their younger audience who may just be starting their own skincare routine. One of the things I love about Bubble is their decision to involve the entire family. 14 is the age requirement to become a brand ambassador with parent/guardian permission. College students have the opportunity to represent the brand on their campus. Even parents have their own designated program called Bubble Parents, which serves as an advocacy program to spread brand awareness.

In the world of brand partnerships, finding your niche and not limiting yourself to easily accessible brands is going to give you longevity in the business. Creating your own aesthetic will make you stand out amongst thousands of content creators who are all vying for the pretty boxes with the funky colored, crinkly confetti paper and full-sized products to try and post for (who doesn’t love those unboxing videos on TikTok?) You never really know where collaborations with these brands could land you, and that’s the fascinating part.