- 29-year-old Gigi Kovach is a part-time influencer balancing a full-time job and two children in Sarasota, Florida.
- Her Instagram has become a paying side gig through her work with brands and other businesses on sponsored content.
- This extra income has been especially helpful for her and her family in 2020, she told Business Insider.
- Kovach shared her strategy for pitching brands, including her rates for sponsored content and an exact email template she uses to reach out to brands.
- Subscribe to Business Insider's influencer newsletter: Insider Influencers.
29-year-old Gigi Kovach is a mother of two and a part-time influencer based in Sarasota, Florida.
When Kovach was pregnant with her first child at 21, she found herself drawn to the Instagram and blogs of other moms, which gave her a sense of community as she navigated young motherhood. Then, she started posting about her own day-to-day life as a mom. And about two years ago, Kovach launched a blog when she had about 2,000 Instagram followers. It was then that she realized she could make this into something bigger.
"Maybe I have something here, maybe I can make money with this," she said.
Today Kovach has about 13,500 Instagram followers. Like many other "micro" influencers (who generally have below 100,000 followers), Kovach has turned her Instagram and blog into a paying side gig.
But this year, her side hustle as an influencer carried a little more weight after her full-time job cut her income in half, she told Business Insider. And Kovach isn't alone in having her income curtailed. A recent survey by Magnify Money reported that 34% of Americans received a pandemic pay cut this year.
Kovach's brand partnerships, though, have helped bolster her income.
"Just one or two paid partnerships a month can pay for daycare or pay for a car payment," Kovach said. "So having that little business on the side, it truly does make a big difference for our family — and this year, especially."
But making money from her Instagram was not always an easy task, Kovach said.
"At first, it was pretty much 100% gifted stuff in exchange for posting," she said. Then, she started turning down some of these gifted opportunities and began establishing sponsorship rates, actively pitching brands, and creating a media kit for herself.
"If I'm going to put time and energy into this little thing that I have going on here, I need to make sure that I'm getting compensated for it," Kovach said. (She'll occasionally still post about a brand after it gifted her something, but only if she likes the product, she said.)
Kovach keeps a "pitch bank" handy, which includes a variety of templates she uses for different types of companies, products, or experiences. She shared a recent version of one of those templates with Business Insider.
Kovach bases her rates on her average reach, engagement rate, and statistics such as swipe-ups and sticker taps on her Stories. On top of those metrics, she'll also factor in the amount of time it takes her to create content, exclusivity, and usage rights (how and how long a brand can use her content).
She'll usually pitch a rate of $500, which will include an in-feed Instagram post and 5-10 images that the brand can use for their own content, she said. For three Stories slides, Kovach will charge between $75 and $100, depending on what the brand is expecting. (Business Insider verified these rates with documentation provided by Kovach.)
While she's started making Reels (Instagram's short-form video feature) — and even bought a new camera this year to prepare for more video content — she's still figuring out how to calculate her rate. Her first sponsored Reel went for $300, she said.
When pitching brands, she tries to be clear about what goes into her rate and why.
"It's not just some arbitrary, 'you owe me $500,' it's a breakdown of everything that they're getting in return for that $500," she said.
How she pitches brands, including a real template she uses
"You get a lot of no's when you first start to pitch brands, but then you sort of fine-tune your approach," Kovach said.
She started by pitching brands whose products she already bought on her own.
"For example, recently there was a brand that I had purchased from several times for my kids, I loved their stuff," she said, adding that she'd even posted about the brand organically on her Instagram page. "And then I reached out to their marketing team directly."
Kovach also tries to pitch brands that she knows will resonate with her audience and illustrates to those brands how she will "reach the right buyers," she said.
After she pitches a brand — and it lands — she'll go back and forth with the company negotiating rates and discussing deliverables.
But starting off on the right foot with an email pitch is crucial.
Here's a recent version of an email template Kovach uses to pitch brands:
Hi [Company Contact],
My name is Gigi Kovach, and I'm the social influencer behind @gigikov on Instagram and my blog, curatingourcrazy.com.
I'm reaching out as a lover & customer of your brand, and I'm confident that I could come up with beautiful content to help you promote your business. (In fact, I've featured your products on my Instagram before! [Link to brand featured post])
I especially love that your company is US based and mama owned! – I focus on sharing small, conscious and ethical brands with my audience — and I wanted to connect with you because I am working on creating " [XYZ Campaign/Series]" and would love to showcase your business to my audience of over 65k viewers across all of my social channels.
[Similar previous campaign] was viewed on Pinterest and my website over [X] times and the featured products were also shared through my Instagram (with an average of 35k weekly impressions).
I'd love to chat more about this and how we could work together to create a mutually beneficial campaign! If you're interested, I'd be happy to send over my Media Kit which includes my audience demographics and analytics.
Let me know if this would be a partnership you'd like to pursue, and we can chat further about more details.
To read more about "micro" influencers, check out these Business Insider articles:
- An Instagram influencer with about 40,000 followers explains how much money she makes and the email template she uses to turn gifting offers into paying deals
- 6 Instagram micro influencers explain how much money they charge brands for sponsorships
Instagram 'micro' influencers are helping fuel a rebound for the industry after a rocky spring and summer
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