Free stuff from Instagram? Like what?
Well, anything you see on Instagram. Clothes, camera gear, skateboard stuff, water bottles, hiking apparel, flags...really anything that's being sold. But for free? There has to be a catch.
Before you get all defensive and decide I'm trying to sell you something, I'm not. I'm about to endorse a technique that's so simple you'll assume it won't work, and you probably won't even try.
Step 1: Find an Instagram page selling something you like
Step 2: DM them asking for one item of whatever it is...for free
Step 3: that's it
This is not a scam, it's not a pyramid scheme, it's not an upfront payment or even a marketing scheme. It's something a lot easier, and way less sketchy.
There's a secret sauce that must be added for them to say "yes". What's the sauce? Value.
Photo taken by Trevor Carr at EDC. I'm wearing a Live A Great Story shirt, California Living hat, and Zander Creatives camera strap. Provided content for three companies at once.
If you're an Instagram page trying to sell products, there's two things you're always looking for:
1. More likes/follows
2. More sales
There's an indirect place that most people don't see where you can place yourself to get free shit. It's called being a brand ambassador.
I know most of the time, this title includes you spamming all your friends to sign up with a secret code so you can profit share with the brand you represent. But you're not on The Art Of Unpredictability blog to learn how everyone else is doing things. Here's our way:
We provide either photos or video in exchange for gear. Got an iPhone? Check. Got a finger to push the screen and take a photo? Check. You're all set.
Now a base level DSLR and a subscription to Lightroom will take you to a much higher level, and make it easier to get free products. But neither are required.
Fill YOUR Instagram with pictures of other companies gear (you may have to buy some first). Make it look natural. Casually wear shirts, hold flags, or use equipment to create some of your masterpieces. Then send those photos to more companies and ask them if they can send you one item to create content for.
Photo taken for Slippa Towels
If they love it, they'll send more.
I originally started by DM'ing Live A Great Story, who sent me a few stickers to get started. After a few months of steady content creation, I now have access to their store to replenish any gear I need. They also run a brand ambassador program you can sign up for, and get some gear to get started right off the bat.
After Live A Great Story, I DM'ed Everyday California, California Living Clothing, Serengetee, Zander Creatives, Spivo Stick, Slippa Towels, and a few others. All agreed to send me gear, and I regularly represent their products whenever I travel or go on a photoshoot.
A good message to send would be something like:
"Love your page and your (insert product here). I want to help share this with other people by taking high quality photos for you to post on your feed. Would you be willing to send me one (insert product here) for me to start with?"
Bonus if you can add, "I already do this for @companyhere @companyhere and @companyhere if you'd like to see my work!"
Keep in mind that a big business might only check the first couple words of a DM before they open it, so don't be generic and start with "Hey! My name is..." or "What's up! I have this idea..."
Photo taken on our trip to Hawaii. Includes Everyday California hat, Serengetee flag, and Live A Great Story hat
MAJOR KEY: Make sure the products you ask for represent who you are. Notice all the above pages are consistent with a west coast/creative vibe. That way, when people see companies' products on my Instagram, it will all fit nicely with my brand.
For example, you won't see me posting photos with random workout gear or supplements (even though I use them), because they don't really fit the brand of my Instagram.
There are plenty of companies out there ready to send you gear free of charge, but only if you're willing to deliver value back in other ways besides cash money.
I decided on the photo route because they're able to post my content, tag me, gain followers, and help me build an audience at the same time. It's W's for everyone, and that's always the way to go in any transaction.
Start by sending five DM's every day until someone agrees to send you gear. We're willing to bet that you'll get a "yes" in less than a week. If it doesn't work, shoot us an email and we'll find a strategy that will eventually work - guaranteed.