Social & Influencers

What Corporate Natalie looks for in a brand partner

The TikToker shares what works—and what doesn’t—based on her experience.
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Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photos: @CorporateNatalie/TikTok

· 4 min read

A lot has changed for influencer Corporate Natalie since she posted her first TikTok in 2020 about the quirks of working remotely.

Since then, she’s accumulated nearly 1 million followers across Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn, started her own virtual assistant business for influencers, and attended the Golden Globes—all while continuing her consulting career in tech.

In that time, she said she’s also learned how to approach the world of brand deals: “When I started making content, I was shocked at how quick brands start reaching out to you,” Natalie told us.

While she was quick to do her first brand deal with Twisted Tea for $500 after a few viral videos, now, with many more brand deals under her belt, she told us she’s now able to be more selective. Today, she’s worked with brands ranging from Dell to SoFi to Prime Video.

We sat down with Natalie to discuss what she is—and isn’t—looking for in a brand deal.

Brand synergy

Even though her posts often focus on work, Natalie said a company doesn’t have to be strictly corporate or B2B to be a fit. One of her most-clicked partnerships was a campaign for a James Allen tennis bracelet that she’s worn in her videos over the last year.

“I get DMs like, ‘Where’s that bracelet from?’ So it was just such a perfect fit for my audience…They see it on me; now here’s the link and a discount code,” she said. “That’s how influencer partnerships should work.”

A crucial consideration, she said, is whether the product or service can be woven into content that feels natural for the Corporate Natalie brand. That’s why she’s implemented an “internal audit process” to help her determine if she wants to move forward with a particular brand.

“If I can’t think of a funny bit in like five seconds of reading the brief or the pitch, it’s probably not going to work,” she said.

The desire for that creative flexibility is why she said open-ended briefs are often better. “Overly prescriptive briefs of, ‘You’re using this hashtag,’ ‘You’re doing this dance,’ ‘You’re sitting in this setting,’ ‘You’re saying these lines,’...That’s not a collaborative brand effort,” she said. “That’s more of an assignment.”

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Often, she said, she uses the same formats for sponsored videos as she does for organic posts, like her “Coworker who…” series. “I think that’s part of my brand ethos of wanting it to feel super organic to my channel,” she said.


We have a deal…breaker

When pitching an influencer, it’s important to know who you’re reaching out to: Given that Natalie’s personal brand is comedy, she said companies that “don’t want their products to be made fun of,” something she said is totally fair, probably aren’t a good fit. She also tends to work with brands that “keep it clean” and don’t have past PR-related issues (in her words, “Your grandma could see this”).

Other potential contract dealbreakers she noted are usage in perpetuity (“I don’t want anyone to own my face for forever”) or long usage timelines (“If I have seven different things being boosted, it doesn’t look good for my brand.”). But the biggest one, she said, is not meeting rates.

“There’s only so much ad space on my channel,” she said, noting that posting a lot of sponsored content in a row can have serious consequences for engagement and follower counts. “For every ad I do, I have to do 10 organic posts to try to bury it within the content, so meeting the rates is important at this stage in my following.”

Natalie compared setting pay rates to applying for college, explaining that the process doesn’t just involve one test score (or, in this case, follower count), but also a personal essay.

“The story I tell is a huge justification for my rates,” she said. “I have a super engaged audience: they’re super informed; they have a ton of buying power; [they’re] age 25 to 35; they’re largely women who buy a lot more on social media platforms; and I think it’s important to take those things into consideration.”

For influencers determining their rates, she offered this advice:, “If you’re getting a yes every time you offer your rates, that’s a problem. You should be getting turned down.” And when that happens, she encourages influencers to not get discouraged: “If you don’t try, you’ll never know. And you could be leaving money on the table.”

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