I’m going to be brutally honest because that’s what a BFF does… If you haven’t established a following you shouldn’t try to work with brands.
You don’t have to have a huge following or get hundreds of thousands of views a month, but you do need to be influential.
Good rule of thumb:
-If you’re getting around 100 visitors a day you are safe to start reaching out to brands.
-If you just started blogging and are getting around 50 views a day, but have 10,000 or more followers on say Instagram, you can work with brands on an Instagram collaboration and throw your blog in as a bonus!
Working with brands means that you want to create a mutually beneficial relationship with the brand.
In a nutshell: You’re going to use your platform (blog and/or social media platforms) to promote their product, thus generating sales, and in turn the brand provides you with product and compensation.
HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH BRANDS TO COLLABORATE WITH
The three main ways to get in touch with brands to collaborate with are (1) reaching out to brands directly, (2) brands reaching out to you, and (3) blogging networks that put brands and bloggers in touch with one another.
Reaching Out To Brands
Rather than reaching out to a brand that has no clue who you are. I’d suggest you stalk the brand for a bit first! Follow them on social media, mention them in a comment, tag them to a relevant Instagram post and like + comment on their posts. Get on their radar and then send them an email that helps you stand out AND prove that you actually love and use their brand.
Read my: 10 Tips To Get On a Brands Radar, here.
Brands receive thousands of pitches by bloggers that love them and use their brand.
My best advice? Keep it short, descriptive and to the point. I’d suggest keeping your email to a few sentences. Here’s my format:
- Introduce yourself, your blog and blog topics. (1-2 sentences)
- Why you love the brand and their products. (1-2 sentences)
- Mention that you’d like to collaborate and why it would be a great fit. (1-2 sentences)
- Pitch an idea. (1-2 sentences)
- Call to action. “If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.”
- Provide a link or two to Instagram or blog posts where you’ve featured their products or gave them a mention. If you have lots of engagement on the post(s), that’s even better!
- Attach your blog’s media kit to the email. This contains your pageviews, follower numbers, demographics, and highlights you/your blog. Psst… this should match your brand!
Give the brand a week or so to see if they respond. If they don’t, try sending a follow-up message. If the brand does respond positively and they’d like to hear more about your idea, now you’ll have the opportunity to send a longer email with your specific collaboration idea(s).
-You get to choose who you want to work with.
-These can easily turn into long-term collaborations.
-This can take a lot of time and patience.
-You’re going to hear the word “no” quite a bit.
Brands Reaching Out To You
Once you start growing in your blogging journey (or social media journey), you will start to get emails from brands wanting to collaborate with you.
Write this down… not all brands are worth collaborating with! There’s going to be brands that don’t want to pay you anything, or will send you the product but you have to send it back, or they’ll give you a measly credit to buy the product in their store that doesn’t cover the cost of the product.
Ladies (and gents) – don’t fall for this nonsense, please! This is NOT a collaboration – this is a brand trying to use you and your influence without offering anything in return!!!
If a brand is truly interested in working with you/your blog they will send you a personalized email and you’ll be able to tell that they’ve actually looked at your blog or followed you on social media.
If the brand doesn’t want to pay you, that’s up to you to accept or turn it down. But it’s hard to pay a light bill with no money just saying.
Remember earlier when I said, “Working with brands means that you want to create a mutually beneficial relationship with the brand.” It should be mutually beneficial for you AND the brand.
If you don’t want to work with a brand unless they pay you, graciously decline. In the future, if they do end up with a budget for paid collaborations, you didn’t burn a bridge and could wind up working together.
-They’ve chosen you.
-It’s easier to ask for compensation, because the ball is in your court.
-If your first post is a winner, you can almost guarantee another (and another…)
-You could be one of hundreds they are reaching out to – a mass emailing
-A number of brands try to get you to do something for nothing, because other bloggers are willing to do this. Y’all need to stop doing it for free! They wouldn’t think to ask a magazine to run their ad for free!!!
-You might get the run around. My best advice: actually get the money upfront, before you put time/energy/money into doing the post!
There are a lot of blogging networks that get brands and bloggers in touch with one another. I’ve worked with a couple of blogging networks, I get a lot of offers (about 3-5 a week, but I decline most). Honestly, I prefer to reach out to brands I want to work with myself.
-They take care of the business end of things – brands won’t be able to skip out on paying you. They are the middle man between you and the brand.
-Easy. You sign up and the offers that suit you and your blog will roll in.
-You’re not making as much money because you’re paying the network a piece of the action.
-There can be a slight lack of communication – since it’s coming through the middleman.
Take Aways for how to grow your blog – working with brands.
-Brands are out there and they WANT to work with YOU. So don’t be afraid to ask.
-Make it easy for brands to work with you. Have your email listed on your social media profiles, your blog and/or contact form on your website. Be timely in your response – within 24 hours.
-When you put together your pitch for a brand, include information about your blog, the type of exposure the brand will get (your demographics and number of followers across your site AND all social media platforms), any relevant past projects that went well, the details of the project you’re pitching, what you’re going to provide, what you’re asking the brand to provide, and HOW you’re going to “sell” their product to their readers.
-Average rates on sponsored posts on Instagram are around $100 per every 10,000 followers, so if you have 50,000 followers, you might get $500 for a sponsored Instagram post (of course this can vary but that’s my experience).