Since the hotel/cafe drama that sparked the blogging community today (if you’re currently reading this wondering what the heck that is.. head on over to my twitter here) it came to my attention that us bloggers can often be put down for approaching brands first and I realised this drama might even put some people off approaching brands first after seeing all the negativity surrounding it today. I’m going to be posting another post soon on what to charge as sometimes it can feel like such a confusing topic not knowing whether you’re charging too little too less or even not having a clue where to start. I want to be more open about that whole topic as I feel like it will help a lot of people so keep your eyes out for that one. Today’s one is all about how to approach brands first so if you want some advice then keep reading.
Is approaching brands a bad thing?
No definitely not. Put it this way, there are hundreds and I mean hundreds of bloggers out there doing more or less similar things, you can’t expect all PR’s and companies to find you first. That’s impossible! This isn’t to say you don’t deserve them to find you, you might have the most amazing content and have so much to offer so why not put yourself forward and say hi?
What if they say no?
I’m going to be straight – they might say no but they also might say yes. If they say no it’s not the end of the world. You might have a second of disappointment but you’ll realise there are so many more brands and companies out there who might want to work with you. It doesn’t mean your blog is bad, it just means it’s not what they’re looking for and they might keep you in mind for further campaigns.
How do I find emails and contacts of companies/brands?
I’ve found lots of opportunities on the #bbloggerswanted hashtag on Twitter as brands will sometimes tweet on there. It’s also worth having a look if the companies tweeting on the hashtag have an email in their bio because it’s worth introducing yourself for future campaigns. Take note of any brands you see working with your favourite bloggers and also most brands will have a PR contact email on their website.
Do I need a media kit?
The first thing I would really recommend is if you’re about to pitch to a brand that you want to work with, to look extra professional you might want to think about getting a media kit. If you don’t know what a media kit is it’s a document which includes a bit about you, your blog, your stats, social media usernames.. everything you will need in one place when approaching a brand. I know a few people who make them for cheap prices, including myself so if you want one let me know (tweet me or email me firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can send you examples.
What template should I use when writing the email?
I’m not an expert so feel free to add/change parts to this but this is just my template that I use and I can imagine lots of bloggers follow one very similar:
Subject of email – Possible Blog Collaboration
Introduction – Keep this section brief – say hello, give your name, your blog url, what you blog about, say why you’re getting in touch.
Why you want to work with this particular brand – Make this personal to the person reading.. by this I mean show you know the brand, perhaps link them to a post you’ve done on their brand before. Imagine you’re emailing Urban Decay (random one but just the first that came to my head!) ”I’m a huge fan of your Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation and use it every single day without fail.. I did a review on it here” and link it. Keep this genuine don’t just make up crap though! Also don’t just ask for free stuff. The complete wrong approach to take is ”I love your Urban Decay foundation and was wondering if you could send me some free in the post?” – no one will want to work with you! Give reasons why you feel this particular brand will fit in with your content.
Overview of stats – Here’s the part where a media kit comes in handy. Don’t go into detail and bore the reader about every single piece of information you have on your blog. keep it brief. Perhaps just give an overview of your following.. for example ”Beth Louise has a combined following of ___ and sees ____ page views every month. For further information please see my attached media kit” . This way you aren’t boring them with facts and figures but it’s enough to grab their attention and also make them realise you’ve attached your media kit.
Put forward your content ideas – The most important feature here I think in this email is pitching your ideas. There is no point saying I’d love to work with you… say how! They probably get millions of emails, make yours stand out and show you can actually come up with innovative ideas and know how to create good content. You don’t have to discuss all of your ideas, perhaps put forward two or three and if they want to work with you, you can discuss more in future. Perhaps link any of your posts that have gone down well with that particular brand if there is any and show that your readers loved it.
End email – I always end my emails with ”I look forward to hearing from you” which has become a bit of a habit just like ”hope you’re well’ when you’re starting an email – let’s be honest who actually replies giving their life story on how they’re feeling that particular week?! ”Hi Susie actually I’ve been pretty bad this week I’ve caught the flu that’s going around and.. ” everyone just keeps it as yes fine thank you, don’t they?!! Anyway.. just keep the ending brief, in fact the whole email shouldn’t be too long otherwise it’ll look like the person reading needs to take two days just to read it and you don’t want that!
- Don’t expect to be paid straight away. Not everything you do has to be paid
- Don’t always get your hopes up for a reply because sometimes you won’t.. don’t let that stop you again in future though. It’s just part of pitching your ideas just like getting a no is. You can’t always have a yes
- Remember only contact brands you can see yourself working with, no point pushing content with a brand you have no interest in
This is by far the quickest post I have ever put together in my life! After the response I’ve had today from my Instagram stories I felt like I should get it up pretty quickly even though I’m half asleep right now! If any of you missed those stories I said if any of you ever want to DM me about how to contact brands, what to charge then drop me a message as I’m more than happy to discuss it as it’s not something I hide. I hope you’ve found this post useful and I’ll be doing lots more of these posts soon. If you have any further questions on this topic just drop me a message or email!