Whether you blog full time, part time or as a hobby, working with brands is something that blogging will almost always, naturally progress to. Parent blogger, food blogger, beauty blogger or fashion blogger – whatever you blog about, there’s a brand out there that will want you talking about what they have to offer! I’m going to be chatting to you guys about how I’ve gone about working with brands, the importance of a good relationship, how to get in contact and knowing your worth!
How do I get in touch with brands?
When I first started blogging, I reached out to a tonne of brands I liked the concept of to start to get my foot (and blog!) in the door. Some people are hesitant to be the first to initiate contact, however, I have had some really successful collaborations and brand relationships built on me reaching out to the brand myself, rather than sitting back and expecting it to happen. To them, it shows initiative, drive and that you have admiration for what they do and create. Do your research – approach them on a first name basis (I rarely reply to ‘Dear Blogger’ emails!) but still keep it professional yet friendly. Explain why you like their brand and why you would be a good fit for them. Link your social accounts in the email as well as your blog address so they can see your imagery and aesthetic. Emailing is good and brands often have a PR email on their websites, however I have noticed Instagram and Twitter direct messaging is an increasingly popular (and acceptable) way to communicate. That said, have realistic goals. If you only just set up your Instagram a week ago, messaging Topshop probably isn’t the wisest of ideas – although, dream big girls and keep going!
Being easy to contact
If making the first move leaves you slightly palpitating, there are plenty of ways to get yourself notice which will in turn prompt people to contact you. Leave your contact email clear to see on Instagram and your website and follow PR companies too – they’re always looking for fresh and creative people to fit to brand campaigns! My fave for actively applying for campaigns and events is The Blogger Programme, an awesome site that has a range of campaigns to suit all bloggers, no matter how big or small! Be sociable, be consistent and be creative – sure fire ways to make people want to work with you and get yourself noticed!
Knowing your worth
If there’s one thing I could tell myself in my earlier blogging days, it would be to be more particular about who you work with. However I think this may be one thing that you need to learn through actually experiencing it. How are you to know if a brand aren’t for you or have bad communication? Unfortunately, sometimes you need to find out for yourself in order to find out which kind of people you want to work with and what you value in a brand. Thankfully, nearly all the companies I have worked with have been incredible, lovely and the collaboration has ended on a good note. Sometimes things can fall out of place and one particular brand left me reeling at how unprofessional and terrible at PR they were. I had to find this out the hard way, but generally if you don’t feel the vibe of the brand or things don’t fall into place the way you would like it’s probably best to move one and keep it professional.
Personally, I don’t tend to respond to unpersonalised or generic ‘template’ emails – perhaps in the earlier days, as I was purely flattered that someone wanted to work with me, but these days I want to know that people know who I am and what I’m about. After all, they want to work with you because they appreciate what you do, your voice and your style, so the least they should know is your name! I really appreciate it when someone sends me a lovely email, you begin to build a good working relationship and that should be what collaborating is all about! Try not to go for campaigns or collabs purely for payment or product but rather that it suits what you’re about – there really is no point in me talking about the latest Toddler toilet, because let’s be honest, I most definitely don’t have kids yet and don’t plan on it for a while! Your audience you worked so hard to build up will soon flitter away if you begin to write un-engaging and totally irrelevant posts.
Creating a flexible fee
When it comes to money it can be a touchy subject. Some campaigns may have a set fee, which you can either choose to accept and apply or move on and wait for something else to come along. Other’s will ask you for your set prices for sponsored post(s) or blog content. It’s difficult to know how to come up with figures if you’re new to payment for blogging, so work together with a brand to come up with a suitable price that mutually works well. Don’t let people take advantage but at the same time, I wouldn’t demand super high prices unless you’re Chiara Ferragni. It’s all about coming up with a mutually happy agreement.
The importance of a good relationship
Enjoying the process of collaboration
Following on from my previous comments, a personalised email goes a long way and for both parties! If I ever contact brands, they always appreciate the fact that I have done my research and told them exactly why I admire them and why we would build a good partnership. Likewise, if someone contacts me and compliments my work, then I know they’ve read my blog and that they believe whatever they are proposing is going to fit the style and tone of my blog. I have created these images of two absolutely beautiful bracelets with the fab Aussie based company, The Peach Box (which you can grab a cheeky 15% off with the code ‘primrosebw’ ! 😉 ). From the very first email, these guys have been super friendly which instantly made me want to see what they had to offer. They were efficient in explaining what the collaboration entailed and how the process worked, right from concept, to choosing the products and working together to brainstorm some content to feature alongside these beauties! I’m extremely picky with jewellery and will serially be caught wearing the same rings and bracelets, so these are now solidly in rotation. I get asked to feature jewellery fairly often and turn down 90%, but like I said before it’s all about choosing something that represents you and I 100% found that with The Peach Box – all the pieces are timeless and classic styles, something that would compliment pretty much any outfit. They pay attention to every fine detail, from the stunning packaging and jewellery pouches (cos who isn’t a sucker for nice packaging!) right down to following up with emails to make sure everything arrived okay and that I was happy! Sometimes our mailboxes can get super full, so it’s always good when someone follows up and checks in!
Be a people person
Being a pleasant and friendly person will get you far – something I always have and always will believe in! If you’re a delight to work with, open to creative collaborations, stick well to deadlines and prompt in communication – you will more than likely be met with positive feedback and begin to continuously work with brands. This is because they know you deliver the goods and are reliable. Really pour yourself into every project you do, send update emails on projects with preview images for brands to see and post extra across social media, even if you aren’t asked to! Word spreads amongst PR and sister companies, so the likelihood is that if you do a good job – you’ll be asked to do it again!
I hope you guys found this post helpful in one way or another – it’s great as bloggers to share our knowledge and experiences, I always love to read other’s tips! I’d love to know your thoughts on brand collaborations and if you’d like to see any other posts like this! Big thanks to the lovelies at The Peach Box for being such a pleasure to work with! Remember you can grab 15% off of anything you like on the site up until the end of August!