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Thank you for all the love on my first blogging post, You Want To Start A Blog?. Since it went over so well, I decided to continue with a blogging series where I will share tips with you! Let me know what you want me to cover next! I’m by no means an expert, but I have been able to achieve some level of success with my blog and other social media outlets.
Everyone always wants to know how they can start working with brands. This is probably the most requested topic about blogging. There really is no secret on how to successfully connect with brands, it just takes time and patience.
I will start by letting you know, getting free stuff is great, but it almost always comes with a price. It’s not easy work, but it can be very rewarding. Blogging isn’t only about getting free stuff because when you really look at it, the stuff we might get isn’t free. It takes time and money to take pictures, write reviews, write blog posts and create content. Think of it like a job….what would you except to be paid hourly?
My first piece of advice on how to connect with brands is to join networks. Networks connect you with brands and different campaigns that brands might be running at the time. It’s a good way to get started and see how things work. Typically you set up a profile, connect your blog and other socials then apply for different campaigns you might be interested in. Sometimes they require a pitch. A pitch is you selling yourself and your blog. You want to tell the brand why you would be the best fit for the particular campaign or opportunity you might be applying for, and what you can do for them. Paint them a picture. Look at it like a job interview and don’t ever sell yourself short.
I personally tell a story when I pitch. I talk about why I’d like to be considered for a particular opportunity and I throw out some ideas on how I will deliver the content they are asking for. I never mention my followers or numbers, because it doesn’t matter. There. I said it! Your numbers don’t matter as much as you think they do! Your content and they way you deliver is what matters.
Networks I’ve worked with in the past include…
Linqia (my referral link)
Heartbeat (my referral link)
My second piece of advice is to pitch the brand you want to work with directly! You can find the contacts to pitch on brand FAQ pages typically, or on LinkedIn. Don’t pitch to pitch because it won’t end well for you and you will probably run away with your tail between your legs. Pitch brands that interest you and have content in mind. An example is my gift guides. I want to do specific gift guides for the holidays so I pitched a brand that I already know and love for some products to share on one of my posts. They agreed and sent me what I wanted to feature, plus threw in a few extras. I told them what I wanted and we negotiated what they would supply and what I would deliver. You can pitch for product, to be placed on a PR list, travel, food…ect. It all depends on what you blog about and what your niche is. You have to be able to provide something for the brand and the brand has to speak to your audience.
Trust me, you will get a lot of rejections, but you can’t let that get you down. Reevaluate how you’re presenting yourself and keep going. Never be scared to ask for something, or to negotiate. Make sure you’re always open and honest and DISCLOSE if you received a product in exchange for a post. You can check out the FTC guidelines and make yourself familiar with them because they are the law and you need to comply.
My third piece of advice is to engage with the brands you’re interested in working with on all of their socials. Tweet them and retweet their posts, comment on thier Instagram and like thier posts on Facebook. You want to be a true supporter, and it’s a good way to get noticed sometimes! I’ve had brands reach out to me after I’ve commented on thier Instagram posts, which was pretty awesome! Always be authentic when you engage and show that love!
My last piece of advice when reaching out to brands is to tell the truth. Be honest to yourself and to the brand. Don’t pitch just to get products, that’s not going to work for long and you’re being dishonest with yourself if you think it will. Don’t lie about your numbers or readers when asked because there is always a way to find out, and it’s just wrong. Also, don’t promise something when you know you can’t deliver. Communication is key and if you miss a deadline, reach out and let your contact know. We are all human and life happens.
I hope I could shed a bit of light on how to connect with brands! If you have any questions, please comment or reach out to me and I will try to help!
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