While this post is not geared towards who to reach out to (Google can help you there), it is geared towards how you can structure your pitch to who you reach out to. Most of these points are common sense, but you would be amazed how many emails I go through at work from girls wanting to do a collaboration that lack it entirely.
The fact that many are just starting their blogs are not a bad thing. In fact, kudos to them for reaching out and asking in the first place. What is a bad thing is how unprofessional, occasionally cocky, and non-user friendly these emails can be. You won’t be doing yourself any favors if you reach out to a brand, only to leave a bad taste in their mouth. Which even if you do meet their internal criteria of their program, would then be a moot point.
Be Professional In Your Word Choice
If things go correctly, this is the first initial contact in the beginning of a partnership. Disregarding what tone you may write your blog in, this email should indicate that you are aware of, and can use, proper punctuation and spelling. It should go without saying that using text speak is a no-go and abbreviations should be avoided.
I know I am notorious for being overly wordy. Run-on comma fueled sentences are totally my thing. It’s a by-product of studying marketing and econ for years at University. Got to love those 10,000 word minimum term papers. However, when I reach out to brands I get right to the point. Introduction sentence. Why I’m interested in their brand. Appropriate links. Contact info conveniently located in email signature. Done.
Don’t Be Cocky | Be Gracious
You may be a big fish in this blogging pond, but different brands (or their PR firms) are looking for different things. You might have 100k following on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean you will meet the criteria. Being “Instagram Famous” is cheap talk. Anyone can buy followers. I’m not saying anyone specifically has, but numbers are not the end all be all. The pond has grown rapidly the past few years and it is no longer enough just to be big on one platform if they are focusing on growing their brand reputation on another. Quality and the actual content matter just as much. Just because you’ve worked with other brands, does not mean this specific brand will want to work with you.
I’m not saying that rejection doesn’t hurt, but if someone actually takes the time to respond to your request, don’t further respond negatively. It will not change the end result, if anything it will make it harder to reach out to the brand at a later date when your stats or other qualifications have improved.
Include Links + Stats
Make it as easy as possible for the brand to decide if you’re a good fit or not. This means including your links at minimum. Even better if they are hyper-links and you don’t have to copy and paste it. “I love your products and would really like to work with your brand!” Great, where is your blog? I’m not going to google you to try and find your blog to see if you might be a good fit. Show me what you’re all about, don’t make me search for it.
Reach Out To Brands That Fit Your Blog
Brand DNA and reputation is important to most brands. They want to choose influencers that reflect their image, quality, and personality. Browse through the brands’ social channels to see if they post similar looks to what you post on yours. Sign up for their email list, are they quirky or more conservative in their copywriting? Does that match your writing style? Even if you don’t match a brand’s set criteria for their influencer list, if you are very on brand for them, they may make an exception. Alternatively, start writing more about and regarding brands that you do want to work with.
Don’t Get Discouraged
Brands might say no, they might even say nothing. That does not mean you should close up shop and give up blogging for good. There is always room for improvement. Write down where you want to be, and go deeper with actionable items on how to get there. You don’t have to do it all at once either. Making small changes over time adds up. Ultimately, your blog is about you. If you’re happy with it, that is what matters the most. If you’re blogging just for free things from brands, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. Remind yourself of why you started your blog, and keep working on making it the best you can.
Any seasoned blogger veterans have any other input on reaching out to brands? I’d love to hear what your experiences have been!