How To Approach Brands


A part of being a blogger is working with brands and companies. When you start out you sit in awe of those bloggers who are getting to try out amazing products from high-end brands and you wonder if and how you'll ever get there. That was me, but this year I managed to find myself slowly shuffling over to the other side of the table, and wanted to share how I did it.

Now don't get me wrong, I have a long way to go when it comes to growing as a blogger and developing my relationships further with brands and companies, but I've taken a leap on to those first stepping stones, leaps which I think are necessary, and I want to help any blogger who needs a little push to take them as well.

First things first - put together a media kit. A brand isn't going to bother finding out more about you and consider working with you if you can't show them a media kit. That's not because they're savage beasts, but because these PR people just don't have the time to sit there and email back and forth with you to find out all about you and your brand; you need to go to them with all the information they need straight up. Not only does it make their job easier, I think it shows a sense of professionalism and also that you're serious about your blog and brand. I want to work on the structure and style of mine for the new year but there are basic things you should ensure you include.

  • The first obvious one is all your stats from not only your blog but any social media platform you're on. Make sure you also put your username for all these platforms and even put hyperlinks to them in the kit so a brand or PR company can easily go check them out.
  • Have a little blurb about you, you're brand and what it is you like to write about. The person you're emailing may not even bother taking the time to check out you're blog unless you tell them what you're all about and they can see that you might be a good fit for them.
  • Any rates for sponsored posts, Instagram posts, etc. Some people choose not to include these and not including them doesn't mean you're going to lose out with a brand or company, if they're really interested they will likely email you back asking for you're rates. However I like to include them because this is where you can save yourself time. Whatever you're rates are, whatever you know you're worth, you should stick to that. Sure you should always consider potentially negotiating your prices depending on the size of the brand or company you're dealing with or if you really want to work with them, but I'd say 8 times out of 10 I'm not willing to budge on my prices. So I like to save myself the time of sending emails back and forth about prices because there's the potential your pricing won't work with for them, and you've wasted time with all that typing. If I have my prices straight up, that company or brand knows what they're looking at. In saying that, when approaching certain brands, your strategy might be not to include you're price so you can try and start a bit of a conversation with them - it really depends on how you want to work.
  • Be sure to include some visuals. I think it's good to have at least one photo of yourself so a brand or company can put a face to the person they're emailing. Also include photos you've taken from your blog so the brand can understand your aesthetic and see your skill.
  • Another optional feature is including brands you've worked with. I just do this by putting in logos from the various brands I've featured on my blog. Particularly if you've worked with some more well-known brands, it shows previous experience and can further help a brand or company see what kind of areas you delve in to on your blog. The downside of this is sometimes brands won't want to work with you because you've already worked with someone they consider their competition, but even in that scenario I think it's better they see that upfront then potentially realising it down the track and becoming unhappy with you.

Once you've got your media kit sorted don't just sit there and wait for the brands to come to you, because 9 times out of 10 they won't. That's because they're busy and because they're already going through plenty of emails from influencers who are approaching them; so you need to be a part of those emails. Find brands that align with what you do and send them an email. Don't make the email itself to long; I like to briefly introduce myself and my blog, how it is I came across their brand and what appeals to me about the brand (this shows you've done some research on them), explain that I'd love for them to keep me in mind for any collaborations and I attach my media kit. If you have a specific idea in mind for working with a particular brand or company than by all means pitch it to them straight away, but if not, be polite so you can, at the very list, ensure you're put on their media list so you'll be in the loop next time anything for influencers comes up.

When you email, three things can happen. You can receive no reply at all, you might get a polite reply letting you know you've been put on the mailing list and will be kept in mind for any future collaborations, or you might hit the jackpot and a brand might want to work with you or send you some goodies to try out. Trust me, I've had plenty of all three scenarios. 

The main thing I've found that happens when making these first points of contact is a brand or PR company will send me some products to try. Sometimes there's mention of reviewing the product and sometimes there isn't, but I always do. This means I've done a lot of free reviewing, but I use this as a chance to really show that brand or company the value I can be to them. When the products they send arrive I always email them to let them know, and then email again with a link to the post or Instagram feature I did with the products they sent me. I found this often can lead to receiving more goodies. It's a bit of work to do for free, but for me it's all about building the relationship so when I eventually  start pitching paid work, there's hopefully a higher chance of them getting on board.

I hope this post has given you some confidence and direction when it comes to approaching brands or PR companies. These days I think the only way to really ensure you get your foot in the door is to put yourself out there and takes those first steps yourself. In an era where the Internet is now saturated with influencers all trying to have their name heard and listened to, showing some confidence and initiative might be what is needed to help you stand out from the crowd.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for all the tips! I am just about to create a media kit, so its perfect :)

    x
    Ironic Minimalist

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  2. It does get a bit demotivating when you send out emails to all the PRs, but only one replies. Even when you ask for an invite to particular events and get no replies. How do you deal with rejection, when there's so much of it? Side note - I'm a recent grad so also applying for many many jobs, and it's not looking great.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah it can be demotivating no matter what you're doing in life when you get rejections or simply here nothing back. I think you just need to remember we all deal with it, it happens to every one and that when something doesn't work I always like to think there's a reason for everything - everything happens for a reason and maybe that brand or event wasn't for you for some reason ... and same can apply to the grad job field as well! I think as long as you keep trying and working good things will eventually come your way as they're meant to xx.

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  3. Ahh just what I needed to read, thanks for all those tips! At what number should your stats be at for you to start approaching brands do you think?

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  4. Very cool! I'll keep all these tips in mind! I really need to update my media kit tbh
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

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