Recently, I have been able to work with many great brands — some have been brands that I admire and have used for years. If you catch me on Instagram Stories, you’ve seen my boxes from Neutrogena and Kotex. I’ve been doing a few brand collaborations which I’m really excited about. That’s one thing I was always looking forward to when I first started blogging because I couldn’t wait to share all these great products by brands I love. And, I believe you can work with brands, too.
Why do I think that? But it wasn’t always like this.
I can relate to a lot of people that are wondering how people work with brands. I saw people get their PR packages and I was wondering how? Like, how can I be doing the same thing for brands I love? Not going to lie, I still wonder this about the huge brands that I’m obsessed with.
But that wonder and need to know what people were doing led me to do a lot of research – thank you, Pinterest and Facebook. I truly dove deep in the last few months to figure out what people were doing to receive these amazing packages because I feel like I’m real and I can bring a great asset to a brand on a collaboration (and always have this mindset!!).
A lot of us get caught up in numbers like we need 100K+ to be able to partner with a brand. Wrong.
Coming from the brand side real quick, I just did some vetting for an influencer program for our fitness brand and our focus was micro-influencers. We wanted influencers that led a healthy lifestyle and our follower minimum was at 1,000. Want to know why? Some brands are starting to realize that micro-influencers are more affordable and will go out of their way to work with a brand. We love that. We love your enthusiasm and if you advocate for us. Keep repping us, we love that and we save you in our collections on Instagram (at least, I do so I can send out free product to these peeps).
Back to my blogger self – leave the number game out of it because it’s an engagement game. Not only is it an engagement game, brands want people that truly like their products and are willing to test it out for a few days to give an honest review. They are paying you off to lie about them, at least, I hope not and if they are… run!
How do I work with brands?
Honestly, there are a few things factoring into collaborating with brands. There are so many different things out there that allow you to work with a company, you just have to go down the right path. For myself, I have been able to have representatives reach out to me because they love my content.
Always, always, always be proud of your content.
Your content and effort are somewhat of a first impression for a brand. I feel like my content is the first impression and it has impressed a handful which I’m proud of.
I work with brands through different avenues — you can connect with many brands by doing some research. It never hurts to creep and find answers, always remember that. You can seek out a PR agency or brand representative easily with the internet and LinkedIn. On my end, I have a list composed of brands that I want to work with and I add the emails when I figure out the contact.
To summarize, you need to connect. Connect about your content or an interest about a collaboration. A connection is what you need to establish to build those relationships and get on those lists.
Here is how you can connect with brands:
Join Influencer Networks to collaborate with a brand.
Influencer Networks are the way to go. I know that a lot of people don’t like these networks because they are set within an agency and there are so many people on them but I love them. I love the fact that there are so many that work with different brands and retailers – that is more opportunities for you. Dive into an influencer network search and see what you can come up with. Some are tough when it comes to their follow counts but there are some good ones out there.
I have worked with Linqia, BrandBacker, and Clever which I think are great networks. The opportunities are endless and you can reach out to the account team to figure out if there are any opportunities when they aren’t showing up. I will say that the Linqia account team is awesome and will reach out to me personally for activations. You will not be disappointed by these networks. I can say that many PR agencies go through these networks, too so don’t shy away from them. It’s time to get your collaboration on.
Pitch your blog to different brands.
This is something I’ve just started doing but I’ve been pitching myself to brand. Some people think that is too forward but it’s not. Brands can’t monitor everyone in the world and there is not enough time in the world for social media teams, marketing teams, and public relations teams to go through every account on social media to figure out who will work for them. It just doesn’t work that way and you have to be able that life. If you want it, go get it. The worst thing that can happen is a “no”. Most brands are helpful when they say “no” by telling you how to improve or what they are looking for so that you can reach out in the future.
It’s not hard to pitch how great you would be to collaborate with your favorite brand. You really need to personalize it to that brand but keep it short and send that media kit. Your pitch is the first impression and you want to make it the best first impression ever.
Put your email address everywhere for brands to reach out.
Another great way that I have been able to collaborate with brands is through email. People have reached out to me on their own because I have my email everywhere. When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere for my brand. You can find it in my bio on Instagram and on my contact page on my blog. A contact form has been included on my blog, as well because I’m trying to connect. Never hesitate to share your email – just make sure that it’s an email for your blog and not your personal one. I will say that you will get tons of emails and sometimes, they won’t be a match. Don’t agree to something that isn’t within your niche or scope.
Email truly is a great gift. I have worked with many brands through email because they were on my Instagram. Don’t hesitate to include it in your bio or make your account a business account so that you can just have someone tap and send you an email. Take advantage of all opportunities, my friend. You never know who might reach out to you but it might be the best thing ever. Email is important.
What can you do?
My advice to you: don’t be you and negotiate. I’ve worked with some great brands that have laid out what they want and worked with my life we’re friends. I have yet to have a bad experience.
Don’t let things like that hotel + influencer feud get in the way of your coins and experiences, my friend. If you want to know things you should and shouldn’t do with brands — I wrote a detailed post about the Do’s & Don’ts of Brand Collaborations.
Working with a brand is a lot more simple than you think and it just takes a chance. You have to be open to being creative and telling the brand why you deserve to be a part of their campaign. Not only that, you need to bring your idea to the table when you pitch yourself. Don’t play any games, let them know why you came.
Look into the three things that I shared above and start putting yourself out there. If you want it, go get it.
What you need to do it you and to the best of your ability. Get your blog and content in front of people and go after what you want!
What brands would you love to work with?