How To Business: Collaborating with a Brand

8:00 AM

A lot of people have asked me this question: "How do you approach a brand you want to work with?" The simple answer is "ask." But there's a lot of complicated elements before you approach them for a hand in partnership. Let me back up a few steps first. Really think about why you want to partner with a brand. What do they have to offer? What value can they bring to you and your followers? If you've answered, "Because I get free stuff," "Because I'll get more recognition" or something else along those lines, don't bother continuing the article. It sounds harsh, but you're really not in it for the right reasons. A partnership isn't ever just about you, you, you, it's about "we" and "us." You want to partner with a brand because they can enhance your content or because they're relevant to you and/or your followers.

Now, let's start...

I am going to split up the topic into two parts: 1. Blogger approaching the brand and 2. Brand approaching blogger. These scenarios are really different from one another and require unique approaches.

Blogger Approaching the Brand

Let's say you've been eyeing a brand for a while and you really feel they fit in well with your blog. How do you get them to collaborate with them? The simple answer is research and communication. First and foremost, you need to do your research. Peruse their website and social media links. Pay close attention to what their style is, what kind of brand they are and what they're promoting. Does it fit in with your vision and who you are as a blogger? If you answered no, then working with this brand doesn't make sense. You want your partnership to enhance the content on your blog, not conflict with it. If you answered yes, let's move on to communication.

Email is most likely the best form of communication. Usually, most websites have a directory for you to contact. The best person to email is Marketing/PR. Once in a blue moon, a website will have a contact specifically for bloggers. If neither of those are an option, email the customer service rep. They should be able to direct your message to the right person.

What should my email include? Three core items: who you are, what you want to do and why you're a good fit for them. Your email should sound sincere. You don't want to come off as a spammer, that's a huge turn off! Let me show you an example of an email I wrote:

I also recommend sharing your social reach with the brand, like how many followers you have on your blog and other social media sites and the demographics of your readers. The best way to showcase this information is to create a media kit. You can check out my media kit below and learn more [here] about how to create one.

Note: If you are applying for a blog opportunity via a 3rd party site, your wording should be slightly different because the 'what' part of the email is already defined. Instead, focus on how you're different from the other bloggers applying for the same opportunity.

Brand Approaching Blogger

Brands are constantly looking for high-quality bloggers to collaborate with. If you've been contacted by someone, congratulations! You're producing great content that's relevant and enjoyed by your readers, and brands want to leverage that. Don't feel down in the dumps if you haven't been contacted yet. It doesn't mean you, your blog or your content is junk. It just means that there are a few teaks you could make.

Usually, when you're contacted by a brand, they already suggested a plan, whether it'd be a paid post featuring them or they're sending you a product for free in exchange for a product review. This is a good sign. They have a vision on what they want the partnership to be. If so, build upon that and set expectations. Some questions to consider:

1. What will you be getting? 
2. What do they want in return? 
3. What can you do for them that will make the experience outstanding?

If the brand didn't suggest a specific route, it's okay. That just means you have an open door. Think of something that's different, that's more than just another post to them. When you think outside the box, it shows your creativity and how different you are from the other bloggers. They're more likely to partner with you again in the future because of your unique approach.

As always, beware of spammers! Spamming goes both ways. A lot of the times I receive emails from brands soliciting my help. This one email I received had my name in a different font from the rest of the email! Can it be any more obvious that you copy and pasted my name into a template? Tsk tsk, make sure you don't do the same bloggers! It's a small detail, but I guarantee it'll be noticed.
Did you guys enjoy the post? Leave some feedback and share your thoughts below! Have a great labor day weekend everyone! My next post won't be until Wed. I need some relaxing time as well :)

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  1. Very informative post dear. Loved it. Can you please do a post on improving the blog views and social networking. I lack it I think.
    Happy weekend!

    1. I'll definitely put this one as a future post. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. What signature plugin are you using?

    1. Sorry, can you clarify? I'm not sure I understand what you mean by plugin.

  3. thank you for sharing these tips.

    xx Janelle
    Styles & Prints

  4. Thank you, Kim! Great tips! (I might need them one day, hopefully...)

  5. Great examples! I've started receiving more requests, and have been considering contacting a few companies myself.

  6. very informative post. how will i know when a company contacts me that it is not spam or fake?

    1. Hi Natasha, it's hard to tell at first but you'll be able to spot it after a couple of emails. A lot of the times they talk mostly about what they want from you and not what they can do for you. For example, they will say something like "We are looking for bloggers to participate in a campaign we're running. The campaign is about blah blah blah". On the other hand, a good email to a blogger would be "Hi, we really like your blog and would love to have you style one of our pieces in an Old. A little bit about us: blah blah blah." see the difference? The second example shows you how you both benefit but the first one shows how the company benefits. It's a subtle but important distinction to make. I hope this helps!

  7. I've been wanting to get that leopard clutch for forever! I've had my eye on it ;) Now that I'm seeing it on you and the way you styled it? I might totally get it! Hehehe You look great!

    nishat linen
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