STOP COLLABORATE & LISTEN
1. It's about delivering value to companies that want to reach YOUR audience ..
If your first thought is “How much money can I make?” your focus is in the wrong place for this line of work. Focus instead on how much value you can deliver to the brands you work with will translate to a higher quality service, which – in the long run.
But here’s the key: The more successful you are at proving the value you can provide, the more your campaigns will be worth to your brand partners, and the more you’ll be able to charge in the future.
2. Statistics ARE NOT everything ..
I have one client that I just recently took on that has 1,296+ followers - another that only has 343+ can you guess which one has more views, engagement and likes? The smaller account! It reaches so many more people - receives more engagement than I could possibly comprehend and its just killing it! Just because someone has the followers - doesn't mean they are worth a whole lot!
The moral of this story: The narrower your target niche, the less impressive your statistics have to be to make a splash for a brand.
3. Smaller companies can be the best to work with ..
There’s a temptation to get all starry-eyed when you’re approached by a big-name brand like Ipsy or Murdock Chevrolet ;) to promote their products. But there are tons of mid-sized companies – and even mom-and-pop operations! – that you can really make a difference for.
Look for opportunities to find a brand that’s an ideal fit for your tribe, regardless of the name recognition the company already has. You will usually be able work much closer with that company (you may even have access to the person who owns it!) and can be creative in the way you bring value for them and for your tribe.
4. Engagement matters ..
When you say or do something on your blog – or on other social media outlets – how likely is your tribe to do something about it? That’s called engagement.
You can measure engagement any number of ways – comments on your blog, comments on other social media outlets, repins when you pin something on Pinterest, shares when you post something to Facebook, retweets or replies on Twitter… Even something as simple as clicks on a link you place on your blog.
"Smart brands “get” the value of high engagement on a blog."
5. If you lose your tribes trust .. You've lost everything!
Do you know what’s at the heart of what you bring to the table when you work with brands?
You’ve built your blog to be your tribes’ go-to source for information or inspiration on a certain topic. Hopefully you’ve been intentional about building relationships with your tribe. And just as you’re more likely to buy an outfit that a friend says “would look so good on you” than you would by just seeing it in a catalog, your readers trust your judgment and bring your suggestions when they’re ready to open their wallets. Just like how you guys trust me enough right now to read all of these tips - you trust my opinion and expertise!
But there’s a huge responsibility that comes with that relationship – if you want to maintain your tribes’ trust, you can’t promote products that aren’t a good fit for them. It looks false, and the appearance is that you’re just trying to “make a buck.” And in the long run, everyone loses.
6. Brand work can be hard work .. And you need to be compensated!
If you’re new to working with brands, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy of writing a post in exchange for a free pack of diapers, or a $30 gift card to a family restaurant. But be aware that if you’re not charging what the advertising campaign is really worth – both for the benefits the brand will receive AND for your time – you’ll find yourself frustrated, burned out, and deciding it’s not “worth it” in the long run.
If you are a brand reading how this and wondering how you can best collaborate with bloggers - don't take them for granted! These bloggers all work so hard, and put a lot of time into their posts, photos and everything else to help promote YOUR company!
Respect your tribe, respect your bloggers, respect and your own time! Respect it enough to turn down offers that aren’t really a good deal for all the work that’s involved.
"Don’t settle for “free” when you can provide REAL value for a REAL fee."
7. The most successful brand partnerships are long-term relationships ..
I was taught that the average person is exposed to a product seven times before deciding to buy. Or the average person has to see your page seven times before they decide you're legit enough to click "follow". So instead of settling for one-off advertising agreements (which I’ve just said are often more work than they’re worth), catch the vision for working with brands who are looking for a long-term partner.
Over time, you’ll discover that working with more companies doesn’t mean more money. A better long-term strategy is working with a few companies that you can bring higher value for, and get more in return for the work you put in.
Brands reading this - have you ever considered a long term contract with a blogger? Maybe you should!
8. You shouldn't have to figure this out alone ..
When you’re just getting started with brand partnerships, every step in the process can be intimidating. From deciding which brands will be a good match for you, to actually making the pitch, to running the campaign and reporting your results, there are lots of obstacles for a newbie to overcome.
Luckily, there are bloggers who have lots of experience working with brands who are willing to lend a helping hand. If you know an experienced blogger personally, then open up and ask them the hard questions! My couch Jennifer Jaden offers a FREE VIP session and she is always so willing to help!
9. A media kit ..
A media kit is a document which shares everything a potential sponsor or marketer would need to know about your blog. It’s essentially a resumé, but for your website. A media kit should list a variety of things, such as your blog’s topics, statistics, collaboration options, and more. It is essential for making a good impression and landing more collaborations!
Don't have a media kit? I'd love to help you create one! Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Its time to reach out!
Once you’ve made a thorough list of brands and products you love (and that fit your blog), it’s time to finally reach out! When writing an email you've got to think "what will stand out in their inbox"
Address them by their name: Not only is it just good, polite practice to use people’s names, but it also makes them care a whole lot more about your email. Few brands will list their marketing rep’s name on their website, so you’ll need to do a little investigating. The best way I’ve found to do this is on Instagram. Send a DM to the brand, letting them know you’d like to collaborate and asking for the best contact name and email. You may not always get a name (though sometimes you do — yay!), but most brands will respond with, at least, an email address you can contact!
I hoped this helped both brands + bloggers when reaching out. As a social media representative i've been in the middle of this. Bloggers wanting to work with our companies - and companies looking for bloggers! It is so important for both sides to help gain engagement, new followers and even new customers.