One of the biggest challenges you will face as a blogger is learning how to effectively pitch to and collaborate with brands. While you might already be seeing an influx of requests, it's great to reach out to those that really align with your brand. Our suggestion? Be bold and make the first move!
No matter what stage you are at in the blogging game, you can effectively pitch and build these mutually beneficial brand relationships. Whether you just want to get on their radar or you have a full collaboration in mind, use the four essential steps below to effectively reach out to and build relationships with brands.
Do your research
Start local and with brands that have typically partnered with other local bloggers in the past. Get a good feel for how they’ve collaborated. Did they work on a specific campaign, cross promotion, or giveaway together? Sponsored posts? Understanding the capacity in which these brands partner with other bloggers will give you a solid foundation for formulating a pitch.
Dig further to find current campaigns the brand is working on, especially if they are with other bloggers. There's no better place to look than their social media channels, where they are likely promoting their most current projects and sneak peeks of those to come. This might also be a great place to insert yourself into a campaign.
Develop your pitch
Now that you've done your research, you should have a strong understanding of how the brand has partnered with other bloggers in the past and how you can partner too.
You should also have a clear understanding of why your blog aligns so well with their brand personality, so be sure to communicate this in your pitch. Most brands want to focus on the visibility of their products or services to a targeted demographic, so keep this in mind as you formulate your pitch email. Get creative and offer a couple ideas of how you can work together.
If you are pitching a campaign, be sure to include a short overview, how the campaign benefits the brand, and any deliverables on your end. Keep your email short and to the point, and attach a media kit with more information on your blog if you have this to showcase.
Always follow up
Hopefully you'll hear back from the brand with them expressing interest to work with you. If so, great! Now it's time to set up a meeting to flush out the campaign idea and scope of project. Get a better idea of the brands' objectives so you know where they want to grow and how you can deliver in a way that aligns with their goals. This meeting should give you all the information you need to pull together a formal proposal with compensation ranges.
However, if the brand doesn't respond to your first email don't assume they aren't interested in collaborating. It’s very likely that you may not have success with your initial contact, but with your follow-up instead.
Whether or not the brand is interested in working with you, you've made the first step in reaching out. Now that you've made contact, you can work on building a long-term relationship that could very well turn into a future collaboration. Show your value by featuring their brand in an outfit post and tagging them on social media. Engage with their content, and show how passionate you are about their brand.
Join a blogger network
It can also help to join a blogger network like The Shelf, which is a platform that we've created to make it easy for brands to connect with bloggers who match their style and vibe. As a blogger, you can fill in your profile on The Shelf with your blog's info, social links, style tags, information about your past campaigns, and the types of collaborations that you're interested in being apart of. We also have a really big feature launching soon that will display Brand Opportunities. The brands on our platform are putting together "job posts" of sorts, describing the campaigns that they are currently working on. Bloggers can then reach out to the brands directly about these opportunities if they feel that they are a good match.
It can be intimidating to pitch collaborations to your favorite brands but you may surprise yourself when they respond positively. Is it scary? Absolutely! But if you don't have the courage to go for it, the opportunity may never present itself.
Now that you've heard our advice, it's time to start pitching to your favorite brands!