There’s a misperception that the best brand works comes to those who wait. Well, it doesn’t. The best brand work comes to those who hustle. If you don’t create great opportunities for yourself, it’s pretty unlikely that magic is going to come knocking on your door.
I know that it’s a little scary. Maybe you’re afraid you’re not quite good enough. Possibly you have a fear of rejection. Perhaps you’re afraid to reach out…
Today we’re going to take care of that. I’ve talked about working with brands at conferences and in several posts, but the content has always been a bit more general. At the end of this post, you should know exactly HOW to pitch a brand.
How to Pitch a Brand
Show Genuine Interest on Social Media. If you’re really interested in a brand, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Engage and interact with them.
If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to catch brand specific posts. I use two tools to help me track mentions on Instagram and Twitter.
- The Fotogramme app is great for setting up a “favorites” list to track specific accounts you want to focus on in Instagram.
- Twitter lists allow you to set up specific lists that you can use to track specific accounts on Twitter. If you use a third party service like Hootsuite to manage your mentions, you can set this list up in one of your columns.
Email From a Dot Com. If you’re still using a generic email (think Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.), it’s time to pony up for an email address that has your domain built in (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A branded email creates a good first impression, creates the impression of an established brand and promotes your brand’s awareness.
While you’re at it, create an email signature that highlights your site and social media accounts.
Target a Specific Person. You know how much you hate those emails that start out, “Hey Blogger?” Brand reps don’t like them either. Do your homework. You’re more likely to get a response if you find a specific contact person’s name and email.
Where to find brand contacts:
- DM the brand on Twitter and ask for the blogger relations contact.
- Google brand press releases.
- Do an advanced search on LinkedIn and seek out the company’s marketing and/or PR employees.
- Network at blogger conferences. Even if you think you might not work with a particular brand, get to know them. PR reps move from company to company all the time and agency reps work with several brands.
Keep Your Pitch Email Short and Sweet. Blogger relations and PR reps are inundated daily with email messages from bloggers just like you asking for the same opportunity. Respect their time and get to the point. Include relevant information in your pitch and skip the fluff. You can stand out and show your personality without telling them your whole life story!
A pitch can be as simple as three or four basic paragraphs.
- In your first paragraph introduce yourself, and if you’ve met the contact person for the brand, remind them where you connected. Let the brand know you follow their work and compliment them on a recent campaign or a great product.
- In your second paragraph link to past collaborations with other brands, share social media stats, reader demographics and brand testimonials.
- In the third paragraph explain to the brand exactly what type of collaboration you had in mind (ex. giveaway, sponsored post, brand ambassadorship, etc.). Be specific in suggesting ideas rather than telling a brand you’d like to work with them and expecting them to come up with an idea.
- In your final paragraph be sure to let the brand know what they can expect from you – where will you post, how many times will you post and what it will mean for the company.
It’s Okay to Say No. What happens if the company responds, BUT they are not able to work with you in a manner that you’re comfortable with? Well, it’s okay to say no. Just remember to look at this process as building a relationship and turn them down politely. And, if you know of another blogger that WOULD benefit, consider connecting the two.
Follow Up and Report. Once you’ve completed your work be sure to share it with the brand. Don’t assume that they will see your project just because you tagged them on social media. Send a follow-up email with a link to any posts and promotion you may have done. Include data regarding how the post is doing and how you plan to promote the post in the future.
Nurture the Relationship. Once you’ve completed this particular exchange/collaboration, stay in touch. Continue to connect with the brand on social media, notify them of upcoming projects or collaboration ideas to make sure you stay top of mind.
Take an interest in the brand’s other collaborations and projects even if you’re not related or involved. Share other bloggers posts, brand contests, etc. This shows you value a long-term relationship as opposed to a one-off.