I feel like a blogger contacting a brand is somewhat a taboo in this industry, or used to be should I say. Until a year or so ago, I thought it was forbidden from blogging and like the worst possible thing you could do but as I’ve realised you make your own way in life, I really don’t see a problem with it now.
I’ve had some incredible opportunities in the last six years with brands who I thought would never even look at my blog let alone want me to feature their products on it! Some of these opportunities I’ve sourced myself and it’s a great feeling to know you’ve had the balls to email a brand and they’ve actually responded and even better, they want to work with you… It’s a lovely little confidence boost!
So if anyone has ever told you that it’s wrong to get in touch with a company you love and believe in, ignore them. It is 100% acceptable to go and grasp your own opportunities and don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you should be embarrassed about it or that it’s desperate. If you’re a freelancer or full-time blogger then you can’t always rely on brands to come to you so it’s only common sense to look for work elsewhere.
Make sure you’re happy with your blog
Before you even start thinking about contacting a brand, you need to ensure your blog is fit for purpose and that you’re happy with it. Is the style and content suited to you? Does it display high quality images? Do you have an engaged audience? It doesn’t matter whether you have 700 or 7,000 followers, it’s about how engaged they are with your content. That means likes and comments can help you out big time!
Work out the best way to contact them
Before sending the ‘big email’ to a business, I always make sure I’m contacting them in the best way possible. There are so many ‘Instagram brands’ out there nowadays that for some, it’s best to communicate with them via direct messaging than it is to email. There’s actually a fair few smaller companies who I’ve worked with before who I’ve only spoken to via Instagram or Twitter so bear in mind that email isn’t always the best way to get in touch!
However, if you are going to send an email then make sure you’ve got the best address to send it to. Have a look on their website for their press@, marketing@ or blogger@ addresses and if it mentions a name then for the love of God please address it to them! People will be so much more inclined to respond if it’s personalised to them. Also, I’ve learnt that messaging a company on Instagram beforehand is a good shout to find out the right person’s name and potentially their email address instead of a generic one.
Do your research
You wouldn’t go into a job interview without doing your research before so why would you do the same with a brand? When there’s a brand who I really want to collaborate with, it’s normally because I’ve followed them for a while and really enjoy their content and think they would be a good fit on my blog. Even if I think I know the brand really well, I still have a lil Google to make sure I know their ethics, product range, target audience and anything else which could help in a pitch. It’s also worth looking at what bloggers they already work with and their following because that could immediately deter you from contacting them if they normally work with bloggers with 10k+ followers but you only have 2000. Just make sure you would be a good fit for the brand and their products or services would be suitable for your readers/followers otherwise the whole collaboration would be useless!
Structure your email properly and send your media pack
It’s taken me a while to perfect the structure of my emails but I finally think I’ve nailed it. I tend to start by saying who I am, where I discovered the brand and what I love about them whether that’s their morals or Instagram content or whatever it may be! Then I ask them whether they ever collaborate with bloggers and that’s I’d love to be considered for any future opportunities. After that, I give them an idea of what I can offer them (blog and social media posts), my statistics (monthly views, follower count) and similar brands I’ve worked with. For example, if I’m pitching to a beauty company, I’ll mention that previously I have worked with Debenhams, L’Occitane, ARK Skincare and Dermalogica. You should also attach your media pack if you have one as it’s basically like your blogging CV and really important for brands to see! I then close the email saying I look forward to hearing from them and can’t wait to find out if we can work together. That’s it… Hardly rocket science! Just make sure you keep it short and sweet and proof read every single email you send!
If you’ve sent out a couple of emails to PR companies or brands you’d like to work with then don’t forget to chase them up if they don’t reply! I normally leave it two or three weeks and then drop them another email just to ask them whether they had a chance to read my previous email so if it had slipped their minds, it’s a little reminder!
Remember it’s business
Even if blogging is your hobby, a blog collaboration or sponsored post is business and you need to remember that. Nobody owes you anything so don’t be disheartened if a brand says they’re not interested in you because that’s just life! You should also be prepared to negotiate when it comes to payment, deadlines or your content which is something I wish I knew at the beginning. I ended up settling for such low payment because I was too scared to ask for more so make sure you know your worth and don’t settle for anything less (unless it’s an amaaazing brand you’ve always wanted to work with).
If you’ve been trying to muster up the courage for a while to finally email that brand you’ve been wanting to work with then I hope this
Do you have any tips for someone who wants to contact brands as a blogger?