January 24, 2018

BRAND STRATEGY: REACHING OUT TO BRANDS

I've been blogging full time for almost 3 years now and though I am far from being an expert at this, I do know a thing or two that have worked for me and my brand. One of my readers (@fresh_mommy) recently suggested I write about how I reach out to brands or what my strategy is to work with brands
that I love. I immediately thought this was a great topic to talk about since so many newer bloggers can benefit from my little but of knowledge.

If I'm being completely honest when I first started blogging, back when I used to work in accounting full time, I only did it for fun and to have an outlet since I had just become a brand new mom to Ben. I learned little by little that there was so much opportunity in the industry that I grew to love so much. I made a lots of mistakes but learned from them. I used to stay up very late reading and researching. So again the following "tips" are just what I've learned and what has worked for me. 

1. Don't be afraid to reach out. 

If you sit and wait until opportunity knocks at your door, you may be waiting forever. Build windows if doors don't open just get up and get going. What I mean by this is simple: email, tweet, DM brands and PR companies. If there is a brand that you are looking to work with or simply are obsessed with and truly love and use their services or products, reach out to them. Don't be afraid to put yourself on the front line and get noticed. 

2. How do I find their contact info? 

So the big question is, how do I reach out? There are so many ways you can connect now a days, thanks to social media. As I said before tweet them, send them a DM on Instagram or email them. Many times you will be able to get a direct PR or press email if you tweet the brands, they are happy to share the best contact for you. Give it a shot! 

3. Now what do I do?

I've learned over the years that a straight forward email is the way to go. Publicist and brand representatives get tons of emails per day, so be sure to say what you need to say and send them the attachments you need to send in one email. Once you get that email address, write out your email but don't be too lengthy, be straight-forward. I like to keep emails about 2 (3 at most) short paragraphs. Introduce yourself, tell them a little bit about you and of course why you are writing to them and how you can partner. 

A little word of advice, don't just ask for what you need from them... show them how much you love their product (shout outs, mentions, past blog posts). You can also ask to feature any stories they are looking to push out into the market. 

Let them know why they should work with you and how your brand and their brand go hand in hand. For example, you probably have a niche that would be great for a particular product or maybe a launch they are getting out into the market. Think of holidays, seasons... you catch my drift.

Don't forget to attach your media kit. It's so important to get this out in the initial email so that you are not going back and forth and they can have everything about you and your brand right in front of them. 

4. Which brings me to MEDIA KITS! 

Having a great media kit is essential in my opinion. Think of your media kit as your portfolio or resume. It will include a short bio, your numbers, your social media reach and engagement, your page per views, your partnerships, and the ways in which you can collaborate. You can check out some samples on Pinterest! You can find great media kit templates on Etsy, make them yourself on publisher or photoshop or hire someone to make one for you. I recently hired Denise from Thugnanny to help me refresh mine, I am really excited to see the final copy. Whatever you choose make sure you make it good, this represents you! 

5. Build long-lasting relationships. 

Over the years, I've had the pleasure of working some pretty amazing brands. Some I've pitched ideas to, others have come to me with their ideas. That's the beauty of the business, your blog and your brand will blossom as much as you water it. Building great relationships along the way has landed me some really fun and well paid partnerships. Make sure to always go above and beyond. I heard this a couple of year's ago in a We All Grow panel: "under promise and over deliver", and that advice has always stuck with me. That's how I've shown commitment and how much I value the brands I work with. Having quality content, great photos and captivating captions or stories are priority for me. I never post a photo or publish I don't feel 100% happy with. After all, your blog posts and IG photos are your portfolio. They show the type of content you create and how much time and effort you are actually putting on.
 

To be honest, I look back at the days when I didn't know anything and feel truly proud of my work because I've done it all alone. For a long time, I was winging it all by myself, researching "how to" or googling blogging tips. I would say in the past year or so, I've also started to get ask my blogger friends and colleagues for advice. I've had meetings with people who I wanted to get advice from, I've asked questions! Which is why I was so happy and passionate to write this post for you guys. 

Often times in this industry, no one wants to share what to do or how to do it. And though I have learned things on my own on trial and error basis, I've also reached out to friends and I am still learning. I love learning or getting ideas from other people. So don't be afraid to ask questions. 

I hope this post helped answer some of your questions, please let me know if you have other questions below:) You can check out more blogging tips here: how I edit my photos, Instagram tips + tricks and 5 ways to invest in your blog!

Thank you guys so much for always supporting me and the brands I work with. Your support and love mean the world to me because I get to do what I love. Xo. 
PHOTO CREDIT: @LOVEPRINTPHOTOGRAPHY

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