Warning : This is a very lengthy post!!
I decided to share tips on my instastory every Tuesday so it’s not all games but also informative to me and my audience. Being that I suck at noting what day of the week it is, I somehow always ended up sharing the tips on Thursday and no one was mad at that because Tuesday rhymes well with Thursday, hence Tip Thursday became a thing. I have however decided to make it a section on my blog as some topics are harder to properly dissect on instastories and also just incase Instagram disappears, all the gems taught and learnt will still be accessible.
This week I’ve got 3 AMAZING BLOGGER BOSS BABES, Monroe of fashionsteelenyc.com, Seyi of thedailyseyi.com and Fisayo of mirrorme.com to answer the top questions I get asked concerning working with brands as a blogger in 2018 and I can’t wait for you to read the very insightful answers they have to your questions, so grab a *insert your favorite snack/drink here* and your writing materials as the truth is about to be revealed…
TOP QUESTION 1 : IS IT OKAY TO REACH OUT TO BRANDS FOR COLLABORATIONS AND HOW DO I APPROACH THEM?
ANSWERED BY : MONROE STEELE, physical therapist, fashion blogger and writer. (IG : @monroesteele)
The short answer is YES, absolutely. Definitely don’t stand around waiting for a brand to come to you. That usually never happens and when it does it’s sort of a fluke. The best way is to start with brands that you follow, wear, buy and sincerely love. That way they know you’re serious about them, you know their audience and you are they’re audience. It helps to have work that you can reference. For example if you are reaching out to Free People, link a post or two or three in which you are wearing Free People. It doesn’t have to be a blog, because I’m aware a lot of people no longer are bloggers, but you can link to a photo on Instagram as well.
The best way to approach brands is a cold email, at a good time when it will be read and with pertinent information. Keep it short, sweet and precise with links to previous work that feature that brand or at least show that you’re knowledgeable about what’s going on at that brand. After 8 years of blogging and cold pitching brands, and PR to cover New York, Paris and Milan fashion weeks, I’m pretty much the Pitch Pro when it comes to collaborating with brands. I’ve gone so far as to create several Pitch Template Letters to help new and seasoned bloggers, writers, influencers and content creators at pitching. There are many ways to make a mistake and the last thing you want to do is get blacklisted by a brands PR. My Pitch Templates come with 1-3 pages of ALL THE INFORMATION as well as a template letter email (all you have to do is plug in your own information and send to the brand). I tell you what you need before, during and after reaching out to a brands including how to track your pitch once sent. Make sure to check out The Pitch Template Packages for more in depth information on pitching and approaching brands you want to collaborate with.
TOP QUESTION 2 : HOW DO I KNOW WHEN TO START CHARGING BRANDS AND HOW DO I ASK THEM TO PAY ME?
ANSWERED BY : FISAYO LONGE, blogger and creative director of Kaicollective(IG : @fisayolonge)
I think that there’s no one straightforward answer to that question but there are different ways to measure it.
You know when to start charging as a blogger because brands start approaching you with work. Most of the time, it’s initially unpaid. It is wise to take on the opportunity if the brand has more to offer you than you do them. There’s a lot of talk about never working for free but till this day, there are still some brands that I would work with for free. But there’s a key question- who has more to gain from the collaboration? Having some brand names on your portfolio gives you access to other brands. So you might decide to work with a brand in a certain industry for free once so that you can secure them in your portfolio and then have more leverage to secure paid work with other brands in the same industry. You just have to be wise about. Initially, your priority should be creating great content and building an engaged audience. Once you know that you have done this, you’ll be in a better position and more confident in charging brands.
You ask brands to pay just by asking. So in your reply to them after expressing interest in the work, ask them what their budget is. Or if you’re pitching to them, after showing your value, tell them what your fees are.
You just kinda know when to start charging- it feels right because you know you’ve paid your dues. You’re unwilling to keep creating your great content for free. The real issue becomes how much to charge….
TOP QUESTION 3 : HOW DO I GET BRANDS TO WORK WITH ME WITH A SMALL NUMBER OF FOLLOWERS?
ANSWERED BY : SEYI FAMUYIWA, blogger, social media manager at Condé Nast and freelance social media strategist.(IG : @thedailyseyi)
If you have a smaller following, you have to really bring it in terms of content creation and engagement. You need to show brands that, despite you having a low number of followers, these followers sincerely care about the content you produce and usually want more. Because I know that my following isn’t in the thousands, I make sure that whatever photo I put out is cohesive to my brand: aesthetic wise, and personality wise. Someone once told me that when they read my blog or IG posts, they feel free. And to be honest, that’s the exact feeling I hope to give whenever I post.
As an influencer, people relate to who you are because of who you are. To try and be someone else, or do things that are out of your personal ethos, brands notice that and don’t need a replica of someone who they already have on their roster. As cliche as this sounds, it’s imperative you stay true to yourself and what you offer. I’m all for expanding what one is an expert in, but sometimes, being an expert in a few things will really help solidify your positioning in the brand’s eye. (Related Blog Post:From Social Media to Social Impact)
It was really such an honoring experience to reach out to this wonderful ladies and have them respond to me positively because I myself have never pitched or reached out to brands or individuals for collaborations and I absolutely learnt a lot from their answers. Pardon my shortcomings in the style of this post as this is my first interview post (kinda) but I sincerely hope this post was insightful to you as it was to me. It’s almost the weekend, which means enough time to draft those pitch mails right?!
Did you find this post helpful? Should I continue this kind of post? Who will you like to answer your questions about anything next? Do share your thoughts with me by leaving a comment below, thanks.