Saturday

Reaching out to brands as a blogger

Blogging is competitive. We all know that. I for one know how it feels to see another blogger working with an awesome brand and feel a pang of jealousy. It's particularly difficult if you aim to make a career of it because, after all, brand partnerships are a huge part of that. However, you can help things along a little by simply reaching out to brands yourself. A lot of bloggers are afraid of this, and I understand why, but this post will help make it seem a little less daunting.


CONTACTING BRANDS AS A BLOGGER

I will state now: This is my own experience. Everything I write here is how I approach brands, which has worked well for me. By no means am I pretending to know everything or telling you that this is the only way to approach matters.


WHY SHOULD I REACH OUT TO BRANDS?

I once read something from a PR and it really helped me: Those who work in blogger outreach need to locate suitable bloggers to work with. They're spending time hunting down suitable candidates, emailing them to see if they're interested, awaiting a reply and possibly never hearing back. This takes time. If a blogger pops up in front of them, it makes their life easier. 

It's true that you may not be suitable, and they may not want to work with you (more on that later), but you're being proactive and introducing yourself to people who may otherwise never see you.


WHEN AM I READY?

Although there's no magic number, there is admittedly an unwritten threshold as to when you're ready to work with brands. If you've been blogging a month and have 20 followers, it's not going to be the best time. Unfortunately, there's no clear answer but I would suggest having examples of work with brands before you contact anyone yourself. That way, you can send examples of your collaborative posts to demonstrate your ability. 


WHO DO I CONTACT?

On many brand websites, there will be an email address for press enquiries. If this includes a name, use it. It's common sense, I know, but a "Dear Julie," is much more effective than "Dear Sir/ Madam". Some of the larger companies will have details of the PR companies they hire. If there is no indication of press emails, contact general enquiries with something along the lines of "Press enquiry: Blogger collaborations" in the subject line.

This is just my personal feeling, but I feel uncomfortable when I see people asking a brand on Twitter for their press contact. I just feel it's more professional, and shows more initiative, to find it out yourself. 

Likewise, asking brands on Twitter for opportunities is not effective. It's very public, for one thing, but it's also unlikely that they'll see your tweet amongst all the others. 


WHAT DO I SAY?

It should go without saying by be polite. There's a fine line between being overly formal (coming across as stiff and forced) and being too informal (which can seem unprofessional). Likewise, try not to seem either indifferent or desperate. It's a balancing act and it can take a little while to get into but it helps if you only contact brands you are genuinely passionate about.


Do not contact brands with the intention of getting "freebies" or sponsored work. Not only is that presumptious but you'll probably be disappointed. See it as an opportunity to introduce yourself and be kept in the loop with what the brand is doing. You may be asked to review items. You may be invited to events. You may be offered sponsored post opportunities. You may also not. This is why it helps if you have a genuine passion for the brand and want to know about new releases and information in advance.

Remember, the press and PR office is a busy place so don't take up too much time. Introduce yourself, your blog and ask to be kept in mind for future press releases. Attach your media kit, which should have all your statistics up to date, so they can find out more about you if they are interested. 

With that, wish them well and then sit back and wait. They may reply. They may not.


WHAT IF THEY REJECT ME?

After sending your email, a number of things may happen. They may offer you some opportunities straight away. They may thank you and tell you they've added you to the database. They may tell you they're not interested right now. What's very likely, however, is that they will ignore you.

This happens a lot. Do not use it as a reflection on you. As I said, they are very busy people and, particularly for very big companies, will get a lot of unsolicited requests. You can either forget about it and move on, or decide to try again in a few months. If they still ignore you, I'd leave it at that. The last thing anyone wants is to get a reputation for being pushy.


WHAT NOW?

Here's a challenge for you: Choose your favourite brand. A brand you are really passionate about, a brand you love, a brand you could shout from the rooftops about. Drop them a quick email to introduce yourself and ask to be kept in mind for future press releases and opportunities. If (or when) you get a reply, come back and let me know what happened! 

Yes, it's scary to throw yourself out there but you've got nothing to lose. They may reject you, admittedly, but you may also find something wonderful. You'll never know unless you give it a go!

25 comments :

  1. Really loved this post Becky :) very useful tips! Approaching brands can be scary, I have only contacted two, but they both replied and were very lovely!

    Kayleigh xoxo
    www.veryberycosmo.co.uk

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  2. I'm really not good at putting myself out there, but when I heard that one of my favourite brands (Bravissimo) was opening a local story I got in touch to ask if there was anything I could do to help promote the opening. They were so lovely and we ended up working together. It taught me to have more guts when contacting brands!

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  3. Such a helpful post Becky. I took the plunge (though via Twitter) and collaborated with what is now my favourite brand - I've had repeated collabs since and I adore them! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

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  4. This is great! So helpful! I'm going to enail BarryM i adore their nail polishes so who knows maybe they'll like me 2.

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  5. brilliant post,so interesting,thanks hun xx

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  6. Fab post! I see a lot of bloggers writing about this topic lately but this definitely the best one I've found most useful. xo

    Jenny | That Northern Gal

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  7. This really helped thank you =] I think im too nice on emails to be honest.

    emyii90.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. Love this! I often try to reach out to my favourite brands and I completely agree with all of these tips :) There are thousands of bloggers so why not step forward?

    hellomissjordan.blogspot.co.uk xx

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  9. Really love this! Wouldn't have even though about doing it! xx
    starrzbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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  10. Thanks so much for writing this as I am ready to start putting myself out there but wasn't sure exactly how to approach it and how to word my emails, this helps a lot! :)

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  11. This is so useful, I've never contacted a brand, but it will definitely be something I'll do in the future.

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

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  12. I don't think I'm quite ready or brave enough to approach brands directly but there's some fantastic advise. Definitely some thing to think on for a few months time x

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  13. this was such a great post, i'm always nervous to contact brands first but have to remember..whats the worst that could happen?

    Rachel // Style Soup

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  14. This is great advice! I'm collaborations coordinator for an online clothing company, and I love it when fashion bloggers who are a good match contact me. I would definitely encourage bloggers not to be nervous.

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  15. Why did I not read this sooner? You are the best, Becky. Thanks for the tips! How long would you suggest waiting after sending a message to either a) realize you've been rejected and get over it OR b) try e-mailing them again. Or is it better to never contact a brand a second time? I've messaged over 30 companies in the last month and never heard a peep. Some of them were my "dream" companies and I feel like I blew it. I would love your opinion! :)

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    1. Honestly? I've never contacted a second time. I've just assumed they didn't want me (although recently a company replied 9 months after I emailed them!) I suppose something like 3-6 months would be acceptable though

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    2. Wow, how random.I guess things were busy for them? haha Thanks for replying!

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  16. This post was so helpful!! I contacted a brand that I like really like and they contacted me back. I haven't gotten an answer yet of whether I can represent the brand or not but i'm excited that I took the time to be encouraged by this post and take a risk!

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

    theurbnwood.com
    E.K.II

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    1. I'm so glad! Let me know the outcome!

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  17. Thanks for the advice! Its just a matter of putting myself out there like I do for my own clients 🙄

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  18. This is such a useful post, I've been blogging just over a year but have not plucked up the courage to reach out to brands yet. Think I'm going to get cracking this weekend.
    Great advice thank you xx
    Lisa
    Beauxdiaries.com

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  19. Hi Becky, I know it's been a while since you've written this post, but I read it -- and wanted to tell you I read your post and took your challenge.

    I emailed a brand on 10/20/2016 and received a response this morning. I had assumed I wouldn't receive one, but they let me know that the will gladly add my name to a list of potential "brand promoters" to receive PR and products early for review. They re-evaluate and add to their list every 3 months so they will be in touch with me soon.

    Thank you SO much for writing this post! It helped tremendously!

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    1. I am so glad to read this! Well done! And thank you for leaving this comment too- I'm so pleased to find out my post helped you

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  20. Now I still am in lhe ver beginning of my blog, but this post will be very helpful later ! Thank you Becky !

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