As a blogger who manages influencer outreach for a cosmetics company, I'm able to experience being both a pitcher and a pitchee when it comes to sponsored posts, blog coverage, product reviews and more. As a blogger, I know the time and creativity it goes into creating posts for sponsored content or product coverage and what I need to include in my pitches to other companies that I want to cover. As a PR manager, I know what I look for in other influencers and blogger's pitches that allows me to want to move forward with a collaboration.
While I typically send more pitches than I receive, I do receive a good number of pitches coming from all types of influencers-- bloggers, You Tube beauty reviewers, and Instagrammers for both product reviews and sponsored posts. Sadly, some of these pitches are horrible, which leads me to today's blog post on brand collaborations. I've read several posts from the blogger's perspective or working with brands, but want to provide some insight coming from the other side. Continue reading for my top don'ts when it comes to getting brands to work with you ->
1. No Links: My biggest pet peeve when it comes to pitches is when it fails to include links, hence why it is number one on the list. People will mention their blog, channel, even their Instagram username but will not provide a URL/link to make it easy for me to view their platform(s). I have a lot on my plate at work and having to open a new window, go to Google, search around for your blog or social profiles can take too much of my time. Make it simple for the PR rep to click over to your blog or profiles.
In the same vein, make sure your blog links out to your social profiles. I've lost count of how many blogs I've visited that do not link to their social media... or I have to dig for them. You can have an amazing looking blog with decent quality content and images, but if I can't easily navigate to your social profiles or become frustrated in trying to do so, I will most likely pass on working with you.
2. No Contact Information: Speaking of digging for information, your email address and contact information should be easily accessible on your blog or profile. Contact forms are not my friend either. I typically research the blogs or influencers I want to contact, pull all their information and put it on a PR list. Then, another day, I'll go back and pitch. Since pitching takes so much of my time I like to have the information such as email addresses at my fingertips for an easy copy and paste into the 'To' field. I can't do that with an annoying contact form and I don't have the time to hunt around for your email address possibly floating around somewhere in cyber space.
Also, another thing to keep in mind with contact forms is that some brands have certain Internet firewalls, blockers and restrictions for employees using company computers. From my experience with these types of restrictions, I found that some blogs' contact forms would not show or load at all so even though I wanted to collaborate with someone, I was unable to get in contact with them. Unfortunately that meant by passing their blog and them losing out on a potential opportunity.
Be sure to also have your name, at least your first name, somewhere on your blog or profile. When pitching (and being pitched) I like to personalize my emails, which includes using your first name. Unless you like those generic "Hi blogger..." emails. Please, make it easy for brand reps to reach out to you.
3. Not Being Realistic: If you've been reaching out for brand collaborations with your media kit, links, and sponsored fees but not having any bites, it may be time to reassess. Does your content fit with the brands you are reaching out to? Is your pricing too high? Is your readership too low? These are all things PR/brand reps are looking at, there has to be a win in it for them in order to work with you, especially for paid content. When I look for influencers to collaborate with, I have to think about whether they're content would be worth sharing or reposting by the brand. I have budgets (including samples budgets) that I need to stick to for the year. I have to make sure those impressions I'm getting are worth it for the brand's investment, whether that's sponsored post costs or free product.
Be realistic in your expectations in obtaining that brand collaboration. When it comes to sponsored content and the brand isn't biting at the rate your putting out, yes, know your worth, but be open to possible negotiation if it's a brand you really want to work with. Know that the brand is looking at ROI- return on investment- if they're paying for something, they need to be getting something in return in the form of clicks, site traffic, content use, or just brand/product awareness.
Tell me, what are some of your tips for brands to work better or easier with bloggers? Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series, how to effectively pitch to brands.