Depending on why you blog, working with brands may or may not be on your agenda for the near future. I know it is for me personally as it’s a way to develop professional relationships within a field of my interest. For people who are in the position to monetise their blogs, working with brands is essential – sponsored posts bring in money.
So how do people go about contacting and working with brands?
It’s difficult to know where to begin with companies as there are so many out there who are willing to work with bloggers of all varieties. You have to know where to look and when to take action. For example, I was having a nose through one of the Twitter hashtags (though they’re usually full of bloggers requesting free samples from companies) and stumbled across a company who were looking to work with beauty bloggers to help promote their products.
I gave them an email, and that’s it. Samples were sent to me in the mail a few days later, ready for me to review a few weeks down the line.
Although I got lucky, there are several times where I’ve been flat out ignored via email. This can be for a number of reasons; either an overwhelming response to their advertisement, or simply because I’m not the right fit for the job. It’s a lot like job hunting, in reality.
- Email | Always email a brand when you want to work with them, sending a tweet looks unprofessional and you can’t always fit what you want to say into 140 characters.
- Be Personal | If you know the name of the person you’re emailing from the particular brand, address them at the beginning of the email. It gives the email more of a personal touch, and makes them feel less as though you’ve simply cut and paste a drafted email.
- Know who you are | Think about it from the perspective of the person you’re emailing – they might have absolutely no idea who you are or what your blog is about. Give them a brief introduction before going straight into talking business. The way I do this is by re-writing the ‘about me’ section of my blog into email format.
- Don’t be direct | Nobody wants an email that basically says ‘hey, here’s my blog, please send me free stuff’. It looks tacky, being more indirect puts the ball in their court – the next move is theirs to make. Simply stating you would like to work with them in the near future on any upcoming projects is all it takes.
- Be Patient! | They won’t get back to you overnight, or they might. You’re not sending them an Instant Message via Facebook, sometimes people don’t respond to emails for days. If they get back to you saying no, or simply ignore you, don’t be disheartened! There’s always another brand out there to turn to instead.
And keep in mind that blogging isn’t all about getting free samples and working with companies. Think back to why you started blogging in the first place – it shouldn’t have started with “well I wanted free stuff so…”
Blogging is a hobby all about generating enjoyable content that you want to share with others. Working with brands and receiving samples are only the perks.