This week I’ve got a very exciting guest post from the wonderful Jenna Farmer of The Bloglancer. She’s sharing her approach to pitching to brands!
Pitching to brands that perfectly fit our blog is at the top of #bloggergoals for most of us. Yet it’s something that still isn’t widely spoken about; leaving us with the impression that bloggers who work with brands on the regular are part of an elusive, secret club.
It doesn’t help when bloggers shrug and declare: ‘Oh the brands just come to me’ as if it really is that simple. Of course, this does happen sometimes (and it never stops being exciting when an email lands in your inbox from your dream brand) but we also need to be realistic.
With thousands and thousands of blogs existing online, your perfect match might just not have found you yet. So what’s stopping you putting yourself out there to make it a hundred times easier for them?
It’s understandable to be hesitant, after all a day doesn’t go by without bloggers being labelled as ‘freeloaders’ and ‘blaggers.’ But when done right, pitching to a brand can be the key to building long-lasting relationships in the industry.
Which is why I launched my ebook, Everything you need to know about Pitching to Brands along with interviewing many PRs on the topic. Here’s what I’ve learnt about that perfect pitch…
1. Find a brand that suits your reader
Before you head to your inbox, come up with a list of brands that perfectly fit your readers. Note, I said readers rather than you!
Of course they’ll be overlap but you should be thinking in terms of the best content you can offer your readers AND how your readers are valuable for the brand (aka: how are they going to make money from them!).
A great way to do this is to look at your analytics. What posts are popular? What questions are your readers searching for?
Treat it like a business rather than a personal question. For example, If you are thinking of pitching to a vegan brand but your most-loved blog posts are all meaty recipes, how can you prove that’s a worthwhile collaboration?
2. Always Introduce What You Can Offer…
Once you’ve got your shortlist, now is the time to prove yourself.
In your email, make sure you outline clearly what you can offer brands a blogger. This might take the form of examples of successful previous campaigns or your media kit featuring your key stats.
Spell out why they should work with you and never be afraid to talk numbers.
3. …and what you’re looking for.
Collaborate. Connect. Work With. How often are these vague terms bandied about? But they’re essentially meaningless. Once you’ve outlined what you can offer, now is the part what you outline what you want in return.
I’m not talking a shopping list but spell out your expectations, e.g. ‘I’m emailing to see if you’d be interested in offering a complimentary meal for 2 in exchange for a blog post of 500 words reviewing our experience and dedicated social media coverage.’
It can be awkward but remember to treat this like a business: it needs to be an equal transaction for both parties!
4. Mentioning the ‘M’ word
But what if you’re after cold hard cash? Hopefully you won’t just be in it for the money but many bloggers worry about bringing up the ‘m’ word when they communicate with brands.
The key here is to offer a range of options.
For example, I am more than happy to feature any gifted products on my social channels and also offer sponsored content if more in-depth coverage on my blog and youtube is required.’
Having a rate card takes a lot of the awkwardness out of it but don’t send it unprompted; try to get a feel for how brands are looking to work with you first. If you work with a brand on a gifted basis, don’t be afraid to send over your rate card afterwards for future campaigns!
5. Keep Following Up
And finally, if there’s one thing you need to be a successful pitching pro is persistence. Don’t be afraid to follow up after a week or so if you’ve not heard back.
Reconnecting with brands after you’ve worked with them is the key to long-lasting relationships. Offer to meet them for a quick coffee or send them any examples of additional coverage.
Even if you’re not asked for them, stats are powerful! So a quick emailing explaining the Instagram post they’re featured in has hit 1000 impressions gives them a hint you are a pro!
Jenna Farmer is a full-time freelance writer. She blogs about growing a blog and earning a living from it over at www.thebloglancer.co.uk and can found at @jennafarmer on twitter and instagram.