Are you ready to work with brands, but you don’t know where to start? I feel your pain! I was right there with you a year ago until I nailed down my process. Here are 5 Ways to Jumpstart Reaching out to Brands that you’ll be able to put into action today!
5 Ways to Jumpstart Reaching out to Brands
Write down your top 5 favorite brands
These can be brands that you’ve used since you were a kid or they can even be a place that you routinely travel to with your family. What would be your absolute dream brand to work with though? You want that brand to authentically fit with your site. If you remember from my, Biggest Mistakes Made when Working with Brands, article then you’re aware of the importance that I place on authenticity. If you don’t write reviews on your site then don’t start with a sponsored post. That is one of the fastest ways to turn away your audience and feel like a sell out.
Find their contact information
Now that you’ve chosen your top 5 favorite brands, we need to find the contact information for the person on the team that works on blogger campaigns. This wording is important because they rarely make this information easy to find.
You’re going to start in the navigation menu by looking under press releases and media and then check to see if there is an email associated with the pr person on the press release. Hold onto that email address if it’s there. It’s not always that easy to find.
If you don’t find a media or press releases tab then you’re going to check out their social media channels. If it is a brand that you want to work with then you should already be following them so if you’re not you need to. On Twitter you’re going to create a tweet about them and try to attract their attention by tagging them and writing a tweet an authentic tweet without a link. So you might say something like, “My buffalo chicken lettuce wraps are so good thanks to @marzetti.” No link though. I have a process that I teach in my Pitch Perfect Challenge on how to get tons of retweets on that tweet in order to get the brand to follow you so that you can direct message them asking them for the email of the person on their team who works on blogger campaigns.
Research those brands via Twitter and Facebook
Now that you have the correct email to the person that work with bloggers, you want to research what they are talking about on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Most brands think like bloggers do so they are at least 3 months ahead of the seasons. If it is November and you’re reaching out to a flour company, you better not be pitching Christmas because I can guarantee you will not hear back from that brand and if you do it will be without a budget for a Christmas post. You have to pitch 3 – 6 months in advance.
There are two reasons for this. The first is that they are starting to get their ducks lined up for the next holiday just like we are starting to clean up our Valentine’s Day boards or Super Bowl Recipe boards in November. The second is that a negotiation with a brand can take a while. You have to remember that when a network comes to you with a campaign, all the negotiating has already occurred.
By researching the brand prior to pitching them, you can be sure you are aware of any new products that they have. Brands can tell when you have done your homework so be sure to check out their social channels before putting together your initial pitch.
Draft an email using my 9 Point Pitch Checklist
As part of my Pitch Perfect Challenge I supply you with my 9 Point Pitch Checklist which covers the nine specific areas that you should cover. The biggest mistake made in the initial pitch is when you are so specific that you make it super easy for the brand to not reply to you. In other words, if you’re looking to work with a hot dog brand then tell them how you’re going to create a grilling recipe but don’t go into the details of how you’re going to create a chili dog recipe using your grandma’s award winning chili recipe. If they don’t like it, then they’ll never respond. Keep it broad.
Also, be sure that you don’t send an initial pitch that ends with, “I’d love to chat…..” No chatting! Your call to action is to ask them if you can send a media kit and a proposal for their review. You are leaving them with either a yes or no question. No chatting and figuring out when to chat. If you want to chat with them to get to know more about what they are looking for then ask to do that when you send a media kit and proposal. Not in the initial pitch!
Are you ready?! You totally are! It’s time to hit send. You have to remember that the worst thing they’re going to say is no thanks. Remember that these things take time. I haven’t found the perfect time of year to pitch either so I try to reach out to one or two brands per week. I also follow up if I have not heard back from the brand after sending my initial pitch.
My entire process of landing sponsored content has taken me years to compile and find a system that is workable for someone that has younger children and might only be able to work this as their side time hustle. I’ve put together my full process in my Signature Working with Brands e-Course. The best part is that I give you my exact emails from start to finish on a campaign as well as my proposals. Find out more HERE.