? How to Work with Brands as a Blogger or Influencer

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Are you struggling with how to work with brands as a blogger or influencer?  Not sure if you’re big enough or what you should be charging?

Today I’m diving into exactly how to work with brands so that it works for you and your audience.

IE 120: How to Work with Brands as a Blogger or Influencer

How to Work with Brands as a Blogger or Infuencer

Before we dive into the episode, let me remind you that if you haven’t signed up for the next session of Pitch Perfect Live, you need to do so right away. The next session runs from Monday, May 13th through Friday, May 17th, 2019.

Are you tired of being asked to work for free or for a product that has nothing to do with your niche? Honestly, does a food blogger need another wood watch?

Yeah, I don’t think so.

That’s why in today’s episode, I am going to share with you some of the ways that you, as a blogger or influencer, can work with brands.

You can be compensated for the content that you create and the influence you bring to the brand.

Why You Don’t Need a Million Pageviews to Build a 6-Figure Income

I began my online career with a lifestyle blog. And before all was said and done, I had managed to build a 6-figure income from that blog solely through sponsored content.

There are a few amazing things about this achievement –

  • I accomplished it with well under 500K pageviews per month.
  • I never had a 6-figure following on any social media platform.
  • I never even hit 10K followers on Instagram to get the coveted swipe-up feature.


If you assume that you must have these astronomical numbers to be a successful influencer, you are wrong. I can show you how it’s done because I did it.

Let’s dive into the specifics of how to work with brands without selling out.

Know Your Worth

When it comes to knowing your worth, you have to look at how engaged your followers are.

You can have 100K followers on IG, but if they aren’t engaged, the brands will not be interested in working with you.

Engaged followers are the key to knowing your worth.

When your audience is highly engaged with your content, you have more influence over them.

This is what brands are looking for; a highly engaged audience that follows your lead.

I see bloggers with smaller audiences having more success getting larger brand sponsorships simply because their audiences are super engaged with them.

Deciding Whether to Work for Product

The food blogger and the watch scenario I talked about earlier actually happened to a client of mine.

The brand wanted her to do a couple of IG stories and a post in her feed. The thing is, if she posted in her IG stories about this watch, her audience would be confused.

She’s a food blogger, so the watch has nothing to do with her content.

The first thing to do when asked to work for a product is to decide if the product is a good fit for your audience.

If your audience would be confused as to why you’re talking about the product, don’t do it.

If the product they offer is a perfect fit for your audience, don’t just say yes to working for the product alone.

Asking for What You Deserve

It’s fine to agree to work for a product if, number one, you really want the product and number two, your audience will love it.

However, I don’t want you to settle for being paid in product alone. You can ask for what you deserve and I will give you the strategy to do so.

You nicely explain to the brand that you are an influencer and that in order to maintain the integrity of your site, along with your integrity to your readers and any former brands you have worked with, you only work on compensated content.

You then offer to send along a media kit and a proposal for them to review.

*Listen in to the episode to hear how I took a mass email from a major brand and turned it into a 5-figure relationship.

Talk About the Product and How It Fits Your Audience

When you email the brand, be sure you explain to them how their product is a perfect fit for your audience.

The only way for you to know this goes back to the engagement piece we talked about earlier. If you know your audience, you will know which products will be the best fit for them.

Explain to the brand the reasons your audience will love their product.

How Does the Product Fit with Your Content?

If you’ve been a listener of this podcast for a while, you may have heard the story of the trash bag company who reached out to me years ago on my lifestyle blog.

They wanted me to write a post on how I had left garbage in my house for 4 days but because of their trash bags, my house didn’t stink.

You guys. There was no way I was leaving garbage in my house for 4 days. Who would do that?!

I thought about how I could create the content they wanted and I came up with a plan that would not only satisfy the brand, but that would make sense to my audience.

*Again, listen in to the full episode to hear how I managed to leave garbage in my house for 4 days, oh yes, I did. The brand was happy and my audience wasn’t confused over why there was garbage in my house for 4 days.

What’s the Difference Between Selling and Influencing?

This is an important distinction to make.

When you are selling something, you are writing in such a way as to make your readers click through and purchase the item as they’re reading.

That is not what an influencer does.

As an influencer, you are making an impression in your reader’s mind that you hope will stick with them.

In the example of the trash bags, when I told my audience the story of my 4-day old trash, I wasn’t trying to sell them some trash bags.

My job was to leave them with the knowledge that these trash bags really worked.

So the next time they were shopping and needed trash bags, they would remember that I had talked about how well these particular trash bags worked and how my house still smelled clean after having garbage in it for 4 days.

My influence over the reader will help them to decide to purchase the trash bags when they see them in the store.

This is not just wordplay. There is a real difference between trying to sell something and influencing your audience toward making choices.

You do this by creating authentic content and drawing the reader in with your story.

Know Who to Reach Out To

Listen to me very carefully for a moment –

If you want to attract your dream brand, you can not…I repeat… you can not sit around and hope that one day, they contact you.

There are so many bloggers and Instagram users now that there is no possible way for a brand to just happen upon you.

You have to know who to reach out to: what their contact info is and what to say when you get that info.

When you reach out, remember, it’s all about how their product is perfect for your audience.

This is not about you; it’s about the brand and your audience.

How to Get the Contact Info You Need

The easiest way to get the contact information for the person who works on sponsored content with bloggers is to visit the brand’s website. Go to Media or Press and look for the email address of the person you need to contact.

Once you have this email address, you’re going to send your initial email.

In this email, you’re going to explain how your audience is a perfect fit for their brand and why that’s the case.

You’re also going to ask them if you can send them a media kit and a proposal.

*I’m going to tease you again and make you listen in to find out what exactly to include in that media kit and proposal.

If you want more information on how to send your first pitch, how to know which brands to reach out to, and exactly what to say when you do reach out, be sure to sign up for the next session of Pitch Perfect Live.

This is a free, 5-day class that consists of emails and live Facebook trainings.

I have had previous students who were able to send their first pitch during the 5-day training and garner a sponsorship immediately.

Even if you’ve previously participated in Pitch Perfect Live, many students find great value in joining in again every time I host this class.

So whether it’s your first time or your tenth, I encourage you to sign up today.

Action Steps:

Tired of being asked to create content for free... or better yet, a bag of granola?

Want to give them a piece of your mind? Or hit the delete button? You could...OR, you could steal the emails I use to flip those low-ball product offers into four-figure campaigns!