So you're ready to start pitching brands? HOLD ON!
I've gotten more "no thank you" messages from brands than I care to count but I keep pitching and so should you!
Brands and agencies are businesses. They work during business hours, have processes in place, budgets in place, and if you don't make it SUPER easy to work with you, they are OUT. I have worked on the brand side of things as well as the influencer side of things, and it's true.
SO before you send that next pitch email, here are the 3 things to double check in order to have a win-win from brand partnerships!
I've made ALL of these mistakes and now I can share this information with you to help you succeed and not waste as much time in the learning phase as I did!
1. YOUR CONTACT INFO!
I had a link in my bio for weeks before anyone told me it didn't work!! Before you risk a brand discovering that your links don't work, check for yourself! Of course we all know this, but here's your reminder to do a quick check and update, if needed. Click through all of your bio links. Click through your blog contact page links. Did you change your email but forget to update the contact link on the footer of your website. CHECK IT.
Pro tip: If you have a contact "form" on your website, make sure you also write out your email address on that page too. Brands will not fill out your contact form. I repeat, brands will not fill out your contact form, but they will copy and paste your email into their list for future campaigns.
2. BRING VALUE!
As in, what value are you providing to your brand partners? This is a self-check that we all need to do every few months. It's easy to get caught up in posting for likes, copying other people's content, or "posting and ghosting!" Think about what you can really provide to a brand who partners with you. This isn't necessarily about a follower number. Do you have a super niche audience of only cat-lovers? Are all of your followers plant ladies? Is your audience mostly in their 40s? It's important to know what sets you apart from other bloggers, and why a brand should consider spending part of their marketing budget on you.
This is one that I always ask new bloggers when they ask me "Rhonda, when can I start pitching brands?" I usually tell them that they can start when they know they are bringing value. This isn't "personal value"...of course you are valuable as a person! I'm talking about professional marketing value. Can they use your photo on their channels? Can they boost your video as a paid promotion? Will you drive sales of their product? There are so many ways you can bring value - know them!
3. YOUR BRAND STRATEGY!
We know that bloggers have to be the right fit to work with a brand. But what about BRANDS being the right fit to work with YOU?!
Does this brand or business really align with your personal brand? Or are you just trying to make a quick buck? Don't pitch just to pitch! Does this brand or service make sense for your audience? Every blogger makes this mistake but it's an easy one to avoid if you take some time up front to create your brand strategy. This is about the long-term brand strategy, not the short-term financial gain!
"But what about partnering with brands to gain experience?" Sure. It would be better for you to work with a brand that aligns for free than get paid by a brand who your audience won't relate to or you don't really use/love. Period. Do not compromise on this because you will lose your audience's trust!
Now that you've checked those things, you are pitch-ready! I wish someone would have reminded me of those three things before I started emailing brands when I first started blogging! Remember, you are valuable, your time is worth money...now you just have to show that to the brand!
DM me @rhondajenkins with blogging questions!