Hey guys! Welcome to one of the most-requested posts on here! You guys have been wanting me to write this one for a while now, and I’ve finally have got around to doing it. If you’ve been following The Striped Plaid for a while, you’ll likely know that I’ve collaborated with several different businesses, so I’ll be sharing my experience as well as some tips to get you started!
Note: I’m in no way a professional at this, and I myself am really just getting started in the world of collaborating, but I’m happy to share what I’ve learned. 🙂
Also, even though these tips are geared toward bloggers, they totally work if you’re doing an Instagram (or other social media) influencer account.
Polish up your blog. In every single one of my blogging tips posts, I’ve said to get your blog in order before you start marketing. It’s the same for collaborating. Make sure you’ve got a cohesive feel to your blog, you’re consistently posting and your blog design is good. It also helps to have comments and likes on your posts, to show that you have readers that are engaging with you.
Consider upgrading your site. Honestly, I know it’s a little expensive, but upgrading your site to a .com rather than a .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com makes it so much more professional looking and easy to remember. It’s super easy to upgrade your blog with WordPress.com and it’s not too expensive. You also will get more photo storage, yay!!
Find companies in your niche. A couple of years ago, a company that sells canvases & wallpaper reached out to me asking to collaborate. I accepted because I do posts on decorating tips & photography posts, so I knew that it was something that my readers would be interested in. More recently, a company that is a competitor with Adobe reached out to me for a collaboration. I declined, because I use Adobe and have done several Lightroom tutorials, etc. I didn’t think the brand would be a good fit for you guys, my readers.
So look for brands that sell items similar things to what you post about. For example, if you post about your knitting projects and you share patterns with your readers, it would make perfect sense to reach out to a company selling wooden knitting needles or hand-dyed yarn.
Start small. One of the first companies I reached out to was Pura Vida. (XD) If you haven’t heard of Pura Vida, they are super popular brand for teenage girls. Now, my target audience is teenage girls & young women. Check! But Pura Vida is a super popular brand. It wouldn’t have helped them for a blogger who had 500 followers to review one of their products.
Instead of starting out by reaching out to your dream brands, start small. There are a ton of great Etsy shops & smaller boutiques who would benefit from your reviewing their products and that your readers would enjoy! As your blog grows, you can eventually start reaching out to larger brands and companies.
Remember you’re serving. While it might be fun to review clothes for a boutique, if you have food blog, where you post recipes and your readers are all people who want recipes, it wouldn’t make sense to review clothes. (unless it was like an apron or foodie t-shirt, etc) But if you had a fashion blog, reviewing clothes from a boutique would make complete sense, whereas reviewing kitchen tools might not make sense.
Don’t make yourself look like a robot & don’t spam. Keep your compliments genuine, make sure you use your best spelling/grammar…etc. Also, it’s okay to follow-up a week or so later, but if the company doesn’t respond immediately, don’t keep resending the message. Another thing is, it helps if you personalize the message to the company, rather than sending a fixed one to anybody and everybody. (for example, if your niche is fitness, you’d likely want to send a different pitch to a company selling protein shakes and a company selling adjustable weights)
Keep your pitch short & sweet. Businesses owners are super busy people! And even if the business is big enough to have someone doing customer service, that person is also super busy. They don’t have time to read a 1500 word email about why their products are so great and all of your amazing ideas. Instead, they’ll most likely skim read it. So don’t beat around the bush. Be direct but polite and be professional but friendly.
Don’t get discouraged. I’ll be real here for a sec. For every 100 companies I reach out to, only about 15-20 respond and even fewer I end up collaborating with. But don’t be discouraged & don’t give up. I promise, breaking through the tough moments and not giving up will be so worth it in the end!
Whew! That was a ton of information! I hope it was helpful for you guys & if you have any questions I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
Also, if you enjoyed this & found it helpful, I’d love if you shared this post on Pinterest! Thanks guys!