One of my most frequently asked questions is ‘how do I get brand collaborations as a beginner blogger’? My initial answer is patience, but that’s never good enough and I get it. It’s a lame answer! But as lame as it is, it’s true. I can hear the sighs now!
However, I will say that there are little things you can do right now that can speed up the process and get your blog noticed so brands DO reach out for collaborations. And so that’s what we’re going to talk about today…
Have a Media Kit Ready
Having a media kit ready regardless of how big or small of a blogger you are is always a good idea. It shows you’re prepared and you know how this whole “influencer” thing works.
Media kits don’t have to be some super intricate and time consuming thing. A one-page media kit from Etsy will do just fine, especially if you’re just starting out. Your media kit should include your name, email address, blog, picture, demographic, and number of followers you have on each social media platform (if you’re still on the smaller side you can just include your total following). Brands want reach and engagement, so make sure media kit shows both of those things in some way. Any other relevant experience, like past collaborations, should also be included because it builds your credibility as a reliable and professional blogger.
Take the Initiative & Contact Brands Yourself
If you’re not into the whole waiting game, take it upon yourself to contact brands instead of waiting around for them to contact you. The great thing about being a beginner blogger is, you literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The worst that can happen is the brand says no, in which case you’re in the exact same place you are now. And if the brand says yes, you gain an opportunity.
The first step in contacting brands is to really study the brand – know their strengths, know their weaknesses, and know how you can help. Once you’re ready, you can send an introductory email explaining who you are, what you blog about, and your solution to their problem(s) in 3-4 sentences. Brands will be much more likely to respond to a thoughtful email like that than something generic.
For example, you can start your email like:
“Hi <insert brand/person’s name>!
My name is ___ and my blog is ___. I specialize in ___ and I noticed that you have X but not YZ and I really wanted to help by ___. I’m a huge fan of <brand name> and I would really love to run a trial partnership and if you don’t reap the benefits in X weeks then we can discontinue our partnership.”
You want to personalize the email as much as possible without rambling. The script above isn’t guaranteed to work, but it’s certainly worth a try! I’ve gotten positive responses and no responses at all using a similar format.
The difference between a collaboration with a beginner blogger versus a seasoned pro is flexibility. Big time bloggers usually leave little wiggle room in collaborations because their service is in such high demand and they can get away with it. If one brand says no, there’s another one right around the corner waiting to pitch a collab.
As a beginner blogger, you can leverage your flexibility and do more negotiating. For example, you can keep your rates, guidelines, and expectations open for negotiation. You want to let the brand know you’re able to adapt to what they want and need. Maybe you won’t ask for payment because the brand sends you a high quality product or maybe you will ask for payment but still go above and beyond with the promotional content to show how invested you are.
You also want to be flexible with the brands you work with (as long as they’re “on brand” with your blog). You shouldn’t necessarily hold out until some well known, super trendy brand comes along and offers you a deal because, you might have to wait a while for that one.
Regardless, being prepared, making the first move, and going above and beyond in everything you do as a blogger is a sure fire way to land your first brand collaboration. You always want to have an open mind. You should get creative and consider all possibilities, because you never know where one collaboration could lead.
What brand do you really really want to collab with and why? Tell us in the comments below!