Blogging tips…well I’m not the most qualified person for this.
But I’m going to share my knowledge with you nonetheless. This is relevant for YouTubers, blogging, Instagram stars and the likes. I get a lot of questions from my friends, coworkers, and of course fellow bloggers and vloggers about how I get so many products sent my way. If you follow me on Snapchat (‘Adaleta’) you see it allll because I usually include a snap of everything. After being out of town for a couple of days, I come back to the office and boxes on boxes await me. These are not brands that are sending me products just because. They are not knocking down my door; it’s actually the other way around. I am knocking on their door. Let’s jump in.
I’ve always been a go-getter. If I want something, I go and get it. So of course, I started my collaborations by emailing a few companies. In the beginning, no one responded to me. Bunch of assholes right?…they’ll never get a call back from me in the future don’t worry 😉
Step one is simply doing some browsing and discovery. Who do I want to collaborate with? What do I want to try? What have I always wanted to try? What’s intriguing to me? A lot of these questions are simply about likes and dislikes and what kind of product I’m willing to try. It’s kind of like shopping so it’s actually quite a lot of fun to research! My research mainly goes on over on Instagram (@adaatude) Normally I look through many accounts and link out to whatever other bloggers are wearing and just start looking at different company pages. When I find a company that looks intriguing or I know is one I’d love to work with, I screenshot the homepage. Usually you’ll see an email address and if not, you will see a web URL that usually leads to the homepage of the site. I usually do this for a little while and just keep screenshotting until it’s time for dinner, or time for bed or time for anything but Instagram scrolling.
Step two happens in a different kind of environment. Usually I’m ready to work a few hours and I’m on my personal email account. I go back and open all of my photos and start opening all the homepages of the companies I screenshotted. This is a longer phase because I like to read the ‘About Us’ pages and visit all of their social media to see how many followers they have and which networks are more popular. I also like to read reviews about their best selling product and their least selling product (or just a less known product) to see what people have to say about it.
Once I’ve done the true research, I go into step three which is drafting a fairly descriptive, yet still brief, email to the PR contact of the brand. My emails have general information including a brief introduction about who I am (name) and what I do that’s relevant to their business (blogging and vlogging). I then mention how I found their business (Instagram typically) and what caught my eye and made me want to email them (a piece of clothing, a beauty product, etc.) I include a link to my ‘About Me’ page on my blog so they have a chance to go and read about me. I state that I would love to collaborate and work with them and finally, close off the email by thanking them for their time and consideration. These are all the basics and the information they need to first consider you. Some brands will respond and ask for more information (impressions, pageviews, social following, etc) but I recommend not providing that information up front. If the brand IS interested, they will email you back and either not require those numbers (based off their own research of you) or they will respond and require those numbers for their records. Either way, less is more in your initial email and you can always give more information after they respond.
The cold hard truth is that sometimes they don’t respond. Most don’t to be quite frank, but I’m emailing the Maybelline and NYX of the world and to them I am a small fish. They’re looking for girls with followings of half a million or more, which is certainly not me (not yet at least.) You must be patient and just take it on the chin. If the brand doesn’t respond, it’s not a knock on you. They just can’t respond to every single request they get, it’s impossible.
When a brand does respond, it is usually a positive response and they are expressing their interest with working with you and setting up a collaboration. This is step four and you will need to negotiate and figure out exactly what you’re hoping to get out of this. For me, I usually do not do sponsored or paid posts, but if you do you need to have your word count, image count and price beforehand so you can easily share with the brand how much it will cost to write a review once you’ve tried the product. The few brands I’ve worked with, I simply explained that I would love to try the product but I will not write a post that falsely states I liked the products if I didn’t. I don’t know if you noticed but I tell you when shiz is not up to par (e.g. Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks) because that’s why I’m here. I want to share my true honest opinion, there’s no reason to lie to thousands of people all over social media. It’s preposterous. If a brand states that you must post a positive review, I recommend not accepting the products and going about your day. Whether the products are the greatest thing since sliced bread, it’s not cool that you don’t have a say or decision in the tone of your writing. This will come across in your post and your readers will be suspicious about your recommendation. Trust me, your readers know everything. They’ve been reading your posts for months, years even, and they will sense a fake review from a mile away. Plus if they do believe you and buy the product and absolutely hate it, you will be the throat to choke…or unfollow at the very least.
Step five is sending a quick and brief thank you email to the brand once you receive the products just to keep the communication flowing and let them know you received the product. It’s the respectful thing to do. That way you don’t get their awkward follow-up “so did you ever get the tea?” and you needing to respond saying “yep- got it 3 weeks ago and haven’t tried it.”
I would recommend that if you decide to collaborate with a brand, stay true to yourself and your audience. Don’t take money or product if you won’t be able to stay strong and write a semi negative review of the product. If a product sucks, it $^$#%^& just sucks and it’s not your fault. Always be honest because that is what your readers, viewers, followers, etc care about.
Because I’ve now shared my most treasured secrets, I decided to create a super pin-friendly image for you because if you know this you might as well share with your friends. I do hope this helped you even a little especially if you’re about to start emailing brands and coming to terms with working with them. It’s a big part of the social world nowadays!
As always, if you have any questions for me feel free to leave me a comment below because I’m happy to help you based off my experience. Happy Thursday and good luck!