After you have established your blog, you can start applying for sponsored post and social media campaigns. You can also start reaching out to brands (or their public relations agencies) to work with them on blog or social media collaborations. For me, this is the most exciting part of blogging! You don’t need to wait forever to start pitching brands, but you should have at least a few months of blogging under your belt– having samples of your work to show a brand is a MUST!
How to Find Out Who You Should Contact at a Brand or Agency
After you have determined which brands you would like to pitch, you will need to figure out the right person to contact. There are a few different ways to go about doing this, and here they are in no particular order:
Visit the Media or Press Tab on a Brand’s Website
This is usually the easiest and fastest way to find out where you want to send your email. Look for an option that says “Media Inquiries.” If you don’t see a tab or link that looks like this, check under the “Contact Us” tab or look in the footer of the website for a Sitemap.
Look for a Press Release from the Brand/Company
Scroll down to the bottom of the press release and look for a media contact or agency of record (public relations agency). You will usually see a name and email (and sometimes a phone number!) to contact.
Interact with the Brand on Social Media
I have had great luck with finding the right contact person through a simple direct message on Twitter. Engage with the brand and then let them know you are sending them a message. You can try this approach on Facebook as well.
Ask Another Blogger or Influencer
When it comes to asking other bloggers for brand contacts, it’s important to be VERY courteous and respectful. Bloggers work hard to develop relationships with brands and agencies, and they won’t always hand over contacts. If they do, they may ask you not to mention that they gave you the information.
If a blogger does share information, thank them and make sure to be very professional with your brand interactions. It will help you in so many ways, and it will reflect well on the blogger that referred you and will go a long way towards developing future relationships!
Don’t be offended or feel bad if they don’t share contacts, this happens!
Worst Case Scenario
If you are unable to find a contact using any of the methods above, you can always fill out the generic contact form on a website. Let them know who you are looking for and they will often point you in the right direction. Keep in mind, that you may have to wait longer for a response and sometimes you get no response at all!
Know the Demographics of Your Blog Before Pitching Brands
The demographic data for your blog readers give the brand a sense of how well their product/service will align with your readership. You can find demographic data in your Google Analytics account. Go to Audience > Demographics. This will give you a quick break down of the age and gender of your audience. If you live outside of the U.S. or have a significant readership outside of the U.S., you will want to check on the Geo tab to see language and location details for your audience.
Make Sure You Have a Media Kit and Rate Card
A media kit and rate card make it SO MUCH easier to work with brands and public relations agencies, and they also help your pitch come across as more polished and professional. Having all of your information and selling points in a concise document makes it easy for a brand rep to see what you have to offer and whether or not you are a good fit for existing or future campaigns.
What is a Media Kit?
A media kit is a 1-2-page document that serves as a résumé for your blog. In fact, pitching a brand is not unlike applying for a job. You send over a résumé and the employer takes a quick look at your information to see if you might be a good fit. If the answer is yes, they move forward with the next step.
A brand or public relations (PR) agency will typically review your media kit to see if your stats and reader demographics are aligned with their advertising or promotional needs.
Why Should You Have a Media Kit to Work with Brands?
A media kit is a must if you are serious about working with brands and public relations agencies, whether it’s in exchange for product or compensation. Using the analogy of a job again, it would be like applying for a job without submitting a résumé first. It’s also a great opportunity to make a great visual first impression!
Even if you don’t have a lot of followers yet, you still have influence, so make sure you create a media kit. You never know when a brand or agency will approach you or when you will want to make your first pitch! A rate card is also a great thing to have prepared ahead of time because if a brand wants to move forward they will likely ask for your rates.
Email Your Pitch to the Brand or Agency Contact
Now, it’s time for the fun part– sending off your pitch! Once you know who you need to contact, send them an email letting them know you would like to collaborate. If you have a specific collaboration in mind, give a BRIEF description (don’t give too many details!). You can also inquire about what types of collaborations they might have for bloggers. You can grab the templates I use for pitching and responding to brands (including what to do when they say no!).
You Need to Start Somewhere, So Don’t Be Afraid of Product Exchanges Instead of Compensation!
This might go against what you read on other blogs, but I don’t have a problem working in exchange for product– especially when you are a brand new blogger! If it’s something you really want, a company that you’d like to work with or a project that you think will appeal to your readers, go for it! Prior experience with brands is a great thing to highlight in your media kit and it’s SUPER helpful to give future collaborators a chance to see the kind of content you can produce.
So, what are you waiting for?! Get started on that media kit today. 🙂
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