Are you a blogger? Do you want to work with brands? Here are ten tips for how to successfully work with brands!
Bloggers, this post is for you! Working with brands is one of my favorite things about blogging. First and foremost, I love my readers and try to produce content that I know my readers will love and I often include brands that I have used and loved for many years. Over the past three years, I’ve worked with brands such as KitchenAid, Naturipe Farms, organicgirl, Four Seasons and more.
Whether you just started blogging or are in your third or even fifth year of blogging, working with brands is something that any blogger can do. I’ve done everything from commercial photography for brands to social media management, sponsored recipe development and more. I’m sharing some tips and techniques for successfully working with brands below.
Ten tips for how to successfully work with brands:
(1) Focus on the long term.
Approach every new opportunity as a chance to work with the brand over the long term. Brands want to know that you will be committed to their product, campaign or ideas for months or years to come. You never know what opportunities may be available down the road and establishing relationships with brands from the start can ensure more work down the road.
(2) Be confident.
Confidence is key to working with brands. From pitching to negotiating and then finally performing, when you are confident you will be happier and more successful. One of the things I’ve learned from mentoring other bloggers is that they often doubt their abilities. You can do it! Trust me. You are probably more valuable that you think and can achieve more than you think. Confidence builds success and is essential for working with brands.
(3) Be honest.
Be honest with brands and your readers. Don’t commit to something you are not able to do and don’t offer to work with a company that you can’t honestly promote. Be honest about your past achievements and potential for success. Honestly is always the best policy.
(4) Be authentic.
Authenticity is a topic that is often discussed in the blogging world for good reason. I work with brands that I have either used for many years or would purchase on my own anyway. When you work with brands that you already love it is easy to organically incorporate the content into your blog. It is important to remain authentic to both your readers and to brands in order to be successful. Authenticity goes hand-in-hand with originality and honesty.
(5) Learn to say no.
Learning to say no is one of the hardest things to do. But trust me, even if you say no to an opportunity that doesn’t fit well with your blog another brand will come along that is a better fit. It is important to say no to brands that don’t fit or appeal to your readers to maintain authenticity. You may want to accept every brand offer that is presented to you but you should not say yes to everything. If it’s not a definite “Yes” then it should always be a “No.”
(6) Always remember that real people are behind the brand.
Behind every email, campaign and social media account is a real person. Always be nice to everyone and save your venting for another place. Emails and social media are not a place to vent or describe your frustration with a brand. Walk away if the brand is not a good fit or they are not able to meet your rate. Do not rant to the person behind the brand. Not everyone will be able to meet your rate and some brands may not even be able to pay you at all. That’s okay. It most likely has nothing to do with you. Graciously decline the offer but offer to work with them in the future when other opportunities arise that are a better fit. Being nice to people will always lead to a more successful partnership.
(7) Exceed expectations every single time.
Always over perform. Nothing makes you stand out more than when you exceed the expectations for a campaign. Offer brands more than what they are looking for including more photos, more content, or more social media promotions. When you over perform brands will come back to you again and again.
(8) Treat every exchange as a business transaction.
You want to work with brands because your blog is your business, right? Just as you should treat every person with respect, you should also treat every opportunity as a business transaction. Don’t accept a campaign if it isn’t right for your business. Each blogger has their own set of goals for their business so evaluate whether opportunities are good for your business and care less about what other bloggers are doing.
(9) Don’t be afraid to reach out to brands first.
Gain your confidence and don’t be afraid to reach out to brands first. Don’t sit back and wait for brands to approach you. Connect on social media, pitch them your ideas and offer them ways to work with you. Brands love connecting with bloggers and reaching out to them is a great way to make the first step towards a long-term relationship.
(10) Create original content.
Strengthen your partnership with brands and readers by creating original content. Even though this may be the last tip in this list, it is certainly not the least important. Creating original content will lead to better campaigns and a more successful business overall.