How Working With Brands Can Help You As A Blogger
A lot of you have requested for me to do this blog post for some time now. While there is no one way to do this, this post will talk about how working with brands can help you as a blogger as you grow your audience, relationships and your brand.
Many of you have asked me how do you reach out to brands. First and foremost, the amount of followers you have doesn’t necessarily mean you have a lot of influence.
As a nano blogger/influencer, you will see that growing your brand will be easier and the more you grow the harder it will become. Let’s take followers out of the equation for a second. Ask yourself the following questions.
DEFINING YOUR BRAND
What is the goal of your blog?
What are you trying to accomplish with this collaboration?
Describe your blog in three words.
What can you offer this brand?
If you can’t answer those quite yet, that’s okay. Take time to think about what your blog means to you and what sets you apart. For me, Brunchinista is an extension of me. It’s a lifestyle blog in which I explore the PNW food, wine, beer and beyond. What sets me apart? While I’m very brunch and wine focused I also add a lot of style in there. I like to mix a little bit of everything.
Now that you have your branding right, depending on the amount of influence you have, depends on what companies you can reach out to. I would start small. Local companies are always in need of social media and marketing help, and that’s a great way to start. It helps you understand how collaborations work and build relationships with the communities around you.
DON’T SELL YOURSELF SHORT
Like I said, follower amount doesn’t equal influence. If your engagement is between 8-10% of genuine engagement and comments, you’re doing pretty good for yourself. 10-15% is pretty great and above that is excellent. But not all blogs are created equal. Just because someone else you know has the same amount of followers you have but a higher engagement doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to reach out to brands. The worst that can happen is that they say no. No doesn’t mean forever no. It just means not right now.
Earrings by Sequin NYC
When I first started my blog back in 2015, I had no idea where I was going with it. Last year, I finally decided to take it seriously and started being proactive in my community. In fact, about 35% of my audience is based in Eugene! In two short years, I was able to move most of my audience from Los Angeles to Eugene, which frankly was just incredible. Think about how powerful that can be to get started with small local businesses that really need your help and can make the difference.
Small businesses need help too. Some may not be able to pay you and when you start that may be okay to just do a transaction in the form of a trade. You promise deliverables and they will give you in exchange a product. So how do you ask a company if you could do this? Follow them on social and reach out to them. Whether it’s e-mail or DM, reaching out to companies and showing your interest will always be a great conversation starter. Don’t just reach out in hopes of getting “free” merchandise. Nothing in this life is free. Expect to put in some work and let them know what you’re going to give them in exchange for them gifting you something.
If there’s a brand you reach out to who you LOVE, follow up with them every now and then and see what they’re up to. A lot of the brands I’ve worked with in the past, especially locally, I’ve worked with over and over and over again. Some of my favorite local companies are Gilt + Gossamer (best local boutique), Agate Alley Bristro (best brunch in Eugene), 5th Street Market (favorite local place to shop) and Ninkasi Brewing (best beer in town).
Jumpsuit by Gilt + Gossamer
Once you’ve got a few brands under your belt, start honing in on what types of brands you want to reach out to next. Now that I’m in the Portland area, I’ll be exploring my local shops and expanding on that on the blog. Honestly, for me, I think doing something with a local small business is more impactful than the bigger brands that everyone is working with.
FIND YOUR VOICE. Find your brand. And most of all have fun.
Hope you enjoyed this post.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any more question.