Happy Monday! I thought we’d kick off the week with a blogging 101 post.
One of the questions I am most frequently asked is how I pitch brands I want to work with for A Touch of Teal. At first I was really overwhelmed by the prospect of reaching out to companies. It felt weird to shoot an email to someone I didn’t know, and basically ask them for a free product and/or cash. But then I realized they are also getting something out of working with me since it is a partnership!
Before we dive into my tips, I will say that you should dream big and not be afraid to pitch the larger, well-known brands you want to work with. You never know what will happen! That being said, I’ve had a lot of luck and great collaborations with smaller brands, Etsy shops, and local stores. Those types of places have a lot to gain from the exposure you can give them and are very excited about working with bloggers. They also often want to do more marketing, but don’t have the resources or the time. That’s where you step in!
ONE // DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before I pitch a brand, I sit down and look for a couple of things. First, I try to find the name of a specific person to address my email to. Some brands make this easy and have a point of contact listed on their website. Other brands have a generic email, like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com email listed, but no name listed. Even if I am sending my pitch to a generic email address, I make sure the salutation is addressed to a specific individual, which makes it more likely my email will be read by the right person. LinkedIn has proven helpful at finding a press, marketing, or partnership person, as has Google searching phrases such as “company name + marketing contact.”
Second, I try to determine if they have worked with bloggers before, and if so, look at the type of campaigns they have done in the past. I want to add value for the brand, so I try to avoid pitching an idea they have already done with someone else. This also gives me a good indication of whether or not they have any specific marketing initiatives or products they really want to get in front of their consumers, which helps me pitch a stronger idea. That brings me to my second tip…
TWO // PITCH A SPECIFIC IDEA
It’s a lot easier for brands to say YES! to working with you when you’ve done your research and do the work for them upfront. Go in with a really specific idea and plan for how you can collaborate, and I guarantee you’ll get more interested parties. If you don’t have a specific idea, that potentially means more company time spent brainstorming and more back-and-forth, which ultimately means more company money spent. Not good!
So instead of saying, “I’d love to work with you on a post!,” try, “I would love to work with you on a summer vacation essentials post by styling one of your shift dresses. I am heading to Savannah at the end of the month and would love to shoot the photography for my post there. I’d structure the narrative around the dress, and also share the post across my social media platforms to increase exposure of both the post and your brand.”
THREE // KEEP IT CONCISE
No one likes to, or really has the time to, read a novel-long email these days. Write your email pitch, walk away, and then come back with a fresh set of eyes to tighten up the language and take out any unnecessary phrases. Get to your main points quickly, and don’t forget to demonstrate how you add value.
I’ve included a sample pitch below so you can get an idea of the length and structure I use. Three or four (short!) paragraphs max should be able to get the job done.
FOUR // FOLLOW UP
Sometimes people’s inboxes fill up faster than they can keep up with them—I know mine does! I can’t tell you the number of collaborations I’ve scored simply because I followed up. I generally wait about a week, and if I haven’t heard back, I shoot them a quick email letting them know I am still very interested in collaborating. If I don’t hear back then, I generally consider it a “no” and move onto pitching other brands.
BONUS // A SAMPLE EMAIL
Here’s an actual email pitch I used to garner a partner.
I hope this email finds you well! My name is Katie, and I write the lifestyle blog, A Touch of Teal. I recently discovered your beautiful paper products and thought Matrick and Eve would be a perfect fit for my blog.
If you’re up for it, one idea I had for a post was to use some of your products, such as your holiday coasters and fill-in invites, as part of my annual cookie holiday cookie exchange. I host this party every year with my roommate, and it really gets all the girls who attend in a festive mood! I could show my readers how your products are perfect for their events, too.
My readers are primarily 25-34 year old females who are fashion-forward, and love supporting boutique stores. I have about XX,000 page views monthly and over 8,000+ social media followers across my networks (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest). I would plan on promoting the blog post as well as Matrick and Eve on these networks to increase your exposure.
Here are a few of my past collaborations with paper-oriented companies, if you’d like to take a look:
Let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to potentially working with you!
All photos courtesy Kim Graham