If you read last week’s post, you’ll know that Jess and I were in Dallas attending the RewardStyle conference and shacking up at my parents’ house for the weekend. Not only was the weather wonderful, but the weekend was really inspirational and educational. Jess and I left with tons of new information and tips that we’ll be sharing with you guys over the next few weeks! One of the first topics that was covered was being a good brand partner. All of us want to know how to secure that first collaboration and continue to get more in the future and the key to getting that is to not only appear to be a good candidate, but to be an exceptional brand partner when you’re working on a partnership or blog collaboration.
We learned that nearly two-thirds of marketers have a stand-alone budget for influencer marketing. TWO-THIRDS!! Do you guys understand how HUGE that is?! A few years ago, half the marketers out there were scratching their heads wondering “what is a blog?” Okay, that may be a bit drastic, but they’ve come from barely dipping their toes in the influencer pond to investing major dollars with influencers and bloggers. What’s even crazier is that this is a 50% increase from last year, which means that blogging is no where near “dead” as some people like to think. In fact, we like to think it’s really just getting started, and these numbers are proving it.
But the reality is that the market is also getting more and more saturated, which makes it harder to snag those coveted deals. So, how can you put your best foot forward and present yourself as a top-notch partner and also perform well?! We’re breaking down some major tips to set you on the right path for getting hired over and over again!
1. Post Consistently
We’ve said this time and time again, but consistently posting high-quality, SEO-rich content is key to getting any brand’s attention. A brand wants to be sure that your readers are coming back time and time again, and keeping up are regular posting schedule is one way to ensure that! Know your audience well too and make sure you’re providing them with content they’ll love!
2. Go Above & Beyond
When you do get that brand partnership, you want to make a good impression, especially if it’s the first time you’re working with the brand. While it should go without saying, make sure that you complete all of your contracted requirements for the collaboration and make sure you do it on time. Posting late or skipping a requirement (even something as small as a hashtag), can make you look careless. I also like to throw in an extra mention on Facebook or Twitter, or even post an additional Instagram a few days after the campaign goes live. When the campaign is complete, I always send over a wrap-up email that includes links to the blog post and all of my required social posts. Underneath that, I’ll add links to any extra posts I did. Those extra goodies can really add up in making a brand happy! This lets a brand know that you really enjoyed the partnership and were willing to do extra to make it successful! Even if the brand’s ROI (return on investment) isn’t as high as they’d hoped, they at least know how hard you worked!
If you don’t do a good job at clearly and quickly communicating back and forth with a brand, you can kiss future projects goodbye. At the end of the day, they’re hiring you to do work for them and you need to be accountable and easy to reach. I’m not telling you to give everyone your phone number to text you when something goes wrong, but simply make sure you respond to emails in a timely and professional manner. This might mean you need to give your inbox a major clean out, but it’ll be worth it in the long run to up your communication skills!
4. Tell Your Story
More and more, brands are giving influencers more creative control over their content and this is great! You know your readers better than anyone else and you know what type of content resonates best with them. So if you get approached about a brand who wants to promote their line of chic work wear, but your readers are all stay-at-home moms, you should pitch them back an idea that you know would perform better with your audience. They’ll appreciate your honesty, because at the end of the day, they want the blog partnership to be as successful as possible! Your response could look something like this:
“Thank you so much for reaching out, I adore your brand and would love to collaborate on a story together! While I think your work wear is beautiful, the majority of my readers are stay-at-home moms. I think your everyday wear would be a natural fit for my readers—would you be open to featuring that line instead? Thanks for your consideration and I look forward to potentially working with you!”
Instead of just saying no, pitching them an idea that fits your brand’s story can be a major win-win for everyone involved!
5. Do Your Research
After you sign a contract, you’ll probably move into the brainstorming phase pretty quickly if you haven’t pitched them an idea already! Before you run out and shoot your photos, make sure to read through your contract several times so that you understand all of your requirements and any specific shots they’d like or not like to be included. I once shot an entire look in a cool industrial area and then came back, re-read my contract which specifically stated, please do not shoot on any industrial looking backdrops—oops! I ended up having to shoot the look again, simply because I didn’t take the time to fully read my contract before. I’ve learned my lesson since then!
When you’re brainstorming content, it’s smart to take a look at the brand’s social media accounts to see what types of photos they’re posting already. Pay attention to the color scheme, location, backdrops and poses of the models within them. Creating content that meshes well with theirs will make it more likely for you to get featured on their blog, website or social media channels which can be huge for growing your own following!
6. Be Nice
Occasionally things go wrong during when working with brands. Products sell out, shipping delays occur, and deadlines are moved. As frustrating as it can be, do your best to remain professional and kind. People like working with easy and nice people, so be one of those! The easier you are to work with, the more likely you’ll be to get future projects with those brands!
What tips do you have for being a good brand partner?2