Last week one reader, Georgia, asked for tips on how to contact brands for collaborations and how to tell them your rates. Well, my dear, that’s exactly what today’s post is all about!
Sophia Amoruso says, “You don’t get what you don’t ask for.”
So like Georgia easily asked a question, you too can easily ask brands to work with you. Ok maybe not easily, but you can certainly ask. What’s the worst that could happen? They say no? In that case, you stay in the same place you’re in now and you move on to the next one. However, if brands say yes, an entirely new door of opportunities open up for you. So let’s stay positive and aim for that goal, shall we?
Step 1: Send a warm e-mail.
The first step in contacting brands is to send a warm e-mail. I say warm because a cold e-mail would be something you send to a big time blogger or some CEO you’ve never met or encountered. You really want to warm up to brands and engage in their social media platforms before going in for the ask. Brands will be much more apt to respond and say yes when you do this first.
You send a warm e-mail when you’ve already established some sort of rapport with the brand. Either you have a blogger friend, friend of a friend – anyone who knows someone who works at the company, or this brand has given you a shout out on some social platform prior. In that case, you’d start your warm e-mail like:
“Hi <insert brand/person’s name>,
My name is ___ and you told me ___ when I asked about ___. Thank you for the tips! Anyway, I am a huge fan of ___ and I would really love to make a video for YouTube about ___. Please let me know the next steps!”
Obviously, you want to personalize the e-mail as much as possible and that script isn’t guaranteed to work but it’s worth a shot. I’ve gotten both positive and negative responses using a similar format. What I do know is, the more personal and the more value you can offer, the better.
Step 2: Create & include a media kit.
Including a media kit in an e-mail to brands show you’re serious about business and you’re no dummy to how this whole “influencer” thing works.
Media kits don’t have to be intricate or as daunting as they sound. In fact, you can find a cute one-page kit on Etsy for like $12. Obviously, if you’re just starting out, a one-page media kit will suffice and as you grow, you could increase it to 5-7 pages.
Your media kit should include your name, e-mail, blog, and number of followers you have on each social media platform. If your following on one platform is super low, you can leave it out. Brands want reach, so make sure you’re only including your largest reaching platforms. Any other tidbits like brands you’ve worked should also be included because it builds your credibility.
You can also give a little blurb of what your blog and aesthetic is about. What value can you offer them and your followers? Brands want to know this!
Then comes the fun, or not-so-fun part… the pricing! Just starting out, I wouldn’t include any prices here. I would just include the services you offer (Instagram post, sponsored blog post, etc.) and let the brand drive the rest. If money gets brought up, you can refer back here and use that as a guideline.
Leave the collab room to grow.
When you initially contact brands as a newbie, you don’t want your rates, guidelines, and expectations to be so set in stone. Even as a macro-blogger, collaborations are negotiable, though you can definitely be more strict because you have the credibility and influence.
Either way, go into brand collaborations with an open mind. As much as you have the right to say NO, you should absolutely consider all possibilities because you never know where it could lead. If you have a positive experience with one brand, they may recommend you to another brand or consider a long-term partnership. No matter how big or small a brand is, never rule them out completely until you’ve done your due diligence.
Have a question and want to be featured? Ask in the comments and I’ll give you a shout out next time!