The thought of working with brands can be quite daunting when you first start out, even for well established bloggers, the idea can be very scary. Where do you start? How do you approach them, if that’s the done thing? How do you negotiate rates…the questions are endless.
Whilst sometimes it pays to work for free, generally if you are developing recipes for brands you will want to be compensated for your time and costs. After all no one else in the chain of process is going to be going into the office every day for free, and if you are advertising a brand you should be making money from it.
Firstly, Know Your Value
Helen from Fuss Free Flavours says, ‘know your value and that of being featured on the site. It is not just the time that something takes. Your experience, quality and audience all come into it, as well as all the countless unpaid hours you have spent, plus money spent on equipment, conference etc.
Don’t be scared to walk away from an offer of paid work if it is not enough. The more I do this the more they come back and offer more money.’
How To Approach Brands
Kay from Pinch Of Nom suggests tweeting brands you’d like to work with first. She also recommends using LinkedIn to find out the names and contact emails for brand managers and PRs. Elinor from Beach Hut Cook uses this approach too having made contacts through Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The Rare Welshbit’s Kacie also says build up trust with brands by interacting with them on social media before sending them an email to explain a little more about who you are and what you can do for them.
You’ve found out who to contact, now what?
Kay says, sell yourself to the brand on why you are unique. Offer them your idea and try to not follow the crowd. If the brand are in the middle of a campaign, it usually makes a good talking point.
It also helps to have a media pack actually on your website (Pinch Of Nom has a great example), and a separate rate card to send to brands if requested. Never offer the same price to different clients – they’re all different in terms of size and needs.
Be upfront with your numbers (even if you’re not particularly proud of them!). Micro influencers have just as much swaying power as bigger blogs.
If you’ve done brand work before, examples of work go down very well. It sometimes helps with getting approval for additional budget (if needed).
Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate!
Kavey, from Kavey Eats says, ‘of course, a PR / brand needs to assess your blog to ensure that it’s a good fit for their brand and campaign; they need to know what deliverables and audience they’ll get for what price, and you want them to feel confident about your reliability. Part of the negotiation is about you ensuring that you give them all of this. BUT don’t forget that every approach leads to a two way process -you should also assess how well the brand and campaign fit your blog, your niche, your skill-set and your audience. Is the project one that you feel positive and comfortable working on? Are you excited to share it with your audience? If not, although it can be hard to walk away from a potential pay check, sometimes it’s the right choice to make.
The Importance of Networking
Camilla, who writes Fab Food 4 All, doesn’t find direct approaches all that successful, but says if someone you know introduces you (to the brand) then you’ve got a distinct advantage. Her advice is to network with fellow bloggers and help each other.
Elinor says don’t forget to keep networking with PR’s as they move around frequently, it helps them to remember you, so if it’s a good relationship then they are likely work with you again.
Once The Work is Done
More great advice from Kay is, make the PR’s/brands life as easy as possible. It can lead to repeat business. Post campaign, offer the brand all the numbers, as well as links to any social shares.
Be nice, the brand may not have anything suitable when you first make contact, or any budget, but you don’t know what’s around the corner. So, thank them for their time, be polite and hope that when they do start a campaign you’ll be top of their list!
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