Every week I get emails from aspiring start up business owners, wanting tips and tricks of the trade. If these girls and guys are brave enough to reach out and email, I figured there must be others out there pondering the same.
8. For Bloggers, By Brands
Ah, the topic of PR gifting in the blogger world. For some, the holy grail; did you know that in some cases, bloggers have lied about the luxury pieces they've been gifted in order to up their blogging kudos?! For others, the whole business can leave a particularly bad taste.
When conducted correctly, it can be an incredibly rewarding partnership for all parties involved - brand receives much needed exposure and SEO friendly content, blogger receives fresh, new and challenging ways to update their corners of the internet. Win, win!
However, from a brands' point of view, there is a certain etiquette that we wish would be adhered to when entering into these collaborations and partnerships. Last time, I covered the brands' guide to etiquette, so today we're going to take a look at bloggers' etiquette from a brands point of view - fun, non?
I can tell you that, on average, I can receive 100 emails requesting blogger collaboration per week. Can you imagine the state of my inbox?! And I can also tell you that 99% have clearly never even stepped foot in my internet store. Requesting samples of my jewellery, clothing and even wigs (I guess I can see the connection!) in your email to me is quite frankly not even going to get a reply. Rattling off a bogstandard, unpersonalised email just isn't going to tell me that you're genuinely passionate about my products - realistically, it's going to tell me that you're blogging to make a quick buck.
- Establish a connection with the company before writing your initial email. Interact on their Facebook, twitter and interest pages. The first thing I check for the with the validity of the person's claim to 'love my brand' is whether or not they're following and interacting elsewhere.
- Be personal. Even with larger organisations, a little bit of digging can find you the name of the person you need to contact. And if you can't, 'Dear Sir/Madam' is never going to go down well. I think something like 'Why hey there, lovely head candy maker!' would make me smile.
- Be honest about your stats and reach! The Blogcademy headmistresses suggest creating a 'one sheet' PDF document displaying all your credentials - I love this idea, it suggests you've dedicated time and effort to your cause - you can tie the design in with your blog branding too, fun! It'll give a really polished and professional look. I genuinely received an email from someone claiming to be a 'big deal' on instagram when upon further research only had 40 followers so honesty is the best policy as that just pissed me off for wasting my time.
- That being said, not every brand is totally hooked on numbers - we look out for great style, photography and professionalism too. If you're the next big thing in blogging, of course we want to establish a connection with you when you're young! Brands that state 'minimum 1000 follower count' etc are missing a trick really, because it needs to be a broader scope than that.
- Outline what you propose to do with the sample. An outfit post? That's great, but tell us more - will it be cross posted to lookbook? Snapped on instagram? Putting together a moodboard of how you'd style it would really impress me too.
- Be courteous! I mean this should just be a nice way to live your life, but I've even received threatening emails in the past - I'm sure you can imagine how they were treated! And don't get into twitter spats or just generally be a bitch on the internet. It doesn't appear professional or attractive to a brand. Make your mothers' proud, ladies!
- Keep to your word. If you are requesting a piece for a particular event or time then ensure you can keep to that promise. If you can't, or the piece doesn't work as you had hoped it would for you, get in contact with the company straight away to offer an alternative suggestion. It's beyond irritating having to chase someone for the coverage they've promised - especially when someone has initiated the collaboration!
I think I've covered the main bases here, but if there's anything you'd like to add - as a blogger or a brand - I'd love for you to leave a comment below!
If you've got a burning question about Crown and Glory or business as a whole, either email firstname.lastname@example.org or if you'd prefer to stay anonymous, you can ask us anything via Formspring