How to work with brands as a small/new blogger
Being new to the blogging scene does not mean that you need to limit your potential, especially when it comes to working with brands. As a new blogger it can be not only frustrating buildign up your credentials but also intimidating when others who started just aroudn the same time as you are doing very well. they are snagging deals, reviews, collabs and building their portfolio with ease. or so it seems.
Building a sparklingly impressing media kit as a newbie requires hard work and dedication if you want to grow your blog from unseen to constant collaboration requests. And it requires tactical strategies and confidence putting yourself on the scene. How is it that your newbie peers appear to be glidding up the ladder and you feel stuck? Well are you doing these things?
Quality Trumps Quantity
When I was building my biz social media account I learnt a very valuable lesson.Initially I wanted my follower numbers to look just as impressive as similar accounts I followed.I was tempted to click buy from the 99 thousand spam titled "grow your instagrm to 1M followers in 3 days" emails,but the lack of money for one hindered that. "THANK GOD".Then I had a thought, what was the point in having pretty numbers when they were useless.So I took a course in creating quality content,marketing on instagram and organically grew my ENGAGEMENT and my followers along with that in a matter of months. In the same breath, I wanted the same for my blog.So I decided to create a quality filled platform. One that related to my ideal audience and one that was not as vapid as a sell only platform.I studied mentor blogs such as Kayture and Song of Style, worked on my aesthetic,put myself out there in marketing and thensome. Equally so, as I focused on increasing the quality of my blog's content, so did the brand trickles. One a month, to 3 a week. Some I turned down, because it just wasn't in line with my brand or because they were not mutually beneficial. But how do you know that your content is quality rich?Simple,it sells a story, it helps your readers in some way or form, and it keeps in line with your brand aesthetic.
be confident enough to ask
Ok. So this one is honestly one that I have been loving recently. I was afraid to email brands for collaboration deals. I felt like my numbers "in all regards" were not impressive enough compared to other bloggers. There were times I envied a review from a fellow blogger and questioned, why can't this be me? I always had the vision of growing Nothing But Velvet into a magazine style blog and knew that marketability would be one of the key components required to allow for growth. So 5 months ago, I made the decision that evey month I would email 10 brands and request that we work in partnership. Being confident enough to ask can yield you suprising rewards. When asking, ensure that the brand you would love to represent is a true representation of you and your ideals. Does their product sync with your blog's message? Do they represent your ethics.. "e.g. if your posts breeds confidence building, search for brands which represents that message". Reach out to brands you love and actually use first and tell them what you love about their products and why you want to work with them. Sometimes, you will be declined or ignored, but that's ok. But you will learn a valuable lesson, and your confidence levels will grow even further to ask for more.
remain authentic + Know Your Worth
I once had a wedding dress company requested that I do a youtube review for them...and the best part was, they were going to send me a wedding dress......ok let's rewind here a bit. On the bright side there were 2 pro's to the situation. The first being an addition to my PR list, and second a free wedding dress ...for when I actually get married...if ever. "hopefully". Get the picture. I firmly believe that you should represent brands and accept collaboration requests only from brands you feel genuine about. Just because you are getting paid,or receiving free stuff does not mean you need to accept. Remaining authentic to your brand,builds the quality of your content overall and puts you in a position for future partnership request.
Another thing I think many small bloggers battle with is charging their worth." Here's a real scenario: I recently had a brand email me asking for a collaboration request and wanted me to send them my media kit and rates, which I did. But before the request was made, terms and conditions were stipulated by said brands. I had to publish a 500 word post, with photos and links to their site and market on my social media accounts. Now seeing that we want to maintain the quality of the content we post, we agreed to the stipulated terms and provided out cost; which was under $60 btw, only to receive a response indicating that our price was too expensive and that their budget was $10.00. Now, as a new blogger you might be tempted once again to agreeing to this price because you want to build your PR list and hey it's money."
But guess what... You're cheating yourself. And here's why. Said brand is receiving marketing "continuos by that due to repetitive posting on all social media platforms because you want to build your traffic etc", you are taking approximately 3 hours to draft, and publish the post on your blog, for only $10. When providing a rates to brands, remember the effort and time you will be putting into a post BEFORE you agree to a contract.
As a small challenge, if you're a new blogger, I would like for you to email 2 brands requesting partnership. Ensure that they are brands you would in real life represent and use their products and just send. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and be confident about what you do, because if you don't you will remain in the same spot. Have you worked with any brands? If not, which brands would you love to work with and why?