This is a red hot topic! Jenny Melrose is my expert friend with years of experience working with brands as a blogger… getting brand deals, publishing sponsored content, and getting paid. Jenny and I spill the beans on our experiences and how you can work with brands too.
Listen to Episode 28: Pitching Brands for Sponsored Brand Deals
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First, I want to let you know that Jenny has a free 5-day Challenge coming up! Jenny explains more in episode #28 of the Video Pursuit Podcast (click play, above) but if you’re totally confused about how the whole “working with brands” world works, and you want some actionable steps on exactly how to find brands, how to contact them more to get their contact information in, I cannot recommend Jenny’s free training enough. Use my affiliate link here to register: vidpromom.com/pitchperfectlive.
Working with Brands – Myths and Misconceptions
I feel like if I had not taken Jenny’s Pitch Perfect Live challenge, I would just be sitting here waiting for brands to contact me for sponsored posts and videos. I figured at some point, I’d have “enough” followers or subscribers to be deemed worthy of a paid post. So I asked Jenny about whether you have to have a large audience to work with brands.
How many followers do you need to make money?
Jenny says you don’t need a lot of followers at all. What it comes down to is the brands are really looking for is your engagement. They want to know if you’re having conversations with your audience, whether it’s Instagram stories, or you’re emailing them, whether it’s on a YouTube video, etc. Brands are really looking to see that you know who your people are, where they are, and what they’re coming to you for.
As far as numbers, Jenny says that if you’ve only been blogging for a few months, you shouldn’t be pitching brands because you just don’t know enough about your audience yet. To be able to talk to a brand and say, “this is what they’re coming to me for and this is why your product is a perfect fit” is when you’re ready to pitch brands.
There are so many bloggers that are out there, and a lot of people will see that as a negative thing, but it’s not a bad thing because you have your own unique voice that you can bring to that brand. If you have your own authentic, unique voice that you’re using across your social media platforms and on your blog, then that audience is going to respond to that authentic voice and that’s what the brands want.
We often assume, “I don’t have 100,000 followers so I can’t pitch a brand.” But Jenny has clients that are making consistent income by working with brands that have 100 or 10,000 page views. They don’t have 10,000 followers on instagram, either! They’re able to just show the brands that their audience is perfect.
I think it’s important to acknowledge that at the other end of your pitch email, there is a person running an advertising campaign. They might be doing billboards, ads on websites, and tv commercials, and working with influencers, Bloggers, YouTubers, and content creators, is simply part of their campaign. It’s straight up advertising, but their job is to determine the exact right audience that’s going to be perfect for that product or that service that they’re marketing.
So when a brand decides to work with you or not, it’s really not about you. They’re not really ultimately wanting to work with you, they’re wanting to be in front of your audience.
Should you publish content in exchange for free products?
A lot of times brands will approach you with wanting to give you something for free and if you would normally pay money for the product that they are willing to send you and it’s valuable to you, then don’t feel guilty about working in exchange for product.
If you’re doing a full blog post, social shares and everything else that goes into it, that’s a lot of work for just a bag of Granola. So, what Jenny recommends, especially if you’ve never worked with the brand in the past and all their offering in the beginning is a product, is tell them that in order to keep the integrity of your site to your readers that you only work on compensated content.
Often, brands have no idea when they sent out a mass email, whether someone’s going to actually have a decent sized presence that might be the perfect fit for them or not. So coming back and providing them with information about your audience and asking them if they’d like you to send them your media kit and a proposal, is a great place to get the conversation rolling.
If they respond with, “well we don’t have a budget for this campaign but we absolutely love you,” what you can do, that Jenny recommends, is:
I’ll say, okay, listen, send over the product. If it’s something I haven’t tried or if it’s something I like and I’ll do an Instagram story and then once I do that Instagram story, I’m going to give all of the data back to them and say, listen, this is what’s happening in my Instagram story. I’d love to put together a blog post, social shares, whatever goes along with it to answer their questions because they clearly have interest and this is what I would charge for that.
In a way, you are “wooing” this brand. You’re starting to create that relationship with them. Too often I think bloggers want to pitch brands and they think that they’re just going to send an email and it’s going to be BOOM–yes–let’s work together right away. You have to set yourself apart. You have to start creating that relationship with them
Do you have to wait for brands to approach you for a sponsored post or video?
You definitely do not have to wait for brands to contact you!
The Internet is still like the Wild Wild West these days in this world of working with brands and sponsored content is no different. You might be working directly with a marketing person at a company, or it could be the owner of that company, or it could be a PR company and you’re not even talking to the brand directly at all.
For example, if you have a planner that you use and you love, find that brand on Instagram, and put up a Story. So maybe you have a planner sitting on your desk, talk about the planner and show how wonderful it is and tag them. You could do more than one story slide about it. From there, you’re going to start this conversation with them because it’s going to go into their DM’s on Instagram. Once they see the tag, they will probably thank you or “heart” your tag. And you would then respond with how much you truly love their planner.
It just sets you up and you’re starting that conversation, so maybe they’re going to come back and say, “oh, thank you so much, etc…” You might then ask something about another line of products: “Do you have another line of like stickers or something that goes along with it?” So you’re keeping that conversation going and once they tell you about their stickers, you could say to them, “I would really love to work with you. Do you have a contact email for the person on your team that works on Blogger or Influencer campaigns?”
Learn Jenny’s Step by Step Process for Pitching to Brands
Jenny goes into MUCH greater detail during Pitch Perfect Live, where she walks you through this conversation process. Be sure to pick up the Pitching Checklist here (vidpromom.com/pitchperfectchecklist) and get on the waitlist for Pitch Perfect Live here.
Brands don’t want to just work with an influencer once and then they go into the night and never hear from them again. They want to be able to rely on you and your audience because it looks more authentic when you’re continually talking about the same product.
So don’t just assume that you will pitch a brand and work on a campaign and that’s it! Using Jenny’s process, you learn how to keep a relationship going with brands.
During Pitch Perfect Live, you’ll learn how to……
- Skip the “middle-man” network and work directly with brands for higher rates and results that won’t want to make you tear your hair out!
- Find the RIGHT person to send your pitch to…so your emails stop getting deleted and start getting answered.
- Stand out from the crowd so your proposals are the ones that brands READ, RESPOND and ACCEPT
- Start making a full-time income now, even if you don’t think you have enough page views, followers or influence.
If you’re ready to get serious about making money with your blog…get more offers from amazing sponsors… and higher rates for your sponsored content, then Pitch Perfect LIVE is the perfect place for you to get started. Save your seat now and mark your calendars!
To listen in on the entire conversation with Guest, please listen to episode 28 of the Video Pursuit Podcast in iTunes, or your favorite podcast player.