Pitching to brands is how I make a living.
Pitching to brands is how I turned a hobby into a career.
Pitching to brands is a necessity in this business.
Pitching to brands is literally what has allowed me to be successful in this field.
Hi guys, so today’s post (if you couldn’t have guessed already) is about…PITCHING! And in particular pitching – blogger to brand. Now when I say ‘blogger’, this encompasses bloggers, youtubers, influencers… all of the above and ‘brand’ means brands and PR agencies etc. I wanted to write this post as I get sooooo many messages over on Instagram and Facebook asking how I get collaborations and sponsored posts. I like to think I’m pretty open when it comes to the blogging world and I hate that the industry is often very secretive when it comes to how we get jobs and earn money. There’s enough room and work going around for all of us to be here and letting you in on ‘the secret’ isn’t going to take work away from me or anyone else, instead it will open up more opportunities for more people and I’m all about that life. Let’s lift each other up instead of tearing eachother down yeah? Yes!
So lets get started with the fundamentals shall we. First off let me just say, I am no marketing/PR genius. This is literally my own personal take on things and how I personally go about it. In all honesty, I learnt by trial and error as when I started out i didn’t know any bloggers at all and had no clue how this world worked. It definitely took time to get into my groove and although I still have lots to learn, here’s how I go about pitching myself to brands…
So first things first, groundwork.
You have to do your research and prepare before making a pitch. As someone who receives hundreds of emails per day with the majority titled ‘Hey you!!! We LOVE your content!!!!’ …I can tell you first hand that an impersonal, copy and paste job does not stand out (no matter how many exclamation marks you add.) Right off the bat address your contact by name. There really is little excuse for a ‘dear who ever it might concern’ opener now a days. Remember guys, Google is your friend, Google will help you. I literally Google everything! If it’s for a fashion brand for instance, Google them. Often enough you’ll find the PR company or in house marketing team on Linkedin and get the name you need. Also if it turns out to be the wrong name for some reason, I like to think it shows intuitive and often everyone knows each other and will know who you’re referring to and forward it along. Basically show that you’ve put some kind of effort into contacting them and not just send a random email to anyone that will listen.
Another point is that your pitches should be brand appropriate and in line with their tone of voice. For instance the tone of voice I’d use in an email to PrettyLittleThing would be very different to the one I would use for Corinthia Hotels. Get a sense of who the brand is and what kind of bloggers/influencers they already work with. You can do this easily by using either Google (my best mate tbh) or searching for content on Instagram. I always like to do this as it shows me want kind of collaborations they are already doing and with who. Next step is actually getting their contact information and if Goggle isn’t playing ball then it’s time to hit the socials. Before sending a pitch if I can’t find a contact or I unable to find out via friends/other bloggers etc I like to use social media to reach out. I tend to use Instagram more so than Twitter as I find the response time quicker. I’m usually already following the brand so I’ll like some of their posts and leave a comment, something like – ‘Gorgeous! Is there an email I could have in order to reach your PR at all? I’d love to work with you.’ Sounds too casual right? Not hard at all. Many people will disagree with this approach I’m sure but I can tell you that the majority of my collabs and sponsored work has started right there with that comment and I’d say nine times out of ten I get a response within the hour, either a reply or a DM with a contact name and email. Simple right!
When you’ve done all of that you can start on the actual pitch, this is where the real work begins. Now again, I am not an expert but I tend to send something along the lines of :
‘Hi [insert name],
I hope you’re well. I just wanted to send a quick email to introduce myself and to say that I absolutely adore [insert brand]. I’ve been using/wearing [insert brand] for a while now and would love to work with you on some content for my blog and social channels. It would be great to meet for a coffee to chat about the brand in more detail and to hear about any upcoming projects you might be working on over the next year and how I could potentially be involved. Do let me know if this would be of interest. I look forward to hearing from you.
Obviously depending on who I’m emailing my use of language might change slightly but you get the gist. The above isn’t really the full pitch but more an opener to set up a potential meeting as well as start a blogger/client relationship. I think every blogger will tell you that If you are able to meet someone in person it makes discussing future collaborations over email so much easier! Whenever possible I like to arrange a face to face breakfast/lunch meeting as it’s a much better way of getting a feel of the brand, it’s ethos and the team working behind it. My best collaborations come from PR girls and guys that I’ve met and chatted to over the phone on countless occasions. We’ve built a relationship and know how each other works, some even have me on Whatsapp and will send over last minute projects! Simply put – the more comfortable you get speaking to someone the more likely you are to get work from them.
So you’ve got the meeting and made the initial reach. What’s next? Well hopefully you’ll meet up or in some instances where this just isn’t feasible due to location/schedule etc. another option would be to set up a Skype call so you can still get a sense of that face to face interaction. I know this can be daunting, trust me the first time I had a Skype call with a brand I was super nervous but alas, it was fine, they were friendly and the world kept on turning so just take a deep breath and go for it. Anyway as I was saying, after that initial introduction it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and put together your master plan. My top two tools whenever I plan to pitch are 1. Media Kit/Portfolio and 2. Idea/Execution. To learn how to make and what to put in your media kit you can read my previous ‘How to make a media kit’ post here. For the idea and execution, well that ones down to you. Before sending a pitch you need to have a long, hard think about why they should want to work with you. What can you bring to the table? What makes you stand out from the rest? Always be realistic in regards to your time and resources and make the idea relevant to both you and your audience. Once you’ve done that it’s time for the actual pitch. here’s a draft of the kind of thing I would send :
‘Hi [insert name],
Hope you are well and enjoying this gorgeous weather! It was so lovely to meet you the other day and finally put a face to a name.
I’m still dreaming of those cupcakes… the third was probs a step to far haha!
I loved hearing about all the exciting things [insert brand] has coming up and have some ideas I’d like to run past you in that hope that we can work together going forward.
I’m a style and travel blogger with a niche in glasses and eye wear and have previously worked with Glasses Direct, Specsavers, RayBan and Silhouette to name a few. I have a strong and loyal following which range from around 18 – 35 (I have attached my media kit for more exact stats & demographics.) My aim is to reclaim the phrase ‘four-eyes’ and get people feeling confident in their specs. I would like to create outfit and product shot’s to post on my blog and social media, showcasing [insert brand] new glasses collection over the next few months.
Do let me know if this would be of interest and if your marketing strategy and budget for this year would enable this as I’d love to work with you.
Please find attached my media kit and do let me know if you have any other questions as of course I’m happy yo discuss further.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Now again, that’s just an example of something I might send to a new glasses brand I’d like to work with but I hope you get the idea. I’m sure it goes without saying that it’s a learning process, your first pitch is unlikely to be your best but be confident and remain positive. You will get knock backs and you will get declined sometimes but keep going and it’ll eventually pay off. I hope this helped and I hope it answered some of your questions. Do let me know if you have any other questions surrounding this or any other blogging topics.
Thanks for stopping by once again and I hope you start pitching your butts off and turning your dreams into a reality!
Photography by – Rebecca Chivers