BLOGGING 101: HOW TO GET SPONSORS
Let's dig a little deeper, shall we? I get so many emails from a ton of different college-aged girls wanting to become a blogger and having tons of questions for me. While I know this is mainly about retail, I feel that blogging is a business as well (or can be if you work hard enough!) so I'd love to throw out some valid tips and points.
1. Make a list of your favorite sponsors. Include Why.
Really dig deep about why you want to work with these brands. If you're style is chic and feminine and you've got all this gold foil and pink but you reach out to HotTopic - that doesn't really make sense now does it? Find brands that are like you!
2. Visit their website! Do your research - know why you love them & what their favorites are.
Why on earth would I be interested in working with you if you literally knew nothing about my company? If you actually take your time to research a little bit about the brands you're interested in, you might find some really great things you never knew. For example, I include in our "ABOUT US" section on Shop12East.com how I got my start. If you're in retail and your dream has always been to open a clothing store, you may be able to relate to me on that level and let me know you have the same aspirations as I do!
Also, try and see who they work with. Do they mainly partner with bloggers who have a following of 10,000+ or do they seem to mix it up a little with smaller and larger bloggers?
TIP: See who has tagged them on Instagram and you'll be able to see who they work with and IF they work with bloggers.
3. This one is totally self explanatory. (wink, wink!)
4. Find their email address. No, not the customer service one - the Public Relations one, the owner one.
If you're shooting for the bigger companies, you're going to need to find out who manages their Public & Blogger Relations. TIP: LinkedIn is a great source for this! On the search tab in LinkedIn, type the company name you're searching for and then see who pops up! For the smaller companies, find the owner on Instagram and like a few of their photos or even follow them if possible. Reach out and ask them via DM who you can email for more information on partnerships!
5. Make sure your blog & social media are set to public so when they go to them, they won't get the boot!
Nothing is more frustrating than being eager to see who this blogger is and what they're about only to see the "THESE POSTS ARE PRIVATE" nonsense. Regardless, this does not help gain followers. Please make it public.
6. Make sure your social media accounts can really represent those brands. I'm talking no drunk photos, nothing provocative. Extra points if you've blogger about the brand before!
When I was blogging and I reallyyyy wanted to work with a brand, I'd go out on my own and make a post about the brand & what I loved and would, of course, tag them on all social media accounts. That way, when I emailed about working with them, I could tell them "I've already blogged about you guys, here, because I really love what your brand represents." (>> insert link!) Clean up your Instagram before you even begin a blog - make sure they both go hand in hand. You want the same aesthetic between the two!
7. Have high quality photographer.
None of that almost whited out photography because it is seriously so hard to focus on and you lose the true colors of items. A little brightening & contrast go along way - don't go out and buy Photoshop and all that mess, regardless of what people tell you, because most computers have basic image editing software. I own a Canon Rebel T3 BUT only because my blog was doing really well and it helped but I also use it for family photos & my boutique so the money was justified. I'll let you in on a little secret: sometimes I even take product photos with my iPhone 6! Yep, they're really that good.
8. Media Kits are always +1.
These help the brands see who you are completely at a glance and saves them tons of time trying to email you back and forth about stats and whatnot. I suggest a small "about me", who you've worked with, your website statistics, your social media statistics, and what you're offering. Do you want a giveaway item? Maybe you want to be kept in the loop if they have sales so that you can share those sales and get clicks ($$$!) Whatever it is, let them know up front and don't make them ask.
9. In your email, explain who you are and why you do what you do.
Keep your email simple & to the point. PR & Business Owners don't have a lot of extra time on their hands. Heck, most times I'm good if I answer a blogger's collaboration email within a week - I'm so busy! If you don't have a media kit, that is absolutely fine but make your email readable and literate (no run-on sentences!) & to the point. Let them know who you are, what your blog is about, and why you want to work with them. Let them know you'd love to be kept in the loop for any partnerships in the future!
10. GO FOR IT!!!!
I hope this has helped you bloggers! With so many of you out there now, I know the competition is high so I'm always taking questions! Feel free to comment or email me at Kaitlin.LoveKait@gmail.com.