How to Land Your First Collaboration With A Brand

Photo by Shanley Cox

After the questions about what kind of camera I use, this is probably the question I get asked the most:

“How did you land your first collaboration with a brand?”

One of my goals this year was to use this blog to answer questions you all send me on Instagram. I honestly LOVE sharing blogging/photography tips with you guys. And if I can empower someone else with the little bit of knowledge I have, then woot!!!  There is no secret formula here, but after two years of pitching myself to brands, I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. I hope this post gives you the confidence to reach out to a brand for your first collaboration.

Establish Your Voice

Before you’re ready to reach out you have to know your niche. Are you a bookstagrammer? Do you focus on personal style or cooking? Maybe both? Once you figure out your angle, it makes it much easier to find brands that align with your values. Keep in mind that developing your voice on social media won’t necessarily happen overnight. It’s something that comes along with experimenting with the type of content you post and the story you choose to share. Be patient with yourself. You’ll know when it’s right.

Do Your Homework

If you don’t want to pay for an influencer marketing tool like PeopleMap, there’s a little trick I like to do by clicking the “suggested” button next to companies I would like to work with. Instagram does a great job of showing you similar brands with a varying amount of followers. For example, It would be a dream to create content for Sezane, but with over 1M followers it’s a little unrealistic for me to expect a reply from them. I’d be much better off with building up my portfolio by working with smaller but similar brands.

 

Create Your Media Kit

Creating your own media kit is THE key to landing your first brand collaboration.

A media kit is a simple, one-page visual resume. Its primary purpose is to provide media and brands a quick summary of who you are and what you can do for them. It usually includes a photo of you, a bio (that relates to your blog or Insta handle) Instagram/blog statistics and a list of brands that you’ve worked with in the past. If you don’t have any brands yet don’t worry! Instead, use that space on your media kit to link to blog or Instagram posts that have performed well. 

There have been brands that have said, we usually say no to someone with a smaller following, but because of your media kit, we’ll give it a go! If you’re not keen on photoshop or InDesign, it’s worth the investment of having a graphic designer help you out or checking these sites out:

Canva
Free Media Kit Template

Pitch Perfect

Think about how many emails brands receive per day. A LOT. Which means that when you reach out, you need to make it count. Keep the email informative without being too wordy, and try your best to find the perfect balance between professionalism and letting your personality shine through.

Photo by Shanley Cox

I often start my email pitch with a quick intro of my blog. Then I share a little bit of what I love about their brand and how I incorporate their products into my everyday life. It’s then a matter of proposing what you’d like to create for the brand in exchange for their product. Will you be providing high-quality photos? 3 permanent Instagram posts? Shooting video for Instagram stories with swipe-up links? Whatever you propose, be sure to make your terms clear.

I thought people were joking when they said they get emails that literally just say:

I have an Instagram with a lot of followers, give me a free product and I’ll promote it.

It’s true, PEOPLE ACTUALLY DO THIS. Please don’t be that person. This brand doesn’t owe you anything. You gotta work for it.

Quick tips:

  • In the contact section of the brand’s website, there is usually an email dedicated to press, that’s the one you want. If their email is not listed, you can usually find an email by checking the brand’s Instagram bio.
  • Avoid emailing brands on Fridays. Chances are they’ve already mentally clocked out and your email will get lost in the flood of inbox clutter over the weekend.

Content creation

Okay, this is the fun part. The brand has agreed to send you their product in exchange for content that you’ll create for them. Remember to be yourself. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in what you think they might like best, but remember that they agreed to this collaboration after scrolling through your feed and your blog. They like your style, and they want your personality to shine through!

Photo by Shanley Cox

Keep in touch!

After posting, It makes a great impression when you send your post analytics to the brand. Not only does it display professionalism, it shows that you care! 

Was this post helpful? Let me know if you’d like to see more “how to” posts from me in the future. I really like answering your questions about blogging and influencer marketing.

 

Patience Randle

In today’s world, it’s important to form authentic relationships in order to truly engage your readers. It’s about more than just posting a photo and a hashtag, it’s about telling your story. 

3 Comments
  1. Patience, this is such a helpful, well thought out and “Here’s how I did it and you can too” article. You’re the epitome of a gracious teacher.

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