It’s not just the initial contact that’s important when it comes to working with brands; building on relationships and turning any brand contacts into long-term collaborators is a great way to make sure you’re always exposed to the best opportunities!
The biggest and best in the industry will no doubt have cemented firm relationships with representatives of their favourite brands; here’s how you can begin to do the same:
- Don’t be Afraid to take the Lead and Suggest Collaboration Ideas!
It’s your blog, you’re totally within your rights to take the lead and suggest an alternative idea to a brand- or better still contact them with a totally new idea of your own. There have been plenty of times where bloggers have got in touch with us, proposing ideas on how they can collaborate with the brands we work with- and we love it!
- Create a Case Study, or a Media Pack
Depending on the size of the brand and the extent of the collaboration they are suggesting it’s likely that whoever contacts you will ask for some stats, or examples of your work. It’ll be useful both for you and for the brand in question if you have this information ready and quickly accessible; a media pack is perfect for this!
- Ask Questions
It’s exciting when a brand you love gets in touch, and it can be easy to blindly say yes without having a discussion at all; but the likelihood is you’ll be able to do a better job if you take a step back and think about what you need to know. What exactly is the brand after? Traffic, coverage or social media mentions? The more you know, the better your collaboration will be which means they’ll be far more likely to ask you to collaborate again!
- Meeting Face-to-Face
This can be a tricky one in reality because brand reps and PR’s are often incredibly busy, but where you can do try to meet contacts directly. Talking to someone properly can really help you cement relationships, and is a great way to build relationships. Blogger events hosted by brands are great for this- don’t just focus on meeting other bloggers, spend time talking to the brand reps too!
- Always Follow Up
Once your collaboration is over, don’t let the contact between you and the brand fade. It helps to send a brief email once every few months, asking what plans they have and making sure they know you’re still interested!
- Use Social Media to Stay in Touch During Down-Time
Of course you don’t want to send too many emails, so in-between projects staying in touch on social media can be a great way to casually keep contact going. If the PR’s have individual twitter accounts then be sure to follow them, as well as the brands official account.
- Take the Plunge and Email your Favourite Brands First
If you’re dying to work with a brand and haven’t heard from them then please don’t be afraid to get in touch! It is important to be careful how you get in touch; you don’t want to look like you’re simply asking for product. Send a brief email, telling them about you and saying you are defiantly interested in working with them should they be planning any projects in the near future.
- Make Sure You Manage the Brand’s Expectations
Before starting a collaboration, make sure you are aware of expectations such as when the brand needs your post to go live, what they expect in terms of social coverage, and if they have any other requests. If there is anything you will not be able to provide make sure you’re totally upfront about it so there is no confusion at the end.
Have you got any tips of your own to add, or any questions? Please let us know in the comments below!