More and more brands are investing in partnerships with bloggers. Studies show that almost “60% of fashion and beauty brands have an influencer marketing strategy in place, while a further 21% plan to invest in it over the next year.” As an influencer, this is great news as we all want to be part of these marketing strategies.
At our recent Style Collective meet-up, we discussed how to connect with brands. For me, the biggest tip that I could share with other bloggers is getting out of your own way and just reaching out. The worst the brand can say is “no.” Often times we’re afraid to reach out to a brand because we are afraid of rejection. In this virtual world, however, the phone and your email are an excellent buffer. You don’t ever have to face rejection head-on. I like to think too that the brand is saying not now instead of no. Added to this, in life in general, whether it’s interviewing for a job or connecting with a brand I subscribe to the notion that it’s their loss if they say no to me! So just pick up the phone or write the email!
Bloggers and brands
At our meet-up, I was trying really hard to get a brand to come speak directly to the ladies. I lost count of how many calls I made and how many emails I sent. Even when I thought “yes” I have a brand representative coming, at the last minute they had to decline because bloggers are viewed as media and they needed an approved spokesperson. However, I know for our next meet-up I’ve already done the legwork of connecting with the brands and getting on their radar. So don’t be afraid to call, and call and call, or email. Be persistent. In fact, handbag designer Alexandria Alli shared that she placed a weekly call on her calendar to the Ritz Carlton and called them numerous times before she ever got a response from them.
Besides just picking up the phone or emailing, however, you can also just send a DM on Instagram. I’ve seen products that I wanted and reached out to brands indicating that I’d love to showcase their product. One sent me the product and the other offered me the product at a discounted price. So if there is a brand that you admire don’t be afraid to reach out. Fashion blogger Baily Lamb shared that for brands you admire you should “style them and wear them on your blog and email the brand your pictures and blog features of their product.”
In addition, when working with brands I’d advocate for ensuring that you actually like the product. Not only that you like the product but that you photograph the product in your everyday use so that it’s as organic as possible. Fashion blogger Isabel Alexander does a great job of capturing products in her everyday life so that her ads are very organic.
Brand Connection Tips From SC Sisters:
Use your existing network
Elvita of @elvitasbucketlist shared that for their latina blogger brunch she asked a friend who sells jewelry to send earrings to each of the bloggers and she did! So don’t be afraid to use your existing network and connections.
Utilize the brand’s hashtag
Stephanie of @signingsteph suggested that we utilize the brand’s hashtag on posts even when they are not sponsored. This often times trigger collaborations from similar brands after they see posts with their competitor’s product
Start with local brands
Heather from @hercommonthread suggested that new bloggers should start with local establishment and if you cannot land a paying collaboration ask if you can borrow the product for a photo shoot. This may help increase engagement and thus followers. which may lead to paid collaborations.
Share the value you deliver
Liz from @wittynpretty advocated for reaching out to the brands with a short introduction and then immediately launching into the value you’ll provide for the brand.
Hire a manager
For more established bloggers @avanifashionbeautydecor suggested hiring an expert to manage your branding and collaborations.
For our meetup, we had the honor of being sponsored by three great brands! Seasons 52 at NorthPark provided us with free appetizers and desserts. The food was amazing though my personal favorite would be the crab cakes and the deserts! Sephora at Highland Village and Dillards at Vista Ridge Mall both provided goodies for the giveaway bags for each of the ladies.
What other tips would you give for new and more established bloggers?
Special thanks to photographer Michelle Perez!
I’m Niqui (pronounced Nikki) and I’m the “mother” half of the duo that runs the Instagram account @fashncurious and the blog, FashNCurios. Besides fashion, I’m also an avid sports fan — soccer, football, basketball, tennis — you name it! I was born and raised in the Caribbean and I came to the US for college where I earned a BBA and MBA in marketing. As such I have a passion for marketing, so much so that my day job is almost a hobby — almost!