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How to Pitch a Collaboration Idea to a Brand
Are you an entrepreneur or blogger? If yes, then you may be looking for collaboration opportunities with leading brands. You may already have amazing content, images, information, and followers. Now you need to take it to the next level by getting collaborations and sponsored posts. This post will go over all the best ways to pitch your collaboration idea to brands and give you examples of how to do so in order to get sponsorships for your blog or website. This can bring in some top income for your blog as well as drive significantly more traffic to it in order to monetize other areas more successfully.
Pitching is not as scary as you think it to be. It’s all about crafting a compelling email, sending it to your prospects, and following up with them. (see email example BELOW) If they don’t respond, don’t dismay. You may need to try again, perhaps just a little savvier and harder this time.
This post contains affiliate links which help keep this blog running. For more information please read my disclosure.
Pitching to brands helps you in the following ways:
• Getting you more passive income through your blog
• Growing your network and engagement rates
• Increasing your reach as a blog and boosting sales.
• Creating trust among consumers by collaborating with reputed brands.
If you are pitching for the first time and don’t know much about brand collaborations, then you’ve come to the right place.
Below are a few tips that you must follow while pitching a collaboration idea to a brand:
• Research and discover
The idea of collaborating with brands is excellent, provided you approach the right brand. There are many brands out there that may be operating in your niche, but will working with any of them prove profitable?
Perhaps no. You need to find brands that closely align their proposition with yours and give you the exposure your website needs for thriving in a competitive scenario. You should check out the brand’s website, identify key employees, and look for marketing opportunities.
Carrying out thorough research is crucial to the success of your collaboration.
Your social media accounts and blog will serve as a main platform that helps to promote the products and services for the brand so make sure they are in top form.
• Have an authentic idea
Authenticity actually sells the best in today’s business landscape. With growing awareness among consumers, genuine brands tend to garner more trust and loyalty than those that just show off.
Your offering may help people save time in doing something or educate them about a new launch. No matter what you’re offering, you need to be honest.
You should use the main message of your pitch to put forward your collaboration idea in a manner that strikes a chord. Your theme must determine the kind of people you wish to reach out to and clearly highlight your brand’s attributes.
• Express what you want
Brand collaborations involve two-way traffic; both you and your partner brand should be able to meet each other’s expectations. As such, every dealing or conversation must be transparent, with all expectations and deliverables set on the table.
Brand collaborations are all about trust and relationship-building. So clarifying all your expectations from the partnership is essential for ensuring its success in the long-term.
Doing so also avoids confusion and sets clear milestones for both parties. Not only does this enable you to strategize better, but it also forges a mutually beneficial relationship.
Finally, how will your readers benefit? At a bare minimum, you don’t want the overall experience on your blog to suffer as a result of the sponsorship. The last thing in the world you want is for someone to read your blog and think, another sponsor?
Ideally, want your audience to either not notice the sponsor is even there or (the best alternative) you want them to be excited that the sponsor is involved!
• Create content that engages
Yes, it’s true that only true valuable content is king these days. Consumers make most of their decisions based on the content they have access to.
Every brand, whether small or big, has to leverage the power of content to survive and win in the present-day digital landscape.
Success in this domain is all about engagement, which only original, good-quality, and relevant content can provide.
The more you engage your prospects, the higher are the chances of them interacting with you for a collaboration. You can fold in videos, live videos, and other creative formats to make your pitch interesting, entertaining, and engaging for your prospects.
• Know the right time
Whether you’re aiming at sponsorship or increased brand exposure, you need to play your cards smartly at the right time.
Timing is of crucial importance in branding because it determines the mental state of your prospects and how they are placed throughout the day.
Sending the pitch at a time when they’re not online or busy with other commitments would only nullify the entire exercise.
It has been found that sending a pitch on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday is ideal because Monday involves a lot of catch up after the weekend, while brands have to wrap up most of their tasks on Friday.
Creating a compelling pitch
You must keep the following tips in mind while creating a pitch to present your collaboration idea to brands:
• Keep your pitch short and simple with an attractive subject line. No one reads huge stories.
• Introduce yourself and give examples of previous work to show you are a ‘good fit’.
• Show your genuine personality to cut through the competition.
• Have negotiable terms and avoid doing something that doesn’t work well for you.
• Have a media kit in place.
How to Start Working With Brands
There are three ways to start:
1) – You can start by joining sponsored networks or ‘influencer’ networks and get matched up with brands that fit your particular target audience.
2) – You can reach out to brands directly that you want to work with and send them a specific pitch.
3)- Brands can find you and reach out when and if they want to work with you.
Working With Brands Through Sponsored Networks
Sponsored networks or influencer networks are third party platforms or agencies that connect you to brands or companies that work with bloggers. You can apply or bid for sponsored gigs and also get paid directly through the network.
Here are some popular blogging networks you can join for free:
Here’s another list of 16 very sought after ones in this post.
There’s different requirements for each but for most you simply fill out your profile and attach your social media accounts and stats.
Then you’re matched up with brands and sponsored opportunities via email that fit your particular niche.
Working With Brands On Your Own
The benefit about finding your own brand is that you get to name your rates, and have more creative control.
When you work with a sponsored network, you must follow all their rules and regulations, guidelines, etc in order to be paid.
It also may take some time – (up to 30-60 days).
When you partner with a brand on your own, you agree on a mutual contract based on your own terms. You get to call the shots.
Remember; the more brands you pitch to, the more chances you have of landing a good gig.
I recommend making a list of 10-25 companies you want to work with, devise your pitch and send it over. Do this at least once every single week.
And don’t forget to be sure to already ‘like’ and ‘follow’ them on social media!
Working With Brands Once They Reach Out
When a brand reaches out to you they will often times send a generic email and offer a ‘free product’ in exchange for a blog post.
To this I usually say, ‘nay nay’.
I don’t work for free after all and neither should you. It’s just not worth it.
Unless…it’s a HUGE brand like Sephora or Stella and Dot and they send you a personalized email that says how much they appreciate your blog, and what you are bringing to the table, then it may be worth considering for the long term benefits of building that relationship.
Send them your lovely polite response with your post fees, your conditions, and an estimated timeline for the blog post to be finished.
Example of Email to Pitch to Companies and Brands for Sponsorship
I’m Emily, and I’m from SocialBuzzHive.com, which is a blog that helps bloggers and creative entrepreneurs grow their online presence and learn to develop a successful living through digital marketing strategies. The site aims to educate people all over the globe on all the ways you can earn a living from home to be liberated from the 9-5 and maintain a healthy work/life balance.
We are on the lookout for partner sites that we could work with and have come across yours. I noticed that the topics we cover are similar, and some are even complementary to each other. I was wondering if you’d like to partner with us by publishing our articles on your site, or by using them as source links in your existing ones?
You may view a sample article here: Add a link to an example of your article that relates best to their brand and showcases commonalities you share.
In return, we would actively promote your brand/content by sharing them with our followers. My team has a strong social media viewership, and we would be more than happy to share with them any article or announcements that you wish to promote.
This would provide a beneficial working relationship to us both.
I believe our articles could also be a great addition to your brand and would add incredible value and interest to your readers.
Thanks very much for your time and I hope to hear from you soon.
End of example.
More things to keep in mind for sponsorships
Choose your collaborations wisely.
Your blog is a legitimate business and you be smart to treat it as so from the beginning. Especially now that you’re seeking partnerships with brands. It’s important to set up and keep to a few simple rules about what your professional limits and intentions are, and write those rules down in a document that you share with sponsors and your readers.
Think less about what you want from that particular brand and what your audience wants to see. Your audience trusts you and expects to see certain things from you. This serves both you and your readers well in the long run.
Create a report of your statistics to prove to any sponsors that you have the numbers you claim. You can have this on your media kit and don’t forget to update it regularly. Your sponsors want to see solid numbers and data to back up your claims. Sponsorship arrangements often require you to create statistical reports. The simple fact is that if you want to make money, you have to have your data on hand.
Also, know the importance of setting boundaries and be ready to say no. Some sponsors might want more than you’re willing to give. Yes, you may be able to earn some money from your blog, but don’t forget the reason you’re blogging in the first place.
Your blog is your territory, not your sponsor’s. You’re renting the sponsor space on your site, giving it access to your audience. You aren’t signing up for someone to set the rules on your site.
You will get some rejection and some won’t answer at all.
No matter how well you write or how many followers you have, some brands just won’t be bothered to answer. Don’t take this personally.
How Much Should You Charge
When you work with a sponsored network there is usually a set payment amount. Sometimes you may bid on a project.
When you pitch to a company you need to be wise and consider how much work this entails.
This requires a lot of time and effort and is indeed deserving of adequate compensation. But depending on your experience, abilities, your following and financial needs you have to decide what is fair and reasonable.
In the beginning I would charge next to nothing to promote a brand just for the experience or some nice freebies. One time I got a week of free groceries!
When I had a little more than 1,000 followers I charged $75 for a sponsored post and several bigger companies agreed.
Now I charge $250 for a sponsored post and more than $500+ if they want an ad on my site!
As a blogger doing business online you must protect yourself legally.
So let’s wrap things up! In order to get started working with sponsors you must first join some sponsored networks.
Then research and pitch your email (with media kit) to companies that fall into your niche and that your audience will enjoy.
It takes a bit of work in the beginning but once you start forming these partnerships you can get some really good ones that pay top dollar!
It will all be worth it then to work on your own flexible schedule and make really good money from it too.
There are no limits if you put the effort in!!
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