I have always been of the opinion that if you don’t ask you don’t get.
The same remains true now I am a blogger and most of my opportunities have come from reaching out to brands to look at ways we can work together.
The worst they can say is no right?
Though to be honest I have had a fairly high success rate with brands I have approached both in the UK and the UAE.
In the UK, blogging is a big industry and a great source of marketing promotion for businesses, great. They often have budget to work with you and if you are polite and professional you often get a positive response.
In Dubai, blogging is relatively new and so reaching out to brands to work with means that you are putting yourself out there and showcasing your blog. People often don’t think of bloggers as a source of marketing.
Whilst I still don’t have my media pack sorted (but here is a fantastic post on how to do it from Amy at Mr and Mrs T plus 3) it is on the top of my to do list, it hasn’t stopped me approaching brands to suggest ways for me to work with them.
First things first
Similarly to you getting irritated when Andy’s Tyres request you work on a PR piece with them as they have nothing to do with what you write about, there is no point in you approaching a brand that won’t fit with your blog.
Besides from the obvious that it won’t fit with your posts, it looks unprofessional, like you haven’t thought it through and that you are blanket emailing everyone and anyone for free stuff.
SELECT YOUR BRANDS CAREFULLY
Examples of how this work are the way I’ve interwoven aspects of my life with brands I have worked with.
Milk and Mummy – breastfeeding dresses, relevant to where I am in my journey of breastfeeding and the fact that I am going to my brothers wedding whilst still feeding and there isn’t anything in the shops meant that this review (coming in September) doesn’t throw my blog out of whack.
DinnerTime UAE – meal planning and cooking feature heavily on my blog. When I was working with DinnerTime was when my blood pressure shot up and I got told to rest and NO WANDERING ROUND SUPERMARKETS by my doctor. Again, a great and relevant fit for me.
Speak to the RIGHT person
It’s no good speaking to Joan from accounts. Find out who the relevant marketing manager is. Find out their name if you can. Use it.
Come armed with your ideas
It’s a blogger eat blogger world out there. What’s your specific hook?
Do you have an internationally read blog? A highly engaged Pinterest following? A trending hashtag on Twitter? A Facebook Page with lots of shareable content? Are you one of only a few people that blogs the way you do?
While you will have carefully researched the company you are approaching chances are that they may have not heard of your blog.
When I approach I generally follow this pattern
Introduce myself and my blog.
Introduce WHY I want to work with your company.
Introduce HOW I envisage working together, number of blog posts, social media mentions, competition ideas.
So they might have 16 bloggers all pitching them for the same product, think outside the box and offer something above and beyond.
Working with Milk and Mummy I worked with my personal Facebook groups to get them to decide which dress was best for my brothers wedding. With DinnerTime UAE not only did I meal plan, but I then had the four follow up recipe posts. With Personalised Prints not only have I worked with Lisa on my blog but I have gone on to work with her over on Sassy Mama Dubai because I was so impressed with the quality and service.
Link to existing reviews you have done
You need to showcase your work! Let them know what they will be getting by working with you.
Don’t be disheartened if they say no
There is always next time!
Have you had success working with brands?