Pitching brands is a lot like dating. Either you get hit on or you spend your first interaction convincing the other party (if suitable) to take you on a second date. As a blogger, you either get approached by brands usually as follows: “Hey… we absolutely love your profile and think you’d be an amazing fit for our Ambassador program – fine print *you are charged a monthly fee for the privilege of 40% off whatever product they are selling, there are ridiculous terms and it’s probably a slightly random Instagram only brand*). OR, you are selling your services as a blogger and all the content you can create. Usually, it goes like this: “Hey [insert brand here], my name is Steph. I’m a Fashion and Travel blogger based in the Toronto Area spreading of the love of fashion, far off places and the finer things in life. I focus on helping my followers get what they want by helping them focus on saving for what they want and providing a touch of inspiration. I’d love to provide the service of creating beautiful content promoting the [insert product here], I absolutely love it and I know that my followers will too! It would be a dream come true to work with you as I’ve been a fan ever since I tried [insert product from a previous launch here]“. Now there is some variation on the pitch but you get the point. Bloggers layout absolutely everything they can provide – just short of offering a limb or vital organ for a well-paid collab – stats are bared, and the fine line between “hi, this is my brand and I can’t deviate from it because this is what my followers follow me for” and “ya I’m supppeeerrr flexible. I want to represent your brand the way you want”.
It’s understandably very much like dating, in the sense that you put yourself out there and more often than not a brand will ghost you. Especially, if you are small or have an unproven track record… it’s just yikes.
Now I’m not complaining, would I like to have more success with pitching? Of course, I would but I think the overall experience can be shared with some humour.
Here’s the whole process of pitching a brand boiled down into 7 condensed steps:
- It’s best to always start off having some sort of history posting about, writing on or sharing your love of this brand. It establishes an authentic timeline of you loving the brand.
- You need to find a point of contact – I usually start with a quick Instagram DM pitch to put out some feelers. Either that works and you get directed directly to PR or you need to search for a PR email.
- You then need to compile a proper pitch. This will include a media kit, up to date stats, content ideas, plus if you are feeling extra a small social media marketing plan on your cross-platform promotion strategy.
- You wait.
- Your email sits in the ‘void’ or either they’ve r-bombed you, ignored you, it simply didn’t hit their inbox, or they have so many emails from influencers that they sift through for “known” names.
- If you get a response, you rejoice!
- You begin to work on terms – from here on out you are no longer pitching but negotiating.
The real kicker about pitching brands is the bigger you are they less effort you need to put in to convince brands to work with you. It’s literally like dating. The more attractive the other party thinks you are, the less you need to ‘woo’ them… even better if they think you are supppeeerrr attractive then they’ll flat out make their intentions to ask you out (or on a second date etc) well known.
It gets even better. When you are big enough you can afford an agent or a manager. They are effectively your personal matchmaker. THEY DO THE WORK FOR YOU. I mean not all of them do, but if you have a gem they will go to battle for you with brands to find you your perfect match (a paid collaboration, with a brand you love, with the creative freedom to make “on brand” content you love). Matchmakers, try to find you your best partner. Agents, get you the best deal. Same same, different industry.
The similarities don’t stop there. There’s always one other blogger who seems to go after the same brands as you… I equate them to the girls who decided to “compete” with their friends for boys and actually thought it was a valid way of building long-lasting friendships. ~ some bloggers do it inadvertently because they are blogging about the same niche, but I’m clearly talking about a very specific type of individual here. Think, the girl in middle school who said that a trend was lame just so she would be the only one wearing it… yes there are girls like that. I have questions that I really need to be answered by those girls, but that’s probably a question left for Skinny Confidential. Whenever I see this happening I’m like.. ok babe, I got it. You got invited to the last Aritzia event, can you PLEASE back off this super niche brand that I discovered two years ago on Instagram and you only found out about it because I storied it 6 months ago. I mean.. common. *note this is a dramatization for comedic purposes*
My final truth about pitching brands as a blogger is (shocker) another dating similarity. I will occasionally get asked to apply for various campaigns on influencer marketing platforms. Oh ya, you heard that right, BRANDS hit on me sometimes. So I get all hyped, I apply AND THEN THEY GHOST ME. Yup. I get asked to apply for something – someones sought me out, checked out my socials, decided they like my content – and then they GHOST ME. These brands are flakier than Western University F**bois. Sorry boys, but your title for Ultimate Ghosting Master has been given to someone else. Like… let me just get this straight. They asked me to apply to their campaign and then just leave me on read forever? The cardinal rule of pitching is to always follow-up, apparently, this rule doesn’t apply to brands because the common courtesy of a casual “let-down” is no longer a thing we do.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post! I had so much fun writing it and I hope you guys enjoyed the comedy of it all. Don’t forget to subscribe to make sure you never miss a post!