I absolutely love working with brands on my blog; it’s something that I never thought I’d see happen for me but alas, after years of hard work, it did and now it’s one of my favourite aspects of blogging! Of course it doesn’t come without it’s stresses, like invoices not being paid on time, rude PR people and products which don’t quite live up to expectations but on the whole, I’ve had a hugely positive experience working with brands on product reviews and sponsored content over the last few years. So today I want to talk about how to work with brands and utilize those professional relationships.
I also love doing what I can to help other bloggers on their journey to working with brands and I totally don’t understand bloggers who are really secretive about how and where they find their sponsored work. There’s enough to go around, blogging is becoming one of the leading and most popular forms of marketing and advertising and bloggers are being trusted more and more with sponsored content and brand work. So let’s work together on bigger and better brand and blogger partnerships which are mutually beneficial!
Whilst brand work is fab, what I’ve been learning and practicing over the year is how to fully utilize that work to benefit me and the brand in the future. I think we know all to well the high of getting a fab sponsored post and then absolutely nothing for another month; just when things felt like they were picking up, we’re right back to where we started. Although sometimes, admittedly, this hasn’t got anything to do with us as individuals. Some periods of the year are generally just quieter for a lot of bloggers.
But today I wanted to share some ways of how to work with brands and how to utilize that sponsored work which will hopefully help you keep the jig up all year round, rather than for a week every now and again. Sponsored content doesn’t come easy and it certainly doesn’t come without a butt ton of hard work!
How to work with brands and utilize professional relationships:
Build a good relationship with PR’s
PR’s are usually the main source when it comes to sponsored content so if you can, building a good relationship with PR people can be super helpful! There are a few PR women I work with on a regular basis who I’ve built up such a good relationship with, they just drop me an Twitter DM to see if I fancy working on something. Of course this is rare and it’s always worth being professional from the get go but it’s just an example of how building up a good relationship with PR’s can help you SO much with how to work with brands.
End on a good note
Once a sponsored post / product review is done and dusted, it’s good to end on a good note and leave them with a good, lasting impression of you. Ask them to keep you in mind for any future collaborations which might suit your blog – they may even come back straight away and say they have one! Which has happened to me before and is a great feeling. This is just another element of professionalism.
Keep their email & email them if things are quiet
Sometimes when things are a bit on the slow side, I’ll drop some PR’s I’ve worked with in the past on successful collaborations an email and ask if there’s anything in the pipeline that I might be suitable for. More often than not, when I do this, I’ll get one or two pieces of work. The worst they can say is no.
Don’t half-ass sponsored posts
Of course having a disclosure on sponsored content is the law. But your sponsored content should be so similar to your “regular” content, that if that disclosure wasn’t there, it’d be hard to tell the post was sponsored. Always give your sponsored content as much love and attention as you would a regular blog post. It will not go unnoticed by brands and PR’s… trust me!
Share them as you would a normal post
I’ve certainly felt like sometimes, sponsored posts don’t get promoted or shared as much as “normal” posts on some blogs. But you’ve worked hard on the post (as stated above) and you should be proud of it and want to share it just as much as a “normal” post. Again, PR’s will see that you’re efficient in sharing your sponsored content and be more inclined to come back to you again.
Consider branching out
I’m sure you would have heard bloggers moan about other bloggers taking on sponsored content which doesn’t fit their blog in any way, shape or form. And yes, fair enough, if you’re a beauty blogger and suddenly start talking about oil rigs, some eyebrows might get raised. But if you’re a lifestyle blogger, like me, who talks about almost anything on their blog, it’s definitely worth keeping your eyes peels for collaborations about a topic you maybe haven’t spoken about before. If it’s something you’re interested in and can adapt well into a post then go for it!
Apply, apply, apply
Continuing on from the point above, if you see an opportunity that you think you might like – just apply for it. If you’re not sure, ask for more information. If they want someone with a following just slightly higher than yours, ask anyway. Apply for as many opportunities as you’re interested in! A great tip for how to work with brands is to just GO FOR IT. Be confident in your own abilities!