Is that or is that not the grossest post title you've ever seen? IT'S REALLY NOT MEANT TO BE BRAGGY AND ANNOYING IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE HELPFUL.
And I need something SEO/Pinteresty/eye-catching enough for you blogger bubs who may have started the New Year like, 'whut, where are my opportunities?'.
I'll also preface this post by filling you in on a little secret - not all of these collabs are paid. Shocked emoji face right?
So if you're JUST interested in how to get brands to pay you, this may not be the best post and I'm definitely NOT the best blogger to tell you that (reader, I'm so skint).
However, if you're looking for a few tips on what worked for me, when it comes to working with more brands, then jump right in...
December 2017 and I had 1 brand collaboration on the go - February 2018 and I have more than 10 currently crack-a-lackin'.
This hasn't been *purely* luck as when the bells chimed on January 1st and I went part-time at my regular job, I instantly made actionable changes into how I operate and market my own brand - this blog.
Here's what I did.
I Replied to Emails
The snob in me only used to reply to opportunities that really interested me, with brands that I really loved.
Other reach outs normally got brushed off with a polite thank you and sent to my email archives.
Well, in my 'I'm part-time and poor now' new year panic, I went through those archives and replied to those brands or PRs just to let them know that I was ready to take on more collaborations now I had more time and to get in contact if their campaign was still running or if they had something else on.
I Emailed Old Contacts
I took one whole afternoon out to delve through my old collaborations and email the contacts I had previously worked with.
Again, I went down the 'new year, new me' route and told them I was sending an updated media kit, as my following and readership had grown since last working for them and just asked if they had any blogger collaborations coming up.
Contacting people you already know, doesn't feel as cold as a mail-out or prospective pitch and sometimes it's just really nice to have a catch up with PRs or people you've worked with before to see how they are!
I Pitched To New Brands
After a very bloggy day with my buddy Laura, we both went away and devised a pitch email template that we could send out to brands we'd love to work with.
We ensured they were easily customisable so each of our favourite brands got a custom email with examples of similar work to what we could offer, ideas of content we could produce for them and asking to be added to mailing lists.
I'd also pop at the end that I'm available for coffees/face-to-face meetings as I do really enjoy meeting new people.
This has been my most successful method of getting new collaborations FOR SURE.
I believe my style of pitching has worked because I am modest and humble yet I tell the brands exactly what it is I offer them.
I also give them HONEST stats and follower counts because I am more than happy to provide screenshot of stats if they require them.
I Explored Opportunity Apps and Groups
There are a ton of Facebook groups, mailing lists and apps that you can sign up to that post collaboration opportunities daily.
Whilst you may think, 'well did you really win collabs this way or did you just apply for ones that were already there?', you're only half right.
Yes I have secured a couple of collaborations this way BUT the collaborations I've secured in 2018 so far, have come from contacts I had that I had made through these means last year.
What I mean is, I submitted an application for a collaboration through an app last year which I was approved for. Fast forward to this month and the PR directly contacted me about a new campaign they have coming up.
Whilst you may be fighting against a sea of other content creators through this method of brand reach-out, you never know who will keep your details for a future campaign where they want to work with you directly!
I Stalked LinkedIn
There are a ton of posts out in the blogosphere about how to get LinkedIn to work for you and if you get it up and running - it really can.
It doesn't mean you can go on it and add every Tom, Dick, Harry and Jack Wills just to get brand contacts - what it does mean is that you can more easily find contact details for the people who work in influencer outreach for those brands.
Then you could request a connection (but never pester) or, if they have their work email address, you can send one of those pitch emails you should've created by now (well not by now because that would involve leaving this blog post and PLEASE DON'T).
Go to events if you can, or perhaps be REALLY lucky and have a mate who will introduce you to a contact they have (although this can be tricky between friends as NO ONE LIKES A USER OR A BEGGAR FRIEND).
Even if the event isn't up your alley, you could meet someone from the PR team and introduce yourself, swap details and contact them at a later date.
I Shared My USP
In 2018 you HAVE to offer brands something different. You must be good at writing, photography and social media so that they choose to work with you over Cathy Can't Write (I know what you're thinking - LOL Vix, you're not good at any of these things. Yeah, cheers).
So when you're pitching or applying or negotiating a collaboration, make sure you tell the brand or the PR what it is that you can offer them that is different to what others are offering.
This doesn't mean dragging them by calling them Cathy Can't Write but it means showing content you've done before that stands out or offering up ideas that haven't been done to death previously.
I Was Open To Offers
When I tweeted out about my abysmal treatment from a brand who were incredibly rude to me and made me work for them for about 6 months without paying me, a very kind blogger who also works in blogger outreach, reached out to me and offered me a space on a collab she was working on.
As I wanted more experience in working with brands AND I was incredibly grateful that she was throwing me a bone - I took it on and wanted to ensure I did a decent job on an engaging blog post and photographs to match. You can let me know if I achieved that by reading this one here!
It also meant that I was more open to taking on things that I might not have previously but could now think of different and engaging ways to spin the content my way.
SO THERE WE ARE.
Hopefully this post has given you some inspiration for a few things you can do to up your brand collab game this year.
I also offer blog-coaching packages where I can spend dedicated time with you, doing all of the above (and more) so if that's something you're interested in - contact me and have a look at my Services page.
How are you securing your collaborations this year?