Hello, friends! I hope you all are having a wonderful week. I have a serious question for y’all — WHERE did September go?! It feels like this month has just FLOWN by and I have no idea how it’s already almost October. *sweats nervously thinking about midterms* Annnnyways, let’s talk about reaching out to brands! In my last post, which you can read here, you can read all about the basics of brand collaborations. Now, in this post, we’ll address the reaching out component of collaborations. This is one of the few ways in which you can get the ball rollin’ on a meaningful partnership with a brand — you can either pitch to them, they contact you directly, or you can “apply” for the opportunity on different connector platforms, some of which I listed in my previous blog post.
This is an updated version of a blog post I did several months ago, which you can view here. In addition, I think it would be awesome if you checked out How to Build an Engaged Audience and Target Marketing, Segmentation and Instagram Promotions.
I should note first off — please don’t just use the same exact pitch email for every single brand. Pitching is not a one-size-fits-all act, and it shouldn’t be treated as such. Obviously, you can do this; I just think it’s way more beneficial in the long run to really think through partnerships and take the time to seriously personalize each pitch. If you’re just looking for a partnership any and everywhere, the “cold-calling” technique might score you a partnership every now and again, if I’m being honest. However, the more thought out and intentional you are, the higher chance the brand truly sees your authenticity and genuine approach to a partnership. I will always encourage you to be intentional, strategic and thoughtful about your work. Anyways, I digress.
List Out What Draws You to the Brand
First things first, when sitting down to write a pitch email, I think it’s best for you to keep a running list of things you love about the brand. I just keep a Google Spreadsheet in my “Blog” folder in Google Drive where I list out different things I like about prospective brands that I could see myself working with in the future. In order to do this, you have to have a good grip on your pillar content and your values that you portray throughout your own brand. I mention this because, as I’ve said in my Collaborations Basics post, brands are making an investment in you. Especially if you’re working with a “smaller,” lower-budget brand! You want these brands to know why they should invest in you, and how a collaborative partnership with you will benefit them.
Questions to Consider
There are some specific things you want to note about different brands when you’re looking for a potential collaboration:
- What is this brand selling? Does this align with what you promote on your blog / social media accounts, or is it something out of the ordinary?
- Is the brand local to you or does it sell across the country? Is it worldwide? Does this align with your own demographics?
- What are the brand’s values? Do they align with your values?
- What are the price ranges of the products? Do they align with other collaborations you’ve done, or are they more or less expensive?
- Do these products appeal to your demographic? (For example: women, ages 16-30, located in the US, etc.)
- How often does the brand post on social media? Do they create their own content or do they repost from influencers? Is it clear that they have done collaborations in the past with other creators?
Some things that may draw me to a particular brand are their commitment to sustainable fashion, green beauty or ethical business practices, for example. In addition, I may not particularly look for things that aren’t available nation-wide, because I truly do have an audience that varies across the U.S. since I have moved so much in these past few years. So, as you can see, a lot of these things you should look at are particular to your intersection with the brand itself; it’s almost like you’re finding your similarities beforehand in order to tell the brand later.
Wait… are you even following us?
Alright, guys, this should go without saying but MAKE SURE you’re following the brand on social media first. How awful would it be to say you’re a genuine consumer and “fan,” yet you don’t even follow the brand? Consume their content for weeks if not months beforehand. To be honest, the only places I’ve really pitched are places I’ve purchased from before (a loyal + genuine consumer), or accounts I’ve been following for several months or even years. It should go without saying, but I’m just gonna say it… make sure you’re engaging with their content before you say how much you love their content.
What’s the best medium?
I will always recommend sending out emails to brands for pitches as I think it gives you more freedom to truly showcase who you are in a professional manner. For some reason, DMs just don’t feel too professional to me, but hey, if that’s where the brand is extremely active, you can try it. I would maybe opt for DMing them and saying “hey, I’ve sent you an email!” rather than writing out a full pitch right there in IG. And obviously, in a more eloquent manner, but you get the idea. Most brands have a CTA button where they have their emails listed. If not, a quick Google search will probably prove successful — on most brands’ websites, a PR or media email is your best bet.
I love email because you can provide your media kit as an attachment, as well as hyperlinks straight to your social media accounts and your blog. Also, you can add in pictures if you’d like. You want to keep pitch emails concise and direct, but you want to provide the brand enough context in order to accurately depict your personality, your intentions and the benefits of a strategic collaboration with you. For these reasons, I don’t think IG DMs give you that amount of freedom.
Drafting the E-Mail
So, now it’s time to draft your e-mail! I already mentioned some essential elements that should be included in your pitch, but let’s list them in order. Take note of the hyperlinks and the asterisks, which show where you would insert different elements:
- Formal Greeting
- “Hello, *brand*,”
- “My name is Jade Yeban and I am the content creator behind Jade of Trades, a blog built to empower women through education to be their most authentic selves.”
- What You Admire
- “I have been a consumer of your products for *amount of time.* Especially, I love *certain product,* and have recommended it to my audience over on my Instagram for several months.
- “I love that your brand is committed to sustainable and ethical practices. This is extremely important to me. I am very committed to promoting products and brands I truly believe in, and have reviewed brands like yours in the past such as *brand name,* *brand name,* and *brand name.*” (Be sure to add in hyperlinks to those reviews)
- Your Why
- “I am reaching out to see if you would be interested in a collaborative partnership with me during the month of *X.* I would love to create content with you that highlights both of our values in a meaningful, intentional way.”
- Call to Action
- “I have attached my media kit to this email, as well as a link to each of my social media accounts and my blog. I invite you to view these materials and see if a partnership would be beneficial for your brand at this point in time.”
- Formal Signature
- “Thank you for your consideration, Jade Yeban”
Signatures & Attachments
I should also note that I have a signature at the end of my blogging email that includes my phone number, email and title for easy reference. Don’t forget to add your attachments, and you’re good to go! Of course, I would probably add a few sentences in between and spice this up a bit with some fun copy — I love to showcase how I can talk personally over digital copy, since that is something that distinguishes my blog from others.
What’s a media kit?
I’ve mentioned before that you definitely need a media kit! This is the most important place for you to share your media kit! You want to always ensure you include it at the end of pitch emails. This gives a brand great insight as to what your audience analytics are, as well as your demographics, talents and past collaborations. In your media kit, you want to include your contact information, address, past collaborations (the ones you’re most proud of), content creation talents/skillset, and your analytics on each and every social media platform you utilize. You also want to make sure your media kit is aesthetically pleasing and reflects you and your branding as well! I recommend creating your media kit in something other than Word for creative freedom reasons.
If you need help creating a media kit, though, I do offer consultation and creation services linked up here. I’d love to help you create a media kit and put your best foot forward for collaborative pitches!
Well, I think that’s it folks. I have more of these collaboration posts coming, so be on the lookout for those!