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How To Land Your Very First Brand Collab

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Happy Saturday, friends!

One of the questions I get asked the most as a blogger is how I managed to land my first brand collab. Now, while there aren't any quick fixes will instantly land you a bunch of opportunities to collaborate with all your favourite brands, there are a number of things that you can do to boost your chances... and after landing a brand collab in the same month that I made my return from a near-2-year blogging hiatus, I'd like to think that I have a good idea of what works - and what doesn't.

Today's post is primarily for new bloggers, however that being said, I'm sure it will also be of value for new & upcoming micro-influencers.


01. Be Authentic

Building a solid & loyal readership is a huge part of any blogger's journey -before you even start thinking about collaborating with others, you need to prove that you can provide valuable content for your readers. So if you're only reading this because you want to be a blogger who gets "free stuff", you're in the wrong place.

Blogging is about so much more than brand collabs; it's about creating communities, sharing your life experiences & areas of expertise, and so, so much more. Any half-decent content creator will tell you that in order to be successful, you need to strike the right balance between creating content for yourself, and for your readers/viewers/followers. 

Potential readers will see through you if you're just in it for yourself, or for the "free stuff"... and I don't have to tell you how impossible it'll be for you to land a brand collab if you don't have any readers.

02. Be Realistic

I'd hate to be the one to shatter someone's dreams, but when it comes to blogging, the chances are that your very first brand collab won't be with a huge household brand. Don't be discouraged though- it's not the end of the road.

The good news, however, is that there are some amazing small-to-medium enterprises out there who are more than willing to work with upcoming bloggers & micro-influencers. 


03. Ask Yourself: Is It Worth It? (for you and the brand)


The most important thing to remember when it comes to brand collabs is that the best collaborations are mutually beneficial. Before even thinking about approaching a brand, you need to ask yourself these three questions:  

1. "How could this benefit the brand?"
2. "How could this benefit me?"
3. "How could this benefit my readers?"

Once you have answered these three questions, you'll hopefully have a clear starting point for when it comes to pitching to brands about potential collaborations. Of course, when you pitch to a brand you'll want to focus more on points 1 & 3, but all three questions are important & valid.

04. Put Yourself Out There

Okay, so to my fellow established bloggers & influencers, this one might seem a bit painstakingly obvious, but

NEWSFLASH: YOU WON'T LAND YOUR FIRST BRAND COLLAB IF YOU'RE HIDING UNDER A ROCK.

All I mean by this is that you can't expect brands to start flocking to you if you just stick to your corner of the internet. If you don't reach out & engage with brands, then unless you build a massive following, you'll just get lost in a sea of other bloggers & influencers. 

Hint: Don't let that happen.

The next part of this post will list a couple ways that you can put yourself out there & connect to (realistic) potential brands.


05. Find A Brand To Collab With

Once you've thought about what you want to achieve (and represent) through your blog, and the kind of collaboration you would like to propose, it's time to find yourself a brand! Remember, collaborations have to be mutually beneficial, so you need to make sure you actually have something to offer... but make sure you don't sell yourself short- especially if you have an audience! Never forget; your audience is your bargaining chip.

Finding a brand willing to listen to a brand new influencer can be tricky work, but thankfully there are some really useful websites out there which almost act as agents for us; linking the blogger to the brand. You'll need to make an account for most of these, and the issue with using these websites is that you may lose out on some of the income, but if you're interested in getting your name out there and working with some small businesses, I'd recommend checking out Bloggers Required or Influence.co

Of course, if you are a content creator or influencer, the likelihood is that you will have a strong social media presence. If you do, use that to your advantage. Believe it or not, but there are brands out there who promote their campaigns via hashtags on twitter and instagram. I would recommend trying out #bloggersrequired #bloggersneeded or #prrequest. The only issue with these is that there are some content creators who seemingly want to ruin all the fun... and use these hashtags to promote their own content. But, if you're willing to sift through the trash, you might just manage to find yourself a gem.

Finally, if you have a clear idea of the kind of niche or product you think your audience would appreciate the most, then you can do a little bit of research and get in touch with a brand directly via email. For example, if you want to do a post on blue light glasses, you might google 'blue light glasses companies', and email a couple SMEs who might be willing to work with you. Here's a hint- use the marketing & PR emails for the best results.


06. Don't Give Up At The First Hurdle

And finally, for my final piece of advice... don't give up. Content creation isn't easy- whether you're an Instagram influencer, a YouTuber, or a blogger. It's hard work, and quite often takes a lot of time & strategy to succeed. I started blogging over 5 years prior to my first collaboration- so don't lose heart. But also don't think that just because it took me 5 years that it will be the same for you. We are all on our own paths, and we each have our own journeys to go on. Who knows, you might just be the next James Charles.


You can shop this look:
Nirvana Top - Urban Outfitters
Light Pink Cuffed Joggie Bottoms - Femme Luxe Finery (*Ad Gifted)
Basic White Trainers - Primark

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