Tips for brands interested in working with Bloggers

Tips for brands interested in working with bloggers and influencers
Let's forget about skincare for the minute as I want to concentrate on something a bit different. I started my site in May 2011 so I have seen my fair share of terrible email pitches from brands. I'm more than happy to receive emails asking for collaboration but some are just going about it the wrong way. If you're a brand who pitches to bloggers and influencers but doesn't see the responses you desire then perhaps it's time to change your approach. I uploaded a video to IGTV with my tips on working with Bloggers and I'm following up with this blog post. I've based this on personal experience, it may not be applicable to everyone working in blogger outreach but I think it could be helpful for less experienced or start up brands.

I prefer emails for two reasons. Social media is an overwhelming place and between family, friends and brands it can get a little crowded. I also find the format frustrating because I like to sit down in front of a laptop. Perhaps I'm old fashioned but a keyboard is just an easier way to form a coherent reply.

You might be surprised but I get emails to "Dear Sugar Puffish" and I hit delete in a flash. It's not only lazy but bad etiquette. I won't dare address emails in this fashion at work so why are people doing this for bloggers? It's not hard to find my name, it's on my contact page, at the bottom of every blog post and on my social media handles. I recently called out a brand who started their email Dear SugarPuffish and said it wasn't a great first impression, the response was "Sorry is SugarPuffish not the name of your blog?" they seemed oblivious to the offence and I deleted their email. To me it demonstrates the use of blanket mailshots which doesn't make me feel very valued. If you really can't find a name either ask them or stick to the traditional approach of "hello" or "good morning/afternoon"

An email which mentions how much you enjoyed my latest blog post or social media content goes a long way. It tells me you have put in some effort to get to know me and have done your homework to make sure I'm the right fit for your brand. Same goes for networking with me on social media. Engaging in my content prior to emailing helps take away the "cold call" aspect and turn it into a noticeable one. This can also go a long way to helping establish a long term partnership which can be beneficial to both parties. Bloggers like working with reliable brands and vice versa.

I can never understand why some brands don't have an email signature with links, you're a business so it seems madness not to state who you are and where to find you. At the very least include your website in the body of your email. I research every brand that approaches me and if you're a start up who lacks good SEO then I will struggle to find you on Google. Take the leg work out of it and provide a clickable link. Also on your website, check that your links to social media platforms are working. I've come across so many dead links in my time and it's such a shame. I want to connect with you!

If you know what you want from a collaboration then be clear about it or ask for suggestions. Don't be afraid to negotiate about the content you desire and when you do agree on a working relationship provide all the information bloggers could need. I've approached brands for Press Releases/Press Packs and they respond that they don't have one. I think it's a lost opportunity for pitching your products as it can be useful tool, a website alone probably won't have room for all the details. I can cobble together information but I'd prefer to have the facts in front of me.

In my case I worked in a regular 9-5 office job so I blog in my spare time which is mainly on the weekends. Don't chase me for a response within 24 hours of your first email. Give me a little space to respond as we all have busy lives.

I understand that you may decide not to work with me and that's OK but let me know. I prefer a truthful rejection than to be left hanging.

Under GDPR regulations you shouldn't be adding people to mailing lists or newsletters without their consent but that hasn't stopped some brands. If I ask to be removed from correspondence, then action it as I don't want to be asking twice.

A topic of great controversy but don't be surprised if a blogger doesn't work for free. For some bloggers or influencers this is their business and how they pay the bills. Do your research and learn the value of content creation and be prepare to negotiate. You may not want to pay bloggers but we're sick to death of hearing "we have no budget for this campaign" PR firms aren't working for free!

Have patience, a well written blog post takes time to pick up traffic. It's always helpful to let bloggers know keywords you want to rank with, success does not come overnight in the same way as other advertising mediums. It also helps if you share the content we create for you on your social media. It seems simple but you'll be surprised how many brands fail to do this.

Constructive criticism is one thing but mansplaining SEO is just insulting (yes it happened recently!). I've almost ten years blogging experience behind me with a loyal audience and good stats so I don't need a lesson in blogging. If you don't enjoy the format and style of my writing then please find someone else to work with because I'm clearly not the right fit for your brand. Before you hit the send button just stop for a minute and re-read your email. Turn the tables and ask yourself would you be happy to receive your message? Courtesy and politeness goes a long way in providing the right impression about you and your brand.

Sarah x (not Sugar Puffish)