There seems to be quite a lot of debate over whether bloggers should contact companies themselves, or wait for companies to come to them. I’ve seen many a blogger chat, twitter debate and talked it over with bloggers at events and everyone seems to have different views. It seems there is no definite right or wrong, you just need to do what feels comfortable to you. Personally, I feel there is no shame in sending an email, a quick hello and an introduction can go a long way. I’m really no expert, but I’m often asked what I do when I contact brands, so I thought I’d share a few tips.
When is it ok to contact brands?
For me, I think it’s perfectly fine to get in touch with brands, introduce yourself, your blog, tell them about what you do and why you stand out from the crowd. That’s totally fine – there’s a huge, huge amount of bloggers out there so you’ve got to put yourself out there! You never know, you could be the blogger that fits perfectly to their next campaign. If you wait for companies or brands to come to you, it might take some time! I often send emails to PR’s and brands so they can add me to their press release lists. I also link in with companies such a Total Media Agency or Branded 3 on a regular basis as through these have managed to secure sponsored posts and reviews. There is really no harm in getting in touch as long as you are polite and courteous!
You might also see websites like Bloggers Required, which post blogger opportunities. In reply to these you need to supply a decent pitch to stand out against the sea of replies they will be receiving.
When is it NOT ok to contact brands?
In my opinion, it’s totally not cool to contact brands just to ask for samples or to get products. It’s all about building a relationship between blogger and PR. I believe you should take an interest in the brand and build a genuine relationship, so if you are just after the freebies -this will totally shine through.
I also think it’s important to contact brands that suit your blog, don’t just go for companies because you like the look of the products, they need a reason to want to work with your blog too.
Right, so what should your pitch include?
- Firstly, your opening lines need to shine! Introduce yourself informally, describe your blog, your niche and what is great about your blog. Remember to include your link at this point!
- The next step is explaining why you got in touch. Was it because of a campaign you have seen, or did you just want to introduce yourself to the team? Be clear on your intentions and let them know here.
- If you are applying for a certain campaign, try to match some features of your blog to the campaign, this will speak volumes as to why your blog would be fabulous for the campaign (i.e -‘ I’ve reviewed similar products to your beautiful coral blusher, such as xxx which have been really popular with my readers’)
- Now is a good time to include details about your target audience, are they male/female, how old are they and what are their interests? You could also include stats, but I usually just say that I can provide stats, if they need them.
- Make it personal, tell them about what skills you can bring to the table. Do you use a DSLR camera for your photos or write a lot of sponsored posts? Now is the time to show what you can do and what you’ll be bringing them.
- Include a question! Just like writing a blog post, you need to give them a reason to reply to continue the conversation with you! Think of something to ask, that you genuinely would like to know about them, showing an interest will really help you to stand out.
- Close the email in a friendly, informal way and let them know your looking forward to hearing from them!
Ta da! That’s it – you’ve just written your first pitch, it really wasn’t too scary was it?
As a first email, it really doesn’t need to be long, just keep it short, sweet and to the point.
Hopefully this guide will have helped. Like I said before, I am by no means an expert but I’ve found this template has been working for me, so hopefully it will for you too!
Whats your opinion on contacting brands/companies? Do you have any top tips to add to my list?