Want to work with brands? Read this first, brands really wish bloggers knew these things before working with them. Having this inside knowledge will help you get more sponsored posts!
I first started blogging in 2008. It was the early days of blogging as a business and bloggers were having to figure it all out themselves. There weren’t really any influencer networks like there are now.
Now there are influencer networks to help you find sponsored posts or you can still go with my favorite method and work directly with brands. No matter which you choose you need to know how to work with brands.
Over the years I’ve worked with many brands and even ended up becoming friends with some brand owners and brand social media managers. In the early days, I was sometimes the first blogger a brand worked with so we figured it out together.
I’ve learned a lot from working with brands and talking to them. It turns out there are a lot of things brands wish bloggers knew that would help working relationships be more beneficial for both the brand and the blogger.
Once you learn a lot of these things you will be creating better posts, pitching to brands better, and that will likely mean happier brands and more repeat business.
These days a lot of my sponsored work is from brands I’ve worked with, in the past. I’ve also had social media managers and marketers switch companies and bring me work with new brands because they remembered me and liked my work. This is much easier than going out and pitching new brands.
I reached out to some of the social media managers and marketers I’ve worked with and asked what they wish bloggers knew about working with brands and they had some great advice. Most of asked to remain anonymous but they have all worked with some big-name brands and have experience working with bloggers and influencers.
What Brands Wish Bloggers Knew
Reach Out Early
“We almost always want to work with you; we almost never have the budget. Reach out far in advance of the time period you want to do business together (ex: Christmas pitch? Reach out in June.), so that those of us in corporate roles can try to secure money to get you paid.” – Thea Neal
Don’t Be Micromanaged
“I would love for the blogging community to know that (as a social manager) I value their individual styles and content. I by no means want to dictate or micromanage sponsored or paid content. People are smart and in order for it to be authentic and really meaningful to both communities, I want their creative energy to come out in whatever paid work they do. Never let a company micro-manager a paid opportunity. Odds are the results won’t be what they expect, and it is a lot more stress on your end!” – Anonymous
“I look for bloggers that are true partners and authentically connect with the brand and product. Bloggers that produce high-quality content while still maintaining a high level of professionalism (ie. Strong communication, attention to detail and deadlines, etc).” – Tori Johnson, Storibook Public Relations
Be Unique and Find a Middle Ground
“I wish bloggers knew that it’s a balance for both brand and talent. Yes, a blogger should absolutely be compensated for their talent, time and community that they’re sharing. Brands need to understand that bloggers can’t pay mortgages with “exposure”. That being said, bloggers need to keep in mind that unless you’re in the 1-10% of influencers that can be a bit more selective, work with the brand on a compensation package that is a middle ground.
The landscape is becoming so murky and full, it’s hard to break through and sometimes that exposure from a VERY large brand can be worth a bit of compromise. (I’m talking well known, well respected). Make sure that content is shared both ways and the brand also shares YOUR contribution to the campaign that fits YOUR brand.
Also, dare to be different. I’m so tired of seeing the same tired poses, the same look/style, the same language used for sponsored Ads and posts. Seriously. I’ve worked with some big brands and I would probably reject 90% of the content that is being shared on influencers feeds. Remember why you started in the first place, what you wanted to contribute to the landscape and why you are DIFFERENT. THAT’S why a brand should want to work with you. You are a unique voice that will contribute and COMPLEMENT to both brand and you.” – Anonymous
Get Your Work Done in a Timely Manner
“Timely Reviews are a must – PR/Social Media Managers need to allow adequate time for a Blogger to review and post. The Blogger must agree to follow through with that review in a timely manner. Not doing so, could mean that a product goes out of season, out of stock, etc. before the review is posted.” – Anonymous
Learn More About Working With Brands
Using this valuable information from the people that help hire bloggers for sponsored will help you create great sponsored posts but how do you get sponsored posts to start with?
There are a lot of networks you can use but you can also reach out on your own. That likely sounds very intimidating if you haven’t done it before but once you get the hang of it, it can be very beneficial and help you increase your revenue.
I’ve written an ebook with the information I learned over the last more than 10 years that I have been working with brands. I share how I connect with the brands in the first place, how I decided what to charge, creating a media kit, and so much more.
You can get your own copy of A Blogger’s Guide to Working With Brands and start working with brands and increasing your blog revenue in no time. Right now you can get 30% off with coupon code STAYHOME
If you are already working with brands but only through influencer networks, you will love the freedom of working with brands directly and love the increase you see in your income.
Don’t forget to also join the FREE Facebook group Growing Our Blogs Together to connect with other bloggers and ask your blogging questions. It’s a great way to learn and grow your blog for free.