This blog of mine is fairly small. It eats up a ton of my time, but my audience isn’t huge. (It’s perfect for me, but in the world of blogging my pageviews and visitor counts are quite low.) I haven’t let that stop me from reaching out and asking for collaboration from brands and businesses.
Pitching to brands can be scary – but it doesn’t have to be!
Often I am surprised by the enthusiasm of some local businesses that I’ve approached. There are even some companies I’ve worked with more than once!
Do you need help to strategize your pitches? As a Copywriter I have experience packaging ideas into small bites, and selling them to businesses. Get in touch with me to discuss how I can work with you to help you perfect your pitches.
Here are a few things I do when pitching to brands for reviews or other collaborative style posts:
Don’t play up your numbers if they aren’t that amazing. Most of the time I don’t even share my numbers – just that I have followers in Ontario, Canada that would enjoy this item/business/attraction. Include demographics, if it will sell you. I like to share that I have kids of This and That age, and my followers are also moms or parents.
Be real and honest, and don’t oversell yourself. If you end up not delivering their post to as many eyes as you said you could that could negatively impact your ability to work with that brand again. And you don’t want that!
Quality is always more important than quantity. Prove you can write well, and can highlight great products and services, and brands will be eager to work with you.
Visit my Work With Me page for some ideas of different ways I collaborate with brands and businesses. Try different tactics or options in your pitches if reviews don’t seem like the right collaboration.
Tell them why.
When pitching to a company tell them why you want to work with them. For instance, I landed a hotel stay in return for a post and/or mentions in other posts about our travels. I reached out to them because they were in a good area (a talking point for your upcoming post) and their prices were reasonable.
I landed an article for Kingstonist because I love wine and I was very excited to check out the Corks & Forks Internatiol Wine Festival. Read my post – I was given Festival Passes in exchange for this write up. Proof that being yourself and pitching for something you are genuinely interested in can work.
Don’t be afraid to pitch to big brands, as well as local, smaller businesses.
I love supporting small businesses and shopping local is important to me. Helping friends and neighbours can be a better opportunity for both you, the blogger, and the business. Small businesses are often in direct competition with companies with huge budgets and unlimited resources.
Don’t discount those big brands though. They do have a budget and sometimes are looking to connect with a local audience, or maybe your demographic is their target audience. It never hurts to ask – or in this case, pitch.
Keep it short.
When I send an email, I try not to ramble on. My basic outline is a greeting and short piece about my blog, or being a blogger; then the pitch (I’d love to create a review of your hotel for free, or at a significant discount, in return for a post on my blog or any other collaborative ideas you may have); any questions I have for them; then a closing (I look forward to working with you.)
Pitching to brands doesn’t mean you need to lay everything on the table in that initial email. If they have questions, they’ll ask you. Feel free to include a link to your Work With Me page, and ensure there is always a link to your blog itself.
Play up what you love sharing and writing about.
I love taking photos. I try to include a sentence somewhere about being excited to document our visit with my own photos. Because I’m a mom blogger I also make sure to talk about my girls really quickly in the pitch email.
For the hotels I talk about how they love “exploring” new places, and that they LOVE staying in hotels. I always include their opinions in my reviews as well (if that’s applicable to the review, or course!) If it’s really your passion it’s easy to talk on and on about what you will offer them. Try not to overload things in that first email though!
Don’t give up.
If a brand or company turns you down for this or a particular idea, try again later with another angle. Maybe wait until a slower season (for an attraction) or offer to go at a time of their choosing.
When I pitched The Haunted Walk of Kingston, I suggested that we could come any night of the week. I know they are the most busy on weekend evenings, so we went on a Wednesday, if I’m remembering correctly. They liked my review and accepted when I asked the following summer to review their newer tour option, the Time Travel Trail Tour.
Make sure you’re compensated properly
Something to keep in mind is the size of the brand or company you’re pitching to. If you think they can afford to pay, go ahead and ask for payment for your review. Because I love supporting the smaller, local brands and businesses I don’t often ask for payment – especially when it’s something I’ve been wanting to do around town anyway! But I have been paid for blog posts that have organically happened between A Modern Mom’s Life and local brands.
Do what is comfortable for you, but don’t forget that sometimes writing posts, taking and editing photos, and just maintaining your blog space, all cost you – both time and money. Make sure you are getting your fair dues for your hard work!
Ask the brands or businesses to share the reviews on their social media accounts. This increases your blog’s exposure, and gives them quality content to share, which is often a positive reflection of their brand. Almost always, the brands are happy to do this. It doesn’t cost them anything, but it will help you as a blogger.
Pitching to brands can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Write to them like you write to your readers. Formal enough, but with some casual language, and your best ideas for working together. I can’t say I’m extremely successful with my pitches, but I get a lot more from brands and businesses approaching them directly than I ever do from influencer networks.
Need help getting the wording just right? I can help you design a template that shows off your skills and strengths. You can customize it each time you’re pitching to brands.
Interested in my help? Send me an email or leave a comment below.
Really useful ideas for an area which I’ve not yet explored much. Thank you for the advice! Have a great week! 😊
Happy to share!
I’ve pinned this for use later – I need to work on this. Thanks for sharing. #MMBC
I hope you find some of my tips helpful Carol. 🙂
This is great – lots of practical advice. I’m going to share. My advice to small blogs is to run a few giveaways to push up numbers too #stayclassymama
I’ve never done a giveaway. Might have to look into that in the new year. Thanks for the tip Lucy!
Thank you for this! Really useful tips! I have not ventured into this yet, but it’s my next step for my blog!
I hope you find some useable tips Sara!
Thank you for linking up with #stayclassymama
I really hate writing to brands. I cringe the whole time! I will use your tips to make it less painful for myself 🙂
I don’t really like doing it, but when I find someone I feel I can connect with (or I’m travelling) I do it. I’m always amazed when it works!
This is fantastic. I have never pitched for anything. Thankfully I have had people approaching me instead. I know sooner or later I will have to start pitching tough. Will pin for reference. Thank you for linking with #StayClassyMama
Thanks Pat! I also am usually approached directly – but for travel I find these tips can work!
Thank you for the helpful suggestions in this post! I like the suggestion to pitch to brands directly rather than going through a network. This is a good plan of action for smaller blogs for sure! I followed you on Facebook and would love for you to follow me!
Done and done – thanks for taking the time to comment and follow me! I appreciate every one of my supporters. 🙂
Hi Jess, thank you so much for taking the time to write this post. It is so helpful and transparent, I’m excited to try to pitch to some local businesses in our area. I’m a fairly new blogger and writing emails to local businesses and brands can be so daunting. I cannot wait to follow these guidelines that you have talked about in this blog post. Thank you so much!
I hope you find success connecting with local businesses. I’m glad you enjoyed my post!
This is a great post and I love how you say you don’t always ask for payment if it’s worth your time. That is a hard thing to weigh as a new blogger! I also wrote a post on how I started pitching to brands as a new blogger on my website. I would love to know what you think. Great post!
It’s a very tough thing to judge as a small blogger. And it would be different for everyone! I’m glad you liked the post Liz!