Do you ever find yourself wondering how other bloggers always seem to have the chance to collaborate with their favorite brands?
As more and more lifestyle, fashion and beauty brands start to work with influential bloggers, with creative photo shoots appearing in posts, reviews and Instagram feeds, it may seem as if only the very top bloggers have all the opportunities. Thankfully for startup bloggers, there are actually many ways to collaborate with companies that inspire them.
Digital platforms like Shopping Links (www.shoppinglinks.com), which connect influencers and top brands for creative collaborations, are starting to allow for genuine relationships between brands and bloggers. And because Shopping Links allows different levels of influence, even bloggers who haven’t quite reached the fame of The Blonde Salad have the chance to get in front of brands that might seek a certain tone or type of imagery over simply number of followers.
So how do you make your blog more appealing to brands? And what are the important things to consider once you land that perfect collaboration? Here are a few important steps:
1. Make sure you have an Instagram account. Instagram is one of the primary measures of influence that brands use in gauging a potential collaboration, particularly in the fashion, travel and beauty space. Putting effort into building your audience and engagement increases your chance of securing a partnership.
2. Post only top-quality photos. Top brands are sometimes willing to overlook your audience size, particularly if you’re just starting out, if you have compelling photos and a great look that catches their eye. If brands feel you have a strong influence over your audience, and they’re personally moved by what you post, they’re more likely to want to work with you.
3. Share your favorite brands. Brands want to work with genuine evangelists. If you work with brands that represent your individual style, your advice is more likely to have an impact on your audience. Giving a nod to your favorite designers, products and fashion labels increases your chance of catching their eye. Just be sure not to pretend a brand has sponsored your post! It may impress your followers but may get the brand offside.
4. Stay consistent. You already know this through building your audience, but consistency is key when it comes to good blogging. Posting on the same days at the same times each week gives brands a sense of your reliability. Brands also use your past posts to predict future posts. It’s easier for them to get a sense of your tone and style when you’re consistent.
5. Be persistent (and patient). Most emerging influencer marketing platforms are new and growing, and it can take time to accept every applicant. If a platform isn’t able to immediately accept your blog, don’t get discouraged! Keep at it and know that it isn’t about you or your blog quality.
6. Know the rules. There are various guidelines in different jurisdictions about disclosure requirements for Blogging and Social Media. Firstly, endorsements should be truthful and not misleading. Furthermore, if there is a commercial relationship between you and the brand, it should be disclosed. Not only will this please authorities, it will also help build trust with your audience.
7. Etiquette. A simple one, but something that is too often overlooked. If a brand has sponsored your post or gifted you a product to share with your followers it’s good manners to let them know you have posted. This applies to brands, influencer marketing platforms and agencies. A simple email or tag in the post goes a very long way. They will be super impressed with your professionalism and courtesy.
8. Go the extra mile. If you love a product you’ve been sent, why not include it in other posts without any expected return? The brand will notice. You could also include a native link to their website (without an affiliate tracking code) to help them achieve their SEO targets. Again they will be impressed, not only with your knowledge but your willingness to help them reach their SEO and digital marketing goals. You’ll quickly make the “work with again” list.
9. Be yourself! Influencer marketing has become popular among brands because they want to work with real, genuine people. Your audience can tell when you give authentic reflection of who you are and what inspires you. That genuine approach will come through to brands as well.