So you find yourself stuck because you don’t have the numbers you know you need on your blog and you don’t have a strong presence in social media, but you have amazing content and you would love to partner with brands to collaborate to make your ideas successful!
You try applying for sponsored campaigns that fit your organic content, but the networks don’t approve you, some networks don’t even approve you to apply for the campaigns. Frustration sinks…..been there.
When I was in that place, I started thinking creatively, how can I work with brands on my own, how can I pitch brands directly for sponsored content, giveaway or product reviews? Some of my friends from the industry who faced similar struggles with their brands and blogs suggested that I take help (especially regarding content marketing) of experienced social media marketers, like the Tmmermann Group. “This is the best agency I’ve found“- I can’t say for certain if that is the case but blog and website owners could see improvements in their lead generation and user engagement numbers if they choose to take social media marketing as a service seriously. Many bloggers or businesses tend to get help with their social media marketing such as using services like Task Ant provide, where they can help to create hashtags that will build the most audience growth for any business.
Anyways, I developed a strategy, which I will be sharing with you and later exploring it in depth in our fall BLOGGER BOOST SERIES LAUNCH:
1 – Find out who you are. I know it seems simple, but have you ever stopped to think about who you are and what is your brand’s core values. What is your voice shouting in cyber space?
Once you define that, you need to list what kind of content you wish to develop which is in sync with your brand; what kind of message you want to share those values and that will tell people clearly who you are, want you stand for, so you can start to grow your community, your tribe! You then want to set yourself up a platform, you can watch this, or a similar tutorial if you’re not very tech savvy.
One of the biggest mistakes I see in blogs, especially the new ones, is that people are all over the place with their content and their message, which makes it impossible to attract readers, a community that resonate with that mixed message and also makes it impossible for brands to reach out because they either don’t understand what you’re trying to accomplish or they don’t see any signs of content which compliments their brand or product.
Unfortunately this is a reality even on some very well established blogs.
Ex.1 define who you are, what you stand for and your values, defining what kind of content you will be developing to showcase those values.
2- define your target audience
That is one of the most difficult tasks since bloggers first goal is to grow their audience, so limiting seems to be dooming your blog for failure. But it’s the complete opposite.
Defining your audience will narrow down your target reader, your tribe, your readers, people who have things in common with you and therefore, gravitate around you.
Define to the dot. Age, sex, kids, no kids, pets, married, single, gay, straight, high income, medium, low income, fit, not fit, thin, not thin, healthy, burger lovers, like I said, to the smallest detail. There is no right or wrong, remember, you are matching your content with your desired audience.
Ex. 2 define your audience
3 – Craft your dream list
Yes, the brands you keep dreaming but don’t have the guts to approach or that in the bottom of your heart you feel you don’t deserve to work with.
Make that list. When I coach bloggers, I tell them to start with 10 brands.
Now it’s time for hard work: research each brand, open a folder, find their ads in magazines, find their video and collect the links, find press releases, which are usually located in the bottom left or right of a brand’s website under media.
Find out what new projects they are working on and educate your self on what the brand is looking for.
Then, see if their core values and projects align with your values and goals.
If it’s a good match, then add that brand to your contact list. If it’s not, can you develop content which is in sync with their message and new projects without changing your core values?
Ex. 3 Dream List
4 Define a strategy
Go back to the list of the brands that match your values and start setting a strategy to match your content with their goals and projects or if you were already doing that, set a strategy to be even more aggressive and use the brand in posts, without being compensated. So you are showing them that their brand is a perfect match to your organic content! A match made in heaven!
Ex. Dove has a new #speakbeautiful campaign and you find out and you talk about self worth, beauty from within, you are a beauty blogger who advocates for high self esteem through empowering women to love themselves using a positive outlook of themselves and others. Voila!
You are a perfect match!
Does that mean you are going to reach out to Dove and ask for a sponsored post? I don’t recommend. I recommend you reaching out to the agency which represents dove which you can find on the media section of their site and introduce yourself. Send some links of posts which identify yourself with the brand’s message, make yourself available for future projects. Show initiative and you will be ahead of the game, because I see very few bloggers doing it!
Follow up a month later with a second email asking for a gift basket for a giveaway or product for an upcoming post.
Create that relationship and when the agency has sponsored content, you will be on the list of contacts, whether you have numbers or not. I can assure you, because it happened to me when I had what I call negative numbers!
Ex. 4 Define a strategy
5 – Being aggressive is not necessarily a negative thing
Approach the brand with your media kit, which should only have assets, not liabilities. Meaning, it should not have numbers if you don’t have more than 1000 followers in platforms. Attach the media kit and send an intro letter with your desire to work with the brand and inquire if there are opportunities for a partnership.
Don’t know how to find the brand’s contacts ? I told you before where it is located but you can also send a private message in social media and they will direct you to the PR agency or the person responsible for blogger outreach programs. You might also be interested in other outreach programs such as OutreachPete if you are looking for a way to grow your audience.
Knock on 10 doors and nothing, knock on 10 more! Don’t let the nos discourage you. One day you will hear a yes!
Attending conferences is also a great bonus to my tips above because it puts you in front of brands who want to work with bloggers.
Next time I will give conference tips and how to develop a perfect pitch! I have been monetizing my blog from day 1, so can you! A strategy and plan will attract the right community and the right brands effortlessly. Just trust me!
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I Hope my tips helped you, join me on periscope Wednesday, March23rd, 12:00pm to discuss these and more tips and bring your questions or leave your comments, questions and give us a Trendy shout!