For the next installment of my blogiversary series, I am sharing my tips, tricks and experience on connecting with brands for sponsored posts through Instagram and outreach. Whether you choose to monetize your blog, feature brands on your page in exchange for products, or keep everything sponsor-free, there are a few ways I use to connect with brands (and other bloggers) on my favorite social media platform, Instagram. You will find all my tips on how to collaborate with companies you are interested in and why you don't always have to wait until they contact you!
As a rule of thumb, you should always stay true to yourself, your blog and your schedule. Although it may be tempting to seize each and every opportunity and event that comes your way, take a step back and ask yourself if the opportunity is truly something you want to take on. While it is great to collaborate, network and work with companies, don't ever sacrifice quality of quantity.
Ask yourself how this company or event matches your own morals (for example, if you are a natural beauty blogger, are products truly natural? If you are a style blogger, would the clothing being offered to you be pieces you would actually purchase?) If you simply take on anything you are offered, it may be possible that you could lose sight of your brand's identity you had originally envisioned and thus, making it difficult for your audience to streamline and understand your brand. If you do decide to decline an opportunity, always reply to the brand or organizer thanking them for the chance to collaborate. By doing so, you maintain a good reputation and it leaves you open to possible collabs in the future.
You don't always have to wait for brands, hotels, restaurants to reach out to you! Have you been eyeing that one hotel you've wanted to visit and write a post about, but haven't connected with them? One successful thing that I do is connect with the company on Instagram and interact with them! By liking photographs, commenting on images, and continuously engaging with their posts allows companies to get a feel of who you are why you are interested in partnering with them! After a week or two, reflect on your interactions with the given company. Did you been getting positive feedback and does it seem like they may be a good fit for your blog? The next step is to reach out to them. Many times, small businesses may not have an employee whose job is to specialize in finding and contacting bloggers about partnership opportunities.
When you introduce yourself to the company, be sure to mention that you've connected with them on Instagram (and your handle), a little bit about yourself, your blog and of course why you desire to work with them! Just like an experience you may have had, it makes a world of difference when there is a personal touch in outreach email. Did a hotel just release their restaurant's champagne brunch menu? Did a organic beauty company start selling a scent of body scrub you've always wanted to try? These are important things to mention in your outreach because most likely, the same company is being contacted by numerous other people wanting to collaborate too!
Be sure to include a pretty but simple signature on the bottom of your email with links to your blog, portfolio, and all social media links. This will make it so much easier for the brand to review your work to see if they are willing to collaborate!
Once you have secured a partnership with a brand or company, it is very important to keep up your end of the bargain. Are you requesting reasonable guidelines? If it's a small, independent company you'd like to feature, keep in mind that they may not be able to provide the same types of things as a mainstream brand. Did you agree to do a social media shout out on your personal account? Are you willing to share the images for the company to use on their own social media outlets (with credit, of course!)? Did you provide a time frame in which the blog post would be published? These are important ways to represent your blog the best you can. After all, you are the one that reached out to the company!
Do you have any Instagram tips to share? As a blogger, how do you typically connect with brands? Do you ever outreach or do you wait for brands to come to you? Please share your experiences and while we are at it, let's connect on Instagram!