Am I right, ladies? I feel like my DMs have been flooded with questions lately on how to land collaborations, or how to start working with your dream companies. By no means do I feel as though I’m an “expert” on this topic – but I do want to share my journey as a blogger and how I’ve landed some pretty amazing collaborations!
As a new blogger (like I am) it can be a little bit nerve wracking to enter the space of collaborations. What exactly are they? How do you get them? What is the “right” type of collab and what is the “wrong” type of collab. There are so many questions to be answered, but I’m here to provide you with some honest advice and tips!
I’ve been lucky enough to work with brands such as Charlotte Russe, The Body Shop and many more amazing companies. I was even approached by a company this week that is like, a dream company to me – I can’t wait to share it with you all very soon!
Before we jump into the tips, I want to spread a word to the wise and drop some wisdom. Anytime a brand reaches out to you and asks you to PURCHASE a product, or offers you a discount code (usually 30-40% to use towards your order) RUN FOR THE HILLS! Seriously, this is so scammy and disheartening that random sunglass companies or leggings companies will reach out to new bloggers and offer them a 40% off discount to use towards their purchases.
TRUE collaborations are mutually beneficial, I have never paid for a product in order to “collab” with a brand. That’s not a collaboration, that’s a scam and a way for these companies to prey on new bloggers and make sales for THEMSELVES, and then also still get the benefit of the blogger posting about it. (This is very different from a brand sending you something for free to post about, as well as giving you a discount code FOR YOUR FOLLOWERS).
Put Your Contact Information Out There and Use Hashtags
You may be thinking, “well, DUH!” but seriously – how are you ever going to receive collaborations if brands and companies aren’t able to contact you! I have found that the best collaborations are when brands reach out to you via EMAIL. By them taking the time to search for your email, populate it into their computer and then write you a message – you’re already separating the “good” from the “bad”.
Do a little self-evalution – is your email either in your Instagram Bio or linked on your Instagram Business Page? Most brands are accustomed to clicking that “email” section on your Instagram Profile by now (see below where it says “EMAIL” right before my photos).
Make sure that you’re providing your contact information out there for brands to be able to reach you! Double check that there aren’t any typos or errors in your email.
Another tip is to use the right hashtags that fit your brand. A lot of times, companies will find bloggers and influencers to work with by doing a quick hashtag search. For example, I try to include #affordablefashion in my hashtags for photos that it applies to. This will make my page and content more easily discoverable to brands that would fit seamlessly with the types of content that I’m interested in talking about!
I’m not going to start hashtagging #foodblogger in my captions because that doesn’t apply to my content and I most likely wouldn’t work with a food brand (as of right now).
Be Your Own Advocate
Don’t be afraid to reach out yourself – if there’s a company that you’ve been dying to work with, reach out to them until you get a response!
Most contact information for collaborations is right on their website – do a little bit of searching and find a contact. Shoot them a quick email! If it’s a clothing company or store, include a few photos of you wearing their clothing – show them how much you love their products or items.
The key is persistence and asking for it – in this industry, just like any other… If you don’t ask, you’ll never receive! Think about your job, if you never asked for a promotion how will your boss or company know that you see a future with them and want to grow within. The same knowledge can be applied to collaborations!
Because there are so many other bloggers out there, you really have to be your own advocate and PUT yourself on the radar of companies!
Now this may sound counterintuitive but this is so important to me – I genuinely want to ask you guys this question. How many “collaborations” do you see on my feed and blog? Are they in your face or are they subliminal and so fitting to the City of Sisterly Love brand that you don’t even really notice them, they’re seamless?
I try to be as seamless as possible with my collaborations! The trust and relationship that I have to my audience is the single most important thing to me! Losing that trust and relationship isn’t worth any amount of money or collaboration.
I really like to work with brands that are true to the messages that I’m trying to spread or the types of content that I talk about!
Don’t be afraid to say no – you may be approached for a really fun opportunity with a food brand, but all you talk about is fashion and skincare. Your followers may feel that this isn’t genuine or authentic to your brand.
I hope that these tips helped! If you ever have any questions, my DMs are always open 🙂