As bloggers transition from running their websites as passion projects to businesses, sponsored content is an important stream of income to consider. For me and Davida, it’s the number one income stream and continues to be a large part of our business model year after year. We get asked often: do brands contact you or do you pitch yourselves to them? Fortunately for us, most of the work we do with brands has come to us, however more recently, Davida and I have both been pitching to brands for specific project-based sponsorship AND long-term relationships.
We know that it’s difficult to not only pitch yourself to work with a brand, but to also ask for compensation at the same time. Can you say awkward? The mindset you have to have is that sponsored content on your site is (hopefully) MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL to both you and the brand. 1. your blog is giving a brand MEANINGFUL exposure to your audience, which is most likely their target market and 2. you get compensated for this form of marketing. The C word. Compensation. While we’d love for compensation to always come in the form of dolla billz, that is not always the case. Brands have different budgets of all shapes and sizes and you have to be prepared for this when approaching brands.
Think you’re not big enough to work with brands? FALSE.
Davida and I look at blog sponsored content in many facets and the size of your blog is only one piece of the pie.
- Content Creation: You are not only creating content for YOUR brand to share, but for larger brand to share. The more beautiful your content is, the better of a chance you have at working with brands (especially if your audience is still on the smaller size).
- SEO: You are providing valuable link backs and Google juice for the brand.
- Exposure: No matter the size of your brand- you are providing some sort of exposure. Obviously the bigger your audience the more you can charge. This is just an added benefit!
Before we get to some handy dandy tips, we wanted to start off with a general sample pitch that both Davida and I base our initial pitches off of if we are gauging interest with a certain brand. We like to start off with something friendly and basic that’s not too in your face . It gives you a chance to introduce yourself, get on the radar of the brand, and see if a partnership makes sense. Following that initial conversation comes the real pitching part. The tips will come in handy when you’re actually pitching or negotiating, which can sometimes happen via phone (EEK!).
Hi BRAND XYZ. My name is LMNOP and I am the founder and content creator behind FOODBLOG.COM. I am reaching out to you today to see if BRAND XYZ has worked with influencers in the past and if you are looking for influencers for future campaigns (sponsored content, brand ambassadorship, etc.)? I love your product and would love to be considered for a more formal partnership. I’d be more than happy to share my media kit with you so that you can familiarize yourself with FOODBLOG.COM and see if we can make a partnership work.
I look forward to hearing from you!
TIPS TIPS TIPS
Being confident is something that takes practice. It starts with loving yourself and the brand YOU’VE built. I always say that you should be your blog’s number one fan, because in the end that’s all that really matters.
Know your brand
Didn’t we write a post on this for #TBPChallenge Day 4? Yup! What is your philosophy? Why do you do what you do? All of this matters when selling yourself to a brand!
Anticipate the things that the brand is going to want to know about you and your brand such as your philosophy, analytics, experience working with other brands, sample work, etc. Have all of this information readily available and updated at all times.
One of the EASIEST ways to exemplify professionalism is through a media kit. By having a media kit ready to go, you automatically look like you take your blog seriously. Davida and I swear by this little document because it wraps ups everything there is to know about your brand and slaps it onto a PDF. Think of it as a blogging resume, but WAY prettier. We both use similar variations to the Customizable Media Kits we sell here on TBP.
Know that if you participate in all 29 days of the challenge, you will receive a media kit on us!
Last but not least…PRICING.
Ugh. Pricing. How much should you charge?
Pending that your pitch works (fingers crossed!), you will likely need to talk pricing with the brand. Honestly- there is no magic number. A good rule of thumb when it comes to pricing IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH TO CHARGE, is to just straight up ask the brand what kind of budget they have for this project. If you can throw that out there before they ask you what you charge, then at least you have some sort of number to work with. It might be WAY higher than what you expected or WAY lower. There is so much to weigh when it comes to pricing such as the quality of the content you produce and the size of your audience. The term of the partnership matters and so do the deliverables. A couple of things to consider when figuring out your pricing….
- How much would you feel comfortable charging hourly? Remember, you are considered a contractor!
- How long is the project going to take you to accomplish?
- What are your expenses going to be?
- How big is your audience?
- How much are your blogging friends charging? <— This one is HUGE! Don’t be afraid to network. The more we talk, the better off we are.
- How confident are you <— This matters! You don’t get what you don’t ask for. Speaking from experience here.
<< THE CHALLENGE >>
Take time to formulate your pitch email. ANTICIPATE. Prepare yourself by nailing your elevator pitch and having a media kit ready to go!