One of the most popular topics that comes up during my coaching sessions, both group and individual, is brand partnerships and pitching. From what to include in the letter, when to send it, when to follow up – the list goes on. But, it starts with a few questions before you even get writing the letter. I find that once I ask myself these questions, writing my pitch letter is a seamless experience and more often than not, I get a response even if sometimes it’s a “not right now.” Now, I’m sharing them because I want you to kill your next pitch. Here we go!
This is the very first question you need to answer before you begin writing that letter. A brand contact can tell a copy and pasted letter from a mile away and guess what? That’s going to get you ignored. Figuring out why you want to work with the brand and what value you can provide is the essential ingredient to pitching brands as an influencer. Is it your storytelling? Your signature photo style? Your loyal audience? A combo? If that’s the case, how can that support their awareness and possibly conversion? Have they recently taken a stand in the fight against racial injustice? Is that important to you? The answer doesn’t have to be “that deep,” but you do need to be able to articulate it. Plus, your audience will thank you because it will ultimately help ensure your content resonates with them.
This is not to say that if the answer is no, that they won’t work with you. However, if you’ve seen the brand work with creators before, or they have been reposting others on their social channels, you at least know that you won’t be having a conversation with a contact that doesn’t have a pulse on influencer marketing. If they do not currently work with creators, what a unique opportunity for you to be able to help them get started! Be prepared for more back and forth and lots of examples of your work to provide in your follow up.
Do they do any kind of traditional advertising? Have they been featured on TV shows lately? You may be wondering why I ask, but more than likely if they have recently launched a new product or service, the brand has set a budget aside for promotion – and that can look many different ways! Once you do a little research by checking the News tab of your Google search about the brand, it can help you think of how your partnership can play into the bigger picture. Plus, knowing a little bit about what a company is up to is impressive off the bat. It shows that you did your research and everyone appreciates that with a cold pitch.
Who does your blog/brand reach? Do you know your average impressions and other metrics lin that box? They all play a factor, especially your engagement rate. Your engagement rate is one of the main factors that can determine how much additional money you can bring in from a brand partnership. All of this information should be easy to reference in your media kit. If you don’t have a media kit, you can find some amazing templates here to get started.
It might seem small, but take a peek at your household and work calendars to see what potential hiccups could come up when you nail the pitch (like how I said when and not if? You got this). It’s probably a little bit easier with a shelter-in-place lifestyle, but sometimes campaigns can be very quick, and if you are going to need some support, it’s best to prepare upfront. Knowing if you’ll need to hire a photographer or order props and other items to create content will help you and your brand contact get on the same page about timing. That is SUPER important as you build the relationship.
As a seasoned content creator and ex-advertising industry gal, I’ve fused my love for branding and social media to guide bloggers, influencers, and creative entrepreneurs as they navigate the ever-changing landscape.