But you might be asking yourself: where do I even start when it comes to pitching brands? How do I find their email? What do I say? It may seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be landing those dream partnerships you’ve always wanted!
Read on for all my tips I’ve learned through my experience.
1. Build your portfolio
We all have to start from somewhere. Create work that you showcase and share with an audience. Even if you’re just creating work for yourself, do it! If you’re a blogger, consistently put out amazing content and promote it through Pinterest. Show brands what you’re capable of.
If you’re aiming to be an influencer, focus on building your audience. There’s no set number you need to have, but most brands prefer to work with those that have at least a few thousand followers. Use products within your posts of brands you’d love to work with—this is perfect practice for you and shows brands your awesome abilities to create content.
Instagram is a great place to quickly show your work, no matter what your profession may be. Create a schedule for yourself that allows you to consistently create work everyday or as often as you can.
Ensure you’re always updating your site as well. That way, your website will always reflect your caliber of work—no one likes to see virtual cobwebs when they visit a site. Once your portfolio is in tip-top shape, then it’s time to find those awesome brands!
2. Do your research
Some people like to set their portfolio up and wait for brands to come to them. I like to take a more proactive approach to things, though. 😉
Make a list of your dream collaborations (I’m talking BIG brands!) that you’d like to reach out to someday. Then, break down those brand niches and find some smaller brands that you’d like to work with.
One of my favorite ways of discovering stellar brands to work with is by scrolling through Instagram. Find a brand you admire and visit their Instagram page. On the top right of their profile, click the drop-down arrow to pull up the “Suggestions for You” area. Click through those profiles to find new brands that may be of interest to you!
In the beginning, it’s best to start with smaller brands. This helps you get a feel for the pitching process and build your portfolio so you can perfect that big brand pitch down the road. By listing out your dream collabs, it also helps shape where you want to take your brand.
Find brands that fit within your niche and support your values. I know this sounds obvious, but if you want success in collaborating with brands, you must be a great match. The best thing about reaching out to brands is the ability to be as choosy as you want!
Discover them. Research them. Learn everything about them. What accomplishments have they done? Is there a recent blog post of theirs that caught your interest? Have they released any new products? You’re proud about your business, and so are they about theirs. Let them know you genuinely care about what they do. Let them know it’s about THEM, not you.
Finding proper emails can be a tricky task. Generally, you don’t want to send an email to generic email address like firstname.lastname@example.org. This looks lazy on your part and it’s very likely that specific email is bombarded with messages everyday. Do your research to find the proper contact.
Try a simple Google search first. Use keywords like “social media manager [company]” or “PR [company]” to find who you’re looking for. Often times, I’m led to their LinkedIn page and can find it there. However, it’s not always quite that easy. If you need to, send the company a quick email politely asking for the contact.
Here’s another great way to find an email address. If you can find the contact name you’re looking for, try searching on the company’s website for other emails. You can get a good idea of how they set up their addresses this way and can put together your specific contact’s email address. For example, some may set their emails up like “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Find out what that pattern is and match it with your contact’s name.
This can be time consuming, but when you take the time to find the proper name and address, you’re well ahead of everyone else.
3. Show off!
Okay, not in a bragging way, but let them know how you stand apart from the others!
What’s something YOU’VE accomplished recently? Why are you such a great fit? These are questions brands ask themselves about you, so address them right out of the gate. Aim to sum this up in one sentence—two sentences maximum. PR folks are busy people, and the more concise you can sum up about yourself, the better.
Your next few sentences should propose an idea using their products. This not only shows that you’ve taken the time to get to know their brand, but that you’ve actually come up with ideas to help push their brand forward.
A good email should have these points:
- An intro of yourself
- Why you like the brand
- Why you’re a great fit
- A call to action, such as setting up a phone chat together.
Remember to keep it short and sweet. The more efficiently you can word your message, the greater chance you have that they will read your email.
4. Go! Push that send button!
Review your email, make sure there are absolutely no typos, and send it!
Give it time, but don’t just send it and forget it. Follow up one week later to make sure they’ve received it. Maybe your email ended up in their spam folder somehow. If you don’t hear anything back after that, then you can move on.
Don’t be discouraged if they say no. Every brand is at a different place in their marketing plan and just may not have the budget. Thank them for their time and let them know you’d like to work together in the future.
If they respond and say yes, CONGRATS! You’ve just accomplished a super difficult task and should be proud. 🙂
I once heard this rule: for every 100 emails you send, you’ll get 10 responses and 1 yes. When you’re first starting to reach out to collab with brands, this definitely feels true! Don’t be afraid if a brand declines, it’s nothing personal against you. 🙂 It’s tough in the beginning, but once you get the swing of things you’ll constantly be improving your success rate.
You’re also getting your name out there and are learning something new each time you send that email, so no email is ever a waste. Keep your chin up, be brave, and send those emails!