Hiii! My inbox has been receiving a lot of questions about blogging, influencing, collaborating… all of the things so I thought it was time to write it all out for you guys. I asked on my Instagram what questions you all had and you’ll find them all answered within this post! By far the most asked question is “How do you get collaborations?!” I feel like I shock people in this topic because I have what is considered a small following in this industry and I still land collaborations. When these offers started coming up, I was shocked myself but after some reflecting and asking my some friends in the biz, I’ve started to learn why they choose me. So keep on reading to learn how you can too!
Build an authentic following. I’ve never done any loop giveaways that you will see others doing or any other sneaky follower gaining tactics, which in return has left me with a pretty awesome engagement rate at 11% (Here is a quick way to figure out yours.) It’s been a slow and steady build that sometimes I get frustrated with while I watch others take short cuts, but I’m really proud of it. My followers are a small but mighty group that I appreciate so much! Some brands require a minimum follower count to work with them, and thats just the way it goes, but I’m finding that the engagement rate stat is meaning more and more to companies. Why? Because they are catching on to some disingenuous tactics influencers are using. Just because you see everyone else taking short cuts, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Listen to podcasts, read articles, find people that know the ins and outs of the platform to learn from and use those skills to help you grow. Plain and simple, just do the work!
Networking. Oh yea, that good old word you heard a ton about in college! It’s true. As soon as I started not being as shy about my blog and instagram outside of the internet I saw a difference. Companies are really starting to look into this type of marketing, so when the topic comes up during a meeting you want your name to be thought of! Lucky for me, I have some great friends that have thrown my name out there in those meetings and it’s what got me started with collaborations. I can’t stress the importance of in person networking in this digital world, I truly think it makes a huge difference. Is there a local boutique you love and always shop at? Is your friend from high school a manager somewhere you think your followers would love? Talk to them in real life and see if they interested in working together!
Engagement. Engaging or digital networking plays a huge role in your success. If you want people to engage with you, you gotta engage with them! But, you can’t except to grow an engaged following when you don’t even keep up with the one you have. Answers messages and comments as promptly as you can. It shows you really care! Comment on your friends posts, engage in your favorite jewelry company’s IG stories, whatever it is just. Nobody wants to talk to a digital wall and they will appreciate your effort in building a relationship, I promise. You truly never know what a single DM could bring. It could evolve into a really awesome relationship over time with a brand or person and in return opens more doors. Bottom line, don’t sit there waiting for people and companies to come to you! Get talking! Spoiler alert, they probably won’t… at least at first!
Pitch to brands. This is something that I’ve more recently started doing in the last year and to my surprise has paid off a few times already! Don’t get me wrong, you will hear a lot of no’s, but it doesn’t take much time at all to send a quick IG message to a brand you love and share why you think your followers would love to learn about them too. I’ve always kept it pretty short and sweet. Just simply mention why you would love working with them and ask if they have any collaboration opportunities available! Be prepared, if they asked to send an email, do it or have a media kit ready to send if they ask! (I used a free Canva template to make my media kit.)
Stay true to yourself. It can be easy to fall into a trap of doing what everyone else is doing because it seems to be working for them, but it may not work or feel authentic to you! Being yourself can truly go such a long way and brands can see that. They will want to work with and appreciate you just being you! I promise. Each of us click and resonate with different people and that’s the beauty of it all. In the veryyyy beginning of all this I did a collaboration with a company because I was new at it and didn’t want to turn any offers down. At the end of the day, I felt crappy about it. Why? Because it didn’t feel like me. I just felt like I was selling something that I wasn’t even that into and the stats on the post showed. From that day forward I vowed to only work with companies and brands that I really like! Also, my time is precious and I just don’t have the time and energy to spend promoting something I’m not 100% behind. It just feels icky anyway! We all can think of an influencer we know that clearly takes on every offer thrown at them for free product and you’re not buying what they are selling.
Treat your brand like a business. I say this sort of lightly because I think there is a fine line when sharing your authentic self and also treating it like a business. What I mean when I say treat your brand like a business is by learning/knowing how to sell yourself in a professional way when working with companies. Make sure brands see you’re open for business by having your profile set up to do so! I also really suggest creating separate blogger email address for these coordinations versus relying on Instagram messaging. Make sure you have your media kit updated and know when/how to ask to get paid versus doing all this work for free (something I’m admittedly still learning). Manage expectations in coordination with companies so there is no confusion and follow up once your collaboration is complete. In general, just remember to keep yourself organized as you would as a business! I feel the need to add that I did go to school for marketing/sales so a lot of these type of things are already engrained in me, and sometimes I forget others haven’t had all the classes that I have.
To conclude, I just want to encourage you to keep going. Keep trying and keep working toward those goals in this process of growing your brand. Like everything it takes time! As long as you are being true to yourself, these platforms need your voice and nobody can do it like you.
I went Live on Instagram to talk about these topics and answer some additional questions that came up! Click here to watch! (Fast forward the first minute while I wait for people to get on.)
I’d love to know if this brought up any additional questions that I can help answer. I hope it helped!
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