I hope your holidays are going well and that you’re gearing up for lots of food and good times! 🙂
Last week I did a post all about some of the key things I’ve learned that have helped me to start generating an income from my blog. One of my tips was to have a rock solid pitch to use when you reach out to brands to ask them to partner with you. I asked if people would be interested in hearing a more in-depth post on pitching to brands and several of you responded that you would, so that’s what I’m sharing today! Right now is the perfect time to prepare and practice your pitch so that you’ll be all ready to start using it when the new year roles in 🙂
To begin, I’m going to go over some of the key elements you want to have in your pitch. Whether you’re pitching to a local boutique or an international brand, these tips and steps will help to ensure you get the deal! So, let’s start at the beginning of what you want to include:
- Who you are – This is a given, obviously. Whether you’re e-mailing (most common), sending a letter, or speaking to someone in person, you’re going to want to include your full name, your blog name (as well as a link to it), and what you write about. This should be a short, concise few lines, something that goes like this:
“My name is Sally Smith and I’m the writer and creative mind behind Sally Smith’s Crafty blog (blog is hyperlinked to bring them directly to the site). I write about crafting ideas and DIYs, primarily targeting stay-at-home mothers”
2. Context About Why You’re Reaching Out – This is the “flattery” paragraph. This is where you include a few lines about why you love the company and how it’s impacted your life. If you’ve shared their product or business in your blog before, you can comment on what your readers thought, if you want. This gives the company an idea that your followers will likely be responsive if they do decide to work with you. Your paragraph might look something like this:
“Since beginning my blog in 2012, I’ve loved using Mack’s Craft Glue in so many of my crafts. It holds up so much better than any other glue that I’ve ever tried, and I love that it’s also safe for children to use. I’ve received so many comments from my readers saying that they’ve also tried and loved your products. Mack’s Glue is always kept in my craft drawer and I reach for it more than anything else.”
3. What You’re After – After the flattery paragraph, you’re going to want to head straight to the meat and potatoes of your e-mail. You don’t have a ton of time to grab their attention, which is why it’s important to keep the first two sections brief and not beat around the bush. Be clear and precise about what you’re after in terms of a partnership, and include what you’d both be getting out of the deal. If you’re looking for commission or free goods (or just to be shared on their social networks), make this clear in these lines. An example could be something like:
“I’m reaching out to you today to see if you’d be interested in partnering with me to sponsor an upcoming craft post that I’m planning to do next month. In exchange for 6 packs of your ULTRA crafting glue, I would give you a dedicated blog post reviewing the product, include your glue (along with a link to purchase on your site) in 5 subsequent blog posts, and share your product 5 times on my social media channels.”
4. The Stats – This is where you hook a company. You’ve clearly laid out what you’d both be getting from the partnership, and now you need to make them want to work with you. If you’ve worked with other brands before, now is an excellent time to bring that up. Include your blog and social media stats in this paragraph. Businesses love numbers, and the more numbers you can provide, the more likely they will bite. If you’ve never worked with a brand before, just provide your engagement stats and your blog hits per month. You might say something like (FYI, the numbers I’ve used here are just a rough example to give you an idea) :
“I currently have over 4,000 followers on my Instagram account with engagement rates of 15%, which results in approximately 500 likes per photo and around 200 comments. My blog receives 2,500 hits per month, with that number growing steadily at 2.5% each month. I’ve worked with Carl’s Scissors in a similar partnership and was able to generate 35 new sales for them, as well as a collective 1,500 more followers to their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).”
5. The Wrap-up – This is where you tie the package nicely together and send it off with a bow. You’ll want to thank them for reading your pitch, and mention again how much you love their product. You want to end off with a Call To Action for whoever is reading the pitch, something that makes them feel like they need to follow up. Your wrap-up section could sound something like this:
“I know that a partnership between my blog and your company would be extremely beneficial for both parties. I absolutely love your glue and would be proud to promote it to my readers and social media followers. Thank you in advance for considering this opportunity, and I look forward to hearing from you in the following week.”
You’ll then want to sign off with an appropriate ending, something like “happy holidays!” (if it’s around the holiday season) or “sincerely”. Remember, you want your personality to shine through, but you still need to be professional. Avoid anything too cutesy, so no XOXO’s or Lots of Love, even if that’s how you normally sign off your blogging e-mails.
Some Additional Tips:
- Have an e-mail signature prepared that includes your logo and links to all of your accounts. You want it to look really professional, so get this set up before you start e-mailing. I’ve included what mine looks like below.
- Make sure you’re sending it from the correct e-mail. Get a blogging e-mail set up (even if it’s just a free Outlook or Gmail one) so that you look legitimate. I can’t emphasize enough, professionalism will make or break you when pitching! Don’t send blogging e-mails from Momof4cutiepies@me.ca if your blog is not named “Mom of 4 Cutie Pies”.
- Don’t just copy and paste from one pitch to another. Copying a single section (such as your stats) is fine, but if you copy the whole thing you’re bound to forget to fix something at least one time or another. You’ll definitely not be working with Mack’s Glue if you talk about how much you love Carl’s Scissors in the final paragraph. It’s the same as a resume, folks.
- Do your best to be genuine. Even though you’re going to be professional, you should still be genuine when you tell a company why you love them and want to work with them. It will read through crystal clear if you’re truly passionate about a product or business.
- Follow up! Lots of times I haven’t heard back after the first (or even second) time I’ve pitched to someone. But often times people get lots of pitches from bloggers and are waiting to see how badly you want to work with them, so always follow up in a week or so.
- Take “No” with grace. Hearing that a brand isn’t interested in partnering with you is hard, but being graceful about it is so important because you never know if they’ll be looking for someone down the road, or if you might develop the qualities they’re after later on. Always thank them for their time and reiterate that you love their products/brand so you leave a good taste in their mouth.
Holy cow, I think my fingers might fall off from all of that writing! If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking through it! Pitching to a brand is part of being a successful blogger of any kind, and the tips I’ve shared with you are what get me partnerships with brands again and again. It’s not easy to put yourself out there, but it does get easier over time and with practice! Soon you’ll be landing partnerships and generating income left, right, and centre!
Are there any other aspects of pitching that I didn’t talk about that you wished I had? Any other blogging topics you’d like to see me talk about next? Let me know in the comments and I can definitely get working on it for you 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by, and have a fabulous Holiday weekend!