Blogger Q&A Vol. 5 | Working With Brands

A few weeks ago we discussed your crazy blogging inbox and how to manage it.  Today, we’re going to go over what to do when you do get a fabulous email from a brand and how to move forward with projects, collaborations and more.
A brand wants to work with you, HIGH FIVE! Now let’s start negotiating and making sure we cover our asses here. 
 It’s important to get as much information as possible from the brand.  What exactly is it they want out of this relationship (wish it was that easy with men) and how you’ll be compensated for it. When you get an email make sure you ask exactly how they’d like to partner with you whether it’s on a giveaway, an outfit post or product review. And feel free to throw out your ideas too. I actually prefer this since it looks like you’re being proactive and trying to build a relationship.
Giveaways for your readers is a really fun way to get your audience involved, make a reader happy and build not only your audience but the brand you’re working with as well.  A few tips on how to cover yourself when working on a giveaway.
ONE |  Make sure you’ve created a contract so that you aren’t screwed when it’s over and the brand is MIA and won’t send out product. I’ve never had this happen thankfully. But if it ever does, you’ll be happy you have a contract. That shit’s binding.
TWO | Decide on the prize together. I prefer to keep my giveaways at a minimum and only feature high end or high value products.
THREE | Decide on what you’ll be promoting for entry. Sometimes the brand wants to only push Twitter or Facebook or both. Make sure this is clear in your agreement and that they understand that you’ll also be asking your audience to follow you, the blogger, as well.
FOUR | The most important, who’s covering shipping. The brand should always offer to handle this. If for whatever reason they have sent you product and want you to send it out, make sure they understand they are responsible for providing a shipping label. I just think this is proper protocol. You may have different experiences, but I think brands should be handling this.
Outfit Posts
When someone wants to send you clothing, you have to set rules up for your own blog. My only major rule is that I must select the item (or at least provide several options that I like and they can select).  You can go into more detail about when it gets posted, how much you discuss the brand and so on.  Some key tips to keep in mind.
ONE | If you can’t get it on the blog soon, tell them. Let them know you’re backed up with posts, or you already have a collaboration that’s going on etc. They should be in the loop. They are your partners and should be in the know.
TWO | If a brand wants to guarantee a piece is on your site, you should charge! With such a high volume of gifted items, you can’t guarantee anything. If someone wants their dress on your site with a heavy focus on their brand and done within 1-2 weeks of receiving it, that my friends is a sponsored post. You are spending time and energy to do so and your time is money.
Product Reviews
I personally haven’t done a lot of these. My beauty blogging friend Jenny Sue Makeup has probably done A TON. I’ve enlisted her help to find out the best way to go about these.
ONE | Be authentic and honest which in turn means, you shouldn’t accept payment to review a product you’re not even sure you’ll love or hate.  
TWO | Be current. Especially with beauty products, the market is ever changing. Make sure what you’re reviewing is available on the shelves.THREE | Create a policy that will work for you and the brand. Jenny let’s her brands know ahead of time that if she doesn’t love the product it may not get on the blog. This is something you’ll want to share up front and before any product is sent. You should both be on the same page (similar to clothing) that nothing can be guaranteed as us bloggers want to stay as true to ourselves as possible.

Big hugs to Jenny Sue Makeup for the fabulous tips. Check out all her make up tips and tricks on her blog!

Be sure to keep up with all things stylish on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
3 Comments | September 17, 2013

3 thoughts on “Blogger Q&A Vol. 5 | Working With Brands

  1. Liz

    Such wonderful tips — and I love that you’re so forthcoming with suggestions and your experiences rather than coveting them like some more competitive bloggers have been known to do!

    xo, Liz
    {What Dress Code?}


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