Bloggers and social media influences drive immediate sales, brands collaboration and exposure for a brand much quicker than a traditional press hit in a long lead magazine. They have built-in audiences watching on a daily and hourly basis what they wear and how it looks.They can even make purchases immediately on their phone while seeing posts go live on Instagram. These bloggers have become walking fashion magazines that are in the know on the latest trends. Brands that have their product endorsed by these bloggers immediately become a “must-have” commodity. In some cases, it is becoming just as strong as celebrity product placement.
Initiating Communication With Brands
For bloggers just starting out, always make contact information easily available. Reach out to fashion and lifestyle PR firms and brands to introduce themselves with their stats of followers and engagement. We always look for bloggers that take clean, interesting photos and clearly give credit to the brands they are wearing with tags and hashtags. The quality of their images need to be on point.
Research other bloggers to see what similar deals have gone for. There is a lot of opportunity to connect with brands and this is a business of self-promotion, so there is no room to be intimidated. Some brands are looking for certain pieces to be pushed, so bloggers need to be open to the brand’s recommendations even if they have their eyes set on a certain piece.
Getting Endorsement Deals
My advice to new bloggers is to email an overview of who they are with links to their blog and Instagram page with stats and letting the agency know they are interested in collaborations. Bloggers starting out should not look to get paid for placements initially and should post for brands so they can get their foot in the door. Once their following is large enough, they can start to charge fees. For bloggers looking to sign with an agency, beware of the agencies that will try to overcharge brands as you might lose some paid opportunities. They also need to be reasonable, yes they may be a blogger with 30K followers, but asking for 1K for a post is a little outrageous. They need to be willing to put in the time and energy to build their credit and following.
Getting PR Representation
I have mixed feelings about bloggers with representation. Some agencies are great to work with and others try to overcharge drastically to make their commission, which is a turnoff. Choose the right agency with the best reputation. I think it’s too soon for a blogger with less than 15k followers to seek representation. Also for new bloggers, if they do move forward with an agency, they should have their personal email listed on their blog as well so that they can be the initial contact and know if their agency is setting their fee too high/having them miss out on an opportunity.
One of the best ways to catch a brand’s attention is by posting on their Instagram and using the proper tags and hashtags–brands will continue to see the posts and a blogger will catch their attention. Some brands might even regram your picture which can build your following drastically. Follow the brand and comment on their photos/posts–it’s best to make sure they know that you are keeping up with their latest collection, etc. Lastly, get in touch with the brand–staying in touch is key. Follow up and say you’d love to do a feature (with already owned product) and ask if there is anything specific they’d like mentioned. It’s a great way to stay connected!
Also for bloggers, if you are just starting, make sure you have content. It doesn’t work if you post once every week, it’s not enough. It needs to be every other day at a minimum and consistent. For new bloggers, don’t tag too many brands in a picture as well (3-6) is enough. Anything more than that is overwhelming and can be a turnoff to brands. Also, make sure you can clearly see the product you are tagging. Brands will be turned off if they can hardly see their product in the picture.