With engagement being bought and the algorithm being feared, it’s no wonder brands are struggling with the influencer space. They say that eventually, businesses will be incorporating technology that can pick out the scammers and push past those that just want something FREE. I also find that no one really talks about the business of pitching to small start ups such as (my brand), Tres Vu. And on the other hand, I am a full time Blogger and photographer who has pitched myself as well. I feel that I can at the VERY least share my personal experiences on both ends giving me a valid voice and letting YOU in on the scoop. I have a few people in the industry to thank for giving me such inspiration. That would be Fohr’s head and CEO, James from “A drink with James” and Boss Babe, Jaci Marie who hosts a podcast with her friend and wellness coach, called “What we said” podcast. They gave me the information and inspiration to give you guys a few tips on how to pitch yourself to small businesses & big ones alike based on real life situations and history. So, lets begin!
7 mistakes you’re making RN (according to a small brand & a Blogger/Influencer):
1-You are not linking your social proof/references. You’ve managed to email a brand and send a pitch. Congrats! Did you make sure to link your instagram, blog (or which ever platform you plan on utilizing in your collaboration) in the email pitch? There is nothing more time consuming… (well, there is putting a toddler to bed… That’s probably more time consuming) then having to plug in your name, location, handle etc. and find your information. It’s really not something that you would like to do, so why burden someone else? Especially when you are trying to win them over. Always link your social channels or proof/ references. It’s preferred that you link your analytics if you have them. Otherwise, I’m not really game to google search you…
2-You brag. Make sure your messaging doesn’t come across, well, boastful. There was one influencer, in particular, who plainly stated that they would get me X if I gave them Y in a very pushy sort of manner. As a brand, we don’t necessarily want to hear your list of accomplishments as much as we want to hear what you can do for us. Mastering the humble brag will get you so much farther. In one sentence, preferably after you’ve talked up the brand, highlight your best value. That way the brand can see your strengths while simultaneously feel like they are speaking to a genuine person.
3-You don’t fit the lifestyle of the company you are reaching out to. I actually made this mistake myself in my earlier days. If your number’s aren’t your strong point and you are reaching to a company who’s vibe is on the other end of the spectrum, you are more than likely going to be turned down. You wouldn’t reach out to a of-the-moment fashion brand if your a earthy, boho plant Mom. Those two lifestyles don’t really mix well. And I may have gone down that road once before and got rejected. The great part was, I got a message back from the social media manager stating exactly why working with me didn’t fit well. It took me a few minutes to accept and then I moved on and landed a pitch that ended in a paid exchange. It didn’t end there. My photo got picked for an actual ad campaign seen by millions on facebook!
4-You have purchased your engagement… and it shows. Eeek!! It’s okay, I promise. We’ve all had doubts and done plenty of weird gimmicky things to be seen. I tend to think of those as my adolescence days in Influencing. The thing is, you gotta grow up and put on your big-boy pants. In other words, you’ve got to clean up your act. I did a whole post on this topic + I gave in-depth details on how to get rid of unwanted spam, bots and fake followers. And as a brand, I see them. Trust me. It’s not hard to spot. According to Fohr’s CEO, James Nord, there is an abundance of influencers which, in a short, will begin to be filtered. They’re already developing software that can detect fake engagement thus, rendering the influencer useless and essentially a labeling them a liar. But there is hope if you start the clean up right now. Click to read more about how to get rid of fake followers and click here for tips to finding better engagement.
5-You’re not utilizing your blog. If you have one, that is. It’s not the end all, be all that secures the deal but it’s definitely a plus. There’s been times where my Instagram (which I feel is one of my stronger social presences) wasn’t enough. So, I pitched my blog. With weekly subscribers and newsletters, my blog offers a space much bigger than my instagram. Collectively, I reach a larger audience incorporating it and I can tell much more in the blog-space than anywhere else. Not to mention, from a blogger perspective, monetizing a blog post is almost guaranteed even if blog posts views are down. Just try it and see where it will land you.
6-You are not following the brand, commenting, liking or sharing their posts. Making yourself known is a wonderful and natural way to land a collaboration. I love the friendships that I’ve made with brands. It makes the process so much more enjoyable + they see that you regularly engage with their content.
Here’s a tip: Follow all your favorite brands then mute them so they don’t crowd your feed. Set an alarm on your phone to un-mute them and engage, engage, engage for about 30 mins! This way, you place yourself at the forefront of their radar enabling them to recognize your support on a continuous basis.
7-You are not creating long term relationships with brands. They call it “one and done” and in essence, that’s exactly what it means. Influencer works for brand, publishes content, gets paid, is never to be seen again. Do not adopt this method! While instagram seems to have an endless amount of work for influencers, it’s actually quite saturated and will inevitably yield less work in the future which is why it’s important to maintain those relationships with brands. I’ve already compiled a list of people who I’d work with again on the brand side and on the influencer side. Last year I landed my first collab with a hotel which thrilled me. When it was time to book another hotel in that same area, we asked first if we could stay at the aforementioned hotel instead of reaching out to a new hotel. They, of course, accepted since they loved what we put together in the first Vlog/blog post.
Another tip, add a section in your media kit that allows the brand to chose whether they want to work with you once, or for a certain period of time. A three month collab which focuses on three separate Instagram or Blog posts spread out so that it feels organic, will make more of an impact than a one time post. Readers will trust the brand relationship and feel more confident in their purchases.
I want to mention that the above is what I’ve gathered in my many years as a blogger and the few months as a shop owner. In no way am I an expert in these areas. I would just hate to see mistakes that could have been avoided. So, now I want to open it up to you guys and ask you: What’s the one thing you hated about working with a brand? If you’re a brand, have you ever been let down by a blogger/influencer? Let me know in the comments below if you have any tips on either side of the collab spectrum. I could use a few lessons on pitching again! I hope that this was informative and that you loved the imagery. Everything worn here is from my store, Tres Vu. We are currently having a sale on spring dresses! Head on over and let me know what you think.