After my recent collaboration with Pixi Beauty, I got so many questions and decided to dedicate a post on the entire process.
Prepare for a lengthy post because I am going to explain absolutely everything.
It’s no secret that I don’t have a crazy amount of followers on Instagram. But that hasn’t stopped me from collaborating with some of my favorite brands. Receiving PR packages is one of the best feelings as a blogger because it shows that you truly have a voice in the blogging industry (it’s not just about the “free stuff”)
If you’re thinking about starting a blog or already have one, remember that your website and your Instagram page are two completely different things (at least for me). My Instagram is a little more fashion and lifestyle based & the majority of my website content is beauty related.
The people who read your blog posts may not be the same people who follow you on Instagram.
I get readers from all over the world who have found my site through simple google searches such as “Giorgio Armani Luminous Foundation Review”. That’s why it’s so important to keep blog titles short and straight to the point.
Having a website and an Instagram page gives you double the chance of getting noticed by a brand but also means double the work. You have to stay consistent on each platform every single week. Just because you posted a photo on Instagram doesn’t mean you’ve provided content for your website.
Depending what platform you use (Wordpress, Squarespace, Wix, etc.) you should be able to add tags (similar to hashtags) on each post. The tag feature will enhance your SEO and increase your page’s exposure depending which tags you’re using. For example, If you’re doing a beauty review on a Stila foundation your tags should be something like “beauty, Stila, Stila Cosmetics, Stila Forever Foundation, Stila Forever Foundation Review.” you get the point.
Again, using simple titles for your blog posts will make it easier for your page to appear on google searches (Example: What You Need This Fall UNDER $100).
Linking items you mention on your blog is probably one of the best ways to get noticed by a brand.
Pretty Little Thing is one of the brands I post about the most on my site. Whenever I mention or post a photo of a PLT clothing item, I attach the item link to the picture so that my readers see where the clothes is coming from. A lot of brands have the ability to see who is sharing links on a social platform and use this information to choose who they want to collaborate with. Because I post about the brand so much, they eventually noticed my page and offered me a collaboration.
Basically: If you write about a product enough, the brand will eventually notice you.
The one thing I’ll say has increased the number of collabs I’ve gotten… is my feed. I am in no way implying that my page is perfect and I’m still learning. But having a consistent look sets you apart from the “non-blogger.” Find a filter or preset that works for you and make your page as unique as possible. Lightroom is an amazing tool if you’re looking to give your page a specific aesthetic. You can find a ton of mobile presents on Etsy. Note: brands love a good feed.
Staying genuine is key when looking to collab. Don’t accept partnerships just for the “free stuff.”
I have no problem declining partnerships that have nothing to do with beauty or fashion. Trust me when I say it looks tacky when you promote all kinds of different products. Not only will it look like you’re just in it for the “free stuff” but your page will lose its personality.
HOW TO APPROACH BRANDS:
The way collaborations work is that brands either contact you or you contact them. Most of my collaborations have been brands reaching out to me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t make the first move every now and then.
If you’re looking to contact a brand, go on their site and look for a “PR email” or “collaborations email.” You can also check out the “Contact Us” tab.
“Treat your blog like a business and be as professional as you can. No matter how many followers you have, if you truly believe you can make a business out of your page, it will eventually become just that.
There is nothing wrong with making the first move. The worst thing that can happen is that the brand will say no — it’s definitely worth a shot!
Here’s a template of what I typically say when I am the first one to reach out:
[Introduce yourself and state what city you are blogging from and what you blog about]
I wanted to take this time to tell you how much I love [brand name]. Your brand is so iconic! [Talk about a product you want to try or compliment a product you have already used].
With that being said, I'd love to continue talking about your products. I'd like to welcome the chance of a possible collaboration in exchange for a blog post and photos on my Instagram.
My blog website is [XXX]
and my Instagram handle is [XXX]
Hope to hear from you soon!”
WHO TO COLLABORATE WITH:
If your blogging about fashion, I’d say the brands who are most willing to work with micro-influencers are those who sell jewelry/watches. When I first started my blog, I was able to connect with these kinds of brands while having a very small following.
Some brands who reached out when I first started:
-Katz Off Jewelry
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR COLLABORATIONS:
Once you start getting multiple collaborations, I can’t stress how important it is to take note of every single partnership. I have a personal excel sheet where I list what brands I work with, when I worked with them, compensation amount (if any) and how many followers I had at the time. Tracking your progress will allow you to measure your page growth and will help you create a media kit if you decide to make one.
And lastly, never feel discouraged about your page. If you’re creating (genuine) weekly content, brands will take notice and want to collaborate with you. It’s not about the amount of followers you have, but rather, the trust you are gaining from your followers and readers. As long as you stay consistent on your website and Instagram account, collabs will shortly come through.