Sometimes I forget that the things I finally have figured out are the things that a lot of other people are out there still wondering about! I am always turning to Pinterest & other blogs to help me with all my questions about entrepreneurship, blogging, Instagram, etc., so I'm going to try to start sharing more (hopefully helpful) info with you! I just ask that you'll share in your Instastories or on Pinterest if you find this to be useful. It also helps me when you click on the affiliate links I've included (I earn a small commission from them). Thanks, friends!
Ok, so do you just KNOW you have an awesome blog and a great reach and feel like you would make an ideal partner for some of the brands you love? I bet you're right! You have a solid Instagram following, consistent monthly blog traffic, and/or you are able to provide some fabulous professional photo content to the brands you work with!
Well guess what? If you don't entice someone with a great pitch email, then they might never even make it to your Instagram account to see how wonderful you are! I was looking back at some of my old pitches recently, and realized I had been doing it ALL WRONG. Here are a few of the mistakes I had been making with those emails:
-Lack of a compelling subject line (PR agencies and media outlets get so bombarded, so make sure your subject is enticing! Sometimes these subject lines are used as search engines at a later time, so the next time someone wants to work with a Charleston blogger they might be more inclined to be able to find you again if you give more info in your subject line)
-Too vague (i.e. "I would love to collaborate". Get more specific about what you're asking for and offering.)
-Not enough of the info they are looking for (I don't know if everyone takes the time to read your media kit, so putting a brief snippet of your analytics & pricing is a good idea)
-Too lengthy (make sure you offer a specific plan and request, but get to the point in a short and sweet email)
-Too open-ended (you have to give someone a reason to take immediate action from your email. I offer a deadline to create a sense of urgency for them to reply to me sooner.)
Here is a basic template to try the next time you're crafting an email to a brand you'd like to work with. Remember to make it your own; if you copy this word for word, it won't sound enough like you! Change it up a little to suit your own brand and style.
Dear (Awesome Brand),
I have a bright and colorful blog & Instagram called Charleston Weekender, and I would love to include your (shoes, clothes, location) in an upcoming project I have lined up. I'll be working with (name of photographer with link to another project you have done with them) for a blog feature about (a certain event or concept, i.e. a local event like "Charleston Fashion Week" or maybe "5 Handbags I'm Loving Lately").
I have a current reach of (# of followers and typical unique views per post), and I have rates starting at ($___. Let them know if you're requesting product instead of payment, most brands prefer that). My media kit is attached if you would like to see all of my offerings and examples of some of my successful partnerships.
I'll need to have participants lined up for this project by (deadline date), so please let me know if you're interested as soon as possible. I'm happy to provide further examples or answer any additional questions you might have. (Insert genuine compliment here. For example, "I am just loving your new duffel bags this season, and I am very excited to share them with my followers!")
Guess what? This gets brands to respond every time...NOT! I still get flat out ignored all the time and get my fair share of nos. However, I'm getting far more responses than ever before and a good amount of yeses! By the way, the backstory of these photos with the orange bag is that I recently pitched Land's End via multiple emails to their PR team to work with them to share their new collection. I've yet to hear back, so I bought this orange Land's End duffel bag anyway! Can't win 'em all.
Soon I'll be sharing some better strategies for pitching your brand/products to magazines. Make sure you check out the "Social Media University" section of my site so you don't miss out as I add a lot of free resources this year!