As a blogger and shop owner I get to experience both ends of how the blogger/brand relationship should work. No shade, but nothing annoys me more than receiving an email "pitch" that starts off with "Hey girl! You should send me some of your jewelry to review!" Oh? or "Hello Blogger, Could you review our product free of charge?" Uh, no. So here are a few tips that I've learned from experience on how to approach and work with brands.
1. Only approach brands that you are genuinely interested in or have some experience with. If you have no interest in the product it definitely shows through your post. I personally won't approach a brand unless I am head over heels in love with what they have to offer and I believe that my readers will love it as well! Getting something for free isn't always all its cracked up to be! Don't let a mediocre review tarnish your brand.
2. Make a formal introduction to the brand. Business owners love it when you get straight to the point and explain who you are, a small overview of your blog and why you are interested in that brand (don't just say you love the brand, give short examples why!)! I always like when bloggers mention a specific item that they love from my shop! And bonus points for addressing the business owner by name and not just by the business name!
3. Be very clear about what type of collaboration you are wanting to do, what you can offer and what you would need from them. Already having an idea to pitch makes it easy on the business owner! Also let them know if you are open to any ideas that they may have for you. (sometimes a brand isn't able to offer a product for a giveaway but they can offer a discount code for your readers!) Include a brief overview of your most recent stats and let them know that they can have your media kit upon request. Be specific and don't be afraid to ask questions.
4. Make sure you can deliver great content. If a small business is sending a product to review make sure you can really write a GREAT post about that product and business. (that's what they are expecting!) I personally like when the entire post focuses on my product and brand or at least a good chunk of its focus. Also don't let the post just sit there, share it on your social media sites and ask your readers what they think.
5. Be very professional. This is probably a no brainer but "please" and "thank you" still go a long way! Also don't be afraid to go above and beyond. Once the post is live send the owner or contact person the link to your post and maybe even specific statistics for that specific post if you are able to.
6. Don't get bummed out if they say no. Businesses have bloggers reaching out to them all the time about collaborations so it may just not be a good time for them. Say thank you and then maybe follow up with them in a few months to see if they are interested in a new collaboration. Please, please whatever you do, DON'T STALK THEM!
Most importantly I wan't to add, don't be afraid to ask! I learned this from Helene awhile back. Your blog may be the best blog on the block but that doesn't mean brands will always find you. If you wan't something, don't be afraid to go out and ask for it!