Successful bloggers and influencers know how to pitch themselves. What's more, understanding the fundamentals of pitching means you are more likely to win collaborations with the brands that you like the most. This helps your overall image to remain authentic and you keep the trust of your hard-earned fans. The reason this is so important is trust.
As our 2018 influencer marketing survey uncovered, consumers are more likely to buy a product from someone based on trust - not the size of the following. The reason why this is so important brands favor influencers who inspire and influence and will want to work with you again if your campaign has been successful.
Here is everything you need for your killer pitch to the brands you love:
Research the brand
You'll get the best results when you really know the brand you're hoping to work with. Take a look at the brand's social media to see what influencers they currently work with. If you notice they only use influencers on their Instagram and never on Twitter, you'll know that your pitch should be Instagram focussed, even if you do have a large Twitter following.
Make sure you do your due diligence on your chosen brand. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What social media channels are they active across?
- What influencer marketing do they have already?
- Who is their target market?
- What products are you interested in promoting the most?
- Is there an email of an actual person to contact
- Do they have a press kit you can see for inspiration?
Know your follower demographics
Knowing who your follower base is will help you to demonstrate your value. Your follower base is likely to vary from platform to platform. In general, brands will want to know things like, top audience locations, average age groups and gender split - all of which is automatically updated on your free ZINE media kit. Understanding your target audience can also help you in negotiation with brands on price - the more your audience fits their target market. The more valuable you are to them.
Don't just look at your own demographics though, take a holistic approach to look at the brands target demographic and the industry's as well. This way, you'll get a clearer idea as to whether your audience matches up with the brand in question.
Work on your personal brand
Your personal brand is everything. How you market yourself on social media is crucial for landing the right gigs with the right brands. In our interview with Elena Sandor from Eat-Wear-Travel, she explains the importance of getting yourself out there.
“You have to put your face out there because it’s how you connect with PRs and brands. Not just you sitting behind a desk or laptop. It’s really important for people to actually see you and know you. That’s how I managed to secure some of my contacts.”
Make use of any industry event you can to really grow your network. You can then start to leverage connections you make, and connections of connections building up your network of brand, PR and agency contacts.
Your personal brand means having consistent messaging across all your social media channels. Potential brands want to see that your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube are all aligned with a similar type of audience.
How to introduce yourself
When you reach out to brands by email make sure you are reaching out to an actual person as opposed to a team address e.g. 'email@example.com'. It's crucial here that you find the right specific person to contact as most people within the company probably has hundreds of emails coming to their inbox each day.
Then, in the email body - get straight to the point. Your email should explain who you are and how you can help the brand achieve its goals - not ‘what you want’.
You can then include a link to your ZINE media kit which automatically updates with your audience demographics, engagement rates, and sample content to strengthen your case. Don’t forget to make sure you have added previous collaborations and rate card price list too.
You'll also want to include a call to action. This encourages the person you're sending the email to, to complete a specific task. For example, if you want the brand to reply to you via email, ask them to. If you want them to check out your content, include a direct link.
Influencer pitch templates
There's no set way to begin pitching brands but if you can come up with creative ways to connect with them you stand a great chance. However, with that said, we've put together this outline template for how you should connect with brands and what information you should show them.
Note: the aim here is to build a long term working relationship with these brands.
When crafting your pitch email you'll want to cover the following:
1. Who you are
2. What you've done in the past and what social channels you use frequently
3. Some examples of relevant recent posts they might be interested in
4. Why you want to work with this brand in particular
5. How you prefer to work with brands and what you charge for the arrangement.
Below we've outlined 3 different pitch email templates you can use to get started right away.
Pitching a brand as a new influencer
Even if you're a new influencer, or haven't worked with a brand before, doesn't mean you can't start. When you have less brand partnership examples to share, it's crucial you keep this pitch short, sweet and to the point.
Hey [THEIR NAME],
I’ve used [BRAND] for over three years now and [REASON WHY YOU LIKE IT]. I particularly love [GET SPECIFIC].
My podcast [SOCIAL CHANNELS] audience is made up of 90% [DEMOGRAPHIC STATISTICS] of males [THEIR TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC] and would also love your products.
My podcast [link to social channels] gets 10000000 listeners per month [statistic]. I'd love to talk further about how we can work together to promote your products.
Look forward to hearing back from you soon!
Pitching a brand for a free stay
Hi [THEIR NAME],
Thanks for taking the time to read my email. I'm a blogger and run the popular travel blog [LINK TO YOUR CONTENT]. I'm currently planning a trip to [LOCATION] on [DATE]. I'm looking to partner with a local hotel during my stay and thought yours would be great.
I first found your hotel through [BACKGROUND] and know that my blog readers would love to see [ENTER SPECIFIC ABOUT WHY THIS HOTEL AND HOW IT MATCHES YOUR AUDIENCE'S TASTE.]
My blog generates [STATS] readers per month and my Instagram has over [number] or followers and an engagement rate of X%.
If you'd like to collaborate together then in return for a complimentary stay, I'd be happy to have a solo review post on my blog as well as feature you in three Instagram photos and regular story updates during my stay.
I'd also like to offer you free access to use the content and images within your own marketing material, whether that be for press releases, or public relations content.
Look forward to hearing back from you.
Pitching for product collaboration
Hi [THEIR NAME],
I’ve used [THEIR PRODUCT] religiously for over 3 years and it has helped me [Benefit].
I regularly post about your brand on my social channels [LINK] and people often ask questions about [SPECIFIC PRODUCT].
In the past, I've worked with a brand like X, Y and Z and due to my 100000 followers and 6% engagement rate, we were able to see a 65% increase in sales [ADD YOUR OWN DATA].
I would love to work with you on promoting [SPECIFIC PRODUCT] and would love to hear your collaboration ideas.
Pitching a brand to start a relationship
'Hi [THEIR NAME],
I'm just reaching out to say that I absolutely love [brand] and have been using them FOR [TIME FRAME]. One of my favurite product's is [SPECIFIC PRODUCT] because [REASON].
I would love to meet up to hear more about what the brand has in store and potentially see if there are any ways to get involved by promoting your products on my social channels [LINK]
Be prepared yo negotiate
By now you should have already worked out how much you should charge for a sponsored post. You should have this in mind when you go ahead and pitch your brands, however also be prepared to negotiate. Consider how much time and effort will need to go into the particular collaboration, what the relationship with the brand is worth, and to what extent your collaboration will help achieve the brands business goals.
Get started now
For some influencers, finding the right brands to partner with is time consuming. Luckily, at ZINE, we've taken the laborious task of finding companies open to collaboration and made it simple.
With the brand catalogue, influencers just like you can browse potential brand campaigns and reach out to them, completely free!
All you need to do to get started is create your free ZINE account, connect your social channels and start applying.
I'm Head of Marketing at ZINE where I am helping peers and customers who want to revolutionise their influencer marketing strategy. I love food, fitness and Min Pins.