I have been working with brands since before I even launched Running in Heels. It told you about my blogging journey in this post, and how I have had a blog since August 2015. However, I wasn’t sure what it was going to turn into for a while, so I just posted anything and everything. As I was figuring my focus out, I stumbled upon a site that allowed you to apply for campaigns. To my surprise, with my 500 Instagram followers, I was accepted! Since then a month has not gone by without a partnership, so get started early and learn how to work with brands as a new blogger!
Why You Need to Work with Brands as a New Blogger
Of course everyone wants free products and clothes, but aside from the fun part there is a real reason you should consider partnering with brands right as you start blogging. Brands want to see a media kit, which is basically your resume for blogging. They want to know that you understand how partnerships work and know how you handle promoting products. Its like searching for a job, unfortunately, everyone wants you to already have 5 years of experience for an entry-level position. While the job thing has always mystified me, I do have some workarounds and solutions for how you can work with brands as a new blogger.
How to Work with Brands as a New Blogger
First, don’t set your sights too high. I love Nordstrom too, but take a look at who these companies are working with. If they have hundreds of thousands of followers and you have 500, it’s not going to happen. (Not yet, at least!)
I got started by signing up for a couple of Influencer networks. All of my first partnerships were through BrandBacker, and I still use it occasionally. This is a really great network for Beauty Bloggers! Another network I got started with early on was Influenster. At first they send you sample sizes of products, but as you grow, so do your products!
Another way to work with companies is to reach out to local stores or boutiques. If you don’t have many followers a lot of people will turn you down even if you’re just asking for free product, however there is another option. If you’re looking to build your media kit, you can always go to local boutiques and request to borrow their clothes to shoot in! Many wouldn’t say no to free publicity, and when you do get big, you’ve got a partner for a long time!
Finally, be honest. Don’t tell everyone you’ve been using a product for years if you tried it for the first time last week. With beauty products, take your time to actually try the product. The company will want you to actually see the effects and be honest about them. Just be fair, don’t take a month unless it actually requires that much time to take effect like this post, and give them a timeline when they can expect your posts.