By Kristina Petrick
Ready to up your fashion blogging game by adding big brands to your portfolio? Here are 7 need-to-know tips that will help you break the ice with retail's big players.
The good news is, it's probably much more attainable than you think. But if you want to get there, you'll need to follow some general rules in order to catch the eyes of big brands and maintain those relationships. Here are some tips on how to get contracts that last throughout your fashion-blogging career.
Be Consistent. Big brands do one one thing really, really well: they have a strong identity. Whether they've partnered with a PR agency for influencer placement or they manage their marketing in-house, they're going to have specific requirements for the look, feel, and lifestyle of the fashion bloggers that best fit their bill. In order for you to get a placement, you need to consider yourself as a brand, too. Posting without direction leaves followers and brands confused about who you are. Know who you are, who your target demographic is and stick to it. Brands which have a similar target market will be enthusiastic to work with you as long as your messaging is aligned. As a bonus, if your branding aligns, the brand which be that much more inclined to repost you, giving you extra exposure.
Be Professional. I've had several brands comment on how much they appreciate working with a professional. Want to engage big brands? Don't make the mistake of not taking your blog seriously. Big brands are businesses and they don't have time to waste. Choose your words carefully with every method of communication you deploy. Avoid long emails. Stick to the point. Be honest and straightforward. Double-check your grammar and spelling before hitting 'send.' Avoid all slang and abbreviations. If you're working in a business atmosphere, you already know the basics. Remember that your blog is a business and you should treat it accordingly.
Communicate Promptly. Keep in mind that while you may blog part-time, the PR agent or marketing professional working on behalf of your ideal brand partner is likely working 9-to-5. That means a day is like a lifetime for them when it comes to timely communication. Respond to your emails and phone calls at least once a day. You don't want to leave them hanging or worse, moving onto a more responsive influencer.
Understand Goals and Parameters. Before you commit to an engagement, make sure you understand the goals and parameters of the campaign. Understanding a brand’s needs and objectives will help you to better craft media designed to specifically meet their needs. I recently worked with AllSaints on their #BikerPortraits influencer campaign. By diving into their pre-existing marketing materials and learning more about the free, rebel spirit behind their leather Moto jackets, I was able to adopt those characteristics into the photography and styling which also worked into my own blog aesthetics. If you go out of your way to help them your brand with their goals, the good karma will come back around. And trust me, they remember. As a last note, be sure to carefully read and understand your contract before you sign the agreement.
Meet Your Deadlines. Stick to your commitments. Your new partners have their own deadlines to meet. And a day, hour, or even minute you deliver past the expected deadline can directly affect the outcome of their planned campaign. Respect and honor your word, and get that fab, beautiful post up as soon as you said it would be. If you think you might have some conflicting action closer to your deadline, give yourself a head start to ensure you have enough time. There is no such thing as fashionably late in the world of fashion blogging.
Exceed Expectations. Want to keep working with that dream brand or PR agency that has all the connections you need to launch your fashion blog to the next level? Don’t just meet expectations, exceed them. Did they ask for three shots? Send them five. Finish your work ahead of schedule and go out of your way to make their job easier for them. Be flexible and willing to adapt. Your blog is beautiful. You’ll want to make sure that they see the best side of it. Make sure you put forth all of the time and creativity you can muster into the project. Trust me, you’ll have them coming back for more.
Keep You Doors Open. Did you have a wonderful experience and want to continue working with that big brand or agency? Let them know! Always be personal and thank the individual on the other end for the opportunity. Be sure to communicate that you’d love to be involved in any future campaigns. Returning brands are the best brands, as it gives the blogger and brand the opportunity to grow more and more in sync with each other. Value that relationship and always keep in touch.
Working with big brands is an exciting challenge. And if you’re reading this, that means you’ve taken the first step by doing your research and learning how you can get big brands to work with you and support your blog over time.
Always remember to be yourself.
Know even the most unattainable goals can be reached with hard work and perseverance. I started my travel, lifestyle and fashion blog not so long ago myself, and by following these guidelines I have had the opportunity to work with big brands like AllSaints, Lulu’s, Lucky Brand, Clarks, Elizabeth and James and more.
You can do it too! Keep up the hard work and remember these tips during your next collaborations to develop strong, lasting relationships with the fashion retail brands of your dreams.
Kristina Petrick is the creator of the fashion, travel and lifestyle blog, Day in My Dreams, whose partnerships span the likes of AllSaints, Lucky Brand, Clarks, among others. She pursues adventure with a minimalistic approach to style and easy living which truly shines through her work.