By Sarah Keli – Kid Magazine
Working with bloggers
In the Mums With Hustle Biz Club I see so much chatter from all you amazing biz mums about working with bloggers. Is it even worth it? How do I find bloggers to work with? Why do they want my product for free? The truth is, that working with bloggers can be a great marketing strategy to employ in your business. Here is why and how to go about it…
The benefit of working with bloggers is that they have an audience, your target market, who listen to what they say. They have built a relationship with their readers and as a result have a degree of influence. By engaging the right bloggers you can drive awareness of your brand and gain new customers.
While most don’t have a physical product or service to sell (although some do in the form of a course or eBook etc.), a bloggers product is their words, their blog and the relationship they have with their audience. They spend a lot of time on polishing and perfecting it, just as you do with your product!
What’s with the free stuff?
I am often approached by brands to send me free product. Who doesn’t love free stuff? I can tell you who doesn’t – my bank manager. The guy just refuses to accept samples and pretty product as mortgage repayments. So while free product is one of the perks of being a blogger, there are limits to how it can work effectively for both parties.
Every blogger will work differently, but likely when you approach a blogger about promoting you; expect to receive an email in return with their media kit. As a general rule, if you are sending free product to a blogger, unless you agree otherwise prior to sending, there is no expectation that the blogger will post about your product. It is taking a gamble, which in many cases does pay off, especially as many bloggers are conscious of the limited budgets of smaller biz mums!
If on the other hand, you are approached by a blogger asking for free product, then you should expect that you will receive promotion in exchange. Make sure this is agreed to in writing before sending the product! You aren’t obliged to send product or offer a discount so make sure you weigh up whether they are the right fit for you before going ahead.
Finding the right blogger
There are thousands of bloggers out there and not everyone will be the right one for you. To find the right ones you need to research. Hit up Catablog, Blog Chicks or Blogger Connect to find bloggers in the niche you work in. Start making a shortlist of bloggers who appeal to you and head to their blogs and social media pages.
Do the core messages of their blog align with your brand values? How engaged are they with their audience on social media? Where are their followers located (e.g. if you only ship within Australia, a blogger with a heavily US based audience won’t suit)? Do you like their style of imagery and writing?
Depending on the size of their blog, a blogger can receive hundreds of pitches from PR companies and small business each week. To stand out, go to them with a pitch and a call to action so that you can make it easier for them to say yes. The absolute worst email you could ever send to me would read like this:
“Hi Sara, I make super cute baby products and think you would love them. Check out my website and let me know what you think.”
Unfortunately I don’t have time to be checking out brands to see how they might fit with my blog. It is your job to tell me, and show me, how awesome you are!
Steps to nailing your pitch
- Show that you know the blog. Have a good dig around to see what they are all about and show them that you are really keen to work with them.
- Be very specific. Are you asking the blogger if you can send them a product in exchange for an Instagram post? Are you after their media kit to look into advertising options? Are you looking at contra promotions only as you have zero budget for advertising? Are you offering to write a guest post on a specific topic? Are you interested in being included in a regular feature they run on their blog? Tell them exactly what it is that you want.
- Include information and images so they can check you out without clicking away from the email. If I like your pitch, I will probably click a link but then I will get distracted and all of a sudden your pitch is buried in my inbox. You can keep your email fairly brief with a press release or brand info pack attached for further information if they are interested.
- Before you make contact with the blogger, engage with them on social media or comment on their blog. Just as you are warmer towards potential brand reps who engage with you, a blogger might be more likely to open your email if they recognise your name.
- Don’t be disheartened if they say no. You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea and there could be any number of reasons why you get the no. Remember that there are plenty more bloggers in the sea!
Bloggers really are a friendly bunch so don’t be intimidated to reach out. They are real people with messy kitchens, kids who don’t sleep and hustling to make their dreams come true, just like you.
Sara Keli is the Editor and Chief Kid at Kid Magazine, a blog and digital magazine for mums who like style, pretty things and looking after themselves and their families. She is a mum of one (plus one on the way) and when she isn’t blogging or connecting with other mums in business, loves nothing more than spending time in the sunshine with her family. You can find Sara on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.
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