Seattle Style Summit 2017 (Part I): 3 Ways Fashion Bloggers Can Land Sponsorships
On Saturday, I attended Gossip & Glamour's Style Summit that was hosted by it's lovely founder Sydney Mintle. The event location was gorgeous at The Thompson Hotel in Downtown Seattle, where we networked, heard from panelists, and mingled some more at the after party at The Nest. Throughout the event we listened to two panels that discussed strategies for working with fashion brands and launching a business after a blog.
Every blogger's dream is to collaborate with their dream brand and create valuable content for their readers. A few of my favorite minimal fashion brands are Oak + Fort, Everlane, Hack To Design, Lauren Winter Co., and Persephone Vintage. The thought of the right brand collaboration gives me the type goosebumps you get when you're about to purchase something on your wishlist and it's 50% off. Score!
3 Ways to Land Brand Deals and Sponsorships
The first panel outlined specific strategies of how to reach out to brands, ideal partnerships, and of course money. Y'all, I took 7 pages of notes in my bullet journal and I want to share 5 major tips for fashion bloggers to work with brands.
1) Do Research to Find Your Brand Twin
Find similar brands that align with your blog's niche. If you blog or create videos about luxury and high-end fashion then you'll want to connect with brands that target the same audience. Also, it's vital to understand that brand's mission. Keep in mind the both of you are looking for a good-fit. Once you find your brand twin then maintain that relationship.
Tip: Make a list of all the brands you love and actually support ($$$). Then tag them on Instagram so they know you love them.
2) E-mail, DM, and Show Up
Now that you've created a list, you have to actually talk to them. Terrifying, I know. I'm actually in this boat myself right now. However, the panelists gave great tips on how to communicate with big brands:
- E-mail: Yes, brands actually read all of your e-mails! They are typically sent to their PR department. So, make sure that your grammar is on-point. Don't waste their time by sending them your template and misspelling their name. They notice EVERYTHING. Keep it concise, relevant, and state why you'd be a good fit.
Tip: When sending brands your media kit, pitch in reverse. Send brands your collaboration idea/goal then support that with how you plan to create that. Don't be afraid to ask questions to gain clarity.
- DM: Sometimes, DM-ing is okay. It's a fast way for not only you to connect with brands, but they can instantly check out your Instagram feed. While your on Instagram, use that to your advantage! Tag those retailers and stores in your pictures so they can see your consistent support. Yes, they actually see all of your tags.
Tip: Even if it's in the DM keep it professional. Share one of your pictures that highlight's their product and has good engagement. It's important for them to see you doing the work before they actually work with you.
- 'You're Invited!' Actually Means 'Please Be In Attendance'
Something I didn't know is that brands want to meet you in- person. I'm such an introvert that this can be more intimidating than writing an e-mail to a huge brand. But relationships are so key. You need to meet the people behind the brand to establish a work relationship. Again, you are in a relationship with this brand and it's important to talk to your twin!
Tip: Find events going on in your local area and actually show up to them. It's a great way to meet the PR Directors in-person and bring awareness to their store. Since corporate offices sees these posts, it's a win for the both of you!
3) Conversion: Make that Money, Honey
After you've landed the brand deal, it's important to keep your end of the bargain to seal the deal. Your job is to tell a captivating story about the brand's latest collection to your readers. So, you need to sell it...literally. Conversion is important and brands are tracking. Hence, that's why you need to list your UVM, ROI, and CRM in your media kit. Unfortunately, numbers do matter but brands are aware that someone may hear about a product from you and buy it 2 weeks later. Just be conscious and have open communication with brands.
Tip: Brands want to see a unique idea that's different from typical brand collaborations. Also, if you pitch the idea and if you don't get it then do not freak out! The timing could not be a good fit for their content calendar. Keep in mind, brands often plan their entire year out. Therefore, you need to be flexible. Maintain your relationship and continue posting content about them!
Have you landed a brand collaboration? What are some tricks you've heard of or use?