Written by Sarah Pollack-Boyd, Founder, Simply Stylist
Blogging is a fairly new phenomenon and many fashion brands are still learning how to effectively work with bloggers. Most often, these are everyday girls with great style. They are not top editors or celebrities who have slowly built their way up and expect to being showered with gifts and lavish trips. Fashion bloggers must be pitched differently. Generally speaking, editors prefer more traditional methods such as press releases and media alerts. Most bloggers that I’ve worked with tend to like being approached in a more casual way, almost as a friend. The strongest relationships I have all grew organically. It may start with a cup of coffee or a chance meeting at an event, which turns into wearing my clients clothing, attending an event of mine or speaking on a Simply Stylist panel.
If a fashion blogger genuinely enjoys the brand or publicist they’re working with and the product fits within their style and demographic, they are much more likely to wear or cover your product. However, as fashion blogging has evolved into very much of a business opportunity, bloggers and brands are looking to partner on a greater scale, and these days, it can take months for the right deal to go through. Also, many bloggers now work with agents who jump in to structure these sort of larger deals. The primary goal of the agent is to negotiate for the best financial deal, which can quickly make budget a primary concern when exploring a partnership. There are many components to structuring a blogger partnership, and here are three such considerations:
Is the product or brand a natural fit for the blogger?
We've all heard about this or that blogger, and we often see the same handful of bloggers working with top fashion brands. However, my first question is to determine if the product I’m pitching is something that fits into a particular blogger's lifestyle. If not, negotiating a partnership will likely be much more costly or not work at all, since bloggers tend to stay true to what they love. Also, find out what other interests or talents a blogger has and look for ways to incorporate those skills or hobbies into your opportunity. The result will be far more authentic and interesting.
What are the time commitments and timelines associated with the project?
Again, partnerships take time, so be sure to allow yourself ample time for planning and any necessary red tape, like legal contracts. Also, research the blogger you wish to approach to get a feel for her routine. Research other brands she may be working with or have worked with and determine if this is a conflict of interest. If this is a partnership that will be very time intensive and your blogger is a full-time student, or currently on a trip to Paris, think twice about reaching out.
How will you measure the success of the partnership?
Fashion bloggers that have a track record of driving sales will help you pitch a particular blogger and related budget to your client. Beyond sales, look at overall influence. It’s great to have 20,000 twitter followers but if no one interacts with what they have to say, it’s better to find a blogger with 5,000 followers with TONS of interaction. Other ways to gauge interaction is the comments on their blog, Instagram comments and followers, Facebook fans, Pinterest followers & repins and other fashion apps such as POSE.
How to Pitch
Once you have determined that a particular blogger is a strong fit, reach out with a compelling pitch. Be extremely clear with your ask, and outline your proposal in the first few sentences.
Dear Anna (make sure you use their name)!
My name is Sarah from AB brand. I’ve been a fan and follower of your blog for years now - I was even inspired to try my hand at a pair of khaki's based on your post a few month's back! I'm writing to gauge your interest in partnering with us for my upcoming campaign.
We'll be hosting a party at our flagship store and debuting a series of short fashion films based on my spring collection. I'm particularly interested in inviting you to help me host the party and to star in one of the films - I know your love for Italy and think you will enjoy the storyline - it's very Sophia-Loren inspired! Your commitment would include:
- Participation in a one-day video shoot - make-up, hair and wardrobe supplied by us
- Attendance of our launch party, from 6-9pm
- Social media support of the shoot and event
- Availability to respond to press interviews related to the campaign
- Blog post announcing the video and information about our new collection
In return we would provide you with:
- Fair compensation
- Wardrobe is yours to keep
- Embed code for the video
- Still shots from the shoot
- Support & links on our social media platforms (include numbers)
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and discussing in more detail. Would you be available for a call next Tuesday at 4:30? Best, Sarah
What are your tips for securing brand/blogger collaborations?