AD | GIFTED 🌼 Happy Easter Sunday Instagram! I’m going to be spending the day with family at a BBQ, eating ALL the cake and chocolate. I. Cannot. Bloody. Wait. 🍫❤️
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Also, can you believe this photo was taken on my phone? I’m so pleased with how all of my festival shots turned out, even if I am still washing glitter out of my hair a week later 😂✨
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I also want to point out that no flowers were harmed during the shoot, as we stuck to the tracks that had been made by the tractors for harvesting the rapeseed 🌼 .
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❤️ Dress gifted by @prettylittlething
❤️ Kimono gifted by @prettylittlething
✨ Glitter bought from @primark #festival #festivallook #festivalslooks #festivalfashion #festivalootd #festivalsideas #festivalmakeup #plussizefestivalfashion

AD | GIFTED 🌼 Happy...

AD | GIFTED 💙 So far today I have managed to try baking a cake without turning the oven on, put beef in the slow cooker without plugging it in (at least five hours ago) and have rubbed my eyes after cutting hot chilli peppers. At least bad things only come in threes right? I think it might be time to give up and relax with all of my Easter chocolate 😂🍫
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On a completely different note, how gorgeous is the dress from @joanieclothing? It’s perfect for this incredible heatwave we’re having - especially with a pair of chub rub shorts underneath. The plus size holy grail 🙌🏻 #joaniegal #joaniegals #psfashion #psblogger #psbloggers

AD | GIFTED 💙 So...

Bosnia is one of those countries that really surprised me when I visited. I knew Mostar would be beautiful, but as were driven from Croatia and through Bosnia, I couldn’t take my eyes off the road the entire time. From the stunning mountains to fascinating fruit farms, it definitely made the long drive (and multiple border control stops) worth it ❤️🇧🇦
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Although I only spent a couple of hours in Bosnia and Mostar, I definitely want to go back to explore more of this beautiful country. ✈️
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What country surprised you the most?
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#bosnia #visitbosnia #mostar #bosniaandherzegovina #visitmostar

Bosnia is one of those...

After a very late night waiting to watch Game of Thrones, I’ve definitely had a slow start this morning - I can’tbelieve there are only five episodes left! I’m really not ready for some of my favourites to die🐺⚔️❄️
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If you watch, who do you think will end up the Iron Throne? 👑 #got #gameofthrones #winteriscoming #forthewatch #allmenmustdie

After a very late night...

AD | GIFTED 🌼 Don’t mind me, just pretending I’m at Coachella this weekend instead of working ✌🏻
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Festival season is well and truly underway and I’m loving all of the out there outfits already. In the past I’ve always been put off dressing up for festivals as I thought I wouldn’t find anything that’s both comfortable and fashionable in my size, but this year I’m spoilt for choice (especially on the @prettylittlething @prettylittlethingplus website 👏🏻)
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P.S. I think this is my *favourite* photo of me ever 🙌🏻
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❤️ Dress gifted from Pretty Little Thing
❤️ Shoes gifted from Pretty Little Thing ❤️ Headband bought from @primark #plussizefashion #psbloggers #plussizebloggers #plussizefestivalfashion #festivalfashion #festivallook

AD | GIFTED 🌼 Don’t...

I’ve been a little quiet over on my main feed over the last few days as I was busy launching my latest project, the I Travel Too movement. 👏🏻💪🏻
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Imagine flicking through a brochure or scrolling through a website and seeing only straight sized people. As someone with body confidence issues, it’s hard not to feel as though you’re going stick out like a sore thumb throughout your entire holiday. You won’t want to go to the pool, you’ll feel self-conscious on excursions and a night out would feel like a nightmare. Personally I felt have felt all of these things, and more, when travelling.
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This movement is designed to change that.
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A couple of months ago I did research into the travel industry to find out just how inclusive their marketing efforts are when it comes to plus size representation.  I looked at their websites, brochures, videos and social media channels.
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The results, as expected, showed that travel appears to be strictly for slim, white, happy people.
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In fact, 95% of materials I researched include NO plus size people at all.
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I knew that as just one person I couldn’t make the waves I wanted to. and that’s where I came up with the I Travel Too movement.
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I knew there were people out there just like me, loving life, living to their full potential and travelling the world.
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Following the original post, further research showed that 35% of people travelling consider themselves to be plus-size, so I came up with the campaign  to show brands that they’re alienating a large portion of their target audience by excluding us from their marketing materials. We’re just as happy, just as fun and just as amazing as anyone else.
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Head over to IGTV to see the campaign video ❤️🎥 #plussizetraveltoo

I’ve been a little quiet...

AD | GIFTED ⚡️ Another day, another door. I think if I don’t stop finding doors to pose in front of I’m going to have to rename my account to kirstyleanneanddoors, as it’s definitely getting out of hand now 🤦🏼‍♀️
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As this has been the first travel picture I’ve posted in a while, I wanted to let you all know that I have something VERY VERY exciting coming soon. Whilst a few of you already know what it is as you’re involved,  I’m hoping it’s something that is really going kick start the conversations needed to push the plus size travel movement forward. It’s taken MONTHS of preparation, but it will finally be coming this Friday. This is your 3 day countdown klaxon! I’m so bloody excited/nervous 1️⃣2️⃣3️⃣
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❤️ Dress gifted by @hellbunnyofficial #plussizefashion #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltoo #plussize #psbloggers

AD | GIFTED ⚡️ Another...

Do you ever get those days where all you want to do is lie by the pool in the sunshine? If only I lived in a hot country ☀️💙🌵
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I used to hate hot weather countries as I worried that as a plus size person, I would really struggle to cool myself down. No matter what I wore I’d always feel as though I was 100x hotter than everyone else, even though they were probably suffering too. Luckily, I think I’ve *finally* worked out some of the best ways to stay cool, just in time for my trip to the states next month. Good timing too, as APPARENTLY it’s going to be around 30 degrees by the time we reach Florida 😯☀️ #cactus #cactai #cactusinstagram #cactuslovers #cactusflower #instacactus #cactusporn

Do you ever get those...

AD | GIFTED ✨ Okay, okay, I know it’s not Sunday yet but after the week I’ve had I REALLY wish it was. While attempting to redo my theme I managed to break my blog TWICE - it was so bad I actually thought I’d lost my blog forever. Thankfully it’s back now and after I few more tweaks I may even have a new layout I love. Bear with me though, I’m not sure I have the patience to edit each post separately just yet 🤷🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️
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❤️ Jumper gifted from @fashionworlduk
❤️ Skirt gifted from @fashionworlduk
❤️ Vans gifted from @fashionworlduk
❤️ Bag bought from @primark
#plussize #plussizeblog #plussizebloggers #psbloggers #psfashion #plussizefashion

AD | GIFTED ✨ Okay,...

AD | GIFTED 🌸 Is anyone else loving this warm weather? Despite all of the hail we’ve had today the last few days have been glorious and I could definitely get used to it. As much as I struggle in the heat, I think I’d much rather be hot than cold (can always jump in the pool that way) ☀️
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Would you rather be hot or cold? ❄️☀️
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❤️ Sunglasses gifted from @mvmtforher use code KIRSTYLEANNE15 for 15% off
❤️ Plain White Tee from @primark #mvmt #mvmtforher #mvmtsunglasses #fashionblogger #fbloggers

AD | GIFTED 🌸 Is...

The Ultimate Guide to Pitching Collaborations to Brands as A Blogger | Blogging Tips

If you’re thinking of pitching collaborations to brands as a blogger, you’re in the right place. With almost five years of experience pitching to brands and after speaking regularly on the topic at events, I thought I’d put together a bumper guide on everything you need to do to gain your dream collaborations. 


This post is something I regularly come back and update as I develop my pitching strategy and my relationship with my blog and brands.  As we’re in an industry that is constantly changing it’s important you adapt your strategy too.

Reaching out to Brands and Agencies

My history reaching out to brands

I’m not going to go into too much detail here as I have spoken about this in a previous post, however, I started reaching out to brands when I planned my first ever event in the West Midlands.

When I realised how beneficial it was I tried reaching out to brands solely for my personal blog and it is safe to say that I got addicted to contacting them. At one point I think I was emailing up to 200 a week, causing me to have a massive backlog of products to review and no motivation to do them as I was under SO MUCH pressure.

In the end, it all got too much and I stopped blogging completely. I wasn’t enjoying it anymore so I ended up taking a three-month break.

I came back refreshed, with a new self-hosted website and a new attitude towards blogging. 

Now I only reach out to brands that I know I can work with in a mutually beneficial way, even if that means only reaching out to one brand every few months. Quality over quantity is so important.

I  really want people to be able to learn from my mistakes and know that being selective about who you work with is the key thing you should take away from this post. 

Pinit

What are the benefits of reaching out?

? You have a shot at working with the brands you love

? You can discover new favourites

? You learn valuable sales skills – pitching, selling, closing and even cold emailing! All good skills to add to your CV too.

? It can help build your confidence in blogging

? It will help you create some amazing content for your blog, Instagram and YouTube

? You can build strong relationships with brands and PRs for future collaborations

? It’s a stepping stone to blogging as a career

Who should be contacting brands?

There is no written rule on who can and can’t reach out to brands when blogging, and there is nothing to say someone that has just started their blog can’t contact anyone. It is important to remember, though, that it helps to be able to show the following things:

? What you have already written in a similar niche

? Your writing and photography style

? What YOU can offer THEM

The week before my workshop I asked Twitter a few questions about reaching out to brands, including “What puts you off contacting brands?” 18% of people said it’s because they don’t have anything to offer.

So, I gave a few examples of things bloggers could offer brands, including DA score, social following, SEO knowledge, photography skills, well-written content or writing on a niche topic.

Media Kits

More often than not ‘what you can offer’ will be referred to something like a media kit – a PDF document detailing your strengths as an influencer. It shows your social stats, your blog stats, your niche, brands you have worked with and anything else you think is relevant.

Although I loved having a media kit and it was requested by PRs often, I have now decided to move mine to a ‘work with me’ page on my blog.

This is several different reasons, but to cut it short it means that who I ever I send it too can easily click to anywhere else on my blog. There are lots of different things going on in my sidebar and footer, which means the right people are so much more likely to go exploring if they’re already on your site.

 

Where do you find contacts and opportunities?

The main way I reach out to brands is via email, so when looking for a brand’s PR and Marketing contact there are several places you can find the right address.

? Check the company website for their PR and Marketing contact – it’s usually on the ‘Contact Us’ page!

? Try and find out who their PR agency is – usually a quick Google search will do the trick!

? Check the company LinkedIn page and go through the employee list. You might not be able to get their email this way, but you’ll definitely be able to connect to them and pitch that way!

? Failing all of the above – ASK. I do this either by emailing the general contact email on their website or by tweeting them.

Looking for existing opportunities is a great way to make contacts and to get your name out there for future collaborations, so I thought I’d share where I’m currently searching for them.

Facebook

There are so many different Facebook groups for bloggers but the ones I like to find opportunities on are Official UK Bloggers, UK Blogging Opportunities and #TheGirlGang.

There’s also an AMAZING support group for reaching out to brands called Pitching Motivation for UK Bloggers: How to Connect with Brands. It’s a mixture of people that are experienced when it comes to reaching out to brands as well as those who are looking for a little guidance – well worth a join!

Twitter 

Twitter is an AMAZING place when it comes to searching for upcoming opportunities and I have found that the best way to search for them is to use hashtags. You do have to weed through quite a bit of blog promotion (ugh!) but the ones I search daily are #bloggerswanted, #bloggersrequired, #paidops, #prrequest and #bloggers.

It’s also worth using Twitter as a search engine and searching phrases such as bloggers wanted, bloggers needed, looking for bloggers or bloggers in insert your location here.

Important: When contacting brands I have found it so helpful to keep track of what I am doing. I use a Google Sheet to jot down the brand name, my contact there, their email, what date I reached out to them and the result I got. It can be pretty time consuming but it’s definitely worth it. 

What do you say when reaching out to brands?

Ah yes, the most important bit.

In the Twitter polls, I carried out before my workshop 28% of bloggers said that they don’t reach out to brands because they don’t know to say, so I thought I’d go into detail about what I put in my pitching emails.

When writing an email to a brand I structure it so that it has five main sections.

✏️ ️Section 1 – Hello

This is almost too small to have its own section but it is such an important part of any email. I try to make sure I have the name of who I am contacting so I can start my email strong, but if not don’t worry it isn’t a deal breaker.

✏️️ Section 2 – Introduction 

The first thing you should do is introduce yourself, including your blog. Keep this section short and sweet and remember to include a clickable link to your blog.

✏️️ Section 3 – Talk about the Brand

To show you’re interested in the brand you’re contacting it is important to talk about them. Tell them what you love about them, mention new products you’re excited to see launch or talk about something you saw them post on social media recently. Show them that you have a genuine interest and that you’re not sending one of the generic pitching emails they receive on a daily basis.

If you’re struggling to write this section without it coming across as fake then maybe reconsider if they’re a brand you really want to work with.

✏️️ Section 4 – The pitch

There are two ways you can approach the ‘pitch’ section of your email, depending on whether you have a content idea already of if you don’t.

If you haven’t got a specific idea in mind I find it best to mention that you’re interested in working with them in the future and that you’d love to be put on their blogger/influencer list.

If you do have a content idea in mind that you think the brand would fit perfectly then tell them. Let them know how they’ll fit into it and how it could benefit them. I also give details on when it’s due to go live and how I am going to distribute it (social media).

Once you have told them why you are emailing, this is when you need to show them what you can offer using the things you listed above.

✏️️ Section 5 – Close

Finish your email off by thanking them for their time and by saying you’d love to hear their thoughts on potential collaborations. I also tend to say that I am open to ideas as they may well have another campaign that you’re suitable for.

What if I don’t get a reply or I get rejected?

44% of bloggers say that they’re scared of rejection when reaching out to brands, so much so it puts them off contacting them at all. However, a different poll showed that 45% of bloggers have 20-50% success when they pitch.

There is hope!

So, when a brand doesn’t reply to you, what should you do?

The simple answer is DON’T WORRY.

I know an acknowledgement would be nice, but sometimes you emails may go into spam or to a gatekeeper who might not even know what a blogger is or what they do. If this is the case I find it helpful to chase but don’t be pushy. Once is enough. 

If a brand gets back to you and they don’t want to collaborate it’s not the end of the world. Remember, you’re not going to be suitable for every brand so try not to let it get you down. 

If you want to improve your blog and pitching skills you could also ask why they don’t want to collaborate. It could be due to budgets, suitability or it simply might not be part of their marketing strategy. It’s always good to ask and find out what you could be working on for future collaborations.

TLDR; Top Tips

✔️ DO only reach out to brands that fit your blog style and niche. There is no point in reaching out to Cat Subscription boxes if you have a dog, is there?

❌ DON’T email a brand with the impression you’re doing them a favour – it’s a mutual agreement. 

✔️ DO try to have an idea of what way you will feature a product, not all brands want a review.

❌ DON’T email everyone. If you get a lot of responses you won’t be able to keep up with the workload.

✔️ DO keep your emails as short and sweet as you can.

❌ DON’T let a negative response get you down.

✔️ DO vary your contact schedule. Don’t contact five breakfast brands in one month, then five snack brands the next as it means your content won’t be varied.

❌ DON’T forget to keep track of who you’re emailing – I made the mistake of emailing a few brands twice when I first started out and it does look unprofessional.

Creating an action plan

If you have managed to make your way through this incredibly long post and would like to put together a mini action plan to help when working towards brand collaborations then that’s amazing! I thought to get you started with this plan I would list a few of the first steps you should be taking:

? Give your blog an audit. Pick out your strengths, weaknesses and where your opportunities are.

? Ask people in the blogging community for some constructive criticism.

? Use the worksheet printable below to write down what you can offer brands – create a media kit if you don’t already have one.

? Think about the type of brands you want to work with and do your research. Have they worked with bloggers before? What could you do differently?

? Draft your emails to the above brands and then wait a day or two before sending. Re-reading what you have written with a fresh pair of eyes can make the world of difference.

? SEND SEND SEND.

Reaching out to Brands: Printable

For anyone interested in the printable that I handed out to everyone that took part in my #BlogConLDN workshop – you can download it here: Working with Brands.

It’s designed for you to write down the dream brands you’d love to work with and the things you can offer them when reaching out.

Remember no brand is too big or too small – I’m now working with a brand I NEVER thought I’d get the chance to write for, let alone meet in person.

Finally, there is a little section for you to create your own personalised action plan from the points mentioned above.  If you need any help with this feel free to drop me a tweet at @kirstyleanneuk.

Thank you to everyone that came along to the talk, it obviously couldn’t have happened without you guys there to cheer me on and ask questions. After my nerves had calmed I had so much fun and I can’t wait to start doing things like this more often if you’ll all have me of course 😉

If you would like to get in touch regarding events or workshops please don’t hesitate to contact me on [email protected] 

XOXO
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1 Comment
  • Jasmine
    April 13, 2017

    Thanks for sharing your tips Kirsty, I wasn’t able to catch your talk at Blog Con so really appreciate your sharing them. I’m in the process of drafting up a media kit and then those brands won’t know what’s hit them ?
    Jaz xoxo
    http://www.thelifeofasocialbutterfly.co.uk

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