How to Work with Brands as a Content Creator Even With a Small Following

As a content creator and blogger to work with brands you love is not only a great way to earn money, but it’s also a fun way to build relationships, grow your audience and share useful products and content with your followers.

Learn how to work with brands and actually get paid without having thousands and thousands of followers in this complete Guide!

You may be asking, but how do I work with brands successfully?  What are the requirements to do this? These are questions I get asked often and rightfully so.  There is some information out there about how to start collaborations with companies, but most keep theirs a secret.  Here is a step-by-step guide on how to work with brands as a content creator, make money, and position yourself as a pro. 

Grow Your Blog + Engaged Audience

Before you can begin collaborating with brands, you need to grow an engaged audience.  Yes it does give you more leverage if you have a larger audience, but it isn’t always about the numbers.  It is about connecting with your audience and providing valuable content they want to see. Even if you’re still working on growing your audience, you may be appealing to brands if you can show them that your audience is small, but engaged.  This generally means they leave comments on your blog, social media, etc.  

It also helps if YOU are engaged. If a brand clicks over to your Twitter and only sees a list of automated tweets, then it will look like you’re not trying to engage with your audience yourself. Being engaged creates engagement.

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With all that said, in my opinion, you’ll need to have at least 5,000-10,000 pageviews per month on your blog to effectively collaborate with brands. If your pageviews are less than that, you’ll want to work on growing your audience and producing incredible content before trying to monetize your site. 

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Media Kit

Think of a media kit as your resume.  It shares everything a potential sponsor or marketer would need to know about your blog.  A media kit should list a variety of things, such as blog topics, statistics, rate card, and more.  It is crucial that you make a good impression and landing more collaborations.

Make a List of Companies You Want to Work With

An important part of working with brands is to figure out which ones will match your theme and vibe.  You don’t want this collaboration to look too much like an ad. You also want it to be something you are already passionate about, use, and can stand behind. Ideally it should blend into your aesthetic and look authentic. This way, you’re still delivering the great, relevant content that your audience comes to you for, and you’re marketing the brand and their products in the most effective and organic way.

Learn how to work with brands and actually get paid without having thousands and thousands of followers in this complete Guide!

Don’t always go for the big brands.  Sometimes it is easier to work with smaller, or up-and-coming brands that would love the organic exposure that a feature on a blog can offer. I’ve found that these types of companies are easier to partner with because there is less of a chain you need to fight through to find the right person to contact.

Find a Contact

Once you’ve made a list of brands and products you love and fit your style, it’s time to reach out.  One of the most important things you can do when you reach out is to be professional. I recently went to a travel bloggers summit where they repeatedly mentioned they hate getting unprofessional emails.  Stand out above the crowd by being professional; address them by their name; and being through.  

Email Them

Another question that is asked fairly often is what to include in your initial email.  Your initial email is fairly crucial, especially because many brands receive plenty of these types of emails each day.  My best advice is to keep it short, descriptive, and to the point. Don’t add entire paragraphs about your blog or a huge collaboration idea they have to download.  Keep your email to a few sentences. Try this format:

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  1. An introduction of yourself and your blog/blog topics (1-2 sentences).
  2. Why you love the brand or their products (1-2 sentences).
  3. A mention of the fact that you’d like to collaborate and why it would be a great fit (1-2 sentences).
  4. A call to action, such as, “would you like to hear the ideas I’ve thought of?” (1 sentence).
  5. Lastly, you’ll want to share your blog’s media kit with them, too. I recommend uploading it as a Google Doc and linking it in your email somewhere.

Altogether, your email will be about 5-7 sentences. Short and sweet, but enticing and full of good info. Give the brand a week or so to respond.  If not, try sending a followup email. 

Keep in mind that it may take time before you work with brands and find a brand who is interested in collaborating with you. Try not to feel discouraged — companies all have different goals, budgets, and opinions. It’s just a matter of finding the ones that are a great fit. It can be a numbers game.  Send out several emails and keep at it until you’re able to land your first collaboration.

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Learn how to work with brands and actually get paid without having thousands and thousands of followers in this complete Guide!
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