How to offer collaboration to a brand: 10 steps from idea to success
The success of a trendsetter largely depends on whether he or she is able to properly offer collaboration to the brand. Many letters remain unanswered just because the proposal does not correspond to a certain style or the blogger failed to convey his thought correctly. The letter should look like a balanced and succinct business proposal. Based on it, a brand representative decides whether to consider a blogger for cooperation or not.
How to choose a brand for cooperation
First of all, you need to decide who to write to. Your best bet is to find a partner whose services you can genuinely recommend to your subscribers. The most obvious choice is your favorite brands that you have been using for a long time.
You can also refer to any brand that matches your account by belief and target audience. Think about who would be interested in placing ads on your account, and what products would be of interest to your subscribers.
Before writing a partnership proposal, make sure the brand is right for you. To do this, just check a few key points:
- The blog theme is consistent with the brand. For example, on a beauty blog, you can advertise cosmetics and services. Advertisements for products that differ greatly in direction may not look organic.
- Compliance with target audience. To make it interesting for the brand to cooperate with you, and advertising posts do not irritate subscribers, choose brands with which your target audience coincides.
- Similar values. Brands, like influencers, carry certain ideas. And it is important that they match, otherwise the promotion may turn out to be a failure or even a scandal.
The algorithm of actions should be something like this:
- Take a close look at the brand’s social media page.
- Think about what formats of cooperation you can offer.
- Create a unique offer that is brand-conscious and consistent with your blogging guidelines.
The advertiser’s contact information can usually be found on the official website or social media profile. If such information could not be found, you can attract attention with tags mentioning the brand, or write in Direct.
How to partner with your favorite brand
Brands are always interested in interesting cooperation. Meanwhile, 95% of all suggestions go to the basket even before they are read to the end. The reason is the incorrect composition of the letter.
In modern realities, it is very important to be able to correctly express your thoughts online, especially if you are trying to advance, enter into partnerships with brands and establish yourself as a guru in your field. Therefore, we have compiled a universal instruction on how to properly offer a partnership.
Step 1: Prepare your account
An opinion leader must have a perfect page a priori. Make sure your page matches this statement:
- The account has a properly selected bright avatar.
- Completed BIO, from which it is immediately clear what the blog is.
- The page has high-quality, interesting content, designed in the same style.
- Hashtags are used correctly.
- The publications are coming out regularly and they are varied.
- Your account already has followers interested in the content.
Before proposing cooperation, be sure to tidy up your profile. Then the brand at first glance will have the impression that you are truly a professional in your field.
Step 2: Check subscriber quality and engagement
Brands pay attention not only to external components, but also to numbers. Take a look at your profile from the side. To do this, you can use the trendHERO service. It provides over 90 account analytics metrics that brands look at when planning a collaboration with a blogger.
The most important thing brands will pay attention to is the engagement rate. Smart SMMs have known for a long time that it is not the number of subscribers that matters, but their quality and activity. Accounts with a “dead” audience have long been of no interest to anyone.
With trendHERO you can also check your page for bots and inactive followers. If necessary, you need to cleanse them. With the same service, you will receive statistical data about your subscribers, their interests, location, age, gender. This will help you understand who might be interested in working with you, and succinctly formulate your proposal.
Step 3: Stick to Your Theme
Of course, there are influencers who position their blogs as a lifestyle. That is, in them you can find everything about everything. These profiles are also popular with brands. But if a blogger has a single topic that he writes about all the time, and this topic is related to the brand, then such cooperation is doubly attractive.
Find your topic and work in it. Write about what you do best, find your thing, and stick with it.
Step 4: Write!
Write first or wait to be noticed? Write! There is nothing wrong with being the first to write and offer collaboration. But you need to do it wisely. Remember that the word “collaboration” means working together for good. Meanwhile, the vast majority of proposals include only praise for the blogger, and what he wants to get from cooperation.
Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t work out. You may fail and get rejected for reasons beyond your control. But if your proposal was written correctly, you can at least be sure that you will be heard to the end. Make sure you try again and leave a good impression of you.
How to write a cooperation offer
It is important to write a proposal for cooperation in such a way as to really interest the brand. In this matter, several rules can be distinguished, which can be conditionally called the “Rules of the Five Cs”.
1. Text structure
It is considered optimal that the entire offer of cooperation fits into 1 message in Direct, if the correspondence is conducted on Instagram. At the same time, it must necessarily include the following points:
- A short story about myself. You don’t have to make up long canvases of self-praise. Just summarize what your blog is about.
- The essence of the proposal. Describe exactly what you are offering. In this case, first of all, try to interest the interlocutor by telling what he can get from cooperation. Only then specify what you would like to receive in return.
- End. Say goodbye, wish you a good day. You can clarify that it is important for you to receive an answer, even if it is a refusal.
Do not forget about good manners. Show respect for the person you are talking to and their time. Try to summarize your thoughts and what you want as succinctly as possible. Be sure to include a link to the account in question.
Don’t use abbreviations. Messages in the style of “Barter for advertising” are not conducive to communication, unpleasant and ineffective. If you do not have time, or you are tired, then it is better to postpone writing a message.
Don’t use the same message for all brands. SMMs communicate with each other and quickly find out that you are “exclusive” collaborating with dozens of brands. It is better to choose several companies that you would really like to work with, and for each compose a letter taking into account its peculiarities.
Use emoji in moderation and do not replace words with them.
Example: “Hello, Margarita. My name is Anna, and I am developing an insta blog dedicated to tourism – (link). I would like to offer you cooperation on mutually beneficial terms. For example, you can run a joint marathon / competition, post a post indicating your brand. In return, you can provide me with examples of your products or a discount on products for my subscribers.
Please tell me, is this format of cooperation interesting to you?
Thanks in advance for your reply. Have a nice day!? ️ “.
Step 5: Negotiate
Naturally, one letter will not be enough to agree on cooperation. If you received an interested response, please describe in detail what you offer the brand and what you want in return. This will help close many important questions at the start.
Be sure to specify:
- What ad formats can you offer.
- When can you advertise.
- In what order will the approval take place.
- What exactly do you want in return.
Be open to dialogue. It is likely that the brand already has its own model of working with influencers, or they will want to offer you another more interesting cooperation.
Step 6: Show statistics
It is important for a company to know who your subscribers are – their gender, age, city. Be sure to show your brand your trendHERO account stats, as no one likes to buy a pig in a poke.
A brand can view your statistics itself, but your openness will add +100 to your karma.
Step 7: Sign the contract
Today, most companies seek to conclude a formal agreement with an influencer, which would guarantee that advertising will be carried out taking into account all the agreed nuances. For a blogger, an official contract is a guarantee that he will receive payment for his work. Moreover, you can sign an agreement online.
If you decide to do without a contract, then at least there should be correspondence between you and the brand, in which the requirements and responsibilities of both parties will be clearly spelled out. In this case, if any incomprehensible situation arises, you can refer to the correspondence and point out inconsistencies.
Step 8: Prepare your content
Today, most companies are committed to creative collaboration. The “post-gift” format is already pretty boring. Therefore, do not be afraid to include a creative and offer a non-standard ad format.
Please note that there are brands that require the post to be consistent. If you do not want to agree on a post, then at the time of negotiations, inform the brand about it. When agreeing, you do not need to try in every possible way to please the brand, agreeing to all edits. Don’t turn your post into a press release as it won’t benefit you or the company.
If you have any disagreements, try to politely explain that you know your subscribers and what content they like, and come to a compromise.
Step 9: Stay Connected
Imagine that somewhere in the other end of the country there is an SMM-person who is waiting and will not wait for a response from you. His management is tugging at him, threatening him with a fine, but you simply do not answer, believing that he can wait.
Don’t forget about normal human relationships. Try to make cooperation with you as comfortable as possible and make adjustments in a timely manner.
Step 10: Get Feedback
Many opinion leaders do not care about the result. I posted a post, got a fee, and that’s it. But being a trendsetter is a profession. And in order to achieve professionalism in it, it is important to get feedback.
Feedback can be a good impetus for improving the quality of work, as well as show the brand that you are really interested in the result and are a professional in your field.
Checklist: can I write to brands already?
Marketers know that one post from a good influencer can provide many times more contacts with the target audience than advertising on TV. Therefore, they are always interested in productive collaboration with influencers. At the same time, brands are not ready to enter into a partnership agreement with every blogger.
Before you start collaborating with brands, make sure you meet the minimum requirements for a good blogger:
- Your account already has several thousand regular readers who are active. You don’t have to have a multi-million dollar audience. Today brands are ready to collaborate with influencers who have over 1000 subscribers.
- Your account contains who you are and what your blog is about. First of all, the brand’s CMM manager will go to your page, and based on what is indicated on it, he will make the first impression of your adequacy, literacy, experience.
- You have been blogging for several months. It is not recommended to run ads earlier than half a year after the page was created. First you need to build a loyal audience and train your subscribers to receive high-quality expert content from you, and only then add ads.
- You know exactly on what terms you are ready to cooperate. If you yourself do not know what you want, whether you need photos or publish only your own, how much time you need, then it will be difficult for the brand to work with you.
- Analyze your posts. Make sure that the blog topic matches at least a third of all posts, you have a unique style developed, and you have a good visual design.
- There are no slippery topics in your profile. Provocative posts about politics, religion, medicine, minorities can scare off brand representatives, who, among other things, also take into account reputational risks.
- Check your stats. Knowing your statistics and target audience demographics will help you in negotiations with brand representatives, as well as in drawing up a content plan, and promoting an account.
- Make sure you have a high engagement rate. This is one of the key parameters that a brand pays attention to when choosing a blogger. If your engagement rate is not satisfactory, work on it.
Brand partnerships are always built individually. Sometimes, bloggers with a million audience also receive rejections, and micro-influencers sign lucrative contracts. But in any case, it is important that your account looks attractive to both readers and advertisers.
Tips and tricks
For both the blogger and the brand, the conclusion of cooperation is a long and laborious process. First of all, it is important to remember that there is a living person on the other side of the screen, and not a faceless company. Therefore, in communication, it is worth adhering to the elementary rules of politeness. Respect your and other people’s time. Be brief, to the point, and only during business hours.
Each brand has its own criteria by which they select bloggers for collaboration. You don’t have to match all of them. But there are some aspects that every influencer should definitely pay attention to:
- Advertise selectively. You should not chase the momentary profit, clutching at cooperation with everyone. So, you might miss out on getting an offer from a really worthwhile brand.
- Be honest with your brand and your audience. Brands do not forgive cheating likes and comments, and subscribers do not forgive false information.
- Work on the brief. Try to discuss all the nuances in advance and do not deviate from the agreed conditions. Otherwise, you will create the impression of at least an inexperienced blogger.
- Work on bugs. If the brand is dissatisfied with the collaboration, try to find out what is the reason, analyze where the mistakes were made and how they can be corrected.
- Strive for quality, not quantity. Today, no one cares how many subscribers are on the account. What matters is how active and loyal they are. Work with your audience, build relationships, build your reputation as an expert.
Collaboration with bloggers today plays an important role in the marketing strategy of any company. But it is obvious that a self-respecting brand will not partner with just anyone, risking its own reputation. Brands choose influencers responsibly. And in the same way, a blogger should approach the preparation of a proposal for cooperation responsibly. Even if adhering to all the rules does not guarantee success, you will be able to express yourself to the brand. And, perhaps, in the near future he will choose you for further cooperation.