Congratulations on finishing the first 5 steps and the next 5 steps to starting a blog. Now that you’ve gotten your blog and/or social channels up and running and you’ve signed up for various platforms, it’s time to start learning about how to successfully apply for campaigns and how to nail those pitches. Your pitch is your first impression, so it’s more important than you may think. It might seem scary at first, but I promise that over time, it gets so much easier! I’m hoping that my years of mistakes and lessons learned will help you to have a smoother experience. Here are my suggestions to nail your pitches.
Choose Campaigns and Products That Are True to You and Your Brand
One mistake that I see a lot of bloggers and influencers making is that they apply to every single opportunity they find. They don’t care about the product, the pay or the brand. You may think you have a better chance if you apply to more, well… yes and no. While it’s great to apply to a lot in the beginning, you also want to make sure you are applying for the rightcampaigns. Don’t just apply to apply. Ask yourself the following questions first:
- Do you use and love this product?
- Is this a product that fits with your personal brand?
- Do you meet the requirements of the campaign?
If you answered yes to all, then you should consider applying for the campaign. You want to make sure you’re authentic to your followers, or they won’t trust your recommendations, so make sure the product makes sense for both you and your audience. If your kids are grown, don’t post about baby bottles. If you’re a vegetarian, don’t post about a meat product. No amount of money is worth being inauthentic to yourself.
Pay Attention to the Details
This may seem like common sense, but make sure to read the entire brief before applying to any campaign. Are they looking for a certain geographical location? A certain retailer? Can you meet the required deadlines and deliverables? If you can’t provide them what they need, move onto the next opportunity. Make sure you meet all requirements so that you don’t waste your time or the company’s time. You will not be a match for every opportunity and that’s ok. The last thing you want to do is apply for a campaign that you can’t fulfill.
I know it’s hard to be confident in the beginning. No one really starts in this business with true confidence. We are all worried that no one will care what we have to say or we won’t produce content that’s good enough. But what you need to be confident in, is you and your abilities. You know what a hard worker you are. You know the pride you take in the content you create. You know what your time is worth. Hold onto that confidence throughout the pitching process. Don’t sell yourself short.
Be Mindful of a Company’s Competitors
You’ll need to keep track of who you’re working with as most companies don’t want you posting about a competitor for 30 days before or after you post for them (those terms are usually on your contract). You also don’t want to post about one product and talk about how it’s your favorite and then a few days later, post the same type of product. It will confuse your audience and make you look inauthentic. Sure, we all eat different brands of chips or cookies, but we don’t want to post about them all in a short period of time. So keep track and make sure you’re following the competitor rules that each company asks you for.
Study the Aesthetic of the Brand
Before you apply to any campaign, go to the social media pages of the company and get a good sense of the feel of their feeds and photos. Do they prefer light and bright photos or dark and moody photos? Do they prefer images with people or without? Do they tend to post more video than images? You want to be able to provide each company what they’re looking for. If your style is exactly the opposite, you are probably not the best fit. But if you can see your images fit in their feed perfectly, they are more likely to notice it and choose you for the campaign.
Make Sure Your Pitch Makes Sense
Read, read and read some more. Learn about the brand, but more importantly, learn about what they are hoping to accomplish with each campaign. Are they hoping to speak to people about a particular holiday or event? Do they want to provide a solution to an every day issue? Make sure that whatever it is you’re pitching, it goes along with their brand and the purpose for the campaign. You are 10x more likely to get chosen, if they know that your pitch is aligned with their needs.
Learn How to Stand Out
If the company is looking for an idea on how you will advertise their product, they are looking for an idea that they haven’t heard a million times before. They want to hear something new, fresh and exciting. So don’t just pitch the most obvious idea. There are probably tens or even hundreds of other bloggers and influencers who have already pitched that idea. Sit down and really think outside of the box. Come up with two or three ideas and narrow it down to the most creative option. Make sure it flows with your style but also puts the product in the spotlight.
While it’s not always fun to have to change your path, you want to make sure you are providing the company everything that they need, so be flexible. Whether that means switching around your deliverables for them, adjusting the due date, or something more simple like switching to another flavor. If it’s not putting you out, time or money-wise, show the company that you are flexible. They are so much more likely to work with you again in the future. And remember, each campaign is not the end of your relationship with that company. Every campaign is an opportunity for a long-term relationship. So treat your account managers with respect and show them what you can offer them. Word spreads quickly in this industry and you’ll be surprised how many companies will contact you when they hear from another company that you are a pleasure to work with.
Take That No as a Challenge
If you don’t get a particular campaign, don’t get upset. Instead, I want you to use that “no”. Use it to motivate you. Use it to push you to work harder next time. You may have nailed your pitch but you just weren’t the right fit, for whatever reason. Maybe they had more qualified candidates than they had spots available. It doesn’t mean the company didn’t like you and didn’t want to work with you, it just means that it wasn’t the time for you to work together.
Never Give Up
Keep trying. Keep pitching. Keep working on your brand. We can always improve in every area, so never stop working on yourself. Follow along and look at the posts from those that got chosen. What did they do that stood out? Learn from them. If you really want to work with a particular company, keep applying. Make sure you’re following them on social media and take the time to show some love on their feed. And if you want to take it a step further, reach out to them with your brilliant idea and see if there may be an opportunity to work together in the future!
Now that you know how to nail your pitches, next we’ll talk about how to negotiate your rate.