Did you know that you don’t need a 100,000, 50,000 or even 10,000 followers to work with brands? As a microinfluencer I’ve had incredible opportunities to work with some of my favorite brands. I started working with American Eagle Outfitters in 2016 and I worked them again this past holiday season. I’ve worked with Alaska Airlines to promote their Seattle to Pittsburgh flight and BECU to share how to balance student debt with saving. Some of my favorite beauty brands I’ve worked with include Julep, Bobbi Brown, and Smashbox.
As my relationships grow with brands and I work with new brands every month, one question I consistently get from my blogger friends is:
How do you get noticed by brands as a blogger?
I’ve been reflecting on this question these past few months. I’ve been asking myself: why would brands want to work with me? What unique value do I bring to brands and my collaborations? I started working with brands in 2016 when I was at 2,000+ Instagram followers and driving 500 page views per month. I traded blog and Instagram posts for products for the chance to work with small and well established brands. In 2019, I’m around 23,000 Instagram followers with 20,000 page views per month and I’m still working with brands. I’ve learned so much over these past 3 years working with brands.
So today I’ll be sharing what I think has helped me get noticed by brands. I’ll be sharing my blogger perspective on what I think has been critical for helping me land brand campaigns as well as my advice for new bloggers today.
6 Tips to get Noticed by Brands as a Blogger:
Get Noticed by Brands Tip #1: Come for a clear point of view
There’s millions of users of Instagram which means there’s a TON of content being posted and shared on a daily basis. If your goal is to get noticed by brands as an aspiring blogger, you have to figure out how you’re going to stand out.
My biggest piece of advice to clarify your point of view is to start with a mission statement.
If brands see your mission statement in your Instagram or blog bio, they will understand what you do. Brands will also be able to determine if the content you create will be aligned with their goals are for their blogger collaborations.
For instance, if you blog about fashion and beauty, a brand like Ikea may not approach you because they’re looking for content around setting up your living room or kitchen. And on the flip side, sometimes brands want to work with influencers in other categories to access a different audience. I tend to land beauty campaigns as a fashion/lifestyle blogger because beauty brands know that my audience is predominantly female, on the west coast, and I appeal to the modern woman as I balance work/school/and blogging.
My mission statement for Emma’s Edition is to inspire the modern woman with fashion, career, and life tips. I also let brands know that I share the most instagrammable places I find as well as the lessons I’ve learned being a blogger. What’s your mission statement?
Get Noticed by Brands Tip #2: You should already be a fan of the brand
Over the past few years, I’ve learned that brands want to work with you if you’re already wearing or using their products and services. For Alaska Airlines, I let Alaska Airlines know that I’ve been an Alaska Airlines credit card holder since I’ve graduated from college. For American Eagle Outfitters, I worked at AEO in high school/early part of college and started tagging them on Instagram when I launched my blog in 2014.
Brands love it when you’re already sharing what products you use or wear the most. It makes it easier for them reach out to you because they know your audience is used to seeing you talk about their brand and product.
Get Noticed by Brands Tip #3: Authentic Engagement/A Real Audience
Using bots, using comment or engagement pods, and buying followers do NOT result in a real authentic, engaged audience. According to Collectively, anything that inflates real engagement will hurt influencers. There are now online tools that allow brands to see where their engagement is coming from. Brands are able to identify if an influencer’s comments and engagements are coming from the same group of users.
While I used to flip flop on engagement pods, I realize now that an inflated engagement of likes and comments are misleading to what ROI (return on investment) you could bring to a brand. Imagine being at 50,000 followers with 4% engagement rate. A brand is going to expect you to bring a bump of likes/follows/and comments during that campaign. What if you bought half of your following? What if your engagement pod doesn’t actually click on the link in your bio? A brand is going to remember how your content performed for that brand collaboration and may not consider you for future campaigns.
Get Noticed by Brands Tip #4: You create something unique for the brand.
From my personal experience, my passion for writing and taking photos combined with balancing a full time job, full time graduate school load, and blogging puts me in a unique position in the blogging space.
As a graduate student, I can take on campaigns that appeal to my college audience. As a young working professional, I can take campaigns that appeal to new grads and my peers. I’ve embraced my life stage, my career, my education, and blogging journey because it’s where I’m at in life. And I also know there are very few bloggers in a similar position and writing about their journeys in the same way.
For example, in campaign with Smashbox last fall, I talked about how important it was for me to have a quick make up routine because I’m a girl on the go. I use and wear make up on a daily basis – but I keep it very simple because I’m usually rushing from work to class in the evenings.
This campaign worked so well for both me and Smashbox because I didn’t try to be a beauty expert (because I’m not one). I shared how the product genuinely worked for my lifestyle. My audience got to see a brand and a product I loved and Smashbox got to reach a different audience – young women who were either in school or balancing busy work/personal lifestyles.
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Get Noticed by Brands Tip #5: You’re consistently creating great content.
Are you posting on Instagram every day? Are you creating videos or blog posts once a week? How often are you creating new content?
Brands want to know that you can create new content for their brand and their products. If the last time you posted on Instagram or your blog was 6 months ago, do you think a brand would still reach out for you to create new content?
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. If you want to be taken seriously and work with brands, you must show them that you’re already in the business of creating content.
Get Noticed by Brands Tip #6: You should have a balanced of sponsored and original content
For bloggers and instgrammers who have already started working with brands, it can be easy to say YES TO EVERYTHING. While working with brands is cool, it’s not cool to only have sponsored content for every single post. Your audience started following and engaging with you because they like who you are and the content you create.
I’m personally still trying to find the balance of how many brand collaborations I should take on each month. For right now, I’m comfortable taking 4-5 brand collaborations a month. I feel like a handful of brands each month is enough to expose me to new audiences and it still allows me the time to create original content. While I love working with brands, I also love sharing the most instagrammable places in a city and how to style the latest season’s trends!
There you have it friends. The 6 things I’ve learned over these past few years that have helped me get noticed by brands!
What tips do you have for getting noticed by brands?
Thank you for reading!
Photos: Karya Schanilec