Do You Want To Work With Brands?

So You Want To Work With Brands?

I haven’t been blogging for very long at all, just over a year in fact but I am very lucky that I have been given opportunities to work with amazing brands. People have come to me and asked whether I have any tips so they too can get to that stage. I am by no means an expert and there are plenty more established bloggers out there, but I can tell you my experience and hopefully you can take something away with you.

working with brands

I can quite clearly remember wishing that brands would find me. Not that I came into blogging for that reason at all but when you see other bloggers getting what you perceive to be ‘free stuff’ you wonder why you aren’t getting emailed about different opportunities.

Now before I go any further let me tell you something- it is most definitely not free stuff. All of those bloggers you see doing product reviews work really hard. If you have read my ‘life as a blogger’ post you will know I work anything up to 5 hours a night, not to mention the time spent taking photos or replying to tweets throughout the day.

If the idea of hard work doesn’t phase you then read on. Working with brands can be so rewarding, a real nod to all the work you put in to your blog day in day out. To make sure you get noticed there are a few things you must do.

DESIGN I wish I had taken this seriously from the very beginning. I feel like I wasted 11 months of my blogging career by having a badly designed blog. I always had it in my mind that once I made some money I would buy a better theme. However, just over a month ago I decided to take a leap of faith and invest in my blog. It is true what they say- you have to speculate to accumulate.

HISTORY When brands arrive at your blog they want to see examples of your work. If you haven’t worked with anyone before then write about things you already own. Showcase your talents and show them what your style is- do you write in an inspiring way that will make others want to rush out and buy the product? Also, make sure you have all of those reviews in a place that companies will be able to find easily!

MANNERS When brands approach you, always always be polite. Even if they come to you with something that doesn’t appeal to you, be nice and reply with a simple no thank you. With that in mind you should also note- always reply! No matter what they send over, always reply as you never know what may come of it. Many a time I have replied with a no thank you and the pr has replied with an alternative product that is a perfect fit for my family.

STANDARDS I see lots of people asking how much they should charge or what sort of product they should accept. I also see lots of bloggers telling them that they should set a minimum fee. I agree with this to an extent- if bloggers work for peanuts then pr people will never take us seriously. Know your worth and don’t be afraid to aim high- you can always negotiate down if needs be. However, money has different worth to different people so if you are happy to work for less then do what is right for you.

CONFIDENCE When brands first started approaching me I would bite their hand off! I was so excited to be sent something I didn’t care what it was (I do get excited by free pencils at events so it isn’t difficult to please me!). A year in and I am gaining my confidence, I will say no and even go back with an alternative idea and suggest a fee. If you don’t ask you don’t get!

PATIENCE If you work hard, write well and have a positive demeanour about you then brands will find you. Time is the one thing you have to just have faith in and believe me, you will get there. Just keep doing what you are doing and keep believing in yourself.

Hopefully these tips are helpful, I know not everyone wants to work with brands but most of these points can be applied to readership too and that is something every blogger wants to improve. I am not perfect, I have made mistakes and kicked myself afterwards but I take each moment as a learning opportunity and I never make the same mistake twice.

Do you have any tips for working with brands?

Mami 2 Five

51 Comments

  • Reply
    Laura's Lovely Blog
    May 17, 2015 at 7:51 am

    I agree with all of the above, especially be polite. I bit the bullet on a premium theme s couple of months ago and I’m so glad I did. The difference is marked but also they’re so much more customisable. Thanks Katy 🙂

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      They are fab aren’t they? So much better than the free ones x

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers
    May 17, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Great tips Katy, and I totally agree with the be polite bit too. And always remember brands are always watching. Don’t get into huge twitter spats! Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:55 pm

      Oh definitely! I just shake my head in disbelief sometimes! x

  • Reply
    Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    May 17, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Some great tips for beginners like me, thanks. Oh the blog theme. And moving to self hosting. Must be done but I’ve been putting it off for ages.

    #sundaystars

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      I put it off for so long and regret it now xx

  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    May 17, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Fab tips my love, well done on all of your achievements xxx

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Thanks lovely xx

  • Reply
    Ellie Mulligan
    May 17, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Wow great tips! I have worked with a few but would love to work with more! #sundaystars

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:53 pm

      Keep doing what you are doing and they will find you 🙂

  • Reply
    Little Treasures
    May 17, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Great post. I definitely need to work on my design I just need a bit more technical know how! It will happen in time #sundaystars

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      Practice makes perfect, it has taken me a year to get to a place I feel happy with everything. x

  • Reply
    LoveFromCluelessMum
    May 17, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Great tips, thank you. I’ve only been blogging for a month but there are so many things here that I can start to think about. I can’t wait to get back to a laptop and camera to work on my design!

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      How exciting that you have just started, it is the best thing I ever did. x

  • Reply
    Toni @ Gym Bunny Mummy
    May 17, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Fab tips hun. The only thing I would add is to think of different ways you can present the post. I had some pet food & pet items to review but knew simply reviewing dog food wouldn’t make a great post or get many views so I incorporated it into a post about owning pets. The PR & company loved it and I’ve worked with them several times since x #SundayStars

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Oh yes definitely! I am getting so much better at that now, it is fun thinking of fun ideas! xx

  • Reply
    Adrian
    May 17, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Great advice. Already following some of it but I have a lot to learn! I’m still scared to go self hosted but one day I am sure I will make the leap! Great blog – wishing you every success. 🙂

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      It isn’t so scary, I think it is the thought rather than the reality that scares people. x

  • Reply
    Ali @ Mum in a Nutshell
    May 17, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    brilliant tips, it’s nice to see that even though you’re not a seasoned blogger yet you’re hard work is getting recognised. I’m so glad you mentioned about it not being free stuff, I’m always having to defend us bloggers in that respect oh and I’m a sucker for free pencils too! #SundaysStars

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      Unless someone is a blogger they just don’t get how it works. I mean to be fair I still am amazed that I get some pretty amazing stuff in return for a post. Best job ever! x

  • Reply
    Random Musings
    May 17, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Great tips. I totally agree with replying to emails and being polite in your reply – even if you think the offer isn’t for you, someone has took the time out to reach out to you, I think a polite no thank you isn’t a lot to ask in return! #SundayStars
    Debbie
    http://www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      Definitely, prs are human too and deserve respect xx

  • Reply
    Rachel
    May 17, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing, this is great. Some great tips. Pinned!!! xxx

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      Thanks Rachel x

  • Reply
    Nicola Says
    May 17, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Great tips post Katy! It’s also useful to remember that it’s not just “free stuff” (we all know it’s not free!) for bloggers but that the deal’s gotta work for both parties. So having a clear, easy to navigate blog and being a thoughtful, friendly and talkative person really helps. – N x

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      Exactly 🙂 x

  • Reply
    Lisa@intotheglade
    May 17, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Great tips Katy, I want a theme but don’t know where to start, it’s a minefield ha! Congratulations lovely on your fab blog xx

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Thank you Lisa 🙂 I searched and searched for a theme I liked but in the end I looked to other blogs and sought out their themes. x

  • Reply
    Mamavsteacher
    May 17, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Great tips lovely, I have found that you also don’t get if you don’t ask – some of my best brand relations are from those that I have made the first step with. #SundayStars

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 18, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Oh definitely! I am learning to be brave now x

  • Reply
    Alan Herbert
    May 21, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Great tips Katy. I get excited at free pens too!

    Looks like I’m going to have to buy a theme.

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 22, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Good luck! There are some awesome ones out there!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    May 21, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Excellent tips, and free pencils are awesome!

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 22, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      They really are 🙂

  • Reply
    Angela at Daysinbed.com
    May 22, 2015 at 8:44 am

    This is great advice. I was asked to do some work in return for a discount! However I was not the slightest interested in the product and it had nothing to do with the theme of my blog. I had to politely decline!
    This was a good read Angela

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 22, 2015 at 8:38 pm

      Well done for saying no, I said yes to so many things in the beginning as I was so excited to be noticed!

  • Reply
    Ally Messed Up Mum
    May 22, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Fab advice, we’re lucky to get these opportunities aren’t we? This post was linked up to #SundaySharefest, I hope you link up your fave post of the week this Sunday! x

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 22, 2015 at 8:30 pm

      Oh that is fab, thank you for letting me know. xx

  • Reply
    Kate
    May 22, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Fab post. I just wanted to thank you for sharing because it encouraged me not to wait before buying a new blog template (that was the initial plan before reading this post) and I’m over the moon with how my blog looks now! I feel like my little corner of the Internet is ‘proper’ now and it represents me and my family perfectly.

    Thanks again 🙂

  • Reply
    Leigh - Headspace Perspective
    May 25, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Great points here Katy. I agree, having been lucky enough to be gifted a couple of beautiful items recently they are definitely NOT free, as a lot of work goes in to the post. Manners first and always – people remember, and the PR world is a small one. There’s also no harm in asking, the worst a PR can say is ‘no’, but you’ll never know if you don’t try xxx

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 30, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      I need to be brave enough to ask a bit more. xx

  • Reply
    Pen
    May 25, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Hi Katy,

    Thank you for this post. you are always a great source of advice when it comes to blogging. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 30, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Thank you so much! Always glad to help! x

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Glanville (reflectionsfromme.com)
    May 27, 2015 at 8:38 am

    Awesome advice lovely lady

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 30, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks hun x

  • Reply
    Nicola
    May 28, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Great advice and tips, I have to say as well as being lovely, your blog is a wealth of information 🙂

    • Reply
      Katy
      May 30, 2015 at 8:55 pm

      Nicola this has made my day, thank you so much! x

  • Reply
    Lyndsay
    July 9, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Great post 🙂 I’ve just been searching the web wondering what I should charge for product reviews, it’s so hard to put a number on it, I don’t want to be too cheap or work for free but thinking up that number is hard! Do you charge an hourly fee or just decide what you think each review is worth? TIA 🙂

    • Reply
      Katy
      July 14, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      At the moment I go to the brand with a set amount that I think is fair for the time and effort I would put in. However, if they cannot get to that figure then I am always happy to negotiate as some reviews are worth more than the money in terms of experience etc.. x

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