Tips for Independent Reps When Reaching Out to Bloggers | From a Blogger

by - March 06, 2018

I have recently started as an independent sales rep for Zyia Activewear! I have been looking into partnering with a company for about a year and finally after tons of research found Zyia through a friend of mine who is also a representative. My love for athleisure clothing and leggings has gone to a whole new level! Through a facebook group for fellow independent reps I saw a post about needing tips on how to connect with influencers. As someone who is coming over from the "other side" [she said in a spooky haunting voice] I thought I could offer some help in this area. Here are my five tips on how to reach out to bloggers for collaborations, reviews, and influencer features from a bloggers perspective. 

Be Genuine & Engage
Make sure to subscribe to the blogger you are looking to reach out too and genuinely engage with them before ‘asking’ something from them, such as promoting your product or business. Follow their social media profiles and leave worthy comments on their posts. And share, share, share! So many people have loved my posts in the past and saved them for themselves, but sharing will generate more views and views are partly how bloggers make money. In the comment sections don’t just leave an emoji or a “cool pic” text. Ask a question, leave a sentence, and feel free to engage with other commenters. Engagement is so important to bloggers / influencers and quality engagement will boost their social media rankings, impressions, and exposure. The back-end algorithms for sites like Instagram and Twitter are cracking down on purchased or “fake” engagement. This quality engagement from you will get you on the bloggers radar and in turn the blogger / influencer will be more likely to work with you.

Be Personal Over Professional
Typically, bloggers aren’t ultra-professional in their day to day lives. Blogging is a very freelance career path and often a blogger’s personality is more freelance as well. As a blogger, I get corporate and company emails all the time and to be honest I don’t even read them most of the time. But when someone emails me, and their email is personalized and genuine I always reply and/or connect with them. That’s how The Honest Company snatched me up as an affiliate. They are friendlier and laxed in their communications vs stuffy business professional. Reference a post you loved or say thank you for tips the blogger shared. Address them by name and always leave your information in the signature so they can check you out. As a blogger, and I know other bloggers are with me on this, I can’t stand it when reps or brands leave comments like “love your stuff let’s collab” or “love to work with you email me”. It’s too vague and requires work on the bloggers end before any ‘payout’ or details are even shared. I normally delete those comments when left on Instagram because they are spammy and lower my social ranking. Give the blogger a well thought out, personalized, detail-oriented email. You can leave them a comment on a social media post saying you reached out to them through email so they can look out for it, but don't just spam their comment section.

Now you don’t have to spend hours on every email you send to each blogger you reach out too. Microsoft Word has templates that you can customize. I have done this for my own blog when I reach out for travel collaborations. These templates are a great resource as you can easily edit the info and will make for a simpler way to connect with bloggers / influencers.

(I can design a template to share with the Zyia group to use when reaching out to bloggers if you would find it to be helpful. Let me know in the comments.)

Shoot for Small
New, green, or young bloggers are probably going to be your best bet! They are more willing to collab with independent reps and smaller companies. They probably won’t require a payment either and will do more for you in the ways of social and online marketing. Green bloggers are eager to connect with brands because that makes them more desirable to other brands… as you see it’s all connected. Like the snowball effect. If an employee from, let’s say Nike, see’s a fitness blogger who collaborated with Zyia and did a good job, Nike might reach out for a collab. In the blogging world everything is a chain of events. So young bloggers are eager to make quality, eye catching content and in turn quality collabs and connections.

Give Them A Reason
Bloggers are always getting requests from brands, reps, and companies, so make your connection stand out and give them a reason to work with YOU. Maybe sponsor a product giveaway, a chance for their readers or viewers to win a gift card, or give them a coupon code for their viewers / readers to use when they shop through your site. Bloggers love things like this because it boosts their traffic, engagement, and social media profiles as it will do the same for you. The rules for something like this can be:

Follow the blogger & Independent Rep on [ insert chosen social media here]
Share the post
Tag 5 friends
Comment [campaign hashtag/slogan] below

I am certain if you have spent any time on Instagram you have seen something like this before. Partnering in this way with an influencer will not only help you gain exposure, but the blogger will be more willing to collab with you because it benefits them as well. Stick with influencers that have less than 1,000 followers. An influencer with a following over that is playing in the big leagues when it comes to the brands that reach out to them. Meaning they will be less likely to work with an independent rep or smaller company.

Don’t Make Them Pay To Play
If you are reaching out to a blogger or influencer to try, review, and potentially market your products/business the worst thing you can do is ask them to pay. So tacky. Bloggers and influencers provide a service and need to be looked at as such. ‘Payment Required Collabs’ are a slap in the face and ones I instantly turn down. Even if it is just shipping & handling…. Just don’t. Bloggers and influencers get soooo much free product it’s insane. Trust me I have an overflowing drawer in my bathroom full of products that have been sent to me that I haven’t even tried yet. As a blogger I have never once paid for product that was requested to be featured on my blog and as I am continuing to grow I have designed a ‘media kit’ that outlines my fees for features. Now obviously I share the products I genuinely use and love and some of the companies that have reached out to me have become my new favorites, but if you are looking for an influencer to share and market you and your product you may get a media kit in return with their price list and services they offer. At the very least send them the products they choose, or you want them to try at no charge. You can limit the amount to something reasonable for you, just do not ask them to pay for it.  

As always don't forget to share and subscribe! Until next time thanks for reading!

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