Bloggers + Brands: Do’s and Don’ts
Hello everyone! Hope you had a great holiday!
Today is small business Saturday. A day where you should go out and shop at small businesses in your area. You can also shop small businesses like mine ModMint online! I’ve been wanting to post about this topic for some time now so I think today is the perfect opportunity.
Being that I am a small business owner for an online boutique, it’s important for me to network and get my store name and products out there. A great way to do that is by connecting with fashion bloggers. Fashion bloggers have been great at helping spread the word about my business which I am very thankful for. However, I know a lot of fashion bloggers out there are looking for sponsored items for giveaways and free items to review. That’s great! I get tons of e-mails to this effect weekly. Which has become a huge problem as it turns out. Which is what I want this post to focus on. The Do’s and Don’ts of Bloggers and Brands. So here it goes:
Do: Ask to collaborate with a brand. Instead of asking for something to review or giveaway ask to collaborate. Think of something beyond a giveaway that will benefit both sides. Perhaps a feature?
Don’t ask for cheap items to review for free: I have gotten asked to give jewelry to bloggers for free to review. The reason I say don’t do this is because for my business jewelry is between $5-$14 dollars so it makes me feel like you’re just trying to get free stuff.
Do: Buy before you ask to be sponsored. Instead of asking for a free item to review, buy whichever item you are interested in from the brand. When bloggers say they like my collection, but want a free item it makes me feel like you’re questioning the quality of my merchandise which I find slightly offensive. If you buy it, you can be as honest about the merchandise as you want. If you are given a free item it sort of obligates you to play nice which isn’t fair to you, the brand, or your readers. If you don’t like it review it and then return it.
Do: Share brands without asking for something in return. If you find a brand you like do a little press for them on your blog. Share their products with your readers then contact the brand to let them know you’ve done this. It’s a selfless gesture that may get you something in return.
Don’t assume that all brands can give you free stuff. I get asked for free stuff A LOT. A lot more than I can afford. It’s not that I am not willing it’s just that my business is new and I need to sell merchandise before I can even start to think about giving it away.
Don’t: Don’t e-mail a brand and say that you’ll only promote them if they give you something. I get this a lot too. I would appreciate any extra promotion. However, my business is not at a place that I can afford to give you something just so you mention my brand to your readers. If I give something away for free regardless of how many followers you have it doesn’t mean I will make any sales in return. If you’re interested in a brand and ask to be sponsored but they can’t afford to sponsor you, be okay with that. Do the nice thing and mention them on your blog anyway. It will help their business and they’ll thank you for it and you may receive a free item from the brand in the future.