This is the second post in a two-part series for IFB on the anatomy of a blog-to-brand business deal. You can read Part I: You Pitch Them here.
So last week, we talked about how a deal might get started when you are pitching an idea or a project to a brand yourself. This week, let's get into the reverse situation: when a brand or PR firm pitches an idea to you. One thing that's really important to keep in mind is this: just because a brand has initiated the deal, doesn't mean they have all the power. Empower yourself by knowing your worth and approaching your dealings professionally. From the initial email to the final sign off, let's break it down…
For the sake of brevity, let's say Brand X is one you would like to work with, and you plan to proceed in developing a project with them.
1. Your receive a pitch email from Brand X.
Depending on the size of your blog, how long you've been blogging and your relationships with PR firms, your inbox may or may not be inundated with pitch emails. Sifting through them can be tedious and sometimes a little off-putting (Dear Blogger…), but in my opinion, it's best for your business to open and respond to as many as is feasible, whether you say yes or politely decline.
Hope all is well! I have an exciting opportunity to share with you. I am working with Brand X to help launch a new campaign promoting their fragrance, Eau de Internet. I thought you may be interested in collaborating with us to share the news!
We would love for you to be an ambassador for Eau de Internet throughout the month of December, along with a carefully selected group of fellow fashion bloggers. As an ambassador, Brand X would like for you to create a blog post around the fragrance (to go live December 1), well as participate in social sharing on your Twitter, Facebook, and other active accounts. The goal is to build online awareness (especially through social media) for the fragrance around the holiday season.
In exchange, we will send you an Eau de Internet gift set (a $100 value) to keep, as well as one to giveaway to your readers. It makes a great gift – and the holidays are right around the corner!
Would you be interested in this project? Please let me know the best address to send your gift sets to, we look forward to working with you. For more information on Eau de Internet (which you are more than welcome to use in your post), please see the attached press release.
2. You reply to the pitch with some questions.
As we've said before, don't be afraid to say no to a pitch that doesn't feel right for you or your blog. Beyond that, don't be afraid to negotiate, either. (We've got the essential guide for that, by the way.) It's always flattering when a brand expresses their interest in working with you, but remember it's working with you, not using you however they see fit.
Thank you so much for thinking of me for this project. I've been a longtime lover of Brand X's apparel, and wear it frequently on my blog. That being said, I don't traditionally talk about beauty products on my site, as it is primarily a fashion blog about my personal style.
Would you be willing to send me a small sample of Eau de Internet to test? If it's a scent I genuinely like and would wear, I think I could tie it in nicely with an outfit post and would feel comfortable sharing it with my readers.
Is the giveaway an optional part of the project or would it run in tandem with my post? I have excellent packages for giveaways and social media promotions with my blog, including case studies from past projects as well as rates, that I can happily send to you look over (along with my media kit).
Let me know if that works and we will take it from there.
Thank you again,
When negotiating a deal, don't be shy! If you have lots of questions, ask them! If you're totally enthusiastic, tell them! The more open (and professional) your conversation is, the less room there is for either party to end up dissatisfied with the end result. And yes, we said case studies! (Read about why they are so important.)
3. Brand X answers your questions and provides specifics.
We're really in the thick of it now. You've established your professionalism and asked some important questions about the details of your potential project with Brand X and Eau de Internet. Since they know you're a highly coveted partner that any brand would be delighted to work with, Brand X is responsive and accommodating.
I'm so happy to hear you're interested in working with Brand X and Eau de Internet. We would be happy to send you a sample to test before going forward.
Regarding your question about the giveaway, Brand X would like to include this as part of the ambassador roll with you, and it can be included in the singular promotional post on your site. As such, please send your rates and case studies so I can relay them to Brand X.
Because we want your ambassadorship to be more of a long-lasting partnership than the promotion of the singular post, Brand X would like to space out 3-5 tweets and 2 Facebook promotions throughout the month of December.
I will send your sample of Eau de Internet to the address in your signature, and await your thoughts.
Have a great day,
4. You reply to confirm rates and details for Brand X.
Let's say you have received your sample of Eau de Internet and you love it. It's something you would wear, and you think your readers would like it, too. You've decided to go forward with the project with Brand X.
Thank you for sending over the sample of Eau de Internet, I love it and would like to go forward as an ambassador for the fragrance and for Brand X for the month of December.
My rates for the specifics you've mentioned are as follows:
Post with a giveaway: $350 (currency, not in the form of a gift card)
3-5 tweets + 2 Facebook promotions between Dec 1 and Dec 31st: $200 (currency, not in the form of a gift card)
[I have attached my media kit as well as my case studies to this email, please let me know if there are any issues opening them.]
If these rates are approved by Brand X, please feel free to send over one Eau de Internet gift set to the same address, as well as any text specifics for the social media promotions. (I would prefer that Brand X took care of shipping for the giveaway winner.) I am so excited to be working with you and Brand X, and look forward to seeing the other ambassadors' content as well.
Have a great weekend,
After this email, supposing that Brand X is comfortable with your rates, there will just be a few loose ends to tie up. You will want to confirm when the giveaway winner will be announced, and the specific dates for social media promotions (if there are any). Again, the more questions you ask, the better. You will also want to email the brand once your post goes live, and at the conclusion of your ambassadorship to say thank you and share results if you wish. (We mentioned this as a bonus step in Part I.