Elaine at www.fun-as-a-gran.blogspot.com has only just begun blogging and her speciality is egg/dairy/gluten/wheat/nut free baking and cooking, she’s got some great advice for anyone wanting to work with brands. Over to Elaine:
Working with brands.
To work with any company I feel your starting point really needs to be to write up a Disclosure Policy, I did mine with the help of http://www.disclosurepolicy.org and a Review Policy which I made up after reading many others and deciding what suited me as a person and us as a family. A company needs to know what you are looking for, what you are expecting from them, and what they are going to get in return for their outlay.
I feel you also have to know what you as a person expect from your relationship with a brand. Not all companies pay you for working with them, some will offer you the goods in return for a post or posts, others will send you a product to review and keep and pay you after your review is done. This again is up to you as an individual, if you feel the product is something you want and can use then you have to ask yourself, if Company A wants you to do say a backwards flip and 2 triple somersaults for something worth £5 are you going to do it?
This is where choices and negotiating comes in. You have to decide by doing all that for Company A, for what may seem like a pittance, what else might come of it?, what else might they offer you? Or is it a useful stepping stone to allow other companies to see what your skills, abilities and interest are, that then gets you out there and noticed by others? You need to weigh up the pros and cons, decide what is right for you, and make your decision based on how you feel about the whole bigger picture.
Remember at the end of the day they are the ones taking the risk. They are sending you out an item and you could for all they know take it, use it and either hate it and tell the world how awful you think it is or even worse do no write up and all and they have no comeback. So ask yourself might it be worth taking an item you want for little in return just so that the next company can see you offer good quality honest reporting. I have been approached by three other companies who have seen my blog and have asked me can they sent me items to review
When I was starting out I had some idea of the type of products I was looking for so I searched the internet looking for companies who could supply what I needed to do this. I approached twenty two companies in total from large to small, known and not so well known, and explained to them what I was looking to do and how what they had to offer could be of use to me. I have heard back from ten of them, four of whom said yes and six who said no. I sent a polite thank you for getting back to me to the ones who said no, just in case they may ever be looking for somebody in the future and this gesture may make them think of me in coming months.
Company X, a food company, were one of the ones who got back to me very quickly and asked me what I was looking for, so I went to their shop and sent them a list. They agreed to send me out half of what I asked for, I bought the other half,and I started using their products and blogging about them, At the end of month one they were delighted and asked me to make up another list for more products which I did and they sent all of them out.
Now Company X are currently expanding their online shop and have added a forum section for which they are looking for blog and vlog postings. Myself and a fellow sponsored blogger have been approached by them to produce for this part of their website, to show other people how their products can be used and recipes that can be achieved. They have told us they cannot afford to pay us in money but they are happy to keep supplying us with goods in return for work. So Blogger friend and I are currently in negotiations with Company X as to how much they are prepared to supply, over how long a period and what they expect in return. We appreciate they are a small company, and we are delighted to be offered the privilege of being asked,and are excited by what hopefully will be a long pleasurable relationship for all of us, but we do not want to feel overburdened or exploited.This negotiating is an important step before we move on to the next stage of our working relationship.
So my summary for working with a brand is – find a brand you need, make them want and need you, negotiate what you are giving and getting, give good value for money and then approach the next one. Remember you are never to new or small to give it a try. My first appeals went out within 8 weeks of starting.
Elaine is 51, and a wife to 1, mum to 5 and gran to 2, she blog’s at www.fun-as-a-gran.blogspot.com
Her interests are knitting, reading, entering competitions, playing with her grandchildren and exploring new ways to cook and bake egg/dairy/gluten/wheat/nut free, no mean feat she says!!
She has only been blogging for five short months and already has 156 followers, she’s relatively new and still quite small, but her advice is sound and her enthusiasm infectious!
Don’t forget, Blog-Match.com can help put you in touch with a myriad of companies and brands, so if you’re net yet registered it’s time to start your blogging journey with us…