Is It Okay To Contact Brands For Collaboration?

In short: yes. In my opinion at least. This is a hot topic in the blogging world and has been for some while now; as the blogosphere grows and us bloggers are rewarded with more and more opportunities to grow our own brand and solo businesses, the question of whether it’s “okay” to contact brands yourself for collaboration is becoming more and more relevant. So is it okay to pop over an email to the PR department, and if so, how should you go about it?

BE REALISTIC: I absolutely think it’s acceptable, but I do think you have to pick appropriate brands, appropriate moments and be realistic. If you’ve just started blogging, are taking pictures on your iPhone and have 200 Instagram followers, don’t expect a reply from ASOS. However, if you are in this position and you have a few months of visible content, then it would be totally worth reaching out to some small online boutiques and letting them know you’d be interested in working together. Some might say yes, some might say no, but it won’t harm you either way. At the very least you’re getting your name out there and upping your brand visibility.

DO YOUR RESEARCH: Research the brands you want to contact beforehand and see if they actively collaborate with bloggers. If they do, have a look at the calibre of blogger and what their content/follower count is like. Is this similar to you? Do you fit the brand aesthetic and have a wide enough audience to be able to promote them? If you don’t see a lot of bloggers popping up, don’t be disheartened. One of the brands I actively work with now both via promotion and through an affiliate programme didn’t have bloggers on their Instagram page, but I contacted them nonetheless and they were super enthusiastic. Again, however, be realistic. If you see a brand only collaborates with huge bloggers or doesn’t promote a lot on their Instagram, maybe re-evaluate and find other brands that do. Either way, researching is vital.

SELL YOURSELF: Brand collaboration is just that: collaboration. It’s a two way street where you’re either being compensated financially for your time and work, or via a gifting scheme where you are given products in return for styling and promotion. Whilst you are offering your time, work, audience and promotion, the brand are ultimately paying you for these services. Don’t be afraid to big yourself up a little when you send out the feelers in a preliminary email, and always include any vital stats and social links so the receiver can check you out fully. Be upfront with why you want to work with the brand and why you think you’re a good fit – the gal/guy on the other end will be grateful that you haven’t just gone down the ‘I would love to work with you!’ route.

USE YOUR PLATFORMS: Email is conventional – preferred even – but more and more brands are using alternative forms of communication with bloggers. I know I’ve liaised via Instagram and Twitter DM’s, so there’s nothing wrong with popping one of these through if you can’t find a direct email address. The one thing I wouldn’t recommend is leaving comments on brand photos or replying to Tweets – it’s impersonal and unprofessional, and looks like you’re just spamming brands looking for any old hook up. Keep it professional, but don’t worry about taking the route less travelled.


DON’T BE DISHEARTENED: Don’t be disheartened if you get a no – heck, be happy that you got a reply at all. I remember when I first started blogging brands would email me first and then never reply, let alone just not respond to me sending a little hello. You may not be able to work with your favourite brands to begin with or even 2 years down the line (Topshop I’m still waiting), but the time will come. Just focus on producing great content that you’re passionate about, and you’ll find your inbox filling up in no time.

Notebook: c/o Chroma Stationery
  • I've never actually thought of contacting brands first, I always wait for them to ask me. This is actually a really good post though, do you contact brands a lot yourself? I may give it a go..

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

  • I always put off contacting brands,this makes me so much more confident knowing that its okay 🙂 loved this post x

  • I don't think I'd ever have the guts to out-rightly contact a brand, but if I've ever got a press release about new products sometimes I have replied asking if they had any for review purposes, and more often than not I get a couple new products to try out!

    Catherine | Hey, Mama

  • Really interesting post, I am actually putting together a media pack to send out to brands. Hopefully Topshop will get in touch, would love to see that collab! x

    http://www.northernmagpie.com/

  • Thanks for sharing this, really interesting read. I reached out to a few brands when I first starting blogging and go no where – looking back it definitely wasn't the right thing to do straight away! x

    Tiffany Tales – A British Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  • I have always been a little nervous of contacting brands but this was really helpful x

    Zoe Mountford x

  • There's nothing wrong about it but there is for sure a right way to do it !

    Giveaway, win 5 custom phone cases !
    http://www.thecrimeofashion.com

  • This question has come up so many times and I can never get enough courage to contact brands myself! Lovely post though it has really helped 🙂

  • So glad you've written this! I've always contacted brands – there are so many bloggers it's hard to be noticed so you may as well drop some emails here and there!

    Robyn / Phases Of Robyn

  • Just when I thought of this question, it pops up on TLP, I'm so happy you wrote this.
    I guess this topic is still with a question mark for me, as I got trouble to ask for anything (I'm like this irl, I don't want to look like I beg or bother people) but I think I'm not good enough for collabs so I can't dare to ask brands to collaborate with me. Maybe one day I'll get the courage to do it, even if I know I'll get a no. I guess now is not the right time and getting contacted by them kinda makes it (us) so special.

    http://i-think-its-today.blogspot.com

  • i've never contacted a brand before as i just never thought it was right but after reading this post i feel like it's something i may be able to do in the future!

    love katy @ THE RAWRDROBE x

  • Great insight, I've never really contacted brands but I will definitely keep this in mind!

    Hannah | Oh January

  • I totally agree. So many people are anti this but I think every now and then it's worth doing. I know a lot of Bloggers say if a brand wants to work with you then they will contact you but I think that's narrow minded – what are the chances the brands that are your 'fit' will stumble across you when the market is so broad now? In business if you wanted to collaborate you would email someone and I don't think it's any different in the Blogging business. Glad someone has broached this subject & so well! x

  • The total issue with me is when to ask for compensation. How do I go about starting that topic? I've never reached out to brands yet, but maybe in the future. Thankfully brands have reached out to me. There's still so much for me to learn it's crazy!

    http://www.fionnac.com

  • I agree with you! I've contacted brands for collaborations as well.
    Knowing your audience and what you can offer is crucial.
    Hearing a "no" is okay as well.
    💋
    Stella from a Looks & Travels

  • Love this and like you, I think it's a yes.
    You have to remember that regardless sometimes of your blog post count, followers etc, you're a little fish in a big pond and that brands probably don't have the time to go swimming around looking for you, so you making the first move and as you say, selling yourself is a plus. Even if it's a no for now, try again in a few months, or year. 🙂

    Caroline.x
    http://www.notesfromcaroline.com

  • Collaboration in our time everywhere. There is a theory of super mind. This is achieved by fusion (co-operation) of several people in a single case. Here is one example, where people working on one goal and create uk essays. Do not be afraid to cooperate, on the contrary, do it constantly.


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