Whether you’re a new blogger, or you have been blogging for a long time, one thing that’s crucial within the digital industry is that you need to be able to work well with the people that matter – i.e. brands and businesses. As a blogger, being able to work well with the key stakeholders within the blogging world (PR contacts, brands, small to large businesses etc) means that you will get the most out of your own experience and it will help you to achieve your goals.
I have found quite often, that if I work with a brand they will usually come back and work with me again. This is brilliant, because it can be hard to get well known within a brand or company. So once you have the contact there and they continue to work with you, it makes life easier to have guaranteed repeat work.
I find that if I follow a few simple rules, that brands are usually receptive to me and we build up a great, ongoing relationship. Here’s how I do this:
1/ Be reliable
Brands need to know that they can count on me to deliver the work that they are asking for, reliably. I therefore try to do my project on time and to my highest standard possible. If, for whatever reason, I am going to miss a deadline I always explain why – because being honest is so important and means you can work together to achieve it. Hitting deadlines though is SO crucial in order to build key relationships and it will absolutely show brands that you can deliver for them time and time again.
No matter how ‘spammy’ the email, or how much the product doesn’t fit my blog, I reply to say “thanks, but not on this occasion, however please do bear me in mind for any future work”, or words to that effect. If you treat people with respect then they could potentially come back at a later date with something amazing that you actually really want. This has happened to me! Bear in mind that a good perception initially may well lead to future potential opportunities.
I always try to reply to all my emails on the same day (or as much as I possibly can), because not only does it give a good impression to the brand it also means that I am up-to-date with messages and information. Keeping on top of admin as a blogger can be really hard work though (it’s one of our biggest challenges!) but setting designated time aside for admin does help and means that things don’t pile up too much.
4/ Respect your work
If you don’t really want the opportunity on offer then walk away, politely. You don’t have to take everything that gets offered to you – don’t be afraid that the brand won’t work with you again. Simply be honest as to why but say you’d be interested in hearing from them again. I do this a lot more now. Plus I only ever want to work on things I am passionate or truly happy about!
In addition to the above, I find that a common sense approach and business-like mind gets you a long way in blogging and freelancing. Plus it just feels good to be nice, right?
Love, Jess x