Fashion. Beauty. Lifestyle

Friday, September 27, 2019


Congratulations and Felicidades girl you got that email in your inbox you've been waiting for..

A brand has reached out to you for a collaboration! Now let's talk about what to do next!

 I remember the first time a brand reached out to me to work with them I was estatic! You have worked hard creating your website/blog, building up your brand, creating your social media community. Its a lot of work and it feels gratifying to know that your work has been seen and will be rewarded. However now that you are at this point I want to guide you to not just rush into a brand collaboration if it is not in your brand's best interest. 

When I first got my first brand email it was for product exchange. I was so excited that I instantly emailed them back YES and later signed a contract. The contract required so much work and deliverables that looking back I wish I had negotiated. I want to make sure you guys don't make the same mistakes I did. 

Here are some tips of what you can do when a brand first reaches out to you for a collaboration:

Step 1: Make sure that the email is legitimate
I say this first because of the rise in spam/scam accounts using brand name in their emails and reaching out to influencer/bloggers for "brand collaborations".  The email will ask for you to fill out a form with all your personal information. If the email looks slightly sketchy go with your gut! If your not sure contact the brand privately on Twitter or Instagram and communicate with them the situation.

Step 2: Does this brand align with my brand
You have worked so hard to get to this point and you don't want to jeopardize your messaging, feed or audience with your first inauthentic sponsored post. 
Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you know this brand?
Would you or do you purchase their products?
Would this brand be useful to your audience?
Do you 100% support this brand?

Step 3: Ask the brand what is it that they are looking for in this collaboration
If you get a vague email inquiry from a brand make sure to follow up and ask what it is that they are looking for. What are the deliverables for this collaboration. Collaborations differ. Some are just for social media posts and other want a blog post and social media promotion(s). It's important that you communicate and understand what the brand is looking for and feel comfortable that you can deliver these deliverables. 

Step 4: What are the brands goals
Brands have different end results goals for each collaboration. Some want to drive sales. Others look to drive traffic to their site. Sometimes they want to use a collaboration to spread new product awareness. Once you are informed on what they need know you can begin creating your content strategy and planning. 

Step 5: What is their timeline
I tend to say no to quick turnaround timelines. I don't like to be put in tight timelines that cause me anxiety. I prefer 30 day timelines. Remember to keep in mind that it takes time to schedule a photo shoot, book a photographer, edit your photos, draft content and publish your completed work. Your work is valuable and they reached out to you because they know that as well. Don't be afraid to explain your creative process and a quick turnaround of 1 week is unreasonable. 

Step 6: Know your worth and then add tax
Don't be afraid to ask the brand for payment. I know this is earlier said then done but I have been there and have allowed brands to pay me little to no money for some incredible work. When a brand reaches out to you its because they like your work and see an opportunity. 
There are many formulas out there for who to charge. I like to look at my follower count + engagement rate and start there with a base. Then I add tax. How many hours will this collaboration take between each step. Don't forget to add in your price a photographer fee, props and location space rental and any other add on in order to complete this collaboration. 

Now several things can happen after this:
1) the brand can say no
2.) the brand replies that they don't have the budget for paid collaborations at this time
3) The brand say YES!

If it is a brand that you truly love and working with them would be a dream of a lifetime then I would consider accepting the campaign for no compensation just to begin a relationship with this brand. Sometimes this pays off and sometimes it doesn't. You could also negotiate cross promotion. If the brand can't or won't pay you, you could ask them to repost your work on their social media accounts. This can be a win win for you! You have worked with your favorite brand and have received huge platform to be seen on their social media accounts. 

Step 7: Let the brand know how you plan on serving them
Brand collaborations are a two way relationship. Even if the brand reached out to you, you also want to show the brand that you are serious in servicing them as well. This is how you can score a long lasting relationship with them. Send them any ideas or concepts you have for the collaboration. Go on their website and do some research on the brand. Brands really appreciate when you come prepared and have done your research. You come across as professional. 

I like to send over a mood board to brands to give them a visual of my concept. I have found that this helps a lot! Never be afraid to ask questions. You want to make sure that all your questions have been answered and you understand what the brand's goals are. 

I hope this post helped you guys going forward with any brand collaborations! Again congratulations! I am so happy for you! Share down below any other tips you may have on this topic. 


1 comment

  1. Excellent advice indeed, Alana! Continued success to you and your future brand collaborations.


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