How To: Work With Brands That You Love

Hi everyone! It’s time for another blog post with me, Mai — which is basically just a chance for me to sit here and ramble for way too long, oops. I’m working on keeping things short + sweet! 

This week, I wanted to take a break from product reviews to bring you all a post that I’ve been sitting on for awhile. This is something that Dax + I get so many questions about, and I wanted to sit down and write out my perspective on this topic for everyone to reference to in the future. 

*Not saying Dax and I are experts on this topic, we've just learned quite a few things since working with brands, and I think it could benefit others who are looking to do the same :)

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We always get asked: “How do you guys go about working with brands?” / “Did you email *insert name of brand here* or did they come to you?” / “What should I say when emailing a brand?”, and other variations of these questions.

Well, here are some of my answers for you all! 

I think, before anything else, being passionate about your work is so important. Brands can tell when you put a lot of effort into your photography and editing. Enjoy what you’re doing, and let that show through in all of your work :) I know sometimes its easy to lose motivation, but I like to bookmark pictures that inspire me and refer to those when I’m feeling unmotivated to give me that extra creative boost.

Now, let’s talk business!

Dax and I began contacting brands at around 800(ish) followers. We sat down, wrote out a lengthy email explaining who we were, what our niche was, what and we could offer them, and sent it out to brands that we were interested in.

Which, let me pause here and discuss this for a second: Your initial pitch email. This is so important!!! We got to work with so many amazing brands before we even hit 1000 followers, and I truly, 100% believe that it’s because of the pitch email that we wrote out. We made sure it was personal, and even included things that we enjoyed about each individual brand because we wanted them to know that we really were interested in them and what they had to offer. 

Here’s an example! I wouldn't advise your first email to a brand to resemble something like, 

“Hi! 

I have an Instagram account and I would love some free products please send some to me I really love your brand! Thanks

-Becky” 

(Not trying to be rude! There was a brief period of time where we were getting random emails from people thinking that we were a brand, and their emails literally looked just like that)

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and expect to get a hit back. It’s impersonal, and it doesn’t look like you spent much time on it! 

So yes, my advice is to take some time to sit down and write out a nice, informed, brand-personal pitch before sending emails out. 

We also created a “Media Kit” PDF file, which is basically just a cute graphic with a few of your best IG pictures on it, and your current account stats + demographic. We attached this to most emails that we sent out, and I think brands liked being able to see what kind of audience they would have if they were to choose to work with us. 

*This all sounds like a lot of work, and it is! But we view our account as a job and a potential brand (fingers crossed lol), so we enjoy doing things like this, and it really makes a difference, I think!*

At first, most of the brands that we were able to work with, we emailed first. Which I see no issue with! I know some people don’t agree with emailing brands first, and that’s totally fine. Don’t do anything that you aren’t comfortable with or don’t agree with. I’m just speaking about what we did + what’s worked for us.

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I want to mention that we weren’t pushy / begging for products in the emails that we sent. We just, like I said earlier, pitched ourselves to them. If they were interested, they responded. We’ve made so many wonderful business connections this way, as well! 

(If you do end up receiving product from a brand, here’s another tip: email them a very thankful follow up message once receiving the product. Just let them know that you’ve gotten the package and thank them once again for being so gracious! It really enforces that business connection and lets them know that you weren’t just using them for freebies.)

Dax and I are now at the point where we don’t really send pitch emails out to brands anymore. For the last month and a half or so, brands have contacted us to work with them, which is amazing and very rewarding since we work so hard on TGA every single day.

I really hope that this shed some light on how to go about working with brands! A ton of you have approached us and asked what we did in order to work with various brands, and that’s really it. Be personable, professional, and gracious! 

I’ll catch everyone next week! 

-MAI

currently listening to: mystery of love - sufjan stephens