In this day and age, bloggers are, quite simply, a small brand’s best friend. Starting up a business is a pricey venture and if you don’t have money to throw at expensive PR companies or social media management then bloggers are your friend. I should clarify at this point, that when I talk about bloggers I’m not referring to influencers. We’ll talk a little bit about what the difference is and how to manage it but essentially, getting the right blogger on your side can be just what your business needs. So, see below for our top tips on working with bloggers and BENEFITTING from it.

Don’t always be swayed by the numbers. Getting the deliciously lovely @mother_of_daughters to support your brand by wearing one of your products is amazing but unless you’ve got 200 of that product ready to sell the next day then it’s a missed opportunity. If you’re a small start up, chances are you don’t have a huge amount of product lying around that you can afford to give away for free so choose wisely. A blogger with 3,000-11,000 followers could be a better fit for you. Worth considering that Instagram will only give you the Swipe Up Link option if you’ve got more than 10k followers so bloggers with the option to link directly to your site from stories could be a plus.

If a blogger has 3,000 followers but is regularly getting 100+ likes on images and a number of comments, that’s GREAT engagement and relatively better than a blogger with 300k who gets 3,000 likes an image. That lowly blogger with 3,000 followers is getting 3 times more engagement that the Billy-Big-Boots Blogger. Worth thinking about.

They are out there – the bloggers that are just in it for the free stuff. They’re not always easy to spot but essentially any communication between you and a blogger should highlight the ones taking it seriously, versus the ones who just want the pretty stuff to land on their doorstep. Any blogger worth their salt will be happy to converse with you about what you’d like them to do i.e. a post vs. a story and when the post should ideally happen. They’ll be willing to take on board some direction regarding the kind of imagery you want from them (although you should have already selected them because you know they’ll take the photo you need) and they’ll be up for negotiating whether they’ll link to you in their bio for a period of time, how many images they’ll give you and what information you want them to convey.

If they’ve taken product from you and promised you exposure and content in return then make sure that they return on this deal. It is a business deal. Sure, you may not be paying them, but it is a mutually beneficial relationship. You get the exposure that you’re looking for and they get to build a reputation for working well with and for brands. Creating that reputation is the only way a blogger who wants to monetise their blog is going to achieve that. Plus, they get free stuff. It doesn’t pay the bills but they’ve agreed to the deal so make sure they know you’re not going away…

Don’t immediately discard a blogger because they send you a rate card – bloggers fees may seem expensive (it’s only an Instagram post after all, right?) but many have a guaranteed engagement rate that’s more than an ad in a magazine and chances are they aren’t charging you as much as a magazine would (except Kim Kardashian…she’s really expensive FYI). If they ARE charging for posts though they should have the stats to back it up so feel free to ask for those. In fact, most bloggers charging for posts should have a document ready to blast off to any brands that clearly outlines what their blog/brand is and stands for, their stats, their previous relationships etc. Like everything, if you feel you’ve done your homework and you can spare the cash to experiment, it could be really worth it in terms of conversions.

An influencer is someone who’s big on social media, be it Twitter (shudder) or Instagram or YouTube but isn’t about the words and writing and all that shizzle. So, it’s likely to someone famous or sort of famous. These people will most likely have agents and if you’re a small company, beware of sending product out to agents who promise they’ll pass it on. Famous people get sent shit all that time so unless your product is a Rolex watch that babysits for free and makes them a cup of tea in the morning, then you’re unlikely to get a look in…UNLESS you have an ‘in’ and can pull a favour here and there. That’s your best bet and for that we can only wish you good luck.

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