As a social media manager as well as a local San Diego blogger, I've done my fair share of blog writing, publicity, press, events, & pretty much everything under the social media sun. I've been on both the giving & receiving end of social media marketing. Sometimes that means a brand collaboration, sometimes that's an Instagram collaboration - I have first-hand perspective on what brands look for before working with a blogger. How can you secure a brand collaboration? How do you find local influencer marketing?

I've managed social channels for brands that focus on timeshares, sewing & embroidery designs, vegan energy bars, & more. Blogger outreach, brand collaboration, and Instagram collaboration are the ideal way to get brands in touch with modern influencers. Whether you're a California lifestyle blogger or an organic mommy blogger, make sure your blog is on a brand's radar. If you want to receive more inquiries from brands, get your first brand collaboration, read up on these seven things brands look for before working with a blogger.

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1. Quality Content & Photography

Before a brand even gets around to reaching out to you, we scour your blog to look at your content, your writing, & your photography. We browse your content & photos to judge if a possible brand collaboration would work. We want good spelling & grammar. We want clear & interesting photos. We want to see your personality shine through your words & content. We view your past posts as a reflection of what a collaboration would look like.

2. Social Media Following

We actively look at all of your social media channels to determine if your blog is a good fit for us. After all, we are providing a service, product, or financial compensation to you & your service is exposure, website clicks, & potential sales for us. You don't have to have an enormous social media following. Count up your followers on all your social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. My tip: sometimes it's more powerful to say, "I have 3,000+ followers across my social media channels," rather than "I have 907 Facebook followers, 750 Twitter followers, 824 Instagram followers, 500 Tumblr followers, etc." If you're looking for an Instagram collaboration, brands will consider your overall reach & comments - they might ask to see your analytics.

3. Activity on Social Media Channels

What good is a social media following if you never Tweet, update, or post? We're looking to see if you're active on social media channels by updating relevant & regular information to what we're selling. For example, a vegetarian jerky brand reached out to me because I Tweeted several times about being vegetarian. If you're a San Diego blogger, make sure you're following local San Diego accounts.

4. Engaged Readers

Engagement is extremely important! You can have a huge social media following but no engagement. You're more valuable to us if you have 100 daily views & 2 clicks to our website versus 10,000 daily views & 2 clicks. If you're lacking in followers, your engagement level may save you. If you have both a decent social media following & engagement that makes a wonderful mixture.

5. Demographics

All the above are great & everything, but are your readers who we are targeting? Your blog readers, their age, their location, & their habits, affect whether or not our brand is a good match for your blog. If we're selling candy bars but your blog focuses on healthy recipes, we're probably not a good pair. If you're a single woman in your early 20s, you may not be a good fit for our family-oriented timeshare rentals.

6. Reliability

Did you know that when brands send free stuff or pay for a sponsored post, that costs money? It usually comes from a yearly or quarterly budget set aside specifically for marketing, social media, or influencer outreach. Blogger outreach is costly & brands only have a certain amount of budget & inventory to give out, so we want to ensure that you will be a reliable blogger should we decide to work with you. How long does it take you to respond to emails? How often do you update your blog? What's your turnaround time for collaborative or sponsored posts? Do you have past examples?

7. Media Kit, About Me, or Sponsor Page

After we determine that everything about your blog is a good match for us, we look at your media kit, about me page, &/or sponsor page to find out more about you. We're trying to find your contact information, other brands you've worked with, your page statistics, & any readily available information. This is the final touch before we gather all the content we've accrued & either take it to a superior for approval or begin reaching out to you.

You heard it from me everybody! This is a step-by-step guide in what brands look for before working with a blogger or pursuing blogger outreach. It's a tedious & time intensive process to find the perfect match for the brand, but if we are a good team it's well worth it.

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Catch up on previous posts from my social media series:
How To Create Authentic Social Brand Mentions + Why They're Important

Were these tips useful? Let me know if you have any other questions! :]

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