Collaborations and milestone occasions go hand and hand. When I started my blog and when I got engaged, I made it very clear that I wanted to be able to collaborate and work with brands to help make this process easier. I had to work strategically because I knew that most collaborations would only make sense when the details were actually ironed out and ready to go.
I’m sharing from the perspective of pitching and being pitched to. Today I’m sharing how to collaborate with brands for milestone occasions.
Share Previously Produced Content
If you are reaching out to a brand, be prepared by having social proof or content that you have previously created using the brand’s product(s). That is a perfect way to set a standard and share what you’re capable of providing when you collaborate. While you’re collecting your links, check to see if the brand engaged with your content.
You don’t have to overload them with content in the initial email, but once you move past introductions, they’ll ask what you have in mind and along with that, I personally share and link to EVERY single time I’ve posted about the brand; even if the brand doesn’t have time to look at each link my email will still have them. Show them how you can be creative by sharing what you’re creating.
Have Dates and Timeline In Order
Wedding, Baby Shower, Birthday Party, whatever the milestone, if you are pitching yourself to a brand make sure you have dates and things in order. The date your event is taking place, the date you need product/items by, the date you plan to have drafts for approval and dates you plan or project the content to be posted/go live. Make sure you are not waiting until the last minute, especially if it’s for an event.
If your milestone is an event or something that requires extensive planning, I would recommend reaching out as early as 3 months prior to the occasion. This gives both parties a chance to communicate, it allows for follow ups and emails, it gives both sides a comfortable window for negotiations.
It is up to you to provide details for what you need. Even if a brand says no, it’s good practice to have your stuff together; it speaks to your professionalism and though it may not work initially, it doesn’t mean there isn’t an option in the future.
The collaborations that I have been blessed to have in this season of wedding planning required hard numbers and they are things I need. I needed a head count before preparing for my Save the Date collaboration so that meant finishing my guest list early and intentionally so I could have a hard number to provide.
Have An Idea or Plan to Collaborate
What is it that you plan to do with the product or service if provided? Will you write a blog post, a video, create a round up, create a series for Instagram? I like to have an idea or three and then see what the brand thinks.
For the rose collaboration I had a whole list of ideas based on content I already created previously. I knew I was going to re-introduce my Must Try Rose List, which is a milestone for me. I knew I wanted to create and share a recipe and I knew that with summer showing up in full force that rose content was going to be something I felt comfortable making regularly. Not only that I wanted to work with a brand that I actually use.
I shared all of the photos/posts and links to said posts where I tagged the brand without a partnership being involved. This helps with my credibility and it doesn’t seem farfetched when I ask for what I need.
Make Sure You’re Comfortable Sharing
Make sure you’re okay sharing and make sure that whoever is involved is okay being shared as well. Milestone occasions are still personal so if you’re not comfortable sharing don’t feel obligated. I know some found it weird that my fiance saw me in a wedding dress before our wedding due to a brand I decided to collaborate with, but I needed his help, it wasn’t my actual dress and honestly I was okay creating and sharing that content with him. If anything that collaboration opened the door for other opportunities to collaborate including our Save The Dates.
For my Save The Dates I wasn’t comfortable sharing the entire invite because there is still an element of surprise I want our guests to have, but a sneak peek coupled with a blog post about the company was perfect for me. It built anticipation without completely taking away from what our guests will see in a few months. All of these things are something I had to consider.
There are a number of brands that you love and already use that would be more than happy to collaborate with you for your milestone occasions. Even if you’re not coming up on anything major at the moment, make a list of brands you would like to partner with, jot down some ideas of how you could incorporate them into the regular content you already create, brainstorm what that would look like visually and how you plan to deliver.
Brands are very helpful during milestone occasions and if there is something that you actually need, it’s totally worth it to try to make something happen. You never know who may want to work with you.