The Ultimate Ways NOT To Get Brand Collaborations

Brand Collaborations

I started blogging back in 2015. As my blog and social media grew, I saw brands contacting me for collaborations. After a time, channelling the entrepreneur in me, I started to do brand outreach. With more or less success. I did a lot of mistakes along the way, that sometimes cost me said brand collaborations. I have improved with time, increasing my chances of success. As a full-time marketing manager, I have also be the one receiving outreach emails. And I have seen a lot of mistakes that had me saying ‘no’ to the influencers.

I want you to be successful and make the most of blogging. Thus, using both my experience as a blogger and as an influencer marketer, I’ll make a list of the most common mistakes I have seen, how to avoid them and to make sure you land dream partnerships with brands.

1. Generic outreach emails

Brands are not stupid. They can say when they receive a generic email. When there is no mention of their brand in the email. When the email is not specific to their industry. Or when the email just does not make sense. There are many clues that show a generic email. If a brand receives two emails, one that is tailored and one generic, you can bet they’ll get back to the former. It is not about feeling special, it is about showing application and professionalism.

2. Multiple addresses in CC

This is a very stupid mistake but that I have seen many times. I did not even go into reading the email. Seeing that the blogger had emailed dozens of brands at the same time with the same email was enough to put me off. As previously said, a generic email is never a good idea but if you’re going to send it to multiple recipients, bcc them so that it is not as apparent that they are one amongst many. Peak awkwardness happens when one of the brands in the email answers the influencer highlighting their mistake to them. This usually costs the influencer the collaboration with all the brands involved.

3. Email in subject title

As a marketing manager, as I received emails where the entire body of text was in the subject line. No need to say I did not even go to the end of the text and just sent a negative answer. A mistake such as this one screams of copying and pasting a generic email in the wrong location. It shows rush, lack of consideration and professionalism. Again, if you are going to use a generic email, make sure the body of text is in the right place.

4. Missing social and blog links

I feel like this one is a very obvious one. How can I assess whether or not I want to work with you if you do not show me your blog and social media? They are your work. I don’t ask for a media kit, but I do want a link to your blog and Instagram to check them out. I have received emails missing social links or just giving away Instagram ID. With all the emails I receive in a day, I will prioritize and consider those that make it easier for me. You are coming to me for a collaboration, it is your job to give me all the information I need to assess your proposal. If I need to put extra effort in checking you out, it’s a ‘no’ from me.

5. No business proposal

You love the brand, you want to work with us. Great, I am happy. You give me your Instagram handle and told me you want to collaborate. Three sentences in this email. I am sorry but that is not enough. Reaching out for a collaboration is like applying for a job. You need to tell me why you in particular would be good for the brand, what you can bring the brand, what you’d do with the products. The only thing I see from an email throwing an Instagram handle at me is laziness, lack of professionalism and entitlement. In a sea of influencer emails, brands won’t spend time on those putting in little effort.

6. Bad grammar and spelling

I will say this one is obvious as well – to me at least – but I still see emails with terrible English. When the sender is a non-English speaker, I disregard the broken English but when English natives send me a rag, they get a negative answer. Again, applying for a collaboration is like applying for a job. Make sure you proofread before sending. Especially if you use a template email that you change for each brand. How bad does it look when you address your email to brand A but mention brand B in the body of text?

Those six are the most common mistakes I see every day at work. Just to be transparent, I can confirm that I am guilty of some of these upon starting blogging and reaching out for brand collaborations. I don’t do these errors anymore because I know how annoyed I get when I receive emails doing any of the above. And also because I have improved generally. Other mistakes include refusing to give blog statistics when asked for or shaming a brand online because they did not accept you. And probably many more.

Shop the outfit
Sunflower Dress – Shein*
Straw Bag – Topshop
Wedges – New Look
Sunglasses – Guess

How long have you been blogging? Have you committed any of these blogger mistakes? Did they cost you brand collaborations? Any other mistakes you’ve seen? Or advise you’d give to land brand collaborations?

Thanks a lot for stopping by. Hope you liked this post.

See you soon,
Love,
Corinne

*The dress was gifted to me but all opinions remain my own

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41 Comments

  1. September 13, 2018 / 3:20 am

    I have started blogging 3 months back and also want to grow in the same field, these things will help me in getting engage with brands.
    Thank you 😊

  2. September 13, 2018 / 9:51 am

    You have some great points here. I also receive lots of emails with the subject in the title. It annoys me so so much!

  3. September 13, 2018 / 9:54 am

    Great tips you have and no 6 is the one I needed to be careful of as I am coming from a non English speaking background. I do hope the spell checks can help me out and needed to polish my English. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder.

  4. September 13, 2018 / 10:37 am

    Well, first impressions matter and the little things we tend to not take seriously are what cost us the collaborations. I’m certain that the mistake on multiple addresses in the CC would also piss me off!

  5. September 13, 2018 / 4:43 pm

    These are such great tips, Corinne. “You are coming to me for a collaboration, it is your job to give me all the information I need to assess your proposal.” Absolutely right. Also, I think treating a pitch email like a job application is spot on. I’ve not pitched to any brands yet (too scared) but if I ever do I’ll be sure to include all the information you suggest! xx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  6. September 13, 2018 / 4:46 pm

    This is so helpful as I’ve only just started reaching out to brands on my own behalf! I can’t believe people would be as careless as to paste a whole email into the subject line?!

    Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

  7. September 13, 2018 / 4:56 pm

    Such great tip! I am just starting to work with brands on sponsored content and it is so helpful to hear what you have to share about things to look out for when making that initial contact! First impressions are everything!

  8. September 13, 2018 / 5:11 pm

    Wow, I just thought it was just my mum who wrote the whole email in the subject line. This is such a great post Corinne. I never know where to start when pitching to brands so this is really useful. Thank you for sharing <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

  9. September 13, 2018 / 5:13 pm

    These tips are very helpful, thank you! I’ve only been blogging for 5 months so I’m not quite ready to reach out to brands. I’ve been thinking about it but need to grow more. I’ll definitely take your advice and treat it like applying for a job.

  10. Devyani Ray
    September 13, 2018 / 5:59 pm

    I just started blogging. BUt it’s more of a hobby and my creative outlet than a means of making money. Luckily my day job pays enough. I love your tips though.

  11. September 13, 2018 / 7:00 pm

    This is such a helpful post! I can’t believe that people actually try and get collabs in some of these ways! It always baffles me when people don’t put their social links everywhere, let alone in an email regarding the socials in question!

    Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

  12. September 13, 2018 / 7:42 pm

    I am with you! I get emails from brands and I can so tell it’s generic. I usually just delete those. Or if they just say Dear Blogger, I’m all ??? Bad grammar gets me as well.

  13. September 13, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    I’ve been blogging for a few months, but I haven’t worked with any brands so far, I guess it’s because of the fact that my niche might not be too popular. I’ll try to avoid the mistakes you mentioned here. 🙂

  14. September 13, 2018 / 9:09 pm

    These are definitely some big mistakes to avoid! Personally, I refuse to respond to emails that are not written in proper English and with correct grammar. This just contributes to poor communication when trying to build a new relationship.

  15. September 13, 2018 / 9:33 pm

    This was a great post! And it gave me a real confidence boost! I can’t believe people make so many basic mistakes in pitch emails. You’re absolutely right. It’s like a job application and you need to tell them what you can offer. Agree with every word of this x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

  16. September 13, 2018 / 10:55 pm

    Interesting post. Bad grammar makes a lot of sense for brand collaborations, when it involves post/article writing from the applicant part. For other sort of tasks, I use to disregard grammar errors from both native or non-native – unless it borders the unintelligible. People are used o type fast on the internet, many times from mobile.

  17. September 13, 2018 / 11:03 pm

    Good post. Sending to multiple people at the same time is definitely a turn off. Another one that drives me crazy is sending from a free webmail account, especially Yahoo, Hotmail or AOL.

  18. September 14, 2018 / 12:53 am

    I’ve been official for two months now. And I’m quite surprised with my website’s engagement. 🙂 I plan to monetize it soon. And I’m glad I stumbled upon your post.
    I agree that e-mails must be professionally written right from the start. It’s like putting your best foot forward. 🙂

  19. September 14, 2018 / 2:11 am

    Such a great tips. This post is really helpful for those trying to get a brand engagement without doing mistakes.

  20. September 14, 2018 / 10:32 am

    These are great tips! Copy and pasting the same email to multiple brands is definitely a big no-no because it’s always so obvious and brands aren’t stupid!

  21. September 14, 2018 / 11:34 am

    Working on both sides of the equation, I’ve seen some awful approaches from both brands and bloggers. At the end of the day, you want to work with people who have taken the time to show that they really do want to work with you, and haven’t just sent out 100 requests in the hope one will stick. I think you get back what you put in most of the time.

  22. Olga Zak
    September 14, 2018 / 11:39 am

    These are some great points. I love it very much. I can’t believe that people actually try and get collabs in some of these ways! Your photos are awesome!

  23. September 14, 2018 / 6:48 pm

    These are all bad practices in any business, not just blogging. In the end you tailor your messages and give yourself the best chance to succeed in a primarily numbers game.

  24. September 14, 2018 / 7:26 pm

    Great post lovely! I’m really wanting to start reaching out to brands, but my anxiety is too bad at the moment for me to manage. These are some great tips; even though I already knew most of them, its always great to be reminded about spelling and grammar – I’m slightly dyslexic so its extremely important for me to remember to double check everything I write! xxx

    Jade | jademarie.co.uk

  25. September 14, 2018 / 7:29 pm

    I’m still very new in the reaching out to brands sector of blogging and I feel like in a lot of my earlier emails that they were possibly far too long and people probably lost interest! I’d probably say I’ve sent out about 20 emails and only got responses from a quarter of them. Majority of them positive which is great but a few rejections, too! I find it quite exciting reaching out to brands but it’s definitely something I need to work more on!
    Alice Xx

  26. September 14, 2018 / 7:30 pm

    Such a great idea for a post and oh my – this is actually VERY helpful! I’ve recently started reaching out to brands instead of waiting for them to contact me and it’s been incredibly scary… Not had many replies yet – and the ones that did reply weren’t very excited about working with me. But the more I’ll do it, the better I’ll get at it! Thanks for sharing these tips 🙂

  27. September 14, 2018 / 7:39 pm

    I always found it so hard to reach out to brands when I first started blogging that eventually I stopped and now I simply blog just because it’s something I love to do. There are some great tips here though so thank you x

    Alys / alysgeorge.blogspot.co.uk

  28. September 14, 2018 / 7:56 pm

    Agree with ALL of these, brands are not stupid like you said so you must take time and effort when pitching to them! I always take time (probably too long) and I’ve been fortunate to work with some awesome brands! Good post!!

  29. September 14, 2018 / 9:34 pm

    Yes, yes, yes to this! OMG the grammar and the spelling! I totally agree!!!

  30. September 15, 2018 / 6:05 am

    These are things I can completely relate with! I hate it so much when people CC multiple emails…. So much for privacy? At least have an app that replaces the name and CC everyone. I always like to see the business proposal up front. At least give an executive summary up front? Thanks for sharing these!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  31. September 15, 2018 / 8:58 am

    This is such a great post! I’ve only been blogging for a few months but wil definitely make sure to avoid these mistakes when reaching out to brands. It baffles me how bloggers think that with generic emails and bad grammar they’ll find collaborations. Surely unique emails which show genuine interest are more likely to work in their favour? Loved this ✨

    Evie x | https://eviejayne.co.uk

  32. September 15, 2018 / 10:04 am

    LOVE the originality of this post, and its also really cool to see advice from someone who’s been on both sides of collaborations. Will definitely be checking out more of your posts 🙂 x

    Megan x
    meganatkinsonslife.org

  33. September 15, 2018 / 1:27 pm

    I get a lot of those emails too. 😉 I only collaborated with a few selected hotel accommodations for my travels so far. I’m going to look into working with brands in the future. 😉

  34. September 15, 2018 / 3:38 pm

    Great post. Those are great tips to keep in mind when pitching a brand or agency. I have been guilty of missing some of my social links when pitching a brand. I do send my blog link, but it’s also a great tip to send your Instagram link.

  35. September 16, 2018 / 12:35 am

    Thank you! For most of us blogging, we do want to see some ROI on the time we spend on our blogs and social media presence. The things you pointed out are basic but imperative to pay attention to because they are either simple mistakes or acts of ignorance to business etiquette.

  36. Becca Wilson
    September 16, 2018 / 2:07 pm

    These are all definitely on the no-no list. I absolutely hate misspellings in an email especially when you should take the time to proofread before you send it off.

  37. Lisa
    September 16, 2018 / 2:08 pm

    Yes! Multiple CC: in an email is so very tacky. I really hate when brands do this!

  38. September 17, 2018 / 6:13 pm

    I’m so happy I came across this post because I want to start collaborating with more brands and this post is an incredible way to reach out. I like to add, it’s best to make your messages direct and short. I heard companies don’t like it when you give them to much info about you, I think no more than 300 words. Glad you wrote this 🤗

    Natonya | http://www.justnatonya.wordpress.com

  39. October 13, 2018 / 7:09 pm

    I’m glad I saw this post I started having sponsors recently after 5-6 years blogging it finally paying off. One of the things I’ve learned along the way is not spamming them because they will less likely collaborate (I’ve seen it before). I enjoyed this post quite a lot that I end up taking some few notes.

    xx
    Michelle| http://www.brokebutflawless.com

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