HOW TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO BRANDS (WITH EMAIL TEMPLATE)
Good evening boo!
Hope you’re enjoying this fine Friday? I always feel good on a Friday, even if I’m working a 7 day week this week (I’m assisting with a design project this weekend- so it’s all the fun stuff).
So you may have seen on my instastories recently that I’m introducing some really DOPE, exciting stuff on the SL blog in the coming months/ years in the form of courses, webinars and templates for a couple of different areas, such as; Interior Styling & Design, Blogging & Branding and a few more. I am currently in the development phase of rolling these out and will obviously keep you updated along the way, but boy is it all time consuming. It’s so easy to under estimate how much time certain things require and it has been a great lesson to me that when it comes to time, it is sometimes better to overestimate than under estimate.
Anyway, one of the many questions that I’ve asked, been asked and then seemed to crack was the best way for individuals/ brands to make contact with other brands and businesses, and it suddenly occurred to me that instead of trying to talk you all through it on social media, that you’d probably find it much more useful if I pulled together some guidance and a template for you to adapt and use to get started on building your own relationships with brands and businesses. And here we have it!
Before I jump in to explaining how to populate the template, I think it would also help if I explained who this template is for. This template is for you if any of the following apply to you:
You are a blogger/ brand/ influencer trying to make contact with other brands/ businesses in a particular field
You haven’t already established a relationship with a brand and would like to introduce yourself and your business/ brand
You need a little extra help with your business communication skills and highlighting the best, relevant parts of who you are and what you do
So for example, if you’ve already been in contact with particular brands, influencers or businesses via social media or in person, then this template would only be for you if you didn’t have the opportunity for a detailed introduction at that time- although it is adaptable in terms of making it a friendly “follow-up” email. This template also doesn’t cover things like how to pitch for work or collaborations, but don’t worry; if that’s something you want to see then drop me a comment below and I’ll share my pitch/ media pack template and create some guidance for this too.
Right then, now that we’ve got that covered, let’s get into it…
HOW TO APPROACH & BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH A BRAND
In this section, we will cover the following:
1. Introduction: Who am I and what do I do?
2. Purpose: What do I want to achieve? What do I want from you?
3. Images, links and content
4. Language: Finding your voice/ communication style
5. Adapting this template for your needs
6. The Do’s and Don’ts of contacting brands
7. The Template
(I recommend reading all sections to learn about approaching brands from the root up. If you’re as impatient as my best friend is, I’d recommend reading section 4 and 6 as a bare minimum).
In this section you'll want to provide a brief summary of who you are, and what you do. I think a nice way of introducing yourself is with an infographic, like the one I've used on my landing page.
Remember, brands likely receive these types of emails several times a day, so your opening summary needs to be engaging enough to make them want to continue reading. There's also a real chance here to highlight your talents and what sets you apart from the rest. So for some of you, that might be your humour (always a winner for me), or possibly how easy you find it to engage with people. What ever your talent is, find a way of incorporating it into your summary.
2. PURPOSE: WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM THIS?
You need to determine what it is that you want when approaching brands and should always have something specific in mind. Would you like to attend their press events? Submit a guest post? Pitch for a potential collaboration? Write with whatever it is you hope to achieve in mind- at all times!
I personally like to build long lasting relationships- so if this is you, then in my opinion I think it’s always better to start with a soft introduction if you hope to explore professional activities with a brand/ business. Can you imagine someone sliding into your DMs/ inbox basically saying; hi, can I have a freebie? Or Hello, I want a job. Don’t get it twisted, there are people out there who take this approach; I am not entirely sure if this works out for them, but it certainly wouldn’t work with me.
Tip: thinking about how you like to be communicated with can be really helpful in terms of what would keep you reading an email, and what triggers you to hit that delete button.
Anyway, back to the point (which is also something you need to checkpoint regularly), why are you making contact? Be specific.
3. IMAGES, LINKS AND CONTENT
How much easier is it to navigate things when links are embedded into documents? And how eye catching is a presentation, email or comms when images are present? Answer: A LOT.
Have you ever been on someone’s Instagram story and they’ve posted an external post or something that you probably would’ve looked at if you had the “swipe up” option attached to it? Yeah, me too. And in fact, as I don’t yet have over 10k followers, I still can’t use the damn function- but it’s ok insta, I’m working around you.
One of the most helpful things you can do (and an easy way to increase views and engagement) is to make sure that you insert links at every chance! Including your social media details? LINK IT! Your blog? LINK! Your favourite YouTube video? DAMN WELL LINK IT!
In terms of content, I like to include content from both parties as a way of a) showing an authentic interest in their product/ service/ brand and b) showing off some fancy pants stuff that I’ve done, written or want to promote. This was a tip I received from the lovely ladies (Kita, Lara and Sophie) in the Comms/ Marketing team at Clickstay when I attended the Scarlett London BlogCon event, and it has been invaluable since. Thanks ladies; you’re the real MVPs.
4. LANGUAGE (FINDING YOUR COMMUNICATION STYLE)
Ok, so here we have, in my opinion, one of the most important areas because you really need to get this right before even attempting to form a relationship with a new brand. Notice how my interior style (a combination of luxe glam and colour pop) is very much a reflection of my personality; bold and boujee… joke. Anyway, this is exactly the approach I take to communicating with anyone, brands included!
I really don’t feel the need to communicate with formal language to feel professional, and I’d rather get to know someone’s true personality than to meet a cardboard box personality type. But obviously there are certain boundaries that one doesn’t cross regardless of how friendly or personable I/ you are. The key here is about finding the balance between the elements of your personality and voice that would highlight your strengths, in a playful and creative way.
Of course, one thing to bear in mind is the values/ beliefs/ style of the brand you are communicating with. For example, if you are communicating with a colourful, young brand like Pretty Little Thing, you could probably get away with using more relaxed language. However, if you’re getting in touch with corporate brands, I’d keep it friendly with a little bit of humour, of course; but I’d also make sure that my language is that of one they’re most likely to vibe with.
Another thing I have to say is, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stop changing/ compromising who you are for the sake of some work with a brand. This takes you away from who you are at your core, and if you’ve built your tribe based on your authentic self, they will be really disappointed to see you working with brands whose values/ beliefs or style just aren’t YOU. In the words of Nicki; NO FRAUDS.
USE YOUR OWN VOICE
I’ve touched on this briefly already, but I have to reiterate this. Use your OWN voice. You know that little voice in your head that you hear when you’re reading? That’s the voice I am referring to. This will really come in handy when you’re modifying the template I prepared and start adapting it to make it your own. Basically, how ever you would say it, is how you should write it. People like to get to know the person behind the screen, and so by actually writing things how you would say it, it gives them a little glimpse into your personality without them seeing you face to face.
I should also mention that I can see through language imposters from a mile away, and nothing irritates me more than people who recycle someone else’s voice as their own. I’ve come across some of my very words, statements and captions being used on other people’s Instagram, blog or socials, and whilst I love to share my tips and information with everyone and should be flattered, it actually has the opposite effect when someone is trying to come up off material you’ve taken the time to pull together and passes it off as their own, or is just being inauthentic and are clearly using language that they wouldn’t normally. This is why individuality is so important; because who really wants to listen to people saying the same thing, in the same way, all the time? Not me, and likely not a brand either.
5. HOW TO ADAPT THIS TEMPLATE TO YOUR NEEDS
Right, so I guess I should give you a few pointers on how to adapt the template I’ve created to make it your own. The template really does speak for itself and is really an opportunity for you to personalise it. I’ve already mentioned the importance of making sure you use your own voice and language, but in terms of populating the template, I would focus on the following:
I’m a huge advocate for making sure that any communications, whether an email or a newsletter, is well branded; because let’s face it, the better the aesthetic, the more likely it is to catch your attention and really make you stand out from the crowd.
Hopefully you’ve already got your business/ blog branding all figured out by now and can insert a header, logo or strapline that reflects your personal style. But if not, there are so many free branded resources available online, including stock photos and I’d definitely recommend making use of them where you can.
Images and links
As I mentioned earlier, inserting an image of yourself will give the person on the other end of your email a sense of who you are, so make sure they’re high quality. Linking to your best performing/ most engaging post is also a good idea if you’re trying to showcase a specific area of work that you’ve done.
Write with the brand in mind
It is always a good idea to let a business/ brand know what it is that you like about them and how their vision and values link to yours or your own brand. You can do this by letting them know what it Is that you like about them and how you are relatable to them.
I mentioned a little earlier that this template is mainly for those of you who are making contact with a brand for the first time. But if for example you have already met with the person on the other end of the screen, maybe at a company event or in passing, then it would be really easy to convert this introductory email into a follow up one.
My advice to you if this is the case would be to let them know that it was lovely to meet/ speak/ see them present at an event recently (or whatever the circumstances were), and that you’d like to connect with. The rest of the template would flow as normal after this and still allows you to let them know a bit more about you- which is hopefully your aim.
6. THE DO'S AND DON'TS OF CONTACTING BRANDS
As you’ve probably already guessed, this list wasn’t written any particular order but was instead put together based on the principles that I use when I’m introducing myself to brands.
Remember, brands are potential business partners, friends and income sources, so you need to make sure you’re establishing a real connection if you want to form a real relationship.
7. THE TEMPLATE
If you’re ready to get started on editing your template and making contact with brands, please visit my store to get the template delivered straight to your inbox!
Was this useful? I’d love for you to let me know in the comments below so that I can keep on creating content/ templates that you want to see. Let me know if there’s anything specific that you’d like to see too so that I can get it cracking.