As bloggers, we all dream about getting paid for our articles, whether it’s in the form of cash or a service we can take advantage of in exchange for writing about or featuring the sponsor.
On my last trip to London and Paris, I landed 11 sponsored gigs within seven days with an Instagram following of around 1,500 and a Facebook following of less than 500. I took two different approaches and I’ll share with you the exact scripts I used.
But before I do that, let me tell you some important things you should know before:
- Have a clean, professional looking website and online presence. No sloppy drunk pictures on Facebook or Instagram that can easily be found, unless you want to be sponsored by an alcoholic beverage.
- Do your research on the company you want to work with. Their goal is to get more customers, so find out, how you can make this happen for them. Look into their target market, their followers, and their social media strategy.
- Find out the name of the person you want to be in touch with: For small companies, it’s the owner, for larger ones the PR person. Try to find their email address and address them by their name when you write your email! Bonus tip: If they’re from a different country, write the “Hello” or “Thank you” in their language.
- This one should be obvious, but I’m still going to mention it: The product or service you want to sponsor should be something you would recommend to your follower base. You should be sure that they’re going to love it and that it can be a great benefit for them.
- If you have a small blog, find out if you can submit your articles to a local newspaper or an online magazine. Contact their editor and just ask. Small, independent newspapers and online magazines are always looking for good content and they’re more than happy if you offer it for free (this way you’re able to offer a bigger reach).
- In English you say “it doesn’t hurt to ask,” in German, we’d say “asking doesn’t cost anything.” Asking is free, so don’t be afraid. If you’ll get a rejection or no response, is that going to impact your life? Nope! So move on to the next one and keep asking. It really doesn’t cost anything other than the time to send out the email.
- Tell the sponsor what all you can offer: Instagram & Facebook posts, tweets, Snapchats, YouTube videos, features in newspaper, online magazine, etc.
- Follow up! If you haven’t received an answer within 5-7 days, send them a friendly reminder (“Dear XYZ, I’m just following up regarding my email below.”) With the amount of emails we’re all receiving, it’s possible to forget about an email or for it to land in the spam folder.
- Be on your best behavior when you meet the sponsor. Smile, engage, ask meaningful questions, be informed (you should have researched their website).
- Make sure to deliver everything within a reasonable time frame (2-3 weeks, 4 weeks max.!)! My friend, a very successful celebrity photography gave me this advice: “always underpromise but overdeliver!” So promise them whatever you can, and deliver even more.
- This one here’s a bonus: Once you have overdelivered, ask them to write you a reference about how they liked working with you which you can post on your “work with me” page on your blog.
Now that you know what to do, let me help you out and give you a script that you can use and adjust to your needs:
Dear owner/PR person,
Introduce yourself briefly
I’m writing to you about my upcoming visit to XYZ city. I’m a travel blogger, raised in Germany but home in Los Angeles and document my travels on my blog domain.com.
Tell them why you’re contacting them
I’d like to highlight one of your tours on my blog and in various newspapers in Southern California: Arcadia Weekly, Pasadena Independent, Monrovia Weekly, Sierra Madre Weekly, and Temple City Tribune (all part of Beacon Media).
Tell them about your previous experience (if you don’t have any, write about how you can benefit them, mention your number of followers on your social media platforms, and the publications your article will be featured in):
Previously, I have served as the Managing Editor for Beacon Media on whose websites I have the possibility to feature you. You can find some of my articles here, on The Hungry Partier and Thought Catalogue:
Links to your articles (you can also put links to your blog articles here).