How to land your first blog sponsorship

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 7 days with an Instagram following of around 1,500 and a Facebook following of less than 500  at that time. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. Tell the sponsor what all you can offer: Instagram & Facebook posts, tweets, Snapchats, YouTube videos, features in newspaper, online magazine, etc.
  8. 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.
  9. Be on your best behavior when you meet the sponsor. Smile, engage, ask meaningful questions, be informed (you should have researched their website).
  10. 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.
  11. 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 www.discoveringlegacies.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)

I am reaching out to inquire if you provide support to bloggers (I found out that this is important from Julie from Travel Blog Success). My visit will be from October 13 – 17, 2016.  Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Kind regards,

Jennifer Schlueter

In the signature, include links to all of your social media & blog

 

Here’s another approach I took, with a different internet presence of mine, less than 70 Facebook followers and less than 200 Instagram followers at the time (but a very specifically targeted audience). I was offered a 60 minute free float session (worth 60-90 Euros depending on the location) for free in four different locations. Note that I only offered them visibility on my blog, I did not mention the newspapers at all:

Bonsoir XYZ,

I’m working on an article on floating businesses as well as establishing my presence as the Traveling Floater ( www.travelingfloater.com , Instagram , Facebook).

Therefore, I’d like to:

  1. Interview you via Skype (which we could record if you’d like) or email
  1. Feature the interview on my website & social media
  1. Float at your center (I’ll be in Paris sometime in October).

Here are some questions I’d like to ask you:

Where did you hear about floating first?

What made you decide to open your own floating business?

What’s the best part about it?

How known is floatation therapy in your country?

What is being done to make it more known – what do you do?

How many tanks do you have?

What’s different/unique about your center?

What makes people come to you?

What’s a No-go for a floating center?

If you want to work with me, please send me a day within the next two weeks on which you’ll be available to do the interview. Or – if you choose to answer the questions via email – please just send me the answers along with a picture of your float center/tanks.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Merci and float on 🙂

 

Let me know if you’ve found this to be helpful and if you landed any gigs with the help of this!

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32 comments

Leave your comment

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you, Bel! Good luck! Let me know if it worked 🙂

  • Thanks you. You shared some killer strategies for success in this post!

    Keep it up.

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thanks a lot! Glad to hear!

  • UM HELLO!!
    This article is amazing.
    I found off the Instagram Posse Facebook page and so glad I did!!
    This is some good advice I have been searching for!

    Thanks so much for the knowledge! xoxo

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!

  • This is all very helpful! It’s inspiring that you were able to get sponsorship with such little followers. I’m always nervous that I don’t have enough followers to get sponsorship. But as you said, there’s no harm in trying.

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      There really isn’t any harm in trying 😀 Just go for it! Good luck!

  • Quite a helpful post. I have mostly been following the points you have mentioned and definitely could not agree more.A huge social media following is definitely not a must to get sponsorship. And having an attractive website will surely help. However, I should have to improve on “promise less and deliver more ” part 🙂

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Haha, we could endlessly improve on that and always find something, I’m sure 😉

  • This was very interesting. I’ve wanted to start doing this so thanks for giving me the steps on how to do that!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      You’re welcome! Good luck 🙂

  • Just thoroughly read this blog a few times! Super helpful! Thanks! 🙂

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you! Glad you found it helpful! Good luck with getting the sponsors 😀

  • This is amazing post. I’ve read it twice and bookmarking it to read again 🙂

    Thank you!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Glad you found it helpful 😀 Good luck with getting sponsors!

  • There are not ennough bloggers share such helpful tips, thank you for the generosity 🙂

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      You’re welcome, glad you enjoyed it.

  • Thanks for sharing these great tips! In such a saturated space, it really is important to stand out by thinking about what YOU can offer to a brand – and then deliver in a timely manner! This is definitely a must-read for anyone starting out.

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Totally agree with you!
      Thanks!

  • Great advice. Very solid and having the examples help. Completely agree with you about “asking.” It is really about not listening to the fear within and simply asking. That’s exciting that you were able to get so much support. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you! Glad you liked it 🙂

  • As a painfully new blogger this is some great information! I used to work in the PR industry for hospitality clients and would go through countless pitches from bloggers wanting free stays. Your pitch is perfect! Not only does it include all the information we’ll need to get approval from the brand, it’s short, sweet and to the point!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thanks, Alex! Glad to hear this from your PR perspective!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thank you Priyadarshini :)! Glad you liked it!

  • Keep working ,impressive job! gaeddfeadgkcdgae

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thanks a lot!

  • As someone new to the blogging world this is an awesome resource. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Thanks a lot, Cindy! All the best to you for finding your sponsors <3

  • Great advice! I have never known where to start when approaching companies and this is a great layout. I’m amazed at how successful you were with such little social media presence, I always thought I would have to wait until I had at least 10k instagram followers so this is really positive to hear! Thanks so much!

    • Jennifer Schlueter

      Reply

      Hi Ainsley! Yes, don’t worry so much about the followers. Worry about engagement and YOUR content 🙂
      I must admit, that obviously the newspapers helped, but ANYONE can offer their local newspaper to send in an article….
      Good luck with everything 🙂

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