Bloggers: How to Approach Small Online Shops for Partnerships


Wearing Adorned By Chi accessories

Ever since started Adorned By Chi, I’ve been approached by quite a few bloggers about working together. I love it! When I was a fashion blogger, way back when, I pitched to indie brands because they felt more accessible and it’s always fun introducing something new to your audience.  Anyway, over time I’ve received some awesome pitches and some not-so-awesome pitches. Now, I’m not here to shame people who may not have polished their approach yet. Lord knows I hadn’t when I first started writing to small brands. I just want to offer some guidance so that your emails get answered!

Don’t belittle yourself

I have a habit of doing this myself, but if you don’t hold yourself in high regard why should the person you’re pitching? Instead of starting an email out with “I know my audience is small but…”, just let the business owner know you have a highly engaged audience. You can even use the words “tight knit” and “loyal” if you have to. Remember, you’re awesome! And you want to let that small business know that.

And personally, I have the best experience working with people with smaller audiences! So never feel “too small”, ok?

nodding excitedly

That’s the spirit!

Use an enticing subject line

I received an email recently with no subject line. That’s definitely a no-no! You want to start off with a great impression. Think of what would make you open an email, then write that, but don’t try too hard. For me, a simple “Possible blogger collaboration” or “Let’s work together!” works. That way I know what to expect when I open the email.

Don’t pitch to a brand that doesn’t match your brand

I’ve received more than one message now from people who have racier online presences. Nothing wrong with that, but that doesn’t match my brand at all. Make sure you look into the business you’re approaching beforehand to avoid this mistake.

Interact with them beforehand

I had a blogger reach out to me recently and before I even finished reading the email I knew I wanted to work with her. Why? Because she had interacted with me on social media! You’ll have a better chance of being considered if the business owner already knows of you. Another tip comes from a post Buki Peters shared here a while ago: Patronize the business. If you’re actually interested in a business you should buy a few items. It shows you’re not just in it for free stuff, and that you’re passionate about the brand.

Check your tone

As nerve-wracking as this piece of advice can be, you really do have to check your tone and filter yourself. Sometimes we think we’re coming off as playful, or confident when really we sound unprofessional or jerkish. I opened an email, the one with no subject line, and was met with what I perceived to be a condescending message. After a few puzzling moments I just decided that maybe I wasn’t interpreting it the way it was meant to be interpreted, but I still didn’t respond. I’ve had a few times when my tone has been taken the wrong way, but as they say: perception is reality. And who are “they”, you ask? I don’t know, but they say a lot of things don’t they? Ha!

Bloggers and biz owners, do you have any tips to share? Leave them in the comments below!

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