A lot of what we talk about here on Slightly Savvy is HOW to nail down brand collaborations as a blogger.
But what we don’t talk about a lot is what to do AFTER the brand says yes, what to do AFTER you’ve worked together…aka how to close down 1 project effectively while setting yourself up for new work.
How can you get the most long-term value out of one collaboration?
How should you end a project while keeping the door open with a brand?
How can you make a lasting impression on a brand?
If you’re a blogger and you’re asking yourself these questions already…you’re already one step ahead of the game.
SO! Let’s dive into some DOs and DONT’S for wrapping up your brand partnerships strategically to benefit your blog long-term.
1. Turn your professional contact into a personal one
So chances are, if you’re wrapping up a collaboration, there’s 1 or 2 people you’ve been working with throughout the entire process.
They’ve been your professional contacts – your account manager, your brand representative, whatever.
You’ve spent weeks emailing back and forth, bouncing ideas off each other, doing phone calls, etc.
Now that your project together is done, turn your professional contact into a personal one.
DON’T: Just leave your connection to LinkedIn.
Make sure your blog/brand is clearly listed on your Linkedin, and then send the 1-2 people you worked directly with a friend request.
Stay in touch with what they’re sharing on Linkedin, comment on promotions, etc.
But you can do lots more than simply connect professionally.
DO: Make an effort to stay in touch with their personal lives.
Stay in touch with her life – respond to her Insta Stories wishing her luck when she snaps a Boomerang right before an influencer event
I’m not saying text your account manager if your boyfriend breaks up with you….
But it goes a long way if you can connect on something beyond your professional relationship – maybe a movie you both love, a TV show you’re binge watching, maybe you both have Golden Retrievers, etc.
Building up this strong network of professional contacts who also consider you a personal connection is GOLD.
“Your network is your net worth.” – someone famous – me
2. Send a wrap up, separate thank you email to each individual you worked with
Take 15 minutes one day after your camapign is over to send a separate, quick email to every individual you worked with.
- Reference something specific the 2 of you worked on together – editing the draft, going over photo content, etc.
- Be personal – is there a funny story you can reminisce on? something you realized you had in common that you can mention now?
- Thank them for a great experience, if you did enjoy working with them (obviously )
- Don’t be nervous to set yourself up for future work – “I had such a great time working with you guys; I’d love to do so again in the future.”
DO: Write your email within 2 days of wrapping up your project.
DON’T: Wait too long to follow up and say thank you. It’ll legit take less than 10 min to write the emails.
3. Give the brand some great free press
So you had a great experience working together? Awesome, now let the brand (and your community) know that.
Tweet something like…
“Had SUCH an amazing experience with Katherine and the entire @SundayRiley team! A dream for any blogger to work with!”
People want to repay that, too.
So, I bet if a brand sees you singing their praises, they’re going to be a lot more likely to go the extra step to say something positive about you as well.
Another benefit to this? Being transparent with your community. If I see a blogger who did sponsored work ALSO really loved the team there, as a reader/consumer, I’m even happier to support it because it feels like it comes from an authentic, real place.
DO: Praise them on a public platform.
Give them that shout out on Facebook, Insta stories, Twitter, etc. Brands love good mentions out in the press.
DON’T: Bash the brand
Don’t bash the brand, sub-tweet them on Twitter, trash talk, etc.
If you truly had a bad experience, be upfront and let the brand know that.
4. Ask for your own feedback
I know we all like to think we’re perfect…but we’re not.
I guarantee there’s always things both the blogger AND the brand could do better.
So, take the initiative and ask straight up for feedback on your work.
I always appreciate when bloggers take a more business-mindset and kind of remove themselves emotionally from the feedback.
And I try to do it, too – I ask how I could have served them better, what I could’ve done to make their life easier, communicated more, etc.
You could also ask your PR rep or account manager to fill out a survey on your work – create a survey on Typeform or Survey Monkey and make it anonymous if you want.
DO: Come at it from a place of truly wanting to improve.
You don’t HAVE to ask for feedback. Only do so if you genuinely want to change, grow, improve.
If you don’t feel like this, you’re only setting yourself up to be uber annoyed when you actually get feedback. So don’t waste your time in asking for feedback you don’t genuinely want.
DON’T: Respond aggressively if a brand gives you constructive criticism.
When you ask for feedback, be aware that you might get constructive criticism.
Even if you don’t agree with it or you think it’s unjustified, resist the urge to fire back with an explanation or questions, etc.
Take the constructive criticism, analyze it, and move on.
5. Think of each partnership as long-term vs short-term
Even if your contract is for one sponsored post, one sponsored Instagram, treat your partnership like you’ll be working together for years to come.
If you think of partnerships one-offs, one and done…they probably will be.
Even if a brand maybe treats you this way, you don’t have to conform to their short-term mindset.
DO: Communicate openly, fix problems, be responsive…all things to build a long-term relationship.
So many problems I’ve seen arise between bloggers + brands is because one party isn’t open or honest.
DON’T: Internalize issues
Have a problem with something that was done? Say so.
Feel like something wasn’t given to you that was promised? Mention it.
I see a lot of bloggers in Facebook groups upset when a brand doesn’t follow through with something they say, promise, etc.
And usually the comments say to ignore it, move on, etc.
Doing that will only harden your feelings towards that brand, make you a bit bitter, etc.
If you feel like you were jipped or slighted, just openly say so in a nice way. Don’t be afraid to call a brand out for not keeping up their end of the bargain – but do it in a kind, nice way.
Read: 3 Quick + Effective Tips for Building Relationships with Brands + PR Pros –> here
So fam, what do you guys do when wrapping up a collaboration with a brand? What do you think of these tips??
And no worries if you’ve never partnered with a brand before. If you’re just getting started working with brands, peep the post below on pitching yourself.
Read How to Pitch to Brands: A Guide From a PR Perspective –> here
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