Tips for Bloggers Pitching to Agencies

A few weekends ago, I had the opportunity to attend BlogHer ’11 in sunny San Diego, California with my coworker, Cassandra. Every year, the BlogHer conference brings women bloggers together to connect and share ideas and stories, and to learn some blogger best practices. I had never been to San Diego, nor had I ever been to the BlogHer conference, so I was definitely in for a treat.

Since the conference is geared toward bloggers, I was not sure what to expect from a social media marketing point of view. I originally planned to network and make connections with some of my favorite bloggers, however, in the process of connecting, I also learned a lot about blogger expectations when it comes to working with agencies.Additionally, I gained insight into why managing blogger relationships is so important.

My favorite session was “Bad Blogger Pitches.” From this session, I’ve compiled a list of pointers, provided by its panel of experts, for bloggers who are considering reaching out to an agency or brand. Additionally, I’ve compared their pointers to my own experience with blogger outreach, since there are some distinct differences between how we do it at Ignite Social Media and the panelists’ recommendations.

Tips for pitching to an agency from the “Bad Blogger Pitches” panel:

Be professional but let your personality come through in your pitch.

They explained that they want the bloggers they work with to seem human and to be well-liked by their readers so that they will want to read your sponsored posts and product reviews.

Include your age, gender, location, blog title and URL.

This ensures that the agencies have enough detailed information to determine whether or not you are a good fit to work with one of their brands.

Tell the agency the engagement metrics for your blog,

Include collective Twitter, YouTube and Facebook impressions. It’s important to some agencies that you are not only engaging your readers on your blog, but on other social channels as well. This will ensure maximum exposure for those agencies’ brands.

Give a brief summary of why you want to work with the brand.

Do you have specific ideas you would like to share? Tell the agency why you are a good fit for the brand and how the brand will benefit from your post.

Include samples.

If relevant, some agencies would love to see what type of work you’ve done in the past and to be able to easily access these posts for reference. This information will also help determine whether or not you’re a good fit for their brand.

Tips for Pitching Brands and Agencies from our perspective:

Be professional but let your personality come through in your pitch.

I certainly agreed with the panel that this is important when pitching to us or any agency. At Ignite Social Media, this is important to us because we like to truly build relationships with our bloggers and through these relationships, have since built a number of partnerships with the bloggers we’ve worked with to date (along with some close friendships).

Include your blog title and URL.

The title of your blog and the URL are certainly important but the rest we’ll find. That’s the fun part for us, digging for the details and getting to know the people we will work with in the distant (or not so distant) future.

Provide details about why you want to work with a brand.

Maybe you’re a gadget and/or tech blogger so you’d really love to get your hands on a client’s product for review, or perhaps you have a specific idea for working with a client. We may not be able to immediately fulfill your request but we will do everything we can to help. If we can’t work together immediately, but we tell you we’ll reach out to you later, we really do mean that. Trust me, it may be six weeks or six months but if we know you’re interested in working with us, we would definitely love to work with you.

Build a relationship with your contact at the agency.

This is the most important tip of all! The best part of working on the engagement team is that I’m expected to build relationships – it’s a huge part of my job. We like to hear your ideas, your thoughts and even about the surgery you had on your bunion (that’s right, I read that post).  We love to stay in touch and we’re more than happy to help whenever we can. So come to us expecting a relationship because we want to build that trust, to understand how you work and in doing so, we have an understanding of which brands you are most interested in working with and we work hard to meet your needs.

Do you have any additional tips for bloggers pitching agencies, or are you a blogger with additional questions? Please leave me a comment below. If you’re a blogger interested in working with us on a particular brand, please email us here.

Ignite Social Media