I just got back from Blogger Bash 2016 and loved every minute of it. I have made some great connections with brands in the past and I know how tough it can be to get started with brand pitching and engagement, so if you are heading to a conference I have some great tips for you to make your connections worthwhile!
1. Have an “elevator pitch”
An Elevator Pitch is a short speech about you, your blog, and your goals. It should go something like this:
“Hi! I’m _______________. My site, ___________________ is all about X, Y, and Z. I would love to collaborate with your brand on how we can work together. What goals do you have this year that I can help with?”
Make sure you have a business card in hand. That’s it. That’s ALL you need to open up that dialogue and be remembered as a professional, even if you consider yourself a hobby blogger. I promise you that not only will you get more comfortable talking to brands, but you also will develop some fantastic brand relationships that could end up being very lucrative. Having a notebook is super helpful in remembering who you talked to and what they represented, so be sure to bring one.
2. Remember it’s not about getting free stuff.
While free stuff is nice, remember that not only will you need to lug it all home, but you will also be giving the impression that you only care about getting those free samples at the tables. Brands will probably not be calling you back for campaigns if you conduct yourself in this manner. If they offer you something, awesome. But guess what – you still don’t need to accept it. I personally only accept samples that I feel I can use. Everything else? I decline saying “all I want right now is your contact so we can discuss campaigns”.
3. Dress appropriately.
Don’t be sloppy. Wear comfortable shoes. Brush your hair, put on some makeup. Look professional and presentable. Something with pockets is super helpful! Above all else? SMILE.
4. Engage, engage, engage!
Brands LOVE if you tweet them and it will stand out when they are deciding on who to work with. Engage with them after the conference and be remembered!
5. Bring an extra bag.
Chances are you will end up with some materials and products to take home, so bringing an extra bag is helpful. My product information & business cards alone filled a shopping bag.
Follow these tips and I can assure you – your blog will be happier for it!