As a blogger and social media manager, I work in an ever-changing industry and always championing and interesting to know how successful individuals got where they are in their careers. For this blog post, I reached out to Fay Holmes, a PR and Influencer Specialist and co-founder of the London based creative agency, Dreamville.
With seven years’ experience within PR and Influencer marketing, Fay has worked with some of the world’s famous brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Code8 and Aveda. Fay has also been working with some of UK’s most loved and celebrated bloggers such as @IntheFrow, @LydiaMillen and @DanielleMarcan.
After years of hard work and dedication, the creative agency “Dreamville” was launched in 2020 with her graphic designer husband, Arthur. The duo created their full-service agency as they noticed that some brands are struggling to connect to with their online audience via innovative and engaging design, personalised PR and influencer marketing.
Having worked with some of the world’s leading brands and bloggers, I wanted to ask Fay questions about how to PR yourself as a blogger that can lead to exciting brand collaborations and grow your business. Other topics I wanted to find out was if there are any missed opportunists many bloggers like myself are missing out on? During our catch up, Fay shared some of her top tips and recommendation that can help you grow your business and secure more brand collaborations.
1.Relationships are key!
One of the biggest tips for bloggers wanting to gain more exposure and receive opportunities from brands is to work on the connections you have and actively finding ways to gain more. If you don’t have many contacts or you’re just starting out, Instagram is your best friend – searching for PRs is the perfect way to start, grab their email or DM them, reach out and introduce yourself (I will come back on the best way to do this later).
Other ways are checking in on your current contacts in PR. Tell them what you’re working on and ask them if you can help with any of their upcoming campaigns. If you’re wanting to work with a specific brand, I would suggest posting about their brand, creating beautiful content and keeping in touch with their PR, I understand it’s difficult to do this unpaid but in the long run, the PR will notice your efforts and hopefully prioritise you when it comes to upcoming campaigns.
The key is to always be kind – always ask PRs on ways in which to improve or offering free deliverables even if it’s just a mention on your story or blog post now and then – this is something I always take into consideration when it comes to choosing ambassadors for brands or long-term campaigns.
2. Share your updates and successes!
A great way to grab attention is to share your successes. Of course, this can be done on your IG story but sharing a weekly or monthly newsletter can help to plant the seed to PRs. A brilliant service for this is MailChimp, it’s free and you can find minimal no-fuss templates where you can drag and drop images and text to create a quick yet informative update. Start by creating a list in excel of PRs for brands you would like to work with, you can find emails from LinkedIn or IG. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for the email address, I’m sure they’ll be flattered that you’re asking. Once your list is ready, put together a list of updates/successes that you’d like for PRs to know. Perhaps it’s an award you just won, a photoshoot you’re proud of and want to show off or a collaboration you just finished, or a blog post you just wrote…Open a MailChimp account and get to work.
3.Connecting with new PRs & How to write your introduction email
Your first email can be difficult, I should know because my first emails to all of you guys are tricky if I’ve never met you. My best advice on this would be find something about the PR that you can personally relate to, find the common ground – perhaps there’s a mutual friend you both know that can introduce you or you can mention them in your email. If not and you don’t think you have anything in common just yet then I would always keep the email short, polite and professional. Make sure there is a LINK to your social channels, it’s time consuming when you paste ‘my handle is @fayholmespr’ and it’s not hyperlinked…You have to make everything quick and easy for the person reading the email.
Another addition to your cold email is mentioning a previous collaboration where you achieved X-Y-Z stats. Here’s a little example of how your email could sound:
“I couldn’t help but feel the need to get in touch as I recently tried ‘XYZ brand’ Concealer and I completely fell in love with the texture and finish. I know how much my followers will equally love this product and that’s why I wanted to reach out and tell you I’m going to mention it in my upcoming blog post.
I will send you the link once It’s done! It’s lovely to e-meet you btw, here’s a little bit about me in case you’ve not come across my account before *inserts social channel LINKS and short bio*. Continue to build the relationship and don’t be too quick to jump to sponsorship in emails, find a polite indirect way of doing this. An indirect way would be sharing previous collaborations or content where you received XYZ click throughs/sticker taps or if you have the information; how many followers you got for the brand whilst you were sharing info about them at that time. “
4.The Power of Hashtags
Hashtags are everything! I’ve never understood why some content creators don’t use them? If I have a campaign coming up and it’s with a particular focus, for example – The brand I’m working with would like to work with an influencer to create content for an upcoming launch – they are looking for women who create quirky makeup videos with dark curly hair and based in the UK.
Other than going through my key contact list, there are always up and coming influencers who are yet to be discovered, therefore I’m going to search hashtags #makeupvideoslondon #makeupvideosuk #makeupfordarkhair #curlyhairmakeup #darkhairmakeup #londoncontentcreators #ukcontentcreators – and so on! Try and find as many as you can that aren’t too common but equally don’t make them so complicated that no one would ever search them.
5.Make your content do all the talking, literally!
When I am giving the task to explore the possibility to work with new bloggers on paid collaboration or a new product launch, there are two main elements I always take into consideration.
Quality and style of the content
This is a key factor many marketers closely examine when deliberating working with a blogger or influencer. My recommendation is to be picky with your content and focus on creating high quality, evergreen and relatable content. Ask yourself which brand you really want to work with, research previous blogger partnerships and study if there is a common theme or style that the brand prefers. You can then aim to create a similar type of content and eventually reaching out to the brand, introduce yourself and pitch your partnership suggestion.
Engagement quality and rate
As an Influencer Manager, it is vital to do my research and review how impactful the influencer is and how loyal their audience is. The main factor I look into are which type of comments is being made by the blogger’s audience on the previous posts and brand collaborations, and how authentic they are. The aim is to see how engaged the audience is with the blogger. The higher authentic engagement rate, the more likely I will approach her/him for a paid collaboration.
I hope you enjoying reading this blog post and found it helpful in how you can grow your business of a blogger! I would love to hear your feedback or questions – please DM on @tarasamvi. If you want to reach out to Fay for any other of her tips, recommendation or if you have any questions – feel free to email or DM her on firstname.lastname@example.org or @fayholmespr.