I’ve been blogging for about 8 years, but it’s taken me some time to truly find my voice and balance of blogging for fun, and for profit. I’ve invested in my site through a more polished theme, attended different blogging conferences, and attended workshops and networking events to build my tribe. While it’s true that anyone can start up a blog, it does take some knowledge to find what you want to write, and how you want to write it. It’s through that journey that I’ve really determined my best writing (whether it’s a paid sponsorship or for fun) is when I’m sharing a story. So, here’s a story.
At almost every conference, there’s always a mention of how to be seen by a brand, how to work with a brand, and how to build a relationship. Every relationship starts with someone making the first move. As a blogger, that has to be you.
How To Work With Your Dream Brand
This first starts with brainstorming what your dream brands are. You can have a few. I attended a conference a few years ago where we jotted down some that we wanted to work with. We were allowed to dream big.
1. Write Down Your Dream Brands
Most of the brands on my list were brands I used, loved, and wanted to support. A few were Apple, Coke, Kia, and various baby brands. I thought about all the products we already use in our home and the ones I am constantly finding myself recommending to friends online and offline.
2. Start Sharing Authentically
When you’re first starting out as a blogger, you should already start working towards the voice you want to have online. You might not have the brands knocking at your door – but you can take that first step and start crafting your story with items you use, love, and paid for yourself. If your primary love is photography – use Instagram and capture your life moments and tag the brands and utilize hashtags. If you love video – utilize Facebook Live, Snapchat, Vine, etc to create your following.
3. Build Your Tribe
This is oh so important. When you build a tribe – you find friends that want to see you grow. You want to see them succeed. You support one another and help keep an eye out for opportunities in which you’d think they’d be perfect. And when you are on the receiving end of that opportunity, they celebrate with you.
4. Never Give Up
There might be times when you see others getting opportunities that you want. Don’t fall victim to jealousy. You keep doing you and you will rise up. If you told me in 2010 when we bought our Kia Sorento that I would attend a press trip in San Diego and have the opportunity to meet several of the company’s key players – I would have thought you were from Crazytown. But guess what. It happened. How did it happen?
I went to a small conference through a blogger network I was apart of. I drove over an hour to attend and had to take the day off work. At this conference one of my friends introduced me to Josh who worked for a company to have influencers drive different vehicles around and share online. I contacted him afterwards to arrange for a minivan. I created videos (and more videos). I attended another conference and met the Product Communications Manager for Kia, connected online, and a few months later received a DM on Twitter to get in contact.
The event in San Diego was amazing and I loved learning even more about a brand I love. The Sorento I bought was one of the first redesigns of their brand. Since then, every vehicle has been done-over and they are killing it with the announcement of hitting #1 with Initial Quality Study results put out by J.D. Power & Associates this year. In 2001 – they were dead last. That’s amazing to have such a drastic transformation. But just like us small time bloggers – if you keep pushing forward, working hard on finding your voice, you will get to the achieve your goals and work with your dream brands.
Kia – it was such an amazing opportunity to be invited on this press trip. I can’t tell you how excited I was to receive it, and I am so looking forward to watching your brand grow and accomplish amazing things in the years to come.