I work with a lot of really great brands and I make money doing it. Often times I get asked how I do this and why it works for me so well. So, I am sharing a few key words that support me in my endeavors.
I truly care about and enjoy all of the brands that I choose to connect with and support. Because this is true for me, they often times fit together in ways that make crazy good sense. Here is the example for AUTHENTIC. I love Udderly Smooth. Their lotion keeps my skin healthy, like for real! I also love creating and designing ceramic art with Duncan brand which is part of my creativity contributor role with iLoveToCreate. Ceramics dries my skin out like no tomorrow. Udderly Smooth fixes it. When I blog about ceramics, I can authentically also share my love for Udderly Smooth. What do I get? I get paid for my ceramics work with iLoveToCreate and I get lots of free stuff from Udderly Smooth to not only use for myself but to share with fellow bloggers and designers. It works for me. It works great! It works so great that I painted a ceramic cow from Duncan just for my contact/friend at Udderly Smooth. I am mailing to her tomorrow.
I work with brands where the people are fabulous and support my creativity as it works for me and as it works with the other brands already in play. I am honest about what I am up to and what I want/need. I develop these relationships if they match up. If they don’t, I move on happily. My example for the word RELATIONSHIP is this. I am a licensed designer for Ellison/Sizzix with a fantastic line of dies to cut out little shapes for education and crafting. This license happened after many years of conversations and developing the relationship with them to be able to have it work in a way that supports my goals with my art. It was a long but healthy process. Lots of great things can be cut with the dies. One of these is felt. I am on the Kunin Dream Team so I get paid to share monthly on their blog with projects using felt and naturally I use my dies to create the projects. They are connected, related if you well. Of course, it is easy to be in a relationship with Debra Quartermain from Kunin because she is a rock star leader. These both work FABULOUSLY with the Aleene’s line of adhesives and fabric paints from iLoveToCreate which is awesome sauce. And of course my line of buttons with Buttons Galore fits in here too. I can create LOTS with these four companies and they all support each other. I often put together blogger campaigns and all of these can play a role.
When I need something from a brand that is the beginning of a new relationship, I am clear as crystal on what I am asking for and what I want. I specify EXACTLY what products/service I am requesting, what it going to be used for and how much of it I need. I also clarify when I need it and how I will be sharing it. I have been successful here with dozens of brands but the one that stands out as the best example is Sculpey Clay. As a result of being clear, I now not only have and use the product I need for professional creative projects but also personal/Girl Scouts AND I have been fortunate enough to post projects on their blog and get paid for them. When they asked what I would want for this, I was clear what I would provide and what it would cost. Part of what I provide in these posts are free printables. This is good for Sculpey and great for marketing my designs.
This is how I might ask for something. “I am putting together boxes to send to 12 bloggers to try my new buttons from Buttons Galore. I would like to know if you would be willing to send me 12 Thingiemajiggers to add to the boxes. I am going to ask the bloggers to create a project and share it on their blog. I will be rounding up the projects on (date) and sharing on all of my social outlets. Please let me know if this is a possibility. Thanks, Laura”
The brands that I love are really a part of my lifestyle. I use them throughout the day all over my life. Here are a few examples of brands that compensate me and how they show up in my regular life.
Udderly Smooth is everywhere. I keep it by my kitchen sink. I shared a picture like this on Istagram a while back and got a great response. I didn’t ask for money to do that. I just shared it because I love it.
World Market is a place that I LOVE LOVE LOVE to shop. I have shopped there forever and continuously shared my finding, decor and recipes. They sponsored SNAP last year and I spent time developing a relationship with them. I am now a World Market ambassador and get compensated for sharing. I share far more than I am required. Why? Because their stuff rocks and love it. I have been sharing Valentines Day decor, a lot of which is from World Market. This is not a paid campaign. It is authentic, as in my real deal.
Expressionery is so much more to me than a company that licenses my designs for personalized stationery. For more than ten years I have been in a relationship with the people there and many are my friends. I care about the company, not just my sales. When I have marketing ideas, I go to them and share detailed plans. Sometimes they turn into campaigns that I can share with fellow bloggers…all for compensation. However, many times I share because I simply love the product. I get it to give as gifts. I use it. I spread the word through writing notes on it to friends, teachers and neighbors.
And being a contributor for Doll Diaries (and getting paid)…that’s a no brainer. I have two girls who love dolls!
So when you are thinking about asking a brand to be your partner, reflect first. Is the fit authentic? Do you have a relationship already or are you planning on beginning a new one? Are you clear on what you want from them and what you are going to give back? Does it fit your lifestyle or are you trying to force something for income that otherwise wouldn’t work out.
Hope this helps!