Your Brand and Social Media Matters

For those of you who don’t know, I have 3 children, all of whom have life-threatening food allergies.  Managing food allergies over the last 8 1/2 years Blog concept in word tag cloudinspired me to launch a division of BrightFire called, Fantastically Free, to help children, families, and adults live safe, healthy, and happy lives despite food allergies.

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the first-ever Food Allergy Bloggers Conference.  Doctors, bloggers, allergy-friendly food companies and other professionals in the food allergy community all gathered together in Las Vegas to discuss how we can make a bigger difference for individuals and families dealing with food allergies, celiac disease, food intolerances and other related conditions.

One of the first sessions I attended during the conference was focused on partnering with brands.  This panel was facilitated by Tess Masters, aka “The Blender Girl, ” Joel Warady, CMO of Enjoy Life Foods, and Annelies Ziderveld of Attune Foods.

This was a very informative session to attend for those looking to partner with larger companies to help spread their message, become a spokesperson, or gain corporate sponsorships.

They shared so many great tidbits but today I’m sharing with you the top 6 take-aways.

1) Brand awareness is key.

Have a good sense of the brand with which you want to partner and know what they stand for.  You want to make sure that your brand and their brand are aligned with each other.

2) Be professional.

Make sure you have your stuff together before approaching anyone for partnership. Your website needs to be up-to-date and look appealing  (not like you built it yourself–unless, of course, you happen to be a web designer).  You must have decent business cards.  Be responsive to emails. Get yourself a media kit so they can learn more about you, your business, and your audience. The point is: You don’t want to look like you’re flying by the seat of your pants.  You want to look like the professional business owner you are.

3) Don’t be a moocher.

It should go without saying, but do NOT ask for free products.  Focus on building the relationship first and if it is a fit, the perks will likely come.

4) Other companies are watching you.

Joel Warady let us in on a secret: Enjoy Life Foods keeps a 168-page docier on each food allergy blog and website so they can evaluate who to partner with. They grade everyone on how regularly the site is updated, the brand, and how many comments are on the blog.  Engagement is more important than mere audience size and traffic.  They are also evaluating bloggers on how well they might be able to pull off a promotional campaign.  If your marketing and blogging is inconsistent, they aren’t likely to partner with you.

5) You need social media.

I believe that social media is a great tool to stay in touch with prospects and nurture relationships. Well, it’s also a great way to stay in touch with brands and get you on their partnership radar. With that being said, you have to be genuinely engaged in building the relationship, not just sending out “Hey I love your stuff, sponsor me” tweets. Interestingly, Joel Warady, also mentioned that they would not partner with someone that is not on LinkedIn because that means they are probably under-connected.  Brands want to partner with people who can help them spread their message, as well.

6) Be creative.

Before approaching another company with an idea on how to partner, make sure you have thought about how it benefits everyone involved and be creative.  Don’t just do what everyone else is doing. For instance, don’t approach a company wanting to do some tired Facebook giveaway.  Joel Warady mentioned that he gets tons of those pitches all of the time. However, he would like to see someone create a Vine video series using the ELF products or come up with a innovative promo idea for Instagram.

If you keep these 6 things in mind, you have a better chance of creating a partnership that allows you to serve more of the people you are meant to serve.

I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below.

 

About Tiffany deSilva

Tiffany deSilva is the founder, CEO, and visionary leader of BrightFire Women’s Business Network, LLC.

BrightFire Women’s Business Network is the premiere sales training and coaching resource for service-based women entrepreneurs who want to increase their sales, serve more people, and change more lives.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. These are great tips for anyone looking to partner with companies for blogs, events and other business needs. I especially like #4. I always say to act as if the person you want to work the most with is checking in on you everyday, deciding if they want to make “the call”. We are being watched more than we know.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Tiffany, I didn’t even realize you have launched a second business, that’s awesome! These tips will work for any blogger, and I appreciate your sharing them.

  3. As always, very informative. I appreciate you sharing what you learned from the panelists. It’s so important to be imaginative. Following the crowd means you’re already behind the marketing trends.

  4. Tiffany, Phew! I sure agree on the tired Facebook promotions as someone who’s suffering Facebook fatigue myself! I also find it interesting that he also sees the huge importance of LinkedIn. Great tips, including the press kit idea. Thanks!

  5. Great advice for partnerships! Very interesting about the blogger tracking but it makes total sense!

    I’m very excited about your new venture and wish you many wonderful partnerships Tiffany!

  6. Great tips for partnering which should be read by anyone who is considering going that route.

  7. Great information. So exciting to hear about the conference. Food allergies are such a huge issue for so many. I’m glad to hear that awareness has grown to a point where they can put together something like this.

    Best of luck to you in your new venture!

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