Considering the widespread use of social media, there are so many ways to get your work in front of people. A super effective (and fun!) way to spread the word of your awesomeness is to have your artwork or products featured on a design blog. Here, people look to design authorities to tell them what’s cool, new, and inspiring them in fresh, exciting ways. Jamie Derringer of the successful and iconic Design Milk, is here to share with us some tips on how to stand out when you’re pitching a collaboration to a blogger. What are effective ways you’ve set yourself apart from the crowd? Share with us below!
You’ve created something great, maybe it’s a poster, a product, or a painting. It’s time to get it out there, but you can’t hire a PR company and you don’t know where to begin. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned creative, these days, getting press from a blogger or influencer can be a pivotal move for your career. Here are some best practices for getting noticed by the blogger community:
1. Take great photographs.
Bloggers and influencers rely on high quality photography to share with their followers. Society6 provides fantastic quality photos of products on a white background, but I recommend getting a product and photographing it in real life as seeing a product in a beautiful vignette or a well-designed space will make it more visually appealing. You can get some good photography tips and tutorials here and here.
2. Offer a product sample or a freebie.
Bloggers appreciate freebies, especially when they’re focused on creating styled vignettes, home interior photos, or lifestyle images. Sending a blogger a product doesn’t guarantee you’ll show up on their site, but gives you a higher chance of visibility. However, be wary, bloggers don’t always accept free products and even if they do, they may not guarantee they’ll post or write about your product. I recommend emailing a pitch and offering a free product within that pitch, and I also suggest that you give them a selection so they can decide what product/design is best for their readers. Note that a lot of bloggers do receive free products often, so don’t be surprised if they say no. But then at least you can’t say you didn’t try!
People may say that you should never offer anything for free, but I disagree with that. I do not believe that we should work for free, but I think the barter system works really well for marketing, especially if you’re just starting out.
3. Put together a professional pitch email.
Here are five things you should include in your pitch email:
1) A personalized greeting and message. Tell them something you liked about a recent article they posted, or tell them you’ve been following them for a long time (but only if this is true!). Flattery will get your foot in the door.
2) A link to the product(s) you’re pitching along with a link to your website or the website you want them to link to when they write about you.
3) A short and sweet description of your product(s). Don’t write a book; bloggers get TONS of emails and don’t want to have to dig down three paragraphs deep to get to the main point.
4) A selection of high quality images, with a link (if applicable) to a place where they can download or see more images (wetransfer, zip, dropbox). Format your images so they’re web-friendly, yet still high quality. Be vigilant about email size, you don’t want to send a 22 MB email!
5) An offer of some sort. This could be a special discount for their readers, a free product gift, an interview opportunity or a fun new product related idea you propose. Maybe it’s a game or a contest or just a creative way to present your products. Bloggers are always looking for fun new ways to engage their readers, and if you can help give them an idea then you’re providing them a valuable service.
4. Follow up.
As I mentioned, bloggers get tons of email. And sometimes things get lost. It’s always a good idea to follow up about a week after your initial email just to see if there is any other possible opportunity to work with them. Don’t ask if they got your email, but rather propose a creative way that you think you could work with them to get the word about your product(s) or artwork out there. One follow up email is enough. If you don’t hear back after that, it’s time to move on. But, don’t be discouraged. Keep their info because you never know when you might make something new that will hit the spot!
5. Out of sight, out of mind: get in their face.
OK so you’ve done all of the above with no response. Here’s an idea: bloggers attend and host events, they attend conferences, and they go on press trips. They’re not always behind their computer. I suggest exhibiting at a blogger conference, offering products for sale at a popup event where media will be present. Try and figure out local places where you might be able to share your products or present them to influencers. If there’s nothing local in your area, go online to see what kinds of opportunities there might be to present your work at a national event. It’s definitely a more costly option, but I’ve discovered some of the coolest stuff at events, and made face-to-face connections with artists and designers that are incredibly valuable.