“Hey Sommer, I’m wondering do companies pitch you or do you pitch them? How do you start working with companies and brands?”

Oh, good golly I hear this all of the time and I don’t have an easy answer. I wish I could say I blink, spin around three times and wiggle my nose and the brands and companies I want to work with appear in my inbox with big dollar deals that meet my timeline. That isn’t the case.

My experience is this:

-I create good content (shhh, I try!). I build a sphere of influence through Twitter, Facebook, blog readers and traffic. The brands PR firm notices.

-The brands PR firm notices because of lists created online, Klout and searching the niches they’re looking for and the top blogger in those niches.

-I am prepared with a media kit when the PR firm comes knocking.

-I have examples when they ask.

-I provide references if they need them.

-Case studies and reports are at my fingertips to throw their way.

-I’ve built a social media footprint and online resume, so to speak.

The reality is this:

-I rarely pitch integrated campaigns (sponsored posts, videos, Tweets, Facebook posts, banner ads) to a company unless I really want to work with them.

-I get pitched often and have my response ready to roll within minutes because I’ve gotten used to answering the emails and have the package ready – unless there is something special they are looking for. Be prepared with the meat before the BBQ happens, you know?

-Not all pitches turn into paying gigs or relationships and yes, I’ve spent hours on conference calls, emailing back and forth and nothing came of these efforts yet. I say yet because I believe in Karma.

Oh, you wanted an easy answer like the twinkle your nose, wink, do a jumping jack and burp? Sorry, I wish. You just have to keep working on being authentic, building your influence and be prepared to either sell yourself to a company or when they come knocking you have what they’re looking for.  For other great tips and resources on the topic read Mom Bloggers Can Make Money.

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