Collaborating with brands
This week we are talking all about collaboration. More specifically, collaborating with brands. We are so grateful to sit down with Meredith Staggers, who is a Collaboration Queen – seriously she does a fantastic job -and has been fortunate to work with many brands for a living. See a full list of her collaborations here.
Meredith Timms Staggers, is a blogger, photo stylist and the founder of Cake & Confetti. After working in the marketing and event planning industry for three years, she decided to launch Cake & Confetti (named after two of my party must-haves!). Since 2013, She has seen the business evolve from party planning to a multi-faceted styling boutique + blog! She is fortunate to collaborate with amazing brands for a living, and believes in celebrating life’s little moments whether it’s with a glass of bubbly or a slice of cake!
Meredith Tripled Her Business in 2018
She credits part of this growth to sharing authentically with her audience more about herself and her life in her Instagram feed instead of just her stories. “People were able to get to know the person instead of just photos of cute desserts.” She tells us, “pick a few things that you love and are aside form what you’re paid to do…and share those”. “People want the real,” not just the perfect flat-lay. She also put herself out there more with other bloggers for collaboration.
How Do You Reach Brands to Collaborate With?
You can reach out to the brand itself and pitch a collaboration, but you are subject to the contact form landing with a random person. Meredith suggest finding networks and influencer groups that post collaboration projects with brands that you can apply for. You pitch ideas to the brand for them, and if they feel you are a good fit they will reach out. Meredith says she may receive one for every fifteen she applies for. But she has also found work through a brand manager that would pitch her or through a hashtag like #HoustonBlogger that look for bloggers in a certain market.
Choosing the Right Brands to Collaborate With?
Partner with brands that fit in your life, things you have actually tried. “I’ve got to stay true to my brand, and yes, sometimes that means passing up thousands of dollars. But if I lose the trust of the people that follow me, I have nothing.” Your audience can tell when something is not authentic, “there is a certain way you talk about things if you really care about them.”
Planning Out the Collaboration Project and Schedule
Brands will typically provide a deadline of when something needs to be live. Meredith likes to work backwards to make sure she has the time and space to complete the project and post. The concept idea itself, which has typically already been pitched and approved, drives what she does. Her goal is to always bulk shoot when she can, and she will a week before make sure she has everything she needs for the shoot, whether it is something she already has or needs to be ordered.
Meredith likes to keep the number of posts that are sponsored limited to two per week so that the other two can be more personal or organic – party planning, Piper (her daughter) photos, things she has been loving – to keep it more well rounded. Most of her sponsored posts have shifted to Instagram, allowing her the freedom on her blog.
“Just start… you never know unless you try. And it’s not going to be an overnight thing.” Meredith started in 2013, and it took time to get to the point where she could hire an assistant to help out. So you don’t want to become an influencer to just make money, because there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. Have another reason, “figure out what makes you unique and share about that.” If you put out good content that you are proud of the opportunities will come.
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