How To: Land Sponsorships / Q&A with Mattea
Hey guys! I'm so thrilled to bring you guys this post today. I hope this post is really useful to you guys! I'm really frustrated right now because I finished the entire post, and then my computer got really dumb and decided to make me start over. So I'm currently retyping the. entire. post. ugh. It's okay though :)
Thank you so much to everyone who submitted questions!
Q: When did you start your blog?
I started and launched in March of 2014. Back then I was "Simply Mattea." I was a junior in high school just wanting a creative outlet for my passion for both writing and fashion. I ended up taking up photography as a result of blogging.
I actually started out my having my sweet mom take pictures of me in our yard. I look back at these pictures, grateful that my mom made the time to be my photographer, and also surprised at how far I've come in terms of developing my creative style and figuring out my aesthetic.
Q: Who takes your pictures?
I'm lucky to have a boyfriend, Kenji, who puts up with me enough to take the majority of my images. We work pretty well together and we work really efficiently. I typically shoot 4-8 outfits in one shoot and we fly through them over the course of an hour or 2.
I am also really fortunate to have been able to collaborate with so many different creatives, whether it be senior photographers, professional photographers, photographers who do it as a hobby, or the most common--kids my age just trying to create something beautiful!
I always give them photo credentials at the end of my Instagram posts if you're ever curious on who shot that particular image.
Q: How did you get your first sponsor?
My first sponsorship was a month or two after I launched. For some reason, I've never been one to hesitate to seek out an opportunity, and I've never been one to be too afraid to ask for something I want. That's where it all starts.
I walked into a local store (Cloz to Home) and asked if they wanted to collaborate. They took a chance on me. They decided to host a giveaway with me and I was absolutely thrilled. I borrowed some pieces from their store to shoot and promote, and then I held a giveaway on my site and on Instagram.
Q: Do they come to you, or do you go to them? If so, how?
In the beginning I was the one approaching companies. At this point in my content creation career, I don't typically approach companies for blogging. I do, however, approach companies in terms of photography opportunities. Being a full-time student who works a weekly internship, and 4-5 jobs at any given time is not an easy task...and it also means my days are filled to the brim. I'm also in the process of running two senior rep programs in two different states.
That being said, I never want to collaborate with a company and not put my full effort and best foot forward in the campaign. If I think I'm too busy to do a quality job, or I feel that the company would not be a good fit for my brand, I end up turning them down.
When I do approach companies for collaborations, I tend to go about it in 3 ways:
I always email companies! It can be pretty brief. I let them know that I blog and love their stuff. Here's an example:
My name is Mattea LinAe and I blog at MatteaLinAe.com. I absolutely love your mugs and I would love to promote them on my blog and social media platforms. Here are my links if you're interested in checking out my work:
Instagram: Mattea LinAe
Twitter: Mattea LinAe
Facebook: Mattea LinAe
Have a great day!
Really short. Sweet. And simple. Some bloggers leave their traffic and follower stats. So feel free to do that as well if you're looking into collabs.
There have been instances where I've DMed companies. They do tend to prefer email though. I mostly use Instagram DM to message other bloggers and photographers for collaborations though. It's just a quick and simple way to check out each other's work without having to go through the emails and hyperlinks. I do recommend email for collaboration inquiries for companies.
Like my first sponsorship, it is totally cool to go into a store as well! There have been multiple instances where I've gone into stores and shops and asked the store owners if they might be interested in collaborating. Sometimes I leave them a business card and even ask if they might be interested in grabbing a coffee sometime to discuss collaboration ideas and get to know each other a bit better. It's a good way to feel out each others' vibe before diving into a collaboration.
I think the hardest part for people is find the confidence in themselves, and their work to approach a company. Know this: if you are taking the time and putting in the effort to create something meaningful, you belong in this industry. It is a hustle. It takes lot of time and dedication. If you're willing to put in the effort to generate a worthwhile campaign, put yourself out there because you have nothing to lose. If you never ask you will never know.
Also know this: sponsorships aren't everything. Yes, they're fun and look good. But remember why you started....to share your creativity with the world. Sponsorships are just collateral.
Q: How do you come up with ideas for your blog posts?
One of my favorite down-time activities is to troll Pinterest and jot down ideas in one of the many notebooks I keep. I like to use those as gateways into generating my own content. A few hours later, and I have enough content for the next few weeks!
There's also something in every day if you keep your eyes open and your mind attentive. I call this "daily magic." Each day has a new source of inspiration. You just have to find it and write it down so that you remember it.
Q: How many times do you post per week?
Lately, I've been posting 2-4 times a week. It all just depends on my schedule and how inspired I am at the time.
I want to make sure that my posts are the best that I can do. I never want to half-ass something just so you guys have something pretty to look at, which is why I did my November "Gratitude" Series. Those posts were daily, but I was scheduling them weeks in advance so I had time to plan them out.
Q: What helps you get in the creative mind when you don't know what to blog about?
I turn on some feel-good music and get out my journal. Most of the time when I get creative blocks, it's just because I haven't spent enough time in my journal. If I'm really really blocked, I just start to write and go from there. It definitely helps me get on track and organize my cluttered thoughts.
Q: How do you get people to look at your blog?
I always link my posts to my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. I also pin my images from Instagram and my blog onto my Pinterest so that my followers can re-pin my style and drive some more traffic to my site.
I also leave the link to my posts in my bios and promote it in actual posts as well as on my stories so that people can remember to check out my latest work.
Q: Growth advice?
I think that quality and engagement are key. Spend the time to engage with others online as well as in person. Spend time on your posts and read through it and make sure the images meet your standard. Make sure the writing is to the best of your ability. And make sure it's relatable. People don't always want to see artificial crap. Let them see the dorky side of you, the fun you, the intelligent you, and the raw & real you.