Lisa, mum of five boys and her husband, Dave were tired of the rat race and never spending any time together as a family, so they sold all their worldly possessions and bought a bus. They are now travelling around Australia with four of their five sons as they spend some quality family time on the road exploring and learning and of course, blogging.
This lifestyle has opened up some interesting opportunities for relationships with brands including Dreamworld and Skyramblers Sunshine Coast. We talked to Lisa about how she got to work with such fun companies.
Q: How did you get to work with the brands you have worked with?
It has only been in the last few months that I have started to contact companies. At first I was too scared to email companies, and then I went through with “what do I ask them or share with them?”
Of course I also had wondered “Why would they want to work with me?”
Once I got over myself I started playing around with my wording and approaching Big Brand Companies. I have also had help from other bloggers (who were so nice to answer my questions) on what to write/not to write.
At first I was sharing too much information, so that my email was too long. Once I got to the point of who we were, how we are living, what we are doing with the blog and our facebook page I soon started to get the responses I was searching for.
So far we have worked with companies like Dreamworld, Topshots (in Maroochydore), Skyramblers Sunshine Coast, Skwirk Online Education Program, Barramundi Fish Park and we will also be working with SeaWorld/MovieWorld/White Water World.
We have another big deal coming up – but that is top secret for the time being!
In my communication with those companies I state the following
- Who we are
- What we live in
- What our blog is about
- Who our family is (two parents, travelling with four of our five boys)
- What our blog is doing – traffic etc
- A contact phone number
- Links to our blog site, facebook page, twitter page, youtube channel
- What we will do for exchange of services.
I also included at least one link to a blog post where the companies can see my style of writing.
Then we usually get an email response back, or even a phone call.
Q: What do you think bloggers can offer brands?
In exchange for the passes/products that we are given, I share photos/vlogs/blogs on all of our social sites. Sometimes I even write another blog post for the same company on our other blog.
It’s really good when a Big Company can understand what Bloggers can offer them – sometimes I will write in my email (if I think it’s needed) how our blog can give them online exposure to so many other like-minded communities. As we are a travelling family – I will point out that our brand will match their brand!
Sometimes the companies cannot see outside the square – they don’t realise the benefits we can offer them. When that happens I say “Thanking you” for their time. But I always make sure that I keep their contact details and email them again later. We have done that with one company, and got the deal second time around!Zachary Skydiving with Skyramblers Sunshine Coast
Q: What advice would you give to bloggers wanting to work with brands for the first time?
If you want to work with a big brand, and you are not sure how to go about it….then ask around. Jump into facebook and twitter and check out who is getting the deals. Then watch what they are doing, read their blog posts and even see if you are able to email the bloggers.
The next step is finding your “Brand Voice” – find out what you can offer the company. Find out what they can offer you. Always make sure that they are a good match – there is no point in working with them if you are not happy to blog about what they are about!
Q: What advice would you give to brands or their PR companies looking to reach out to bloggers?
It’s simple! The PR Company needs to look at who the bloggers is, what they are about and what type of “Blogging Voice” they have online. Also a good idea to make sure that the blogger that they are approaching has followers/readers who are going to be interested in hearing about their products/reviews!
The PR Companies that we have worked with (so far) have treated us with so much respect, and I make sure that I send an email thanking them for their time.
Once I have written the blog post for the company, I email them; tag them on facebook and twitter. I also make sure they realise how grateful we are for what they provided to our blog, our own family and our community.
Recently I was contacted by a company who wanted to advertise a banner on our New Life on the Road site. I started asking as many questions as possible – back and forward the emails went. Then I soon realised that after asking all of the questions that there was no way we were a good fit. I turned them down with a “thanking you but no thanks”, even though they wanted to pay good money!
A Final Word: – Never Ever sell yourself short. At first I used to compare myself with the other bloggers who are travelling and have huge numbers of followers.
Now I try to concentrate on what I am doing, and keep doing it better! Also remember not to accept too small an amount of money for sponsored ads. Companies can afford big advertising fees for offline advertisement, so they can also afford to pay online.
Something that is also working for our blog is saying Thank you. A little bit of gratitude goes a long way….giving thanks to those that take the time to work with our family has opened up more doors with other companies!
Times are changing with how companies can attract their customers, and bloggers should realise that we are worthy of asking for the right amount of money.
I am also putting in lot of time into writing a blog post in exchange for passes/products because I want my readers to know that I value them. So if I sell myself short behind the scene (with little amount of money etc.), then that also means that I sell myself short to our gorgeous readers. They are worth their weight in gold, and so is my blog site!
Thank you, Lisa for sharing your insights with us.
If you have had an interesting or rewarding experience with a brand and would like to tell us your story and be featured on Brand Meets Blog, we’d love to hear from you. Email Toushka at email@example.com