For all those who are under the impression that fashion blogging is all about pretty girls in pretty clothes, fancy shoes and top-of-the-line handbags, posing for cameras, then let me tell you " that it is much beyond the aforementioned. " 

Right from approaching or being approached by brands, to pitching and penning the deliverables and eventually signing and then delivering, there is so much that goes into it. It is like a job opening, where you are the candidate and the brand is the hiring company. But the only difference is that you are selling your brand ( your business )  in addition to your skills. So, when 3000 people are competing to secure that one spot, it is 45% your creativity, 45% your foresightedness and 10% luck that matters. 

Today I would like to take you behind the scenes of a campaign and outline all the steps and paperwork that goes into it. If required, I will be quoting a new campaign for illustration purposes only. 

1) First step is to find the right campaign: there are several blogger outreach platforms that connect influencers to brands. Most of them are free, while some might charge you a percentage of your earnings as their commission. So you sign up, provide them with your blog stats and personal details and they send you campaign notifications. You browse thought their campaigns and brand database and apply.

2) The application process is the most important step. This determines your fate with the campaign you are applying to. The first step here is to read through the campaign details and get an idea of what  the brand requirements are. You then scan and look for the key points of the campaign, like the posting deadline, the tags, the payment and so on. Now it's time to pitch. Pitching in simple terms is outlining what you can deliver and how you can deliver. This is the time to let all your creative juices to flow. Create a theme for your post and share examples of what you have done in the past. Split your pitch in different paragraphs and be clear and precise. Also, let the brand know if you are open to doing videos. Hit SUBMIT !

3) If the campaign is through a blogger outreach, then the payment will be fixed. But if the payment is not mentioned, you have the flexility to ask for a fee, but remember you have to provide the brand with a breakdown of your asking price. Include the cost of your photographer, your MUA, the props you will be buying to facilitate the post, your hourly rate, your blog/vlog post and social media amplification rate. Keep some wiggling room for any price negotiations.

4) If the brand thinks you might be a good fit, they will reach out to you. They might even want to negotiate your asking price, but always have supporting documents to justify your fee. Your media kit is what comes in handy at this point. Quote similar examples of what you have done in the past for that fee.

5) Once this is taken care of, it is time to put together the agreement. In case you are stuck, there are templates out there to help you, just google and you'll find a gazillion options.  Be very mindful of what you put in the contract. Outline what you will deliver and what the brand will provide you with, be it just product and payment. Remember every contract's terms are different, so you might want to have a template, but wordings will change as per the campaigns terms. Sign it and have it signed by the brand.

6) Now it's time for action. Take some time and use your editorial  planner to jot down the deliverables, the tags, the links and all. Put a date for everything and pen down the plan of action too. Put together a checklist and shopping list. Dedicate one day to shopping for the campaign, another day for the photo session and then finally a day for writing the post. Have all the material ready before you actually start writing the post. Cross-check for all the affiliate links, tracking links and any discount codes, if provided by the brand. Schedule the post for the date and time as provided by the brand.

7) The day your blog post goes live, you are expected to promote your post on social media the same day or within a couple days window. Make sure to put all the hashtags and tags provided by the brand.  Now that you have published your post and promoted the syndicated social media posts, don't think your work is over here. You have to report all these links to the brand. If you have been vigilant and are lucky, the brand might give you a thumbs up, but be prepared to revise your post if the brand demands. This can be a one step revision process, but keep your cool if it has to be redone a few times. Might be frustrating, but remember the brand is paying you for this, and they want the service as they had envisioned.

8) Now that everything looks in order, it's time to submit your invoice. As per the terms of the contract, the brand will either pay you right away or as stated. Usually it is anywhere between 15-30 days window.

It might look like an eight step process to you, but it is much more serious and mind-boggling. For instance I have a campaign next week. I am expected to provide them with three outfit photos : two casual and one evening attire. It's not that my closet has no options, but sometimes a campaign demands you to go beyond your usual. What props, what angles, what makeup, everything is needs to be a taken care of, before Friday. I am done signing the contract. Now I am in the shopping phase of this campaign and I've already bought a few pieces to supplement the shoot, which you could shop below and stay tuned to see how I will be wearing them......

No comments