Blog Tip Thursday: Finding Meaningful Brand Partnerships


 Every week, we share one of our favorite ‘how-to’ posts about blogging, social media, and the community we LOVE to love. Our desire is you consider HLB a resource in your efforts to blog BETTER – we want to be stronger bloggers ourselves, and we see the desire for stronger posts and cleaner designs. We understand wanting to know the BEST plug-ins, aps, programs, and resources to keep your site in tip top shape. And nothing makes us nerd-out more than getting super meta about all things blog-world. We’re not experts, we’re simply bloggers ourselves – sharing our own experiences, tips and tricks of the trade each Thursday with a BTT post. We welcome your questions, your suggestions for future topics, and your ‘how-to’ post recommendations to Emily at!

This week’s post is from Lauren, who writes at Breathe Deeply and Smile.

With a new years comes lots of new things-new hobbies, new healthcare plans, maybe a new job, a new semester of classes, new goals, and for many bloggers-new ambassadorships. I know that’s kind of a stretch from healthcare plans, but roll with it. I still feel like a tiny fish of a blogger in a big pond of amazing bloggers that I follow. However I have managed in the years to work with amazing brands, have amazing opportunities, and find a lot of awesome and supportive friends. To boot, I even made enough money from some sponsored posts to cover some race entry fees and a couple pairs of running shoes last year which is really all I want.
I think recently brands have really have acknowledged the power in having some of kind of grassroots promotion and blogger or brand ambassadors. They have people who love their product and promote it all the time in creative ways which they don’t have to pay, besides sometimes giving them some discounted or complimentary product.
With my really busy schedule of school, work, training, coaching, life (obviously the major reoccurring theme in my life for the next 2 years so get used to it!), this January I took some time to reevaluate my obligations and really plan out my weeks using my handy planner. Unfortunately contrary to popular belief, I may not be Wonder Woman. 
It's Not You, It's Me {Finding Meaningful Brand Partnerships}
I blog when I can, but when you have limited time you also really have to make time for hobbies that are important to you. I have also decided to cut out some of my brand partnerships that really weren’t benefiting me for the work I would have to put in and didn’t apply for extra things just because I could.  It’s easy to get sucked into trying to apply for and do everything! I want to support more local companies as well as have partnerships that feel natural and meaningful.
The brands that I chat about or am an ambassador for, I’ve all loved before that position was even an opportunity for me.  I think it’s really important to keep it real (for real though) and represent a handful of amazing brands and companies whose products I believe in instead of being able to tack on my affiliation with a laundry list of companies. It’s also really important for me to like the communication and interaction I have with the brand’s managers and employees.
If I’m entering an agreement to promote a brand (maybe market exclusivity), post on X social media channels X times a month, wear and use during races, and blast their updates on social media, I also need the relationship to be mutual.  It doesn’t have to be loads of free product, but discounts and at least a few products complimentary to start helps. If you give me a discount on a product I love, I will definitely be online shopping!  

Also a retweet or some social media interaction every so often would be nice. Of course there are always brand that you want to work with or apply to work with and you happen to get passed over for whatever reason, it stinks, but I always believe that there are more opportunities around the corner.

I have talked to some brands that want their ambassadors to really just promote affiliate codes and not get any discounts or products, or maybe only earn some product prizes based on contests. Pushing a code or just constant advertisement urging others to buy a product isn’t my style. If I actually like the brand and the relationship is good, then the whole thing feels easy and natural, probably because I’d be using/wearing the product and chatting about it online anyways.
Not in any partnership with Under Armour. Just when you live in Baltimore, the birthplace of Under Armour, sometimes you wear it head to toe because you love it, and it’s everywhere. 
It's Not You, It's Me {Finding Meaningful Brand Partnerships}-under armour
I don’t want this to come off as complaining. I’m grateful for every single opportunity that comes my way, truly.  However on the same token-my time, my voice and space on the internet and social media is important to me. It’s especially important with limited time that my time is not being wasted or not meaningful.  As with anything in my life (seriously ask my friends how much I talk about this), I have no time for settling for anything less than awesome.  I have some amazing experiences working with brands that I will not waste my time in one that won’t reciprocate the effort.
In short, even if you aren’t a blogger don’t settle for anything less than happiness in life. If your situation sucks, get out of it-we only have so much time in our busy days that it shouldn’t be wasted. There is always another job, another significant other, another friend, another opportunity that actually is awesome out there. In these situations, sure there might be a period of discomfort and crappiness, but getting what you want and deserve AND something meaningful is worth so much more. Just do you!

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