If you’re serious about partnering with brands I always suggest reaching out to them rather than waiting for them to come find you on LINK. They want to hear from you! In fact, it makes you look good. When you approach them it feels like a more authentic partnership. They are excited to hear that you are truly a fan and excited about their products and company.
But I find that many RDs get stumped and make a few common mistakes when pitching brands for partnerships. (See some Best Practices for Pitching Brands here).
When pitching brands, I suggest being prepared with three key ingredients.
1. Your Value & Niche
Rather than thinking of your message as a sales pitch focus on the unique value you can provide the brand.
Convey your value and niche expertise. Remember your credential is just one part of the equation, they hear from other RDs too – what makes your offer different?
Consider where your value lies. What type of audience/consumer do you reach specifically? Do you reach a similar clientele as the brand? What is your specialty? Are you based in the same city as the brand? What do you currently offer to others that a brand may be able to fit into?
Maybe your value is in your booked out private practice, your local tv segments, your podcast, your upcoming webinar or presentation, your membership course, your sports nutrition expertise, your local city, etc. Your value may not be in your social media following and that’s okay. Brands are looking to partner with RDs in more ways that just Instagram – show them how they can (get some ideas here)!
2. Your Clear & Unique Offer
When I first started reaching out to brands, I would offer everything under the sun – “I can help you with recipes, blogs, nutrition messaging, social media takeovers, Instagram posts, or anything else you may need, etc. etc. etc.” (Can you relate?)
While you may, in fact, offer a variety of great services, the problem with this approach is that it leaves the recipient more confused than excited to learn more and confused consumers don’t buy.
Use your value and individual uniqueness to get clear on how you can best help them.
If a brand is interested in your pitch, before committing they will need to know your rates or package offerings.
If they ask for more details about what the partnership would look like, be ready to share pricing or package offerings. Those that have this information readily available appear more confident and experienced. (The most successful influencer RDs have a package or rate sheet ready to go with details!) Plus, having responses readily available helps move the decision-making process along.
If you or they are seeking a longer-term partnership, ask to schedule a call to learn more about their goals and how you can best help them before recommending one of your packages.
Packages are a great way to not only upsell but to add value to the brand through longer-term partnerships. Keep in mind, if they are looking for something custom or a modification to your package, they will ask! Having set packages and rates saves you hours of crafting custom proposals!
A few notes on pricing:
- Some RDs seem to be concerned that brands shop around to find the best price. Please know that brands are not price shopping. LINK brands truly value and respect you as a dietitian. They are looking for meaningful, impactful, and mutually beneficial partnerships. Your offer, value, reach, and expertise all come into play in their decision, not just your price.
- For more help with pricing, I would highly recommend the following resources from our RD colleagues:
Here are a few other items to consider when crafting your pitch:
- Consider including a deadline. When you offer a campaign for a specific month or a tv segment on a specific date it forces the brand to make a decision by a specified date. Even if the answer is no, this is better than leaving you hanging or saying they will keep it in mind for the future.
- Share your story. Brands love hearing if you have a personal connection to the brand, how you use the product, or why it would be a natural fit for your audience.
- Keep it brief and to the point. Keep in mind how many emails people get each day, if your pitch is too long, too detailed, or too confusing the more likely it will get looked over or deleted.
Were these tips helpful? Share it with a colleague!