08.24.12

SECRET INGREDIENTS / 03

we all have those companies we love, and with a sigh say “i wish i could work with THEM!” i know i do, and it’s been so rewarding to actually get to do projects with the brands i’ve admired for so long.

there are a few tricks i’ve picked up along the way that have helped me to get some really cool opportunities, but the most important thing you have to do is PITCH!

if you want the chance to work with a company, reach out to them, show them you get it and that you can create something really cool that aligns with and enhances their brand. SHOW rather than TELL them that you understand their brand and know how to reinterpret it.

here is the process i go through when pitching a new client:

• first i’m going to pick a company i love and whose aesthetic is somewhat in brand with my own. for this example we’ll use kate spade.

• then i’m going to come up with an idea of how i can make the partnership come to life: throwing a daytime party at my home using kate spade products. (they would give me a budget to create this party content, and we would work together to make the party come alive on designlovefest and possibly their site as well.)

• next i’ll create some graphics that will make them feel something, and show them what exactly i can offer. its’ important to make them visualize your collaboration.

for this kate spade party i’m going to create…

-moodboards with color scheme, photography style, etc. you can use color and patterns to evoke emotion, as well as photos that are unrelated but still create that feeling.

you can see here i didn’t just put up pictures of dinner parties, but cool images that all add up to set the tone of the project. it’s vital to do your research here. you really have to understand the brand inside and out, so take the time to dig around. look at what the brand pins on pinterest, read their blog. you can even use things they’ve put out there and put your own spin on it.

• a product roundup - this is where i pick my favorite items from the brand to highlight. when you’re making this, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to use all products from the brand. i’m showing dishes and an outfit from kate spade that will be linked back to them, but you can pick supporting pieces from anywhere to create a cohesive styleboard that doesn’t feel contrived or over-branded. the entire party obviously isn’t going to be kate spade, but they just need to see you will represent their products in a beautiful way…


above: statement necklace / tumblers / striped bowl / festive plates and cups / party dress

• examples of what you would create once hired. you really want them to feel like they’re already working with you and that the partnership is seamless and makes sense. for example, if you wanted to do a video, creating a still-frame mock-up allows them to really imagine the final product. it’s also really important to include as many examples of past work of an equivalent style that you’re really proud of as you can. like, “for instance we shot this video that i think could have a similar vibe.” and hotlink that so they can see you know how to actually execute your ideas.

when you have this, draft an email to the right person (research again!) saying that you love the brand and would love the chance to work with them on this project. explain the vibe, when you’d like to make it happen. if they respond and they seem interested you can give them a quote for your services. here’s mine…(ps, you can include more specifics under each category. example: “5 final retouched photos” or “1-2 minute video”)

this part is important–people can really underestimate the time it takes to create something like this. you may need to hire photographers, stylists, videographers, etc. plus your time designing, managing the project, posting and more, so really budget for what you will need to make this work. make sure your pricing is on point and that you know what you’re worth!

once you have all this together, attach any other pertinent docs (like your media kit if you’re a blogger—show them your reach, influence and audience) thank them for their time and send! short and sweet.

chances are the company will be excited about the prospect of working with you—after all, you’ve eliminated most of the work for them! any good company worth its salt will be open and excited to new and fresh ideas, and even if this one pitch doesn’t pan out you will definitely be on their radar for future projects. this i can promise.

(photo credits top to bottom: 1, 2, 3, 4)

for more secret ingredient posts click here and here! this post is in partnership with smartwater! smartwater, simplicity is delicious. click here to learn more.

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  • 1. Emily Reinhardt  |  August 24th, 2012 at 6:23 am

    sounds like an awesome party! what is better than cocktails during the day all dressed in kate spade??

    oh, and the advice is just perfect. thanks bri!

  • 2. m  |  August 24th, 2012 at 6:39 am

    This is so helpful, Bri! sometimes I wish I was as confident as you are! Thank you for sharing such good pieces of advice

  • 3. tasha  |  August 24th, 2012 at 6:55 am

    I really love how you laid everything out step by step. This is very helpful in so many ways.

  • 4. Molly  |  August 24th, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Love your design / career related posts! Thank you for sharing this.

  • 5. katie  |  August 24th, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Thanks for sharing… I love these types of posts.

  • 6. Ashley  |  August 24th, 2012 at 8:11 am

    So informative! These are quickly becoming my favorite posts!

  • 7. robyn  |  August 24th, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Seriously Bri, thank you. You are always so helpful with every post!

  • 8. rita  |  August 24th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    can i come to your party?!

    thank you so much for being so transparent and sharing why and how you do what you do… so helpful and interesting!

  • 9. Latrina  |  August 24th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Brilliant information & advice as always! Thanks, Bri. :)

  • 10. justbeth  |  August 24th, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Good advice, I love the mood board idea, I do that all the time use images that are necessarily related! Thanks!

  • 11. juliet  |  August 24th, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I’m in love with these informative posts! I feel like I’m learning so much. Yay… and thanks!

  • 12. Ali Berger  |  August 24th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    This is incredibly useful and informative! I love, love, love your blog!

  • 13. @StarBunnyStudio  |  August 24th, 2012 at 11:57 am

    A wonderfully informative post – THANK YOU! Bri, this is truly inspirational advice.

  • 14. Lauren  |  August 24th, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    gah! this was amazing! i want to do every project in the world now!

  • 15. Eat Breathe Live Color | Zoe  |  August 24th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing Bri! This is helpful and inspiring! Sometimes it’s hard to be a “go-getter” (at least for me!) and it’s a good reminder that I need to push myself out of my comfort zone!

  • 16. amanda  |  August 24th, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    i wish there was an archive button…so i can file this away under “things i need to know in life”. actually a lot of your blog would go there. thanks for sharing your insight :)

  • 17. Katie  |  August 24th, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This is really inspiring and more importantly valuable! Now I want to get started on a proposal right away.

  • 18. Hilary  |  August 24th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I really appreciate your openness and transparency on this, Bri. This kind of information is incredibly helpful for those of us aspiring but not quite there yet. It’s this kind of shared insight and advice that elevates our entire community to a new level of excellence, in my opinion! Many thanks.

  • 19. Four Fresh Peas  |  August 25th, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Thanks for your generous idea sharing Bri – gets the wheels turning and a great example of how to make things happen by doing your thing – admire your creativity and talent!

  • 20. Kate  |  August 25th, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Great info!

    http://www.louiseandcostyle.blogspot.com

  • 21. Stormie Leoni  |  August 26th, 2012 at 12:19 am

    I love that you are such a pro-active mentor for bloggers! the fact that you want to help is so appreciated!

  • 22. Ashley  |  August 26th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    BRI, seriously this was so helpful. You rock at being so open to helping others get ahead, I really appreciate that! Thanks again!
    Ashley.

  • 23. FMFashionMixer  |  August 26th, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    This was really helpful! I can’t wait to try this

  • 24. Alison Monday  |  August 26th, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    It’s refreshing that you are willing to share so much of your process. I especially appreciated seeing a template for your quotes. The fine line of how much to spell out when giving cost estimates has always been a challenge for me.

  • 25. Queen Mother  |  August 27th, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Once again, I’m really proud of you when I read these kinds of posts. Like so many said above, it’s very cool that you want to share your secrets to success, and be helpful to others just starting out. That is the mark of a confident & courageous person! Bravo, little girl! : ) Love, Momma

  • 26. Tara  |  August 27th, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you for this post! My husband and I founded and operate a company in the travel industry and hear all the time “can I work for you?” Of course they’re not always serious, but a serious pitch would most definitely set any inquiry apart. Real plans with attention to details and logistics are what I’d love to see.

  • 27. Jaclyn  |  August 27th, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Thank you for such an open and useful post. So much of trying to collaborate and move forward is an unknown process and it’s great to learn the little steps that someone might forget along the way. I’m trying to reach out to brands and even work with other creative people to style events for them. This is exactly what I needed to get on the right path and be professional about my endeavors

    Stay in the Lines

  • 28. Sheila  |  August 27th, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you for your insightful posts! You have readers coming back to your blog because of your open thoughts and giving personality!

    love it, love it, love it!
    Sx

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    This is an awesome post! Thanks for sharing your experience and insight with working with brands. I hope to put these lessons to use soon!

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