How to Reach out to Brands as Freelance Marketer

Image  @kailochic

It’s 2018, which means that having a 9-5 corporate office job is becoming less of the norm, and more of a pastime. Careers in social media are taking off, and it’s not uncommon to see everyday people reach celebrity status through a series of blogs, YouTube videos or podcasts. In essence, 2018 is making all of our wildest career dreams possible. If you can imagine it, someone has probably made a career out of it this year.

With that being said, as a small marketing agency in Vancouver, we understand the draw of being your own boss—the flexible hours, the ability to work from home, a routine that’s anything but monotonous, and the freedom to do what you want, when you want. It’s not all fun and games and it can take years to perfect, but damn, is it worth it.

So you’re just starting out; you’re an independent freelancer or contractor, and you have a couple of brands in mind that you want to work with. Minor setback: you just don’t know how to reach out to them. Here’s what you need to know about getting that ball rolling and to keep it in momentum.

Get in their head before they even realize you want to work with them

Blow up their social media!  But seriously, engage with them, comment on their photos, share their videos, and mention them in your story. Think about it, who wouldn't want to hire their biggest fan? They’ll know your name before you even reach out.

Have a portfolio ready

Gone are the days of the resume. If you want to stand out, you’re going to need proof that you’re creative and can get the job done. This isn’t to say you need to a have a novel’s worth of past work you’ve done with other brands, but you should have images, video, or graphic work that you’ve done for fun, for friends, or for your own brand. Show off your best work and they will notice. It’s always a good idea to tailor the content in your portfolio to the work that they might expect from you as a contractor.

Never underestimate the power of face-to-face communication

Social media is a great starting point for reaching out, but it will never be more powerful than face-to-face communication. If you can find contact information for someone at the company that you want to work with, reach out by email/social media and ask for a time to meet up. Better yet, call them. That way you have time to study their brand, have content prepared, and a proposal ready for the work you want to do.

Connect with them on all social channels

Know the brand inside out: What kinds of content do they produce? What are their core values? What aesthetic do they follow on their social feeds? Who do they already work with? What does their brand voice sound like? Knowing the answers to these kinds of questions will better prepare you for when they end up asking you: What can you do for us? Because you will need to know what your expertise can do to benefit them as a brand.

Know what you want to offer

When you reach out to them via email, DM, or phone call (to set up a time to meet!), have a brief proposal ready for what you think you can do for them as a brand, including things like: what channels do you want to work on, why, and how can you help them improve on the positive things they’re already doing.

Have a timeline and rate in mind

Know your rate. We cannot stress this enough! Know what you will be charging as a contractor, and be confident in this price. If you’re unsure, ask around and see what others with the same skill set are charging for similar services. Further to this, know how many hours per week or month you will need to do exactly what it is that you will need to do to help them reach their business goals. Communicate these things relatively early instead of leaving it to the last minute right before they decide to hire you.

Express the value they will receive in working with you

It’s very common for brands to use social media or online marketing, but never understand the value of what they can do for their business. As a potential contractor reaching out to a brand who is doing a less than an ideal job on social or other marketing initiatives, it is up to you to educate the company on what your services will do for their sales. It’s a good idea to communicate numbers with them so they can at least have something more tangible to think about.

You’ve got the skills, you have the ambition, and now you have a how-to on how to get things started. What are you waiting for? Send them that email!

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