How to Build Brand Relationships That Will Help Further Your Career
“One handshake could change your career.” We’re all aware of the importance of creating mutually beneficial relationships to help further our careers, but the initial outreach can seem intimidating. Although you may have a list of brands you’d like to work with somewhere down the line, it is crucial to know how to develop these relationships before putting yourself out there because you might not get a second chance. Julie Solomon of OMG! Publicity has extensive experience helping bloggers and entrepreneurs land brand deals. And, we are thrilled to announce that she will be joining us at #SimplyLA as one of our Breakout Speakers! Julie Solomon is a New York Times Best-Selling publicist, and the co-owner and Chief Publicist at OMG! Publicity. Throughout her career, Julie has worked with a number of inspiring entrepreneurs and influencers to help grow their brands. In addition to her role as a publicist, Julie loves sharing her thoughts on motherhood, entrepreneurship, beauty, fashion, health & wellness, DIY, and recipe how to’s on her blog, JulieSolomon.net, and her YouTube Channel. Also, she currently runs a mentorship program through her blog, which offers brand management and publicity ‘how-to’s’ that cover implementation on branding, social media, networking and pitching!
We can’t wait for Julie to share her knowledge on monetizing your influence during her Breakout Session at #SimplyLA! In the meantime, keep reading to learn about connecting with brands, developing relationships, and more:
SS: What is the best way for digital influencers to connect with brands? Engaging via social media is always a good first step because of how accessible it is. Also, attending events and making an effort to shake hands with the brand reps while you're there. Anytime you can get a face to face, do it! When you do decide to engage with a brand, its important to know who you are talking to, and not focus on your benefits only. The goal here is to build a relationship, not come across asking for something. An easy way to do this is to compliment their work, their products, their service! Also — ask questions! Ask how you can help spread the word. Have a clear cut intention on why you are connecting with them.
SS: Why is it important for people to understand digital monetization & how to use it advantageously? Digital monetization is the livelihood of an influencer. It is how we make a living. So if you want a real career in the business of blogging or influencer marketing - you need to be able to monetize effectively and consistently. But before you can understand HOW to monetize, you first need to figure out who your audience is — essentially — who are you speaking to? How aware are you of their needs? You won't be able to "influence" anyone if you don't have a keen understanding of who they are, what they need, and how you can serve that need.
SS: Aside from monetization, what are some other benefits someone can gain from developing brand relationships? Relationships are key in this business. They are the foundation of loyalty, trust and respect between a brand and an influencer. Plus, people genuinely like working with people they like. You can gain the benefit of understanding the "mind of the brand" as well as insights that you as an influencer may not realize or have. Developing relationships with a brand is just as important as monetization, if not more. As it is what leads to long term growth.
A great tip for building relationships is to go beyond an email. Pick up the phone, ask a brand to coffee or lunch. Share your time with them. Make sure you treat them (if they will let you). Ask them how you can help their brand/ clients, ask them the challenges they may be facing with influencers from a branding perspective. And, ask them what trends they see happening. What works, what doesn't. After all, you are offering a service, not just a sale.
SS: You landed a job at an entertainment public relations firm ten days after moving from Nashville to NYC. Do you have advice for anyone who is considering relocating their career? You have to just take the leap and dive in! Also, you have to "act as if" you already live there. PR companies in cities like NYC and LA won't take you serious unless they know you are serious about that job, and part of that is living in the city. I did use a friend’s address for a couple of weeks before I moved and told companies I already lived there — as I knew if I got a job I would move in a heartbeat. But, it wasn't until I had actually moved to the city that I landed my dream job.
It's also important to flexible with your path. Sometimes the path you think you want is not the path you truly need to achieve your dream. Reframing HOW to achieve your goals helps you change with the ever changing industry, and that is essential in long term growth.
Purchase your tickets HERE to learn more from #SimplyLA Breakout Speaker, Julie Solomon!