Thursday, March 2, 2017

HOW TO WORK WITH BRANDS AS A BLOGGER



As a blogger there are so many opportunities and ways to collaborate with brands. I want you to know there is not this one way system to working with brands. And guess what you can also earn money for it but I must worn you, you will have to work hard for it and realize nothing in life comes easy. If you really want to step up your game and follow your dreams then get out your pen and paper. I'm going to show you all of the ways you can work with brands.


SO QUESTION HOW DO YOU WORK WITH BRANDS?
Outside of the question "How do you receive products for free" I get asked this question the most also. And it's nothing wrong with asking. I'm here to share some light. It doesn't matter how big or small your brand is as a blogger. What make a brand want to work with you is YOU! What make your brand unique? Who is your audience? What can you offer a brand in return? What can you offer that would be of value to another brand?


These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself so you'll know how and when to approach a brand.


HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TOLD THIS...

I'm sure someone told you that in order to work with brands you have to have a large following on social media? Well that's not all the way true. Only a small percentage work with brands and you can be part of that small percentage. But you need to know all of the many ways you can work with brands and I'm going to first tell you all of the many ways you can can work with brands.


1. SPONSORED POSTS

Sponsored posts are one of the most popular ways to work with a brand. A sponsored post is essentially when a blogger is paid in either compensation of product or compensation of both money and product to publish content about the brand on their blog in their own way. The goal of a sponsored post is to make it so unique and so organic that you don't know necessarily that it's a sponsored post. There is a method to writing sponsored posts.


Example: Let's say you are doing a sponsored post for a accessory company and they sent you a cross-over bag. You can write a post that says.



10 Ways To Stay Organized This Spring. Then mention how this cross over bag helps you stay organized because the many functions it has. Or talk about how it keeps everything perfectly sectioned off and everything you need is in one back. You can spin it anyway you want.


2. Social Media Sponsored Posts
There are several ways you can work with brands through social media but I'm going to narrow the focus down to one area. Sponsored posts are just as popular for social media and many influencers are becoming influential on their Instagram and other social media channels for marketing other businesses. According to +Social Media Examiner article expressed that recent research shows that sponsored posts are selling products and according to Izea, 52% of companies have a paid social budget for their brand.

One important thing to know as a blogger, vlogger, content writer and or influencer is in order for any of this to be effective and for you to make money from this your engagement must match the amount of likes and followers you have. In fact Engagement is more important than the amount of followers you have. Can you reach people? Can you get them excited about your updates? This is the goal and if done successfully can be very lucrative!


AFFILIATE/REFERRAL PROGRAM
Affiliate/Referral Programs is a great way to make money and to build a form of loyalty with the brand. Most bloggers do affiliate programs where they refer their following to a company a get a pay cut for every person that buy through their affiliate link.

If you want to work with brands on a broader scope and you can provide numbers from the back of the site through your affiliate links it can open other opportunities. Numbers don't lie and if you have a great influence it will show in the numbers.

Which leads me to my tips below to get you on track with working with brands.... There are so many avenues to how you can work with brands and make money doing it but if you're not set up to make money with working brands then what you're pretty much doing is a hobby!

TIP #1 Build & Grow Your Blog & Audience
The first important thing to working with brands is building a blog and growing a quality audience. Yes brands look at the amount of audience you have but what the brand cares most about is the engagement. How is your audience engaging with you? Do you have a large following but you get no feedback? Are you considered someone who can influence your audience? Let's just say you have 600 Followers on instagram and half of those followers actively engage with your posts. If you can show a brand that although your audience is small they are actively engaging and they leave comments not only on your social media but on your blog or youtube you can still appeal to brands. A tip is to always engage with your audience! When you engage it creates engagement and a organic following.


QUALITY OVER QUANTITY


TIP #2: Create Your Media Kit
If you want to work with brands and be taken seriously you need a media kit. There is no way a brand can fully take you seriously if you're reaching out to them without a media kit. A media kit is a document that tells a potential brands and buyers into your brand or as we call them "sponsors" about your blog. It's basically your resume but created for your website. Your media kit should have things such as a bio about your blog, topics you focus on you blog, statistics. different collaboration options. Those are the basics you need to make a lasting impression on the brand that you're looking to work with. Need examples of Media Kits? Google is your best friend. Google "Blogger Media Kits". One of my favorite platforms for inspiration outside of Google is Pinterest. Need assistance in designing a media kit? I can assist you with that. I am a Image & Branding Consultant and design custom media kits. For more information contact me HERE.

Here are some examples of Media Kits


















Like a resume media kits can be as detailed or basic as you want it to be but remember you want to give the brand as much information about you. Sale yourself but always be honest because you will have to deliver.


TIP #3: CREATE A LIST
Ok I know you're probably thinking "WHAT KIND OF LIST". Before I started working with brands I was reviewing and sharing products that correlated with my blog and things that I like. This was the start and beginning of me working with brands. Make a list of companies you love and products you've tried and love and review them. This is the best way for companies to get a feel of your writing style and who you are. And be authentic because no one likes a liar that would do anything for a free product. Because when the time comes and you are offered to do a sponsored post you want to make sure the brand and product fits your style and blog and that when writing a sponsored post it's organic and not forced. Because no one likes an un-organic sponsored post.


Keep this in mind...

Be creative and think outside the box. I know it's natural for us to want to work with national larger brands but when you are smaller and are growing it's easier to work with small brands or local brands. This is a great way to build your blog and build relationships with brands. I have found that it is easy to partner with small brands and you don't have to fight through the pr firms. You reach the brand directly. Besides people love unique things. It's plenty of people reviewing and working with the same larger brands why not be different?


In conclusion there are so many opportunities out there and so many ways to collaborate with brands that we love! I named a few and offered tips on building your brand so brands will see value in working with you! It's important as an influencer and blogger to be VALUABLE!



Did you like the information that I shared? Was it valuable to you? Leave your comments below?


Friday, February 10, 2017

STASH OR PASS SERIES: PÜR Cosmetics Bare It All 12 Hour 4-In1 Skin Perfecting Foundation Review

+PÜR cosmetics  just released their newest addition called the Bare It All 12 Hour 4-in-1 Skin Perfecting Foundation not too long ago. And I'm excited to share this with you! 






This foundation as mentioned before is a 4-in-1 Skin Perfecting Full Coverage Foundation that comes in 10 Shades. That is a mouth full and is saying a lot about this foundation! Which means this foundation would basically need to...
1. Last at least half a day which is 12 hrs.
2. For it to be a "SKIN PERFECTING" Foundation it would need to be full coverage.
3. It would need to be a great quality foundation to last all day.
4. And for it to be a "4-in-1" Foundation I'm assuming it would need to...

  • Be a primer
  • Be a concealer
  • Be a full coverage foundation
  • Be a setting spray 
Am I right? So basically we'll be walking around looking like real snapchat filters lol.


The Bare It All Collection includes:

  • Bare It All 12-hour 4-in-1 Skin Perfecting Foundation | Retail Price: $39.00
  • Skin Perfecting Foundation Brush | Retail Price: $28.00
  • Skin Perfecting Concealer Brush | Retail Price: $22.00





Some key things you should know about this foundation is that it's vegan free, gluten free, & paraben free. It contains Energy ComplexCeretin Complex & Blue Agave.

BENEFITS
  • The Energy Complex is a combination of green tea, ginseng and B Vitamins. Together these ingredients stimulate the skins metabolic renewal process.
  • Ceretin Complex has anti-aging benefits where it helps to smooth, firm and lift giving the skin an ageless complexion.
  • Blue Agave hydrates and nourishes the skin.




Unfortunately I would have to practically wear this only to know if any of this is true. But I probably won't be wearing it too often because it's not women of color friendly. The deeper shades look promising to the naked eye but looks can be deceiving. Which is why I don't get caught up in swatches because you will never know what works until you actually try it out on the face.

HOWEVER all hope is not lost! I know for the average women of color she's not looking to customize her foundation which is perfectly fine but this works perfectly as a concealer. Because I am a makeup artist I make things work for me and this foundation works perfectly as a concealer. 

Also because this foundation claims to be a 12 Hour Foundation I put that to the test. 

And with no touch ups under the eye and in certain parts of my face this foundation held up very well. No separation, no creasing and it didn't get too oily. Besides I'm a dewy girl anyway. But for those who have oily skin you definitely want to prep and set your skin to avoid looking like you were coated with olive oil.


This foundation is a semi-matte finish which means it has some form of dewiness to it. It locks to the skin fast. It transfer a tad bit but it's not bad at all!


I was also sent two beautiful brushes...


  • Skin Perfecting Foundation Brush $28.00
This brush is soft and is a synthetic fiber brush with a large grip handle that gives skin a smooth airbrush effect that looks like the second skin. It's also Cruelty-Free 
  • Skin Perfecting Concealer Brush $22.00

This brush is soft and is a synthetic fiber with a small head to apply to smaller areas of the face like under the eyes for concealing, highlighting and contouring. This brush is also Cruelty-Free. 


Overall this foundation is a great texture, finish. +PÜR cosmetics  could definitely work on their shades a lot better for women of color but I believe they will get it right one day!

Is this a STASH OR PASS FOR ME? HECK, I'm a makeup artist who can make anything work and because it works perfectly as a highlighting concealer I say it's a stash!



Where can you find this foundation? It's available in your local Ulta and on the +PÜR cosmetics  website www.purcosmetics.com. And also check Kohls and maybe Look Boutique because they carry PUR Cosmetics Also. 

Friday, November 25, 2016

6 INCREDIBLE REASONS TO SUPPORT & SHOP SMALL BUSINESSES!



As the weekend approaches I'm thinking about all the many reasons why I personally enjoy shopping small businesses and see the value in it. Not only that but just imagine how our community would be if we only had larger establishments. It would be overly crowded, everyone would be walking around with the same thing, there would be no uniqueness. In my opinion small businesses add color to a community that is black and white. 

What would we do without out coffee shops, nail shops, spas, hair shops, boutique style stores, antique shops, consignment shops gas stations??? These are some of the places we truly depend on and they add just as much value to our lives then larger establishments. 

Smaller Businesses are what really stimulate the economy. They have a great impact on our communities . 

DID YOU KNOW...

The Small Business Administration (SBA) reported that there are 28 million small businesses operating in the U.S alone and since 1995, those small businesses have generated 66% of all new jobs in the United States. 

YUP THAT"S A BIG DEAL! 

Bringing us to the nationally recognized holiday. Small Business Saturday,  a national holiday held the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the United States that encourages holiday shoppers to support local brick-and-mortar businesses rather that larger box brand store or online stores.

Small Business Saturday was originally founded by American Express in 2010 and according to this survey, 95 million people went out to shop small on Small Business Saturday 2015. And that spending on the holiday reached $16.2 billion last year. That's a 14% increase over 2014! These stats are amazing and I'm going to tell you the benefits of shopping small, and why you should particularly shop on Small Business Saturday and every day in general. 





1. SMALL BUSINESSES CONTRIBUTE & GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY
Your support to small businesses mean you are also supporting your town, city, and neighborhood. You're helping in building communities.  Small Business pay sales taxes to the city and county the business is located in. When you shop big box stores and big brands online, that money is not benefitting the community at all. PLUS, another thing you should know is that Small Businesses tax money is used within the community to support public schools, parks, roads, and sidewalks, it funds public service workers, like firefighters as well. 

Also according to Civic Economics, "on average, 48% of each purchase you make at local independent businesses, it is recirculated locally, compare to less than 14% of purchases at chain stores."

2. SMALL BUSINESSES INCREASES THE ECONOMY
I know this may seem like something that's common sense but many don't consider this when shopping. I don't think it's intentional but some are forgetful or some find it a bit more convenient to go to box stores. But if we take the time out to do the research of how we could better support smaller businesses we would all grow.  The more you shop at a local business, the more potential job opportunities you could help them provide. More than half of the U.S jobs since 1995 were created by small businesses and according to SBA, since 1990 big businesses eliminated 4 million jobs, while small business added 8 million jobs. And we all know this to be true. And this is why our support is more than important.

3. SMALL BUSINESSES PROVIDE A MORE CUSTOMIZED & BETTER EXPERIENCE
I can't always say that small business have better customer service however I can say you get more of that personal unique touch, hands-on and memorable experience. 

4. SMALL BUSINESSES PROVIDE GREATER PRODUCT DIVERSITY
Smaller businesses have a greater access to vendors who determines pricing unlike box stores. And another thing about smaller businesses is if they don't have something you're looking for if you ask them they would more willingly order what you need your customize your needs.

5. SMALL BUSINESSES IS ALL ABOUT COMMUNITY
One thing I love about small businesses is the connection I build with them. There is a sense of community and it's easier to create a business relationship with smaller businesses. Unlike big box stores it's likely that you will know the owner of your neighborhood small business. And according to a Trulia who conducted a study , and also noted in Forbes, the second most popular desire amongst urbanites is a stronger sense of community - number one being more local restaurants. 

6.  YOU'RE GOING TO FEEL GREAT LEAVING OUT.
Here is the reason why you're going to feel amazing:
1. Just imagine the difference between a burger from Jack in The Box vs a Burger from your local restaurant. The burger from Jack in the Box will be generic, with no taste, and made the same way for all. But the local restaurant burger will have a twist and edge to it. And also it will be customized with love for you. Who wouldn't feel great about that? 
2. You're going to feel amazing because you are supporting your local community business not just on one day but throughout the year. You are overall growing the community and making possible for small businesses to create more value and grow. 

So how to get more involved within your community???
  • Instead of doing the easy thing by going to big box store brands. Take the time out to find alternatives within your community and support them. You make a difference and they do to. 
  • Become the voice of advertisement on social media and spread the word. Don't be stingy with your voice if it creates value and more opportunities for your community. Also I believe there is power in numbers! Post pictures, tweets, and status updates of the small business you either own or you support using appropriate hashtags such as #ShopSmall. Encourage others to do as you do and educate them. And write valuable reviews on sites like YELP, Facebook, and more.  Because many don't know the potential in our support. 
  • SIGN UP FOR LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS LOYALTY PROGRAMS - If a local small business has a rewards program sign up for it. It's a great way to show your support, get the perks from your support and also to stay updated.  

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS!!!
I am a heavy supporter of small businesses and I support for all of the reasons above! Here some of my favorites who are having some great deals this weekend that you don't want to miss out on!


FASHION BOUTIQUES

Sulay Renee
The Ultimate Dressing Room
3286 S Loop W 
Houston TX 77025

TheUltimateDressingRoom.com 
#TheUltimateDressingRoom

Olivia Specks
Holyghost Girl Boutique
www.ishophgg.net
#HGGBoutique
Code: BlackFriday2016


The Sugared Pear Boutique
25%-75% off In-Store
3532 E. Broadway St., 
Pearland, Texas 77581
#TheSugaredPearBoutique
www.TheSugaredPear.com
FREE GIVEAWAY In-Store!!!


BEAUTY & PHOTOGRAPHY

Where beauty & style is everything!


LaTonia Nichols
Virtuous Cosmetics LLC
$10 Black Friday Sale
Inbox her on facebook the shade of your choice you would like and they will be mailed to you the next business day!!!


Jennifer Weaver
Mary Kay, Independent Sales Director

Lashelle Farrington
J.Antoinette1927


Kathy Hess Duncan
Fushion Of Color
FREE SHIPPING & Bundle Sets
Makeup That is Natural, Vegan Free, Gluten Free. 
For Discount Use Code: Faith


Krystal Burrell Armstrong
Luxury Natural Skin Care



Crystal Carmen
Release your inner makeup artist with
www.pinkstilettocosmetics.com

Judy Williams
Hairstylist/Makeup Artist/Photographer
Email | jwphotographyinfo@yahoo.com 
call for bookings | 832.892.2108


FOOD

Nina R Gross
Love Lust Good
Use code SHOPLLF to receive 20% off ANY purchase over $10.


BUSINESS

Yolanda Lamar Wilder
LAMAR BUSINESS CONSULTING SERVICES LLC
Assisting setting up new and startup businesses globally 



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