If you’ve been working hard on your blog and Insta game, you’ll eventually get to a point where you can start working with brands.

However, that doesn’t always mean waiting for them to flock to you. Sometimes, the best way to start a partnership is taking initiative and pitching to brands themselves. If you’re not exactly sure where to start, here are four essentials to set you up for success.

A realistic reach.

Although it’s never a bad idea to shoot for the stars, we advise you to be realistic in who you start pitching to. The last thing you want to do is create a bad image for yourself by wasting a brand’s time and/or piss them off. Asking for someone like Chanel or Nars to sponsor your content when your reach barely surpasses 2,000 is like demanding a CEO position without the track record and credentials. There’s nothing in wrong in starting small – find brands and/or bloggers who have a similar reach and following as you and then build up from there.

Assets to show.

By the time you’re ready to start pitching to brands, you should already have a portfolio of assets to show. Consider how well you know a brand’s aesthetic… Is what you’re able to produce and deliver up to par with other bloggers they’ve work with in the past? Does your aesthetic align with theirs? If not, don’t worry right this minute because you can always work to get there. The point is, you want to have all your ducks in a row before you start pitching. In an industry that is highly stimulated by visuals, make sure your pitch has substance to back you up.

A game plan.

Never pitch without ideas laid out. You always want to have 3-5 hard examples of what you have in mind in terms of a collaboration… Maybe it’s sharing an inspiration board, post title examples, or sample posts you’ve created for other brands in the past. No matter what your approach is, know exactly what your deliverables will look like and that a brand understands those deliverables clearly.

A media kit!

Your safest bet for securing a partnership is by attaching a professional media kit that includes your numbers, accomplishments, and contact information. Make sure your social media outlets are visibly provided, your objective is concise but powerful, and that it’s irresistible. You want to make sure it looks so good you can’t be ignored!

For more on media kits, take our Media Kit course here.