INFLUENCER MARKETING: The Mistakes You’re Making When Pitching Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle Influencers

1. Sending a generic, mass-mailed pitch.

Hilary Rowland, founder of Urbanette Magazine, receives hundreds of brand partnership pitches a week and says it’s easy to spot a mass mailing and it’s a turn off. “When they profess to be a fan of Urbanette, but it’s clear that it’s just a mass email and they’ve swapped [BLOG NAME] for Urbanette in their generic email.”

Takeaway: Get personal! Address the writer, editor or influencer by name. Make your subject line and copy relatable and customize it to fit the outlet.

2. Your pitch is too demanding.

Kimmay Caldwell, self-love coach on and expert bra fitter on The Rachael Ray Show, says pitches can often contain really uneven and unrealistic asks. She states, “They’ll ask for a blog post, photos, a due date, links, specific keywords, a certain number of social posts, all in the first email. Like, let’s talk this through first! I prefer to create relationships with brands, and telling me what you want from me in the first email is like telling me how many kids you want from me on the first date. Slow it down, see if I’m interested, let’s make sure we’re a good fit, THEN we can discuss specifics… and baby names.”

Takeaway: If you’re hoping for a product placement, keep it simple! You can’t expect to have all your demands met if you’re not offering some sort of payment.

3. Expecting things for free.

This leads us to the biggest struggle brand founders and influencers encounter: monetary payment. As a brand founder, you may genuinely feel that your product is awesome, and it may be expensive to produce and ship. You believe this is a fair compensation to the influencer in exchange for them to feature your product. And sometimes it is. If the product fits nicely with the influencer’s content and image and is a generous offer then the influencer will be more eager to share it.

Takeaway: As a young brand, you may not have the funds to pay an influencer just yet, or maybe you want to test out how a partnership works with them before making the leap into a paid collaboration. That’s ok and totally understandable! But find a way to make it a win-win for the both parties and you’ll be on your way to forming long-term relationships with influencers that will benefit you multiple times over.

4. Not offering value.

Rowland shares this tip, “If you want a blogger to do you a favor then offer something valuable in return, like payment and repeated promotion in the brand’s newsletter and social media feeds.

Takeaway: A better strategy if you’re hoping for a product placement give a generous product offer to the influencer and focus on just one ask. If the product fits nicely with the blogger’s content, then they’ll be more open to sharing it. But don’t demand them to write or share about your brand or product without a paid partnership.

5. Pitching an irrelevant service or product.

Fashion blogger Marianne Yip shares, “There’s definitely been several emails that I received from brands that are totally opposite of what I would represent and it amazes me that they think I would work with them since we don’t have the same interests or targeted audiences.”

Takeaway: Do your research and make your pitch targeted to the influencer you are writing. Start by identifying the right influencers for your company and making a spreadsheet with the topics they cover and links to example articles.

6. Your pitch clogs up their memory space.

Don’t send attachments. Adding them guarantees you won’t get a response. This is one of those things that seems like common sense, but influencers and editors see it time and time again.

Takeaway: Embed links and images, or for multiple photos, link out to your Dropbox or Google Drive file.

7. Your pitch is plain boring.

What makes a boring pitch? One that is too long, has too many details, and is one uninterrupted chunk of text.

Takeaway: Break up text, make your copy eye-catching, keep it short and to-the-point, and tailor your pitch to the influencer.

As a publicist for start-up beauty brands, I love working with influencers because of the long-term relationships that can come of it. When I pitch a brand to an influencer, I try to find a common ground between us. I learn about them first by reading their about us page (which usually includes links to their most popular articles). I also read a couple of articles containing similar products or services to what I’m pitching.



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Aggie Burnett

Aggie Burnett


Marketing and PR strategist for wellness and beauty brands.