Episode 137 | Creating Successful Brand Partnerships Ashley Brooke

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Practical Ways to Ensure Successful Brand Partnerships

In this episode, we talk with Ashley Brooke about working with brands and creating meaningful collaborations with those brands that truly connect with her audience. If you want to have successful brand partnerships and create long-term relationships with brands then this is the episode for you! 

Creating Successful Brand Partnerships

"I think sometimes we forget, especially since it can feel kind of like contract work. That honestly, it's not. These people on the other end of this screen are doing creative work just like you are, and how it performs really matters on their end as much as it matters on yours."

Discussed in this episode...

Where is it best to focus our efforts for successful brand partnerships?

Bree and Ashley discussed where most of her brand collaborations are happening. Are they on social media, her blog, creating content for the brands to use on their own channels? Or a healthy mix of all the above?

For Ashley, it totally ebbs and flows. There have been seasons where she's done more content work behind the scenes for brands. Right now, though, she is focusing her efforts on social media and her blog.

In the last few years, people have been pushing social more than they are pushing long-form content. A shift we have seen lately is a bit of a swing back to longer-form content. The blog is what everything revolves around for Ashley. She encourages brands she's working with to also consider the blog; because the blog is searchable! As much as we all love social media, being able to search content once it's already produced is huge! And it doesn't only "live" for that day or that week or as long as the algorithm wants to push it out; it's there for as long as you leave it there.

Ashley is really grateful for the blog and having a place where things can live permanently, with a search bar. In a world of quickly moving "24-hour content", there is a lot of effort for short-lived results. We put a lot of time and effort into shooting, even for one Instagram collaboration post. With a blog, it's really fun to be able to expand the story a little bit. You can give the story more context, and put some reality behind it.

Can we pitch brands additional images, even while we're shooting for a current collaboration?

Ashley does this frequently! If they ask for three images, Ashley will often send four or five or six, just so that they have some things to choose from. But then will also let them know that, perhaps, it is a really spectacular lighting day. She'll let them know she got more great stuff and that if they're interested, there are definitely things that she can do to make this a bigger push. The brand is going to love knowing when you're invested in them. And vice versa! A key to successful brand partnerships is to build relationships with the brands that you work with, and let them know that you value their time.

How do we start the conversation about creating content for brands to use on their own channels?

It's important here to just be able to open communication and not be nervous about it! Truthfully, we all need content. It's going to help the brand that you're collaborating with to offer them additional content! You can keep it simple and say something like: "Hey, I just want to let you know that I did shoot like this extra stuff, and it's really great.  Let me know if you're interested or if you have anything coming up that I might be able to add value to in this way."

Recently, Ashley has done a few projects where it's been social-based, but then was able to tack on things like six images and a reel. And it was completely separate, but also from the same shoot that she had already produced and put up with tags and all. Just having open communication and not being nervous to ask is key to successful brand partnerships, because again, we're all in the same boat of needing good quality content

What are the first steps to take when approaching a brand collaboration?

This looks a little different depending on the brand and whether it has come to her inbox, or she has reached out. Both definitely happen, so it just depends on what they are envisioning and whether that fits with Ashley and her brand. It's always great when brands send over full ideas because it's easy to see if this would be a natural fit and could work with your brand.

The big thing here is communication! There have been multiple times when Ashley loved a brand and thought something was a really great idea. Maybe the concept wouldn't fit into her content, but she will pitch them a new idea with the same product, and see how it goes from there. And oftentimes that brand really does listen, because they know that you know your audience best.

You might love a product, but the way that they're currently trying to push the product might be something that doesn't feel natural to you or wouldn't fit into your content. Being able to say, "Hey, I love this idea, but can I switch it up like this? How do you feel about shooting it this way, instead?" That's a conversation that brands appreciate! And if it's not a fit, they tell you right off the bat!

Additional Topics We Discuss...
  • How phone calls can help when presenting ideas
  • Successful brand partnerships are really a result of successful brand relationships
  • How much relies on frequent and good communication
  • Advice for turning a one-off campaign into a longer-term partnership
  • Ways to ensure that your audience responds to and enjoys sponsored content
  • Finding the balance in sharing sponsored versus "regular" content
  • How Ashley stays creative and comes up with new ideas content ideas


Resources Mentioned

More about Ashley Brooke:

Ashley Brooke Chambers is known for her sunny disposition and Southern sensibility. Her passion for elevating the everyday shines through with daily content that is equal parts aspirational and accessible.

For more than 10 years, she has carved out a space that champions creative ways to “make it a moment”, finding unexpected avenues to elevate the simple things in life – from the kitchen table to the corner garden. What has emerged is a lifestyle blog and social presence spanning beauty, personal style, homemaking, and interiors.


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