Did a brand send you a pitch you aren't interested in or they aren't interested in paying you a dime? Here's how to drop the bomb that you just aren't into them...like the classy boss you are, and not get a smudge of dirt on ya!
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WARNING: SLIGHT SOUTHERN BELLE SNARKINESS AHEAD.
As a blogger, you may know all about pitching to your favorite brands and hoping you get a yes.
You're probably well educated in how to gracefully take rejection from these brands, in hopes of shooting another pitch at a better time.
But what do you do when a brand reaches out to you and...well, it's just a no go?
Honey, I've been there and done that. Plenty of pitches grace my email address, and many of them end up with one of the many examples I have given y'all at the end of this post. They end up rejected, even if they were a brand that I really liked.
If you're a new blogger, you may be looking at me a little buck-eyed. For what reason would you ever reject a brand or company? That's free stuff and more to put into your portfolio and media kit, right?
A ton of reasons!
A big one is no monetary compensation (stop taking 'samples' and freebies for work! Stahp it! NEVER work for free even as a newer blogger!) another may be that they don't match with your brand or your niche. It could just be a bad time in your year (like Q4, I'm sure you don't want every post to be an advertisement, it could damage your readers' trust.) or you might not just like that brand at all, right? They just don't fit with you, your brand, your readers, whatever.
Now, how do we reject this brand without sounding rude and/or possibly cutting off a brand that we may want to work with in the future?
Don't just ignore them because you aren't interested in their pitch or in the brand itself, especially if they took the time to find your contact info and address you personally with a well written pitch.
Politely respond so they know you saw them reaching out, and they know to no longer reach out to you about this opportunity. Definitely respond if it's an event where they need your RSVP, even if you're not able to go. It's just rude not to send back your RSVP as a no-show.
Don't respond if it's an obvious scam. I'm talking they didn't write out a greeting properly, the pitch literally has nothing to do with your brand or your company (did they even read your blog? Do they even know your name or the name of your company?), the pitch is full of misspellings and the email comes from an address that doesn't match up to the company they're from. Who knows what that's actually about. Are they even real people?
Don't be Scared to Negotiate
Negotiating is pretty important before you completely decline a collaboration or partnership offer. If you do want to work with the brand, just negotiate. It may seem a little uncomfortable and strange, especially since you may feel like some small newbie vs. a big company, but this is a necessary part of running your blog like a business!
You are a valuable influencer! They wouldn't have reached out to you if you weren't able to offer something they wanted. And because of that, you should get what you want, too. You're basically a more affordable, more trustworthy, more laser-focused advertiser.
Don't sell yourself short, renegotiate what you know you're worth. Trust me, you will do a better job working for this client when you got a satisfying pay check coming from it.
Like I said, you are a valuable influencer and they are paying a lot less for you to 'evergreen'ly advertise their product to thousands, if not millions, of loyal readers that trust you and what you refer.
Tell them why and be specific
Just like you'd like to know why your pitch didn't get a yes, the brand reps want a reason why you rejected their pitch, too. And don't just drop the 'I'm too busy' excuse, give them an authentic reason. Maybe the pay is too low, tell them that. If they want to work with you, they'll readjust their budget. Maybe it really is a bad time of the year to work with them, let them know and maybe they'll adjust their schedule for you. Or maybe they'll just move on. But y'all will never know unless you tell them "Hey, this is why I can't take this deal."
Being specific about what you need in order to work with them will make sure you end up getting better and more worthwhile pitches and not having your time wasted with brands and projects that don't match up with you for a variety of reasons.
Be polite and professional!
Please, please, please, be professional and use tact when rejecting a pitch. A lot of brand representatives work for many brands, and some brands work under one big company (did you know White Lily Flour is owned by Smuckers? Or that Naked is owned by Pepsi? Exactly!) so be super profesh and really nice.
If you want to work with them one day with a project that works better for you, tell them to keep you in mind for future projects! Maybe send them to a blogger friend who you know would be very interested in their project and/or their budget works for them. Being super nice and helpful is what helps keep you in mind the next time that brand has a project that might work for you!
The I LIKE YOUR BRAND AND WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH YOU IN THE FUTURE...JUST NOT WITH THIS PROJECT email
Hi Brand Representative Name,
Thank you so much for thinking of me for THIS PROJECT THAT I'M SURELY NOT GOING TO DO. Unfortunately, this isn't a good fit for me at the moment because INSERT REASON HERE.
Please keep me in mind for future projects and events, I enjoy your brand and I'd love to work with you another time.
I hope your project turns out well!
All the best,
YOUR NAME HERE
The THIS BRAND DOESN'T MATCH UP WITH MY BRAND email
Hi Brand Rep,
Thanks for reaching out to me about THIS PROJECT THAT DOESN'T MATCH YOUR BRAND. Unfortunately YOUR BLOG NAME doesn't cover this topic.
If I do cover this topic in the future, I would love to work with you and will definitely reach out for a collaboration.
All the best wishes on your project,
YOUR NAME HERE
The CAN'T GO TO THIS BRAND'S EVENT email
Thank you for the invitation, but I unfortunately cannot attend this event due to WHAT EVER REASON. Please keep me in mind for your future events, I would love to attend one and collaborate at a better time.
YOUR NAME HERE
The CALL ME WHEN YOU'RE READY TO COUGH UP SOME CASH email
Hello Brand Rep,
Thanks for reaching out for this project, but YOUR BLOG NAME doesn't collaborate with brands without compensation. I love your brand, so please keep me in mind for future projects that better fit a collaboration between us.
I hope your project does well!
YOUR NAME HERE
The DEAR JOHN email
Hello Brand Rep,
Thank you for taking interest in YOUR BRAND/BLOG NAME, I appreciate the opportunity. Unfortunately I cannot work with your company (putting reason is optional here), so please remove me from your mailing list.
I wish you well in your endeavors,
YOUR NAME HERE
And that's how you reject pitches like a little southern belle boss lady. Or like any boss, really.
Be polite, if you want to work with them again, let them know, and if you need to drop them like a hot potato, do it with some tact.
Did I miss anything? How do you handle rejecting pitches? Do you have an example on rejecting another type of email? Let me know in the comments!
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.