Seven Secrets to Building Long-Lasting Relationships With Brands

ASOS tiger sweater

When I started blogging, there was no 1800-help-a-blogger hotline that I could ring. Like many of you reading this, I was pretty much thrown in at the deep end and had to find my own way out.

So, aside from gut instinct, how do you learn to walk the tightrope and balance a beautiful feed with business? Luckily I found a group of blogger friends that I love and respect, who I can talk business with. Together we shared ideas, shared mistakes and shared the tips and hacks that matter. So rather than find out where all of the pitfalls are yourself by falling into them, in coming months I will be sharing with you more lessons on how to master the art of influencer marketing!

The most fundamental and important lesson is about building relationships. Your ability to “get that job” is based not only on your content, your brand and level of influence, but also whether the person with the money to spend likes you or not. A lot of my clients are recurring clients, which means that with every new collection, there’s a good chance that they will want to work with me again. It’s a simple but effective recipe – I like their clothes, I like their staff, their staff like me, and we all want to see each other do well. Remember, brands and agencies are more likely to award work to those who influencers who are a pleasure to deal with, and influencers are more likely to go the extra mile for those brands and agencies who treat them professionally and with respect.

Notwithstanding all of that, you will win some and you will lose some, in terms of what jobs comes your way. And you can’t be sensitive about it. As I have said before, when the stars aligns between the brand you work with and what you are able to create, something magical happens and you are able to tell a story through your content that resonates with your readers. So if some jobs weren’t meant to be, then they just weren’t meant to be – let them pass and consider whether you can learn anything from the experience.

So if you take all of that in and remember that forming a great rapport is fundamental to your success, we can then consider what other techniques can be used to complement that great new relationship you’ve just built.

Here goes:

  1. Don’t focus on the money: I really do pride myself in creating beautiful content and my time in London has taught me a huge lesson that relationships are everything, because I had to rebuild my professional network from scratch. It is your job to go above and beyond to create stunning content for a brand. And even if it’s not paid but if its a brand that you love and you hope to commercialise one day, you really need to show them what you can do. Eventually they will find a budget for you.
  2. Don’t pitch to a brand unless you feel you can deliver value: You have to understand from a brand’s perspective, they get an inbox full of collaboration request each day. You want to show them what you can do to help the brand and how you can add value for them, and often that process highlights a route that you didn’t previously consider. For example, if you put yourself in the shoes of a digital brand manager, they have to hire models, hire photographers, book studios and allocate staff to shoot their fashion. But if you can offer them styled, edited, high-res content that they can use across their channels, suddenly you’ve made their life a whole lot easier. So ask yourself what the brand might need, and then pitch a solution to that need.
  3. Pick brands that suit your niche: When you are a new blogger starting out, consider which brands would suit your style the best. We know that unless your last name is Kardashian, Chanel is not going to be knocking on your door for collaborations. So go out and find amazing new brands and work with new designers who can grow alongside you. Show them support, because you never know who is going to be the next Sophia Webster!
  4. Help educate others: This whole industry that we’re working in is so new. There are amazing older brands that want to move into the digital era, but they don’t know how. This creates a lot of opportunity. If you can showcase your digital savvy and solve a problem for them by presenting a content solution and an opportunity to reach an audience, explain the benefit to them and capitalise on their lack of resources to figure all of this stuff out themselves.
  5. Don’t be shy – contact people: Unless you have millions of followers, this gig is a hustle! You’ve got to swallow your pride and hunt for business. I reach out to brands all the time if I want to work with them. I’m always respectful, professional and polite – but I’m also firm in outlining what I can deliver. And it’s ok for them to say no to you. Take it with grace and work even harder to secure that next opportunity.
  6. Give brands your stats: Often if you are dealing with PR agencies, they will want to see your stats – so have a media kit ready to save time. Remember these people are busy! Try to make it efficient and as pain free for them to assess your influence as possible.
  7. Be nice! I always begin my approach with a thought about how I can make a brand’s representative brighter, and I always follow up a collaboration with a thank you email, and point out what I found special about the brand and the experience of working with them. Send them your stats and traffic numbers if you have them handy, and leave a great post-campaign taste in their mouthes.

Thank you so much for reading guys! I would love to know what you do to build relationships with brands – please scroll down to comment and read tips from other bloggers!









1.Espirit Animal Print Jumper

2.Asos Denim Mini Skirt

3.Liqour Denim Jacket

4.Rayban Sunglasses


ASOS tiger sweater

ASOS tiger sweater

ASOS tiger sweater

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  1. adrianaf20 on January 24, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    Great tips babe! I also love your outfit in these pictures!

    The Black Blush

  2. Britta on January 24, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Sis! This is such a great and inspiring post!
    Thank you for being so sweet and always sharing what you know!
    Looooove this look btw! Especially the colorful knit.
    Lots of hugs and kisses

  3. Katy on January 24, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Loving this blog post babe! My favourite secrets are Be Nice, Picking Brands That Are In Your Niche as well as Don’t Be Shy because It is amazing what can be achieved when you step outside your comfort zone xx

    • Katy on January 24, 2018 at 10:08 pm

      P.S This outfit is Amazing ????

    • Miss Gunner on January 24, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      Love love this babe! Thank you so much for sharing! So true. You need to keep pushing the boundaries!!


  4. @thecultureofstyle on January 24, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    @miss_gunner i think the 1st point is most important. IG is all about visual stimulation…so as you aptly put it – “it is your responsibility to go above and beyond…” – the convincing becomes easier when the proof is in the pudding. Thank you!
    With ?, @thecultureofstyle

    • Miss Gunner on January 24, 2018 at 10:43 pm

      Omg! I couldn’t have said it better!! Thank you for sharing lovely!!


  5. Jo on January 24, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    So insightful hun! You are so incredibly humble and beyond talented. The thing I love most is, you are just so sweet! Anyone can have talent, followers, nice pics, but not everyone is kind and extremely generous and wanting to help others. Thank you for sharing these tips, I always learn so much from you. You always motivate me to keep going xxxx

  6. Melanie May on January 24, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    In order to be the best, I must first learn from the best! Thank you for always sharing your wisdom – I’m loving all your blogger tips xxx
    Mel x

  7. AikA❤︎ on January 24, 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Thank you Ash for creating this post! I really like the tips 5 & 7!!!! Thank you note is so important! I will have to start doing that!
    I am still hesitate to reach out to the brands, but I will definitely have guts to break my comfort zone! xo

    xo from Seattle,


  8. Anci on January 24, 2018 at 10:47 pm

    Great tips Ashley! Love the post!

  9. La Bijoux Bella| by mia on January 25, 2018 at 12:57 am

    Smart and beautiful choices … know your choices and limits in life, have your belief and be passionate about what we represent and. Most importantly NEVER get to know greed, it is NOT our friend. Love ❤️ your takes on this issue. Stay true and beautiful as you always are! ♥️??♥️

    ??LA BIJOUX BELLA ??| By Mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

  10. Miki (@mikialamode) on January 25, 2018 at 4:05 am

    First, such a cute outfit!! I love your blog posts with these tips because they really highlight the things you forget and in a business where you’re your own boss, you really need these reminders.

    Thanks for sharing, Ashley!


  11. Short Girl Long Jacket on January 25, 2018 at 5:10 am

    That sweater is so cute! And thank you for the tips 🙂

  12. Vanessa on January 25, 2018 at 6:18 am

    Thanks for the amazing tips!

    Vanessa x |

  13. Suze R on January 25, 2018 at 8:09 am

    Great advice Ash. I try to personalize my approach to the brand in question by seeing what makes them unique

  14. Joann Mikhail on January 25, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Ahhhh Ash!!! Love these tips! I reallllly need to build my blogger babe squad here in Sydney since I’m from Chicago it’s a bit hard. Wish you were in town and we could do a blogger brunch!! Hope you’re getting used to those London temps ❤️

    Xxx, Joann

  15. Charmaign on January 25, 2018 at 9:11 am

    You are so down to earth, kind and so humble to share this. I am starting this out and all the tips you’ve given on here I’m trying to go by. I love that you’re willingly sharing this with everyone because It is a really helpful advise. Noones gonna do our job and you’re right if we work hard show them what you got and approach them with respect you will go a long way!!! Thank you for the good read Ash. Much love xx

  16. Jessi Malay on January 25, 2018 at 9:25 am

    These are some great tips babe!! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    XO, Jessi

  17. talesofjude on January 25, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Wonderful tips Ash, so practical and business oriented. Thanks for sharing!! Also can we talk about that epic sweater, love it!! Judith xxx

  18. poseandrepeat on January 25, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Thank you so much for this post Ash!!! Seriously such amazing tips and advice. I think one of the most helpful points is what you have mentioned about delivering value to a brand. I think viewing things from a brand’s perspective definitely makes you work harder to create amazing content for them! Thanks again babe, really appreciate it! xo Rubi
    Pose & Repeat

  19. Fashionevolve on January 25, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    The perfect post babe, I learn SO much from you! Thank you for sharing your wisdom! Big love xx

  20. Rach on January 25, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    So helpful! These are great tips. Thanks girl for sharing!

  21. Layla Sprinkles on January 26, 2018 at 4:51 am

    Ah this is such a lovely and well-written post! Loving the photos, all gorgeous and you look absolutely stunning in this feature! What camera did you use for this post?

    Hope you’re well lovely – can’t wait to see more!

    Layla xx

    • Miss Gunner on January 26, 2018 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Lovely! Thank you so much for reading babe!! I think Michaela used Canon Mark3. xxxx

  22. Olga on January 27, 2018 at 3:12 am

    Such a lovely post!Thanks for the tips:-)

  23. Nina Nguyen on January 27, 2018 at 3:36 am

    Great tips babe! Thanks for sharing!
    xx- Nina

  24. Itzel Najar on January 27, 2018 at 6:05 am

    cool outfits!!!

    Love your photos as always!!!

  25. Andrea on January 28, 2018 at 8:56 am

    This was super helpful,thank you so much for sharing!!


  26. Mile High Dreamers on January 28, 2018 at 9:17 am

    This is so helpful! As we’ve grown our blog, we’ve definitely starting thinking about reaching out to brands to collaborate. But it’s a HUGE unknown, and there’s not a lot of guidance out there surrounding it. All of the information is immensely helpful!
    Thanks for always spreading the love and info!

    Susie |

  27. Nikki Oji on January 28, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Really enjoyed reading your insightful tips. Being new to the blogging game, I get a little disheartened when I see my Insta numbers yo-yo and my blog posts with no comments! You have helped me appreciate what a long-game it is we’re playing! I have reached out to brands and sent follow up thank you notes, so I’m delighted that my gut instinct on these seems to be in line with your advice. Your points about taking a “no” with grace and making I easy for busy brand managers is pure gold! Thank you so much for your generosity and supportive style. I’ll be subscribing for sure! Nx

  28. Lisa Autumn on January 29, 2018 at 4:50 am

    YES YES YES! Such a helpful post Ashley!

    xx Lisa |

  29. notjessfashion1 on January 29, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Now that’s a nice read, and really helpful, especially for bloggers who are new into this. Thanks for sharing some wisdom dear. I learned a lot today! Btw, fab outfit! Love the sweater!

    Jessica |

  30. Cassandra Chloé on January 29, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    Hi sweetie!

    I absolutely love your transparency when it comes to the industry. You always have a great and valuable delivery in your content. Thank you for being a part of it all and keeping it positive.


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