How To Ask For Free Products?

Over at PERLcosmetics I receive many messages from people asking for free products. Some are well thought out and others are straight-up blunt. So, it got me thinking, what is the best way to ask for free products?

How To Ask For Free Products?

Today was a first in that I received an incredibly blunt message from someone who doesn’t follow me that went something along the lines of:

“Hello, could you please send me some of your products? I would love to review them on my feed thank you”

The positives: said hello, used pleasantries such as please and thank you.

The negatives: hasn’t followed PERLcosmetics, hasn’t engaged with any of my content, hasn’t taken the time to realise I only sell one product, the list could go on.

So, this got me thinking about what is the best ways to reach out to brands to collaborate with them? Quite a few of the influencers I have worked with have come about from them reaching out to me. They’ve taken the time to understand my brand, to look at my product, read about my brand's ethos and values and come to the conclusion that they’d love to work with me. I’m using the term ‘work’ here very loosely as I’m such a new business I’ve unfortunately not had the money to pay influencers for their time.

So far, I’ve worked on a gifting basis with the hope they love the product and want to share it with their followers. It’s been so lovely to connect with people who share similar values to my brand and who want to help promote small businesses.

With that being said, what is the best way to approach brands for a collaboration?

Take some time to understand the brand, look at their content and watch their stories. If they’re a small business, it’s likely you may be able to find their name from their website or social media platforms. If you can find out who owns the company, then always make the introduction personal.

Pull out some key features of their brand, e.g. for PERLcosmetics it’s a customisable clay mask, the use of ingredients such as pearl powder, or even my ‘Recycle for rewards’ scheme. Showing you’ve taken your time to research the brand goes a long way.

Now you know what the brand is about and what products they sell, what is the best way to contact the brand? I’d always say opt for an Instagram message first, as it is easier for the brand to see your account and have a look at your socials. If you haven’t heard from the brand via Instagram, follow up with an email. Being persistent, but not too persistent, never hurt anyone.

A round-up of how to ask for free products:

  1. Follow the brand and engage with their content
  2. Make it personal if you know the name of the brand owner
  3. Research the brand and know what products they sell
  4. Make sure the brands ethos and values align with yours
  5. Reach out via Instagram, then follow up with an email if you don’t hear back
  6. Get across your enthusiasm for the brand and show you’ve done your research

I hope you’ve found this blog useful and that you’ll put these tips into action if you are reaching out to small businesses to ask to collaborate with them.

I’m thinking of doing another blog feature on influencers accepting gifted products, as there is nothing more upsetting than sending a product that has taken a lot of time and money to make and the person not even sharing it on their platform. Let me know if you'd want to read this in the comments below.

Don't forget, if you're a small business owner you can get involved with Girls In Business here.

Back to blog