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Brand Reps: How to Work With Your Favorite Small Shops

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When we first started on this crazy brand repping journey, like most people, I had no idea what I was doing. I figured that I would just take some cute pictures of my kids, enter them in any search I could find and hope to get lucky.   It sounded so easy. I was so wrong.

We did get chosen for teams, but there was no connection with a lot of them.  I didn’t LOVE brand repping because we weren’t getting chosen for the shops that I considered my “dream shops”.  As time went on, I realized that I didn’t want my kids to rep ANY shop, I wanted them to rep shops we really loved.  So I entered them in less searches.  And surprisingly, we weren’t chosen very often and it was even more disappointing because these were shops I looked up to. These were the shops I most wanted my girls to represent.   I could have given up.  I could have taken our rejection as a sign that we weren’t meant to work with those shops, but instead, I used it as motivation and I accepted the challenge. It wasn’t that they didn’t like us, it was that we weren’t providing them what they needed.  So, I changed all of that.

I realized that just admiring a shop and loving them wasn’t enough.  How did they know I was out there?  We were one of hundreds applying for these spots. What made us stand out?

Hey brand reps! Here is how we got chosen to represent our favorite small shops!

I started by purchasing a couple of items from each shop.  I studied their feed style and I made sure that when we took pictures of their items, that we were taking pictures that would fit within their Instagram feed.  We found different spots to take pictures in and tried new things.  I focused on my photography and learned my camera.  My pictures got better in time and I found a love for photography that I never knew existed.  I tagged the shops and I even emailed the pictures to them without them asking me to.  I wanted them to know that I loved their shop, discount or not.  I wanted them to see what I could provide, if I was a part of their team.  It was almost like standing up, in a crowd of sitting strangers (with neon pink on) to let them know that I was here and I was supporting them.

Not only did this get us noticed, but we developed friendships with the owners which was a HUGE bonus that I never saw coming.  We got to know each other on a more personal level through FB, DMs and emails.  They knew me and Falynn by name and they knew I wasn’t just looking for freebies.  They knew I was a huge small shop supporter by the pictures I posted and the number of shops I was tagging.  They finally started to notice us and it felt amazing.

brand rep standing, wearing her favorite small shop clothing
Crop: ViconX, Shorts: Curly Q’s Counter

And when it was time for their brand rep search, I re-entered.  Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t go into any of them thinking that we were going to get them all, but I did feel more confident that they now knew what I would provide for them if I was on their team.  There are still some that we didn’t get and I continue to work on our pictures and will wait until their next search, but for the most part, we started working with shops that we really and truly loved and it’s been a dream come true.

If you are in a place where you aren’t getting the positions you really, really want, my best advice to you is to never give up.  Don’t be afraid to take Enthusiast or Fan positions.  Use them as practice and use them as time spent getting to know the shop owner and proving how awesome you really are.  Get better!  Even the best photographers in the world are constantly learning.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Most shops are more than happy to talk to you, after they have chosen their team, to let you know what you may have been missing.  Let them know how much you love them and that you aren’t afraid to work hard to get them the pictures and exposure they need.  Not only will they appreciate you for it, but you will get first hand knowledge of what you can work on and that information is invaluable.

I see people complaining all the time that there are reps that get chosen ALL the time.  The truth is, that wasn’t an accident and they aren’t just lucky.  They worked hard to get those positions.  They are constantly improving their photos.  They are spending time styling and planning each shoot. They are editing pictures to make sure they are perfect. They are scouting out new locations. They are working on the interaction on their Instagram page. They aren’t afraid to wear neon pink and stand up in a room full of sitting strangers.  I encourage you all to be like them.  You have the ability to get chosen ALL the time too.  I challenge you to try.

Don’t forget to check out more tips for brand reps!

brand rep jumping, wearing her favorite small shop clothing
Top: Love Sick Threads, Chain: iBetterAccessorize, Pants: Ella B. Denim, Shoes: Fab Kids

What do you think?

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  • Kiwi
    July 15, 2019

    I see why brands work with you all. She is a natural model and they are fun and outside of the box!

  • rika
    July 14, 2019

    I love her clothes! I am bookmarking your tips, so useful!

  • Myrah Duque
    July 13, 2019

    I like how passionate you are! Very eye-opening. This will definitely help lots of folks. THanking for sharing this with us.

  • Louisa
    July 13, 2019

    Hey Heather, I love how you broke down the steps for those starting out or those ready to start working with small shops. Definitely a great resource for brands.
    Louisa recently posted Top 10 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2019 Picks | Shop The LookMy Profile

  • You are so right: it is much easier – in many ways – to with brands that you are genuinely passionate about. That authentic vibe will come out in your work, and rise about all the buzz and hum.
    Renee | The Good Hearted Woman recently posted Shoshone Falls & Perrine Bridge {Twin Falls, Idaho}My Profile

  • Lia Mae
    July 13, 2019

    Great advice, it is about building friendships and networking never thought of it that way before.

  • Swathi
    July 13, 2019

    Your daughter is really cute, she is great model for. Thanks for sharing these tips, social media.
    Swathi recently posted Asparagus Stir fry (Keto friendly, Vegan, Gluten free)My Profile

  • Ruth I
    July 12, 2019

    I think what you’ve done is pretty clever. You have your own ways of getting what you wanted and kindness of sharing them. You’ll be awesome and successful.

  • Glamamom
    July 12, 2019

    What a great resource post this is for brands. I can imagine it’s very difficult to get noticed by small shops so your transparency is super helpful.
    Glamamom recently posted Best 2nd Birthday Present: LeapFrog LeapBuilders Block SetsMy Profile

  • Celebrate Woman Today
    July 12, 2019

    Heather, you have a great way to share your personal experiences and to inspire others.

    • Heather
      July 12, 2019

      That is so sweet, thank you!

  • Lavern Moore
    July 12, 2019

    I accept your challenge to try with more brands. Love your photos!

  • Great tips! I’ve never thought about brand repping, but I’m sure it helps when you create relationships with these brands
    Sheereen | Cups of Coco recently posted Why Your Kitchen Remodel Never Works Out The Way You PlannedMy Profile

  • Jenna
    July 12, 2019

    Fantastic tips! Doing your research is definitely key before approaching a brand.

    July 12, 2019

    I found this post really useful. I’ve recently bought items for my daughters from small shops I’d love to work with and had planned to do the same. I just need to take the pictures and do a write up now.

    • Heather
      July 12, 2019

      I’m glad I could help, Melanie! I can’t wait to see what you post!

  • Tammy
    July 12, 2019

    Your advice on never giving up is spot on. I can’t tell you how many emails I have sent out for sponsorship of items. Its worth it in the end!

  • Ntensibe Edgar Michael
    July 12, 2019

    Wow….lovely of you to share. I have always wondered how these big brand influencers always keep brand-hopping from time to time. All along, this is the bag of tricks they carry with them….
    Ntensibe Edgar Michael recently posted BlindspotMy Profile

  • Alex
    July 12, 2019

    Great tips! What camera and lens do you use??

    • Heather
      July 12, 2019

      Thank you! At the time this was posted, I was using a Canon Rebel T6s and a 50mm lens.

  • Shoshana Sue
    July 12, 2019

    These are really valuable for anyone that wants to work with brands. I have taken so much information for the future from this post
    Shoshana Sue recently posted 10 genius travel packing tips and tricksMy Profile

  • Catalina
    July 12, 2019

    This is so interesting. I was wondering how does this work!

  • Mama to 6 Blessings
    July 11, 2019

    Awe what cute photo’s! She is very photogenic! I love the clothing – super stylish!
    Mama to 6 Blessings recently posted Homemade Low Carb (Paleo) Blueberry Muffins #NationalBlueberryMuffinDayMy Profile

  • Sharon
    July 11, 2019

    Thank you so much for these awesome tips! I love the idea of working with smaller shops versus larger ones.
    Sharon recently posted Fudge Brownie Ice CreamMy Profile

  • Valerie
    July 11, 2019

    Yes, people can always learn to stand something. I believe that anyone can learn something new each day.

  • Amy Desrosiers
    July 11, 2019

    I have no idea what brand reps are but your daughter is really cute! She has a great style sense and works the camera.

  • Ashley
    July 11, 2019

    These are great tips to get noticed. I would love to support small shops and partner with them in this way.

  • Olivia Douglass
    July 11, 2019

    I’ve always wondered how this works. I’ve gotten messages asking me to partner with some brands but I had no idea what they meant

  • Tasheena
    July 11, 2019

    Thank you for sharing this information. I have a friend who was talking about doing this. I have to share this post with her.

  • Tara Pittman
    July 11, 2019

    She is such a cutie. She just great with the clothes styling and I love these outfits.
    Tara Pittman recently posted Sour Patch Kids & Swedish Fish ibotta DealMy Profile

  • Bill Sweeney
    July 11, 2019

    Starting a blog, let alone working with brands, can be a painstaking process. You give some really excellent insight and advice into blogging.
    Bill Sweeney recently posted Beautiful and Unique Hand-Made Cocktail GlasswareMy Profile

  • Danielle
    July 11, 2019

    People think blogging is easy work, and you don’t sugar-coat that fact. If it were easy, a lot more people would do it. Your post really helps those who are starting out, or those who are frustrated that they’re not getting that connection.
    Danielle recently posted A Global Goal: Raising Healthy ChildrenMy Profile

  • Brianne Tursi Manz
    July 11, 2019

    Your posts recently have been very informative. A lot of bloggers didn’t have this valuable resource in you, and you’re going to make a lot of people excited to begin their journey into blogging.

  • Liz Mays
    July 11, 2019

    It sounds like all the hard work and trial and error paid off. It’s great that you’ve ended up with some exciting opportunities!

  • Christine
    July 11, 2019

    Oh wow, I do not know about much of this process but find it so interesting! Like everything else it’s all about hard work and improving your craft.

  • Stacie
    July 11, 2019

    I love these posts you’ve been sharing on how to brand rep. They’ve been very eye-opening. I think they’re going to help a lot of people who want to get into this.
    Stacie recently posted Savvy Shoppers: Join the WOOT 15th Birthday Week-long Celebration #WootBirthdayMy Profile

  • Emman Damian
    July 11, 2019

    I love the ViconX crop top! It looks so fun. I hope my niece will have one for her. She’ll like the design!
    Emman Damian recently posted Koibito’s Now Available in Metro ManilaMy Profile

  • Aditi Wardhan Singh
    July 11, 2019

    This is so helpful. Thank you for sharing. It is often so daunting to go about this in the social media world. Lovely tips

  • Jeanette
    July 11, 2019

    This is definitely a fun way to do blog post and get some clothes that are fun and not from target LOL. This is definitely something I do need to think about. I think my kiddo would love to do something like this!
    Jeanette recently posted Five Ingredient Boston Cream Puff Layered CakeMy Profile

  • Ash
    July 11, 2019

    Congrats on the brand rep success!! This is great advice for anyone looking to go that route!
    Ash recently posted Go Technology Free with A&W Family Fun Nights! ~ #AWRootBeer!My Profile

  • Melissa Chapman
    July 11, 2019

    This is another good post to learn the ins and outs of brand repping which I try to do myself. With a photogenic daughter like you have it must be good for brands to want you.

  • Amber Myers
    July 11, 2019

    You always have the cutest photos of your kids! My daughter was a brand rep when she was younger, and still gets picked now and again. She loves to model, so I appreciate shops giving her a chance or sending me DMs asking if they can send something for her to pose with. I’ve always loved shopping small!

  • sophiesdolls
    March 30, 2017

    This is amazing! Same happened to me. I love how you write and I also as a shop love having F. And you on my team! thank you for writing!

  • mrcocojames
    March 28, 2017

    I so love your advice here. I used this advice to hoping to work with one of our dream shops and it worked! We are so very happy and I can say that this method really does get you noticed. 🙂

  • Teresa Backer
    March 27, 2017

    Great read. I am a shop owner and new to the brand reppin world, I would love to be one of those shops that people want to rep or be and enthusiast for. How can we get ourselves out there. We have 4 awesome reps. I need more brand enthusiast and my last search came up as a bust.

    • Michelle Regan
      March 28, 2017

      So on point!!! I am a shop owner. I’m working with my second team now. The first team of 6 had 3 looking for free items and non communicative and it was so disappointing. They rallied hard as if they liked the shop. I drew A LOT of experience from that small group. I also have a tendency to want to help boost people and am learning the difference of a customer vs brand rep. It’s really difficult bc I want to support a lot of new people entering the rep world to help but they have to have willingness, flexibility and desire to grow.

  • Milalittlemisssunshine
    March 27, 2017

    This is great, we are brand new to this with very limited time and resources but I’m not discouraged at all, I will get better over time and that’s ok. Thanks for sharing and encouraging us all

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Brand Reps: How to Work With Your Favorite Small Shops

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