Social media is powerful and for me, it has opened up opportunities I’ve only every dreamed of. In this blog post I’ll be sharing how I managed to successfully pitch and land myself an unforgettable hotel collaboration in the Maldives and I’ve included a free pitch template for you!
When you partner up and collaborate with hotels its not always fine dining, floating breakfasts and flower baths. There’s a lot of work involved as a creator with plenty of early starts, late finishes and hours spent editing. That being said you can still have plenty of fun during a collaboration, but it is important to remember and be mindful of your responsibilities as a blogger.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH ON THE AREA AND HOTEL
There are over 132 resorts located across different Atolls in the Maldives ranging from budget to luxury to ultimate luxury to ultimate ultimate luxury. Before considering potential hotels that you’re thinking of pitching too, it’s good to have an idea of the area you’d like to stay. For me the Baa Atoll has always been somewhere I’d love to explore given its reputation for snorkelling and diving experiences.
Knowing the Baa Atoll was the destination I dreamed of, I started researching hotels through sites like booking.com. Personally I find this a super useful tool to not only research hotels in the area but to have an idea on the hotels availability and in turn chances of a likely collaboration and to discover the approximate rates. Realistically for me if a hotel charges £15,000 per night the chances of a collaboration even with media rates would be slim.
2. DECIDING WHETHER TO PITCH
Once I’d found potential hotels I’d love to collaborate with I checked out their social media platforms and websites. If a hotel has partnered with bloggers before this can be a good indication you may have success. When researching a hotel Instagram I check their number of followers. As a micro-influencer, I feel the bigger well known resorts with millions of followers are less likely to consider a collaboration and it’s always a good idea to pitch to the lesser known hotels that could really value your work.
It’s so important to remember that you don’t need to have a big following to land a collaboration. Everyone has something different they can offer as their unique value proposition. Another key point I consider when deciding to pitch is whether the hotel fits my brand and do I fit theirs. Does it align with what I do? Would my audience enjoy a stay there? Will it fit with my feed?
3. FIND THE RIGHT PERSON TO PITCH TOO
It can take some time to find the right person to pitch too. You want to contact the person who handles the resort’s media enquiries. Typically, this is likely to be the marketing/PR manager, press person or media contact. If you can find this persons detail from the get go then it shows you’ve done your research. I start by looking at the hotel’s website, checking the ‘contact us’ page or if there is a ‘press enquires’ link in the footer. For some resorts, you may have to dig a little deeper.
It’s more than likely you’ll come across general emails beginning with “info@” or “reception@” and think great, I’ve found the contact, but personally it’s not the best way to reach out. I worry that using the general emails will appear as though I haven’t done much research.
If you’ve searched and searched but are at a loose end with finding the right contact, you can send the hotel a DM through Instagram, but keep it short and sweet, don’t go sending your pitch through social media… “Hi, my name is Steph and I’m a travel blogger interested in collaborating with your hotel. I wondered if you’d kindly be able to share the contact details of the individual who handles your media and PR requests. Thanks so much!”
4. WHAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
I’ve mentioned once but I’ll say it again… you don’t need a big following to successfully land a collaboration. I know people that have landed a collaborations with less than 5k followers. What you need is something of value you can offer in exchange.
Think, what is your unique value proposition and what makes you different from everyone else out there… Do you have a super engaged following on Instagram? Are your monthly website visitors through the roof? Do you have incredible photography/videography skills that the hotel could use in their marketing? Be confident talking about your strengths and the value you can offer the hotel.
5. WHEN IT COMES TO THE PITCH
Pitching can be tough. You need to successfully portray your personality and values through written words on a screen and at the same time make your pitch about the hotel, not about you. Here’s what you’ve been waiting for, the pitch email I sent which successfully landed me an unforgettable collaboration in the Maldives.
I hope you have been keeping safe and well after an unusual few years.
I’m [name] and I’m a [what you do]. I’ll be travelling to [insert destination] from [dates] and I’m reaching out to ask if there would be an opportunity to collaborate with [hotel name] during this trip.
I discovered [hotel name, reasons for collaboration and unique value proposition].
I can offer [insert services and benefits to hotel]. Given this proposal, I would be asking in return for [your requirements]. If a complimentary stay is not possible, I would be interested to know if you offer media rates for stays that provide such work.
I have [attached my media kit] for your reference.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my email. Please do let me know if my collaboration proposal is something you’d consider and whether you’d like any further information from me.
I hope to speak with you soon.
6. GET READY TO FOLLOW UP AND PREPARE FOR REJECTION
Once you hit send, don’t expect a response straight away. In fact, don’t expect a response full stop! Be prepared to follow up and follow up again if needs be. I landed the Maldives collaboration just because I followed up a week later.
Don’t beat yourself up over rejections because it’s inevitable you’re going to get your fair share of no’s when pitching. Take it as a learning experience to better prepare yourself and make changes for future pitches.
So there you have it, the steps I took to successfully land a hotel collaboration in the Maldives. I hope this helps when planning your trip to the Maldives and if I can be of any help at all please reach out!