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Everyone says that you need to be tall to be a model. But bloggers are showing that all bodytypes, including petites, can be successful at working with brands.

Case in point: Diane Coletta, founder of the “Petite in Paris” blog and @petiteinparis on Instagram, where she amasses over 100,000 followers with her adventures. As a petite blogger, Diane moved from Kansas, USA to Paris, France to follow her dreams. She focuses her blog around fashion, beauty, and lifestyle.

In an exclusive interview, Diane tells us all about how you, too, can start working with big name brands as a blogger, petite or not!

Diane Coletta | Photo courtesy of Diane Coletta

You have worked with brands like Tiffany & Co, Christian Louboutin and Alice and Olivia, amongst others. How did you start your collaboration with these brands and what advice you would give to aspiring young fashion bloggers and journalists who want to start a collaboration with these kinds of companies?

Working with brands can be difficult and scary at first, especially if you have no prior experience.

My biggest piece of advice is to go onto LinkedIn, find out who the PR contact is and email them directly. When you email them, it is important to make it personalized and focus on how you can help them with their brand messaging.

These brands get tons of offers a day so make sure your pitch stands out, what makes you unique? Why would a brand want to work with you over someone else?

Diane Coletta | Photo courtesy of Diane Coletta

After a one-off collaboration with one of these companies, how do you convince that same company (or another big fashion brand) to establish a long-term partnership with you?

Establishing a long-term partnership will be key to your blogging career. It is important that you are able to build a long lasting relationship with these brands. The best way to do that is to deliver your content on the agreed time and date.

Another thing I have done that has helped me secure long-term partnerships is providing analytics after the campaign is done. For example, I go back and total up the likes, comments, impressions, reach and send it in a PowerPoint presentation. This will help establish you as a professional blogger, plus brands love having the results available.

Diane Coletta | Photo courtesy of Diane Coletta

What are the most common mistakes bloggers make in negotiating deals? What advice you would give with regards to negotiating deals with brands?

I think the number 1 most common mistake bloggers make is underestimating their value. I know tons of bloggers that will do campaigns for free and when you do that it devalues the work of yourself and all bloggers. So it’s important to know your value. You are creating photos for them and advertising to your audience, that’s hard work. Regardless of how many followers you have, you have built a network that trusts you and your opinion and that is very valuable. My biggest advice for negotiating with brands is always asking the brand first what their budget is. Never limit yourself by providing a price sheet. I try to get on the phone with a brand to understand what they are looking for in a collaboration, how many photos, their brand messaging, and then I price out things individually or in a package deal. Typically with a package deal I give the brand a discount.

Diane Coletta | Photo courtesy of Diane Coletta

Engagement on Instagram is very important nowadays, and you have more than 100k followers. If you had to provide 3 essential tips for future journalists, marketers and bloggers to grow their Instagram following, what would they be?

  1. Be consistent – when I first started blogging, I posted everyday at different times until I found a time that worked best for me.
  2. Genuinely engage with other bloggers – for the first hour after posting a photo it’s important to go out and comment and like other bloggers photos, this will help boost your own engagement.
  3. High quality photos – Many people overlook this little detail, but it’s very important to take visually appealing photos, this will help you gain followers as well as get noticed by brands. Invest in a good camera, and learn photo editing software, such as Lightroom and Snapseed.

Diane Coletta | Photo courtesy of Diane Coletta

You have lots of experience working with PR companies. Can you provide some essential tips for aspiring PR professionals on how should one introduce oneself to PR firms?

There are a few ways to introduce yourself to PR firms, the first one is being recommended to the PR firm by another blogger, typically word of mouth is stronger than an email.

The second way is to message them on Instagram, typically I notice PR firms don’t have a super large following and they are more receptive to receiving messages. I would recommend sending a message introducing yourself, bring up something they did recently, such as an event or product campaign they did, and talk about the reasons you liked this event / campaign and how you’d love to work on one in the future.

Read Diane’s “Petite in Paris” blog and follow her @petiteinparis on Instagram and on Facebook.