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#320: A New, Exciting Way to Make Money with Brand Collaborations

In my newest episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Anca Toderic, the food blogger behind The Butter Table, who has turned her passion for cooking into a thriving business by creating user-generated content (short-form video) for brands.

Her journey is not only inspiring but also filled with practical advice for anyone looking to monetize their video content. Let’s dive into the lessons learned from Anca’s experience.

Make Money with Brand Collaborations | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Show Notes:

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The Pivot: From Struggle to Strategy

Anca’s story begins with a venture that many can relate to—a business that didn’t take off as hoped. She and her sister-in-law poured their hearts into a meal plan business for seven years, only to make the tough call to shut it down. This setback, compounded by the surprise of a new baby, could have been the end of her entrepreneurial journey. But with her sister’s encouragement, Anca found a new path: TikTok.

Despite initial reservations, TikTok became a source of fun for Anca as she shared her recipes and cooking tips. This platform was the stepping stone she needed to gain confidence and see the potential for monetization, which led her to start a blog and consider brand partnerships.

Crafting the Pitch: The Art of Negotiation and Content Creation

Anca’s approach to pitching and negotiating with brands was all self-taught. She started by creating a portfolio that showcased her content and pitched her ideas to potential partners. Her first brand deal came as a surprise, considering her small following and the fact that her blog and Instagram weren’t even launched yet.

When it comes to setting rates, Anca did her homework. She began charging $650 for a 30-second video and later increased her rate to $1,000, offering package discounts for multiple videos. Her key to success? Discussing budgets and deliverables with brands to tailor her pricing to each project’s needs.

The Creative Process: Authenticity Meets Professionalism

In creating content for brands, Anca focuses on authenticity. She often showcases products in a natural setting, whether it’s through recipe development or cooking demonstrations. Her tools of the trade are simple yet effective—smartphone apps for filming and editing, natural lighting, and minimal equipment. This approach resonates with brands looking for user-generated content that feels genuine and relatable.

Growing the Blog and Instagram: The Power of Collaboration

Anca’s growth as a blogger and influencer has been significantly boosted by her work with brands. With about 20-30% of her collaborations coming through PR agencies and the rest from in-house contacts, she has seen the benefits of backlinks from real companies and the exposure that comes from being tagged and featured on Instagram.

Embracing the Learning Curve: Just Start

One of the most empowering takeaways from my conversation with Anca is her attitude towards learning. She advocates for jumping into opportunities and learning along the way, rather than waiting to become an expert first. This mindset has allowed her to focus on making money from her passion and to avoid getting bogged down in the minutiae of branding and marketing.

Looking Ahead: Teaching and Sharing Knowledge

Anca’s down-to-earth approach and relatable vibe have not only made her a success in her own right but also position her as a potential mentor for others. She’s open to sharing her experiences and helping others navigate the world of content creation and brand collaborations.

Connect with Anca

For those interested in reaching out to Anca or working with her, she’s accessible via direct message on Instagram at The Butter Table or through email at anca@thebuttertable.com. She offers one-on-one coaching sessions, and for my listeners, she’s providing a special discount—$100 for the first five people who sign up at ugccoaching.milotreecart.com.

My Offer to You: Let’s Talk Digital Products

As I wrap up this post, I want to extend an offer to you, my readers. If you’re a food blogger or content creator not yet selling digital products like ebooks of your top recipes, you’re missing out on a significant revenue stream. I invite you to book a free call with me at milotree.com, where we can discuss how to start selling your knowledge directly to your audience.

Anca’s story is a testament to the power of resilience, creativity, and strategic partnerships. By sharing her journey, she not only provides a roadmap for others but also inspires us to pursue our passions and find success in unexpected ways. Join me next week for more insights and stories that can help elevate your blogging game.

Other Related Blogger Genius Podcast episodes You’ll Enjoy:

MiloTreeCart, the Best Tool for Non-Techies to Sell Digital Products

I also want to introduce you to the MiloTreeCart, a tool designed for non-techies to sell digital products easily. It comes with features like fill-in-the-blank sales pages, check-out pages, a sales dashboard, upsells, and customer support. MiloTreeCart is currently available for a lifetime deal of $349 or three easy installments of $116.33.

Make Money with Brand Collaborations | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

Transcript: #320: “A New, Exciting Way to Make Money with Brands”

Jillian Leslie (00:00:00) – Hi, I’m Jillian, welcome to a brand new episode of the Blogger Genius podcast. But before I launch in, I have a question for you. Have you started selling your knowledge and expertise directly to your audience, or are you still relying on putting ads on your blog and affiliate links to monetize? Because in today’s world, that is a risky strategy. You need multiple income streams, and this is where military cart comes in. Imagine setting up unlimited memberships, digital downloads, workshops, coaching, and mini courses in less than five minutes. I used to say ten minutes. We just rolled out. I created sales pages. They are magic. Get on a free 20 minute call with me so I can blow your mind. And we can talk about your digital product strategy. Go to Military.com slash meet. Get ready to think about your business in a whole new, exciting way.

Announcer (00:01:06) – Welcome to the Blogger Genius podcast, brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.

Jillian Leslie (00:01:14) – Hello and welcome back to the show.

Jillian Leslie (00:01:16) – I am incredibly excited to bring you today’s episode because, as you know, I’m out there in the world looking for people who are making money in new and exciting ways. Today I am interviewing my friend Anca Toderic. She’s a food blogger. Her blog is called The Butter Table. Anca has figured out how to work with brands, selling her own user generated content, and she is making a killing. She’s also incredibly open about her strategy, how she has grown this side of her business, and how you can do it too. She talks about how she reaches out to brands, how she negotiates on price, and what her deliverables look like. What’s refreshing about Anca is she has a slightly different perspective as a food blogger. She’s a new food blogger, so she’s not necessarily following the rules of how you grow a food blog. She’s discovered this new income stream and she is all in. You’re going to really want to listen to this episode. So without further delay, here is my interview with Anca.

Jillian Leslie (00:02:28) – Anca, welcome to the Blogger Genius podcast.

Anca Toderic (00:02:36) – Thank you so much, Jillian. I’m so happy to be here.

Jillian Leslie (00:02:38) – It was interesting because we were talking or going back and forth, and you shared that you’re a food blogger and you make money by working with brands, creating recipes. And I said to you, hey, would you come on my podcast to talk about it? And you were like, oh, but is that like a real like thing that you think people would be interested in? Because it’s not a traditional kind of food blogger path to monetization? And I said, no, that’s why I want you to come on, because I’m always looking for the people who have found a way to monetize. So will you, before we launch into how you got there, would you start with like who you are, how you got into food blogging and what your story is and where you are now?

Anca Toderic (00:03:34) – Absolutely.. Always love food., I think the, like, I really got into food watching Food Network with my mom when I was, like a teenager.

Anca Toderic (00:03:44) – And then I got married, and I loved cooking and coming up with recipes. So it’s always been something that has been part of my life hosting people, even in my early 20s. That being said, I had a job in PR for like a very short time and I find I found myself talking more about food and like bringing like my leftovers and everyone around would be like, just tell us what to make, you know? Like, you tell us what to cook and we’ll make it. And then from there, I had this idea of like starting a meal plan., not necessarily where I came up with the recipes, because there were already so many food bloggers getting their recipes and and doing that. And,, long story short, we had to close it up after seven years. It just wasn’t monetizing. You know, we started I started off really paying attention or wanting to be a brand and we, you know, took out loans and we made this amazing website, who’s we and who’s we owe me and my sister in law.

Anca Toderic (00:04:40) – So it was my sister in law and me, my brother’s wife. And we were really excited and it just never took off., really the way we anticipated, the way we really wanted to. And this was before reels was a thing in videos in general. I was just on Instagram was pretty static and,, beautiful images. So anyway, and we finally had, you know, made the decision to close it down, which really hit me hard because I it was like my baby, you know, like any entrepreneur, any blogger, it’s part of you. And so that was we made the decision. And then once it closed, it just really hit me hard. I took it as a blow to everything. That was me. Kind of like, well, clearly I don’t know what I’m doing. Maybe food is just like this thing I do with my kids at home, and I put it off on the back burner and I’d say like. And I also had a surprise Covid baby during that time.

Anca Toderic (00:05:26) – And it just everything was shut down everywhere, including me. And at one point, about two years into it, my sister kept saying, like, why don’t you just like, film a couple TikToks or like, you’re always cooking like people like this? And I was like, no, no, no, no, no. And finally, after she was harassing me for so long, she’s like, I will even edit it for you. Just like, what if you just try it? So I did. So one day she’s like, I’ll just show you. And it’s the worst video on the planet with the lighting and everything. But she just wanted to show me, like, it’s really not. You’re overthinking it. So we shot, like,, I think I was making roasted. It was like, shishito peppers and, like, sweet potatoes for, like, some tacos. And she quickly shot it and she’s like, boom. See, it’s just, you know, haphazard edits.

Anca Toderic (00:06:07) – She posted it on TikTok.

Jillian Leslie (00:06:09) – Where did she post it on TikTok?

Anca Toderic (00:06:11) – That was the first thing because I was like, I, you know, I don’t want to do another website. Like it was so draining and so much money involved. And and she’s like, this is nothing. This is just you getting like your creative outlet, like trying to see if this is something you like. And I started liking it, and then I started following a bunch of other food creators. And really it resonated with me. I loved, like, their style. And some of them had like, you know, a million followers, 200 followers,, and something just clicked. Something lit up a little bit in me, and I really started to enjoy it. And I started thinking about all these amazing recipes to share., it’s not like I got a massive following. And while I’m scrolling, you know, because TikTok will suggest stuff to you, this stuff about UGC and like user generated content,, content creator.

Anca Toderic (00:07:00) – Yes., started coming up and how, like people were creating, getting paid for it., so then something sparked up, you know, there’s just kind of like this thought like, oh, maybe, you know, maybe I could work or maybe I could monetize something., to put a little parentheses, I started posting and at the time you couldn’t, I couldn’t fit a whole recipe in the post. So people were asking me for the recipe that I made, but it didn’t fit in the caption. So then I was like, maybe I should start a blog just to like put, but not thinking to monetize or anything. It was just kind of like this other thought. So with that, I started listening to podcasts. I found your podcast blog, Talk Food blogger, you know, all the other podcasts, and here I am listening. And even though I knew people monetized, it was just kind of like a different world and for other people. And then as I’m watching and hearing and I’m like, these are regular people doing what they love.

Anca Toderic (00:08:00) – Like, maybe I should just stop feeling sorry for myself and try try this again. And so that’s what I did. I started posting recipes. People were liking it. Then,, simultaneously, I was like, okay, you know what? I’m going to start a blog with, like, I want to monetize. It’s going to take a while to get that 50,000 page views. Or however I knew that going in. And so I did a bunch of research, but at the same time, I knew how draining it was to pour your heart and soul into something and not see a single dime, which is kind of what what took place for seven years. So I was like, how do I how do I go into this and not become resentful or quit? And so that ugly thing came up, and I had worked with brands previously for with Huckle and Goose. So I kind of knew and I had I pitched before, so I already had that in my repertoire of finding, going on LinkedIn, finding the right person, pitching them ideas.

Anca Toderic (00:08:51) – So that part is something I’m really good. That’s my zone of genius is like pitching. So I,, googled, you know, I listened to more podcasts and I watched TikToks about creating a portfolio on Canva, and then you pitch an email. And so I took previous,, previous content I did before, and I shot. When I took a video of a few videos using products from other brands. So I made a portfolio and then like a month later, it took me a month to kind of like get the videos, you know, all the all the stuff. And I started pitching and I think in two weeks I got my first my first brand deal. And the great part of this is I think I had 200 followers on TikTok. I didn’t even launch Instagram at the time. Right? The blogs not even launched like there’s nothing. It’s just this is what I create. This is what I’m good at. I’m a recipe developer and a published cookbook author. I led with that.

Anca Toderic (00:09:45) – And,, they we got on a call. I talked about what I did, they sent me some product, we had the deliverables, and the rest is history. And now what are we in eight months later? And I think I’ve worked with about 30 brands. Wow. In in eight months., some of them do we have recurring. I just signed a contract with someone. We’re going to do six straight months of content. It’s just been really fun. And that’s been taking up so much of my time. And I’m absolutely loving it, like more than blogging, which is, I think, because it’s just kind of like I get to be creative in different ways., and one thing I should mention is, as a blogger or anyone before, if you think of influencer in order to post, you have to provide value. And that’s usually in the form of how many followers you have and your engagement level. Right? So when you’re first starting out, that’s nothing. There’s no brand except for one brand has approached me.

Anca Toderic (00:10:47) – But the beauty of user generated content or like freelancing, for instance, is that it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, you just have to prove that you know what you’re doing. You’re bringing value to the brand. And the best part is, is you can work with any brand you want. And when you have your your own blog, there’s certain brands you don’t work with, they don’t align with your values, etc., or your audience, or it feels like you’re you’re pushing too much.

Jillian Leslie (00:11:10) – So let’s go. Let’s dissect this. When you say you are creating user generated content for a brand, does this mean you as Anca like, hi guys, I’m Anca and I’m creating this pepper recipe with this, I don’t know, this,,, cornflake. Right. So like, this is the product that I am B you know, I want to I want to feature, like, how much of it is you or how much of it is. It has nothing to do with you. This is just like hands and pans.

Jillian Leslie (00:11:48) – And you know, your face is not in this. And your content kind of like you’re a professional photographer taking photos of, say, a product. But in this case you’re doing that, but you’re using the product. So how much of you is in this when you are asked to create content for a brand?

Anca Toderic (00:12:11) – Pretty minimal, but I will say it depends on the brand. So I’ve had brands ask for voice overs, so it’s obviously my voice., for the most part it’s your creating as if you are on their team.

Jillian Leslie (00:12:25) – In-house, in-house. Okay. And you create you’re this influencer creating. Okay.

Anca Toderic (00:12:32) – No, you don’t even have to be on camera. No one even has to know it’s you. That’s that’s kind of cool. I mean, it could be like this great side gig where, you know,, yeah. No one has to know it’s you. And that’s really great. And some brands will. Some brands,, do want you to be not on camera, but at least, like, show a little bit more.

Anca Toderic (00:12:55) – , I had a few asked for, like, more lifestyle. So it was like people at,, watching like a football game while, you know, so kind of like, here’s the product, as if it was in a household naturally. So, you know, it’s like the people in your life, etc.. So that’s part of your life. But for the most part, it’s more hands and pans., and all the brands I’ve worked with have pretty much given me white,, a lot of creative, like,. What’s the word I’m looking for? Not leeway. Like allowing me to be creative. Not really giving me set deliverables as much. Some of them I’ll ask for. Give me a mood board or like tell me what you want out of this. And a lot of it. It’s like, create the recipe., you know, send us I will say this. Most 95%, 90% of what I do are videos.

Jillian Leslie (00:13:52) – Okay, now, wait, I have to ask the question that I know everybody is thinking, what is the range? How much money does somebody like you make per video? Sure.

Anca Toderic (00:14:03) – So I started. I’m very open about rates, and it’s probably because I’m so new to it. And the first time I sent out,, like the first time I pitched, I was like, I don’t even know how much people make because I didn’t even have blogger friends or other people that I could just ask. So I went on Twitter and I googled like other UGC creators, and some of them have their rate cards on there. And I was scrolling, someone had like 3 or 400 and I was like, I don’t know, that seems like not a lot of money for how much like you’re developing the recipe, you’re shooting, you’re editing. And then I found another girl and she had 650 for like, 30s of like, recipe development video. And I was like. You know, I could do that like 650 for, for however much. So that’s what I started with. And I had like I included that I included my rates,, learned later on that that’s like not a good thing to do.

Anca Toderic (00:14:59) – But starting out, I was just kind of like, you know what? This sounds okay. I’ll like, fix it as I go. I don’t want to overthink it. I don’t have time for that. And I’d be happy with getting like 650 for like, a I’m already doing it and getting paid once a week, let’s say for that. I think that’s pretty good. Right? So, so that’s, but,, I think there are lots of different ranges and depending on, I think someone’s, I think in photography and then also. I think it’s hard when if you’re already an established blogger and you have like a large following, I don’t know if UGC necessarily is for you. If you’re used to getting, I don’t know, five plus figures for for a video or something. I think as a side gig and also when you’re just starting out, especially for someone like me, it’s absolutely great. But okay, now I put it.

Jillian Leslie (00:15:52) – Now what would you say you’re now so.

Anca Toderic (00:15:54) – So I started off with 650 in March.

Anca Toderic (00:15:58) – Okay. Sorry. Meh. In May. And then I just raised my price to a thousand per like. 32nd video. Which video is very like for me, I that’s very easy. I really love shooting videos. They’re just like I have the groove for it. So for me,, but I’ve also started now. I don’t send my rates. And now I get more into discussing kind of what their budget is, what they’re thinking, you know, what they would like. And another thing I’ve done is I’ve noticed that if I say, okay, this is how much a video is, but if you get three or more, if you do a package, I discount it like 100 or $150. And more often than not they will do the three three videos or three whatever. And then, then just the one got it. And that’s been.

Jillian Leslie (00:16:52) – From start to finish. So so you okay. And I think this is a really good piece of information. You reaching out to the brand and we’ll get into how you’re doing that.

Jillian Leslie (00:17:02) – But you’re reaching out and you’re not telling what your rates are because you want to suss them out. First to know is this a big project? Is this and will they be up front with you and be like, well, our budget is $10,000.

Anca Toderic (00:17:16) – No. It’s been it’s been a little bit more difficult. So,, a lot of times I’ll be like, what? They’ll directly just be like, what are what’s your rate for this? Because in, in my, in my portfolio I list, you know, 30 to 60 minute, you know,, a minute,, 32nd to 62nd video or photography or just like a simple lifestyle shoot or, you know, something. And then from there they asked me specifically, how much is this package? And then I’ll say it’s it starts at this, but it depends on what you’re asking me to do. The ingredients that I need, is it like a simple hands and pans, or am I developing like a three course dinner? Like what? What are we doing? And then from there,, I can tell them this is the range, but based on what you’re asking me, this, this would be like another 250.

Anca Toderic (00:18:05) – Or maybe they’re asking me for. They want a 62nd and a 32nd video. And so that’s extra with time, with just learning myself, I’ve learned, okay, that’s it’s not worth my time for this or,, the more I can show value. Another thing I’ve done is, let’s say a brand is like, you know, we can’t do a thousand a video and and then I’ll come back and say, I still really like to work with you. What is your budget? And they’ll say, 700. I’m like, well, for that I can provide this. So I the deliverables are then less than what I would normally do to the, to the point where I’m still happy creating the content. And a lot of times when I work with brands, they’ll come back and work with me because they’ve noticed, like,, that I’m also flexible or I’m willing to work with them. And then once they see the work that I’m responsive, that I’m, I’m, I, you know, send them like 10 to 15 ideas and we can go from there.

Anca Toderic (00:19:03) – And, depending on I really do my research on brands, I try to be I don’t send generic pitches. I think that’s one of the reasons I’ve gotten so many,, brand deals in such a small amount of time with. Being a totally new creator in the space, I’d say. So you’re doing that’s like a whole different.

Jillian Leslie (00:19:22) – So they hire you for 1/32 recipe. From start to finish. How many hours does that take you?

Anca Toderic (00:19:34) – Okay. This is not including the pitching and all that. This is let’s.

Jillian Leslie (00:19:37) – Say you pitched, you got the job. You know you’ve signed the contract. Sure. And now it’s up to you. Do you have to go to the grocery store? You have to get the ingredients. So go from there. How many hours?

Anca Toderic (00:19:53) – . Okay. So with. So I already know what I’m making by this point, obviously because we’ve discussed and they’ve approved and I will for that. I don’t usually do an extra strip. I’ll just take my business credit card and buy the groceries separate while I’m buying my own groceries.

Anca Toderic (00:20:10) – I’ve done that., or I’m in New York City, so I have FreshDirect. I have so many other ways to get the groceries. If I needed it could be delivered it to save me time. That., from there, it takes me to prep and set up about an hour, hour and a half just to get everything. My mise en pla, everything in place, the lighting, making sure the kids are somewhere else. Although it’s great because I just mute everything. And you could do voiceover or music, so that’s not really that big of a deal. So it’s about an hour and a half. It’s and then the editing takes about depending on I’d say again, another hour and a half to two hours. I’m pretty meticulous. I do it in Capote. That’s my favorite place to do the edits. And then,, and then I upload everything to a Google Drive. With the recipe I write, I type out the recipe and something else that happens pretty fast. I use,, Claudia and ChatGPT to help me with that as well.

Anca Toderic (00:21:09) – I’ll type in the ingredients. I already know what I’m doing, and I’ll have it write it out for me, and then I’ll go and make my tweaks where I know that sounds like me, or that’s not what the recipe said, but that saves me half the time because I just say, here are the ingredients. Write me a recipe for this pizza.

Jillian Leslie (00:21:24) – So you that I want. Okay, this is great. You’re making $1,000 and it probably takes you at most 4 to 5 hours.

Anca Toderic (00:21:33) – Yeah, I’d say that. Yeah.

Jillian Leslie (00:21:35) – Nice. Good. I mean that without the pitching.

Anca Toderic (00:21:38) – Now the pitching is a whole. That’s a whole nother.

Jillian Leslie (00:21:40) – Let’s talk about the pitching. You go to LinkedIn. Okay. Give me an example. It could be a real brand you work with or another brand you’re looking to work with. Absolutely. But what is that process?

Anca Toderic (00:21:53) – Okay, I find a brand I like, which is so is easy. Let’s say it’s even a brand that I open my fridge and it’s something I’m like, oh, this is a cool organic milk company.

Anca Toderic (00:22:04) – , I will go to their website just to see if they already have a blog and if they have a decent social media presence. Either way, it works. If they don’t, you can add value by saying suggesting they have a blog suggesting what? What recipes for a food brand would do in terms for their own SEO and getting more eyes on them. So. And if they. Either way, I will go to LinkedIn. That’s my favorite place to go on LinkedIn, I look up the company sometimes these companies are owned by a different company, so you have to sometimes you have to be a little investigative, like you’ll go in, that company doesn’t exist. So then you go back to their website and you look all the way at the bottom of their website to see who they really are., once I do that, I go in the company, right? And I click on people to see all their employees and you have a little search bar there and there. I’ll put marketing and just see what I get for marketing or, or if they’re bigger, I’ll put partnerships or social media.

Anca Toderic (00:23:03) – And before,, before I would guess, like, I would get the person’s first name, last name, and then by trial and error, figure out what their email is, maybe its first, initial, last name at whatever company. And that could take a that could take a while. But recently I found this amazing,, tool. It’s called Final Scout and it will it’s a chrome extension and it connects to LinkedIn. And when you find the person, you click on it and it’ll scour the internet for their email in seconds. And then I have the email that I need. And that has saved me hours because I have gone by and like, you know, this is the email and then I’ll send it and I’ll come back, not deliverable or etc. and that’s just that took forever. But anyway, so this is saved me. This is probably my favorite thing that I found. It has saved me so much time I can pitch. 20, 30, 50. If I have the energy,, brands.

Anca Toderic (00:24:00) – Because I just have all the emails right there. It’s so fast. I just have to find the person. So that’s what I do. I find the person,, in I already start to think about. So now, by this point, I’ve done a little research, right. I’ve kind of seen. Do they have a blog, do they not? What’s their social media like? Have they worked with other influencers or etc.? I kind of get a scope of what they’re like. And then I have templates depending on who I’m pitching. If it’s one company, if it’s like a spirit and liquor company, you know, is it, is it whichever one. And from those templates, I will then keep it short because nobody wants a long email., I will keep it short. And I go right to the point. I’m a, you know, UGC food creator. And then I give them the value like it’s either I have I don’t lie that I’ve tried something when I don’t. But I talk about maybe like I saw them at the grocery store or something that really,, would show that I’ve actually done my research.

Anca Toderic (00:25:00) – And this is not just like copy and paste. And then from there, depending on the season, I will kind of say I would love to create, let’s say it’s springtime or I’ll, I’ll mention a holiday because for brands holidays and you know, they try to capitalize on that too. And so I’ll give a couple sentences of maybe an idea. I’m not giving them everything, but I definitely want to pique their interest. Like she thought about this, I’m interested to know more. I give them a link. Do not attach most people want in PR. I learned you don’t send attachments., people hate to open and a lot of times you can go to spam because it could get it could get, you know, flagged. So anyway, so I attach and say, here’s my portfolio for you to review. I’d love to discuss more or hop on a call. I always push for a call because then they really get to talk to me. We get to flowing and more often than not, if I get on a call, that’s pretty much seals the deal.

Anca Toderic (00:25:54) – Even if it’s not.

Jillian Leslie (00:25:54) – Immediate or a phone call.

Anca Toderic (00:25:56) – Yeah, usually it’s a zoom., sometimes. Yeah. More often than not, it’s it’s always an invite. And it’s a zoom call, like face to face. So that’s been great.

Jillian Leslie (00:26:06) – And you’re and you’re close rate. You’re close. Right. You got ten brands. You’re getting on ten zoom calls. How many jobs are you booking.

Anca Toderic (00:26:14) – If I get on those, I book seven out of those ten.

Jillian Leslie (00:26:20) – I want to say that where I notice bloggers and online entrepreneurs struggle is when it comes to selling. This is why I put together my top 20 Selling Secrets as a download that I recommend you grab. These are the psychological triggers that we all need to understand to up our selling game. It’s kind of fascinating. You can get this at Military.com. Secrets military.com/secrets and become a selling ninja. And now back to the show.

Anca Toderic (00:27:06) – The art of the follow up is like the one thing I do not like I. Very rarely, and there is a few words like I will pitch.

Anca Toderic (00:27:14) – And I’ve had a brand where I pitched. They didn’t even like blink and they’re like, yeah, we’d like to work. We, we we were, we want to do like four recipes that and here’s a contract. Like, I didn’t even get on a call. They don’t even know what I’m saying to make. But they’re just like, sure, we need it. It’s kind of like., for whatever reason, those are rare. They’re awesome. They’re rare. And then. But out of ten pitches, I may get 1 or 2 responses. And then from there, it’s usually, can I see your rate card? Or maybe we can hop on a call. 90% of what I do is after I have followed up three, 4 or 5 times, wow. I do not give up in the follow up. And I. And that’s another thing I learned,, in in PR when I worked, when I was pitching clients and I this, I was like an account coordinator, like I was I didn’t know anything about PR and then,, one of my colleagues was like, did you did you follow up like, oh, no one responded.

Anca Toderic (00:28:10) – She’s like, okay, you’re supposed to follow up, like every week. This is what you do in PR, like no one cares. And I was like, really? She’s like, trust me, you follow up every week. And so I learned that whether it’s a reporter or whether it’s a brand, you just keep following up. You don’t know until someone says, no, it’s not a no, it’s a maybe or not yet. So unless they and even if they say thank you, no thanks, I’ll kindly thank them. And then I come back in their inbox like, I mean, granted, I’ve only done this eight months, but I’ve done that with a brand and six months later and they’re like, wow, it’s so interesting that you emailed because we’re actually just reviewing our budget for the year. And you know what? Thanks for following up. And then we get on a call. Do you? That’s how I take it.

Jillian Leslie (00:28:49) – Automated like, you know, to then boom sent.

Jillian Leslie (00:28:52) – So you literally having a spreadsheet going okay sent that first one. Sent the second one. Where’s the where’s the template for the third email.

Anca Toderic (00:29:01) – Oh. So that. So what I’ll do. I do have a Google doc spreadsheet. I’m very tight. B I am not a type A person. I. I attempt to be with the spreadsheet, so I’ll add them in there. But I have I think it’s because I’ve done it so much that I know every. So I pitch Tuesdays and Wednesdays because Mondays you don’t want to pitch anyone and you don’t want to pitch them Friday. They do not want to see your email. So I know which days I pitched. And what I’ll pretty much do is whatever emails I sent out the week before, I just go over. I reply to them and I have my hi following up, I’m sure your inbox is flooded. It’s one line boom and I just go through all 20 and so every week it’s just like I just go back to the previous 20. So I don’t for me to write all those back in a spreadsheet and do the check mark, I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing.

Anca Toderic (00:29:49) – So for me, it for my personality since and because I do it so regularly, nothing falls through the cracks. It’s just it’s just part of my Tuesdays and Wednesdays that I follow up with, with brands. And so I know whichever week I just go in my sent and I look at my 20 and then I go through all those 20, and then I’m also pitching ten new ones. So then it’s like, it’s just like this machine.

Jillian Leslie (00:30:11) – Now here’s a question. That’s what I do. What tools are you using? Are you filming on your phone? Do you have special cameras? Lights? What does it look like? Because you said you use capture. Yeah.

Anca Toderic (00:30:23) – So. Yeah, I use the apps on my phone. So this is what I use. It’s my phone. And the great part is, is that’s really what brands want. They want approach to be approachable. You, you know, it’s like you’re in someone’s house. Now granted I try to make it I definitely try to do it.

Anca Toderic (00:30:44) – , a little bit more buttoned up for brands and depending on what they want,. I’ll know what they want and then I’ll know what kind of backdrops. But I’ve invested in like, most of the, like, backdrops and the artificial light I got for photography for the blog. Just because my house is like pretty dark and I never get the lighting. And with kids, you just never know. But there’s zero investment. You film on your phone, your iPhone, you edit in cap cut. It’s for someone starting out. Like even if and I know I mean food bloggers are amazing photographers, so that’s another thing you can add on. But for me and for someone, it’s just super easy. It’s like, that’s all I need. I don’t need any other equipment. I don’t need a tether cable, I don’t need the artificial light. I specifically, when I work with brands, choose the natural light and then I go set up my tripod, the one I, you know, 20, $30 tripod.

Anca Toderic (00:31:35) – Here’s this baby over here and that’s it. And then I film and I edit and I edit while I’m on the couch or something. You know, it’s just I love it. It’s just it’s like my dream side gig., so I just, I if there’s anyone out there wanting to work with brands and they don’t have a large following, I’m telling you, I had 200 people.

Jillian Leslie (00:31:59) – Wow. Now, here’s a question. So can you say, hey, as part of this UGC, I get to call out my blog or my social media or I get to put a like a, you know, I get to put my Instagram handle those kinds of things. Can you get can you put that in the contract?

Anca Toderic (00:32:21) – Absolutely. So and a lot of before. So when I first started it, I didn’t expect brands to even tag me because they’re paying me for kind of like, I’m a ghost writer, I’m a ghost recipe writer, let’s say. And,, brands were tagging me and then I was like, oh, that’s so nice.

Anca Toderic (00:32:38) – And,, for you tagging me. And then a few of them started asking me to post on my, my, like, Instagram and then do the partnership where you’re in collaboration with someone and I’m like, okay, sure. It just adds more content for me., and all of them, if there’s a recipe like I worked with,, a meat company and they link to all the recipes back to my blog, which helps., so I’m more that’s another thing. I’m a newbie blog, I’m a newbie blogger, and I’m getting all these backlinks.

Jillian Leslie (00:33:08) – Because real companies.

Anca Toderic (00:33:10) – From real companies, and they’re more than happy to do that.

Jillian Leslie (00:33:13) – Okay. Hi, how are you? I really had are you noticing your blog growing, your Instagram growing? And are you? Yeah, planning to lean into this because this is an awesome strategy for your own blog and your own business.

Anca Toderic (00:33:29) – Yeah, I’m really leaning into it. One because I, I,, I really like connecting with people and working most of the brands I’ve worked with.

Anca Toderic (00:33:40) – I would say 20 to 30% are through PR agencies, and then the rest is just someone that’s in-house. And I’ve had for the most part, I’d say just like really great relationship, meeting people, really getting to understand their brands. And for me, it’s as. I don’t want to just do this until my blog gets traction. Like this is something I really love to do. So I could, I could see. Me doing this simultaneously while growing like my own, like my own brand. To say like this made me step out a little and be like, okay, I don’t know if it’s going to be blogging. And then this is like, here. It’s like side by side. I don’t know, I don’t know already. Just in a few months. It’s just opened up so many opportunities and being able to connect with so many brands that I’m really excited to see where this could take me., and it just stretches my just even might because I, I’m getting paid to do something.

Anca Toderic (00:34:42) – So I’m in the kitchen no matter what. So it’s just it’s just keeping me. I’m getting. And which only benefits me too, because I’m shooting out reels from my own Instagram now because I’ve gotten so comfortable with them. And so. Yeah, so it’s I just feel like it’s just a win win all around, all around.

Jillian Leslie (00:34:58) – Can you repurpose the content you create and post it on your social media?

Anca Toderic (00:35:05) – Yes. So I’ll. Any time they post all like reshare on my stories, you know and then I highlight any brand work to I you know there which is another thing. If a brand hops on to my Instagram, they can see all the other brands that I’ve worked with. Although I have that, I have all the brand logos in my portfolio when I send out so they can see who I’ve worked with., but yes, that’s an I have owned.

Jillian Leslie (00:35:31) – Who owns the videos? You or the brand? Me. You do me.

Anca Toderic (00:35:37) – Yeah, so I own the videos, but they can,, for the.

Anca Toderic (00:35:42) – There’s only been a few that I’ve asked for, like in perpetuity for certain things. And starting off, I was like, yeah, I don’t I made this whatever casserole or something like for especially at the beginning, I was like, yeah, you can use it for. Forever, I don’t care. And then the more you read and the more now I ask, like, is this used for strictly just for on your socials and kind of raising brand awareness, or is this used for an ad? Are you? So because now I’m learning all this other terminology that I didn’t even know existed about licensing, and I’m like, I’m in the middle of learning all that. I’m like in the middle of,, you know, in a course, just figuring out how to price better and what licensing is and what’s organic versus paid media, all the stuff that I didn’t even know that I kind of fell into. And I think one of the things is like, you can start something and not know everything about it and learn as you go.

Anca Toderic (00:36:40) – Like, if I would have sat there and been like, well, I don’t even know about paid media and I don’t know all this stuff. And and then you’re just sitting there waiting until you learn everything. Well, someone else is already doing it. Probably half as good as you would, but you just you’re not willing to kind of like, take the leap. And I so that’s my encourage more.

Jillian Leslie (00:37:00) – And it’s funny, before we got on our call, I was on a call today. And when when you and I got on this call, I started to tell you where my head is and again, why I invited you onto the show. I was on a call with somebody who wants to potentially buy military cart to use to sell digital products. And and by the way, this happened now twice, once yesterday, once today. And they said, well, I don’t know. I’m thinking about I think both of them said podia. And I said, okay. And I and and they were like, why would I buy your tool? And I said, because I’ve used podia and this is not to rag on podia.

Jillian Leslie (00:37:48) – However, I set up a course in podia, and I spent so much time on YouTube trying to know where a certain piece of functionality was on podia in order to set up my course, and setting up my course was so much harder and took so much more time than I ever thought it would. And I had taught this content in a like a one hour live workshop, and I thought I could just turn this into a course like, no problem. It took months. And to figure out how to set up the sales page and the this and connect it to my email and who knows what. I was spending so much time working on my business and making no money, but it felt weirdly good because I’m working on my business. And what I said to these two people, one yesterday, one today about why I recommend they don’t sign up for podia and get military carte is because you could be selling, and I will push you to sell in ten minutes. I want you close to the sale or at least close to figuring out whether someone’s going to buy what you’re offering.

Jillian Leslie (00:39:03) – When I got on this call with you, I said, what I love about what you’ve done is you started making money, and I can’t tell you how many online entrepreneurs, bloggers, content creators I talk to who are spending years, quote unquote, working on their businesses, getting everything set up with the right fonts and the right images and the right videos. And they’ve made not a cent. So what? When you’re like, so tell me your response to that because you said, oh my God, I relate to that.

Anca Toderic (00:39:41) – Yeah, I think I again I think when you come off. Like,, focusing on the font and the branding and the voice and,, published cookbook with a, you know, like a with Harpercollins. And you have these things where this is what you want and you think it’s going to make you money, and then it doesn’t and it crushes you, I think. Well, one, it humbles you to a place like nothing else, but it also just like, okay, it happened.

Anca Toderic (00:40:08) – It failed. Like, what can I take from here?, and what can I learn from there? And how can I pivot and make money or like, follow my dream and do it? So I just think it kind of it kind of shook off all the other either imposter syndrome or like sitting, sitting over there, you know, thinking you’re a victim or like something never works out for you. It works out for everybody else. It just, I don’t know, for whatever reason, it really did something to me., and I think you find something you’re good at for, for instance, I don’t love photography and all the stuff I have to do for the blog. It really I’m not loving it. And this outlet of creating video is like, why? Why forcing yourself to do something you don’t necessarily love, that you think is going to make money is ultimately going to be so draining versus like, do something that almost feels too easy to get paid for in a way. So like creating videos or, or creating recipes, shooting them, whatever, like gives you life.

Anca Toderic (00:41:12) – And then try, just try to do it a couple times. You know, it’s always going to be clunky and awkward. And every single time I talk to a brand or like review my contract, I’m like, oh, I should have had this in there, but it’s better than the last time, and it’s continuing to be that way. So, I mean, I don’t know, maybe some people, I guess it depends on everyone’s idea of success for me, is like being able to monetize. Doing what I love is the ultimate success for me. It’s not just like, I just do this because it’s a hobby. It’s like I am 100% clear and unapologetic about wanting to make money from some something that I love versus pretending. I think another thing sometimes we do is like, we kind of play these mind games. We’re like, no, it’s like, I just love doing what I do. And it’s almost as if being successful, monetizing on something is like a bad word., and I don’t know why we do that, but I think a lot of times you’re kind of hear it.

Jillian Leslie (00:42:11) – What’s interesting about your story is you have a food blog and you’re like, okay, I’m going to start this, and I know I need to get to 50,000 page views and then I can get into Mediavine. So I need to push off my dream. And this is very similar to the idea of I’m going to sign up for podia. And the most exciting moment is when you put your credit card in and now you’ve signed up for Podio or whatever platform expensive platform it is. And in your mind you have this vision of, here’s what my business is going to look like. And I promise you, it’s never going to feel as good as that moment when you click, you know, pay. And it’s like all possibility. So for you, you said, okay, if I have to get to 50,000 pageviews, this is going to be a long road. But instead you found a shortcut. And that’s what I say. Get close to the sale or not the sale, because nobody’s buying what you’re creating.

Jillian Leslie (00:43:06) – Then go pivot to something else. But we back things up for two years because I’ve got to work on my SEO and my keyword research, or I’ve got to set up all of these things and all this crazy technology where this talks to this, which talks to this. On my call today, this woman had this whole plan of how her funnel was going to work. This is going to lead to this, which is going to then sell to this, which is ultimately going to sell to my course. And I I’m thinking that’s three years worth of work, and you don’t even know if this is going to lead to this, which is going to lead to this. This is your vision, but you’ve got to go put those pieces out there and test each one. So the fact that you found this back, kind of like back channel way of getting to do what you love, getting to make money, getting to experiment with pricing, with reaching out to brands, with going, wait a minute, they’re tagging me.

Jillian Leslie (00:44:02) – Hey, that’s an opportunity. Hey, they’re linking to me like people would die to get that, to get those backlinks. And all of a sudden it’s just showing up for you. And in the process, you’re doing what you love. You’re in your kitchen, on your phone, like editing videos in cap cut. Like it does feel too good to be true.

Anca Toderic (00:44:23) – Yeah, except it’s not. You know, that’s the best part. Like, it really isn’t like. And it’s just. And I think everyone some people and that’s the thing, it’s like,, someone listening to be like, oh my gosh, that sounds horrible because I hate shooting videos or pitching. That’s not their thing. But everyone can. I’m convinced there’s enough out there. And even if you just I’m sure you’ve read just about with like, marketing predictions and how influencer marketing,, all of this is just every year just skyrocketing of how much brands are looking into influencers and UGC can be considered that because that’s still part of them paying out, you know, to create content.

Anca Toderic (00:45:06) – It’s it’s a big, big,, massive ocean. And I feel like this scarcity mindset sometimes that sets in, like if someone’s doing it, there’s not enough room. And I’m completely I wouldn’t have come on this podcast if I thought that. It’s like, well, why would I share all this stuff and like give people ideas or tools to come take clients? Like? I don’t think so at all. I think there’s so much room in the creator, space in the food space for for people to do what they love and create. Kind of like, what’s the life you want? Do you want to be more, you know, at home more with your kids? Do you want to be able to travel? Do you want to be able to, like, work with ten brands and then go on vacation for two months? I don’t know what it is, but I think getting really clear about why is it that you’re doing what you’re doing, just not like, oh, I want monetize my blog.

Anca Toderic (00:45:53) – But why? For what exactly.

Jillian Leslie (00:45:55) – Specifically? It’s funny. So we’ll see it where my mind starts to shift when I’m hearing you speak and you said you love connecting with people that’s important to you. I’m like, okay. I give you six months and you’re going to be teaching this. To other food bloggers who will go, I want to learn from you because you do seem so down to earth and you’re so pretty. I don’t know if people can’t see you, but like, I want to learn from you and you seem chill and you seem like you’re not a perfectionist and you’re just kind of like winging it and you’re going, look, I just sent these emails last week, and I just go to my sent folder and see what I sent and just resend them. And I’m on the, you know, I’m doing things on the fly, and I’m editing my videos while I’m on my couch and like, it’s not like you’re going to be kind of that school mommy teacher who makes me feel bad if I can’t keep up with you.

Jillian Leslie (00:46:47) – You’re like, I’m making it up. And so I sit here and go, oh my God, just based on your vibe. Because that’s another thing I’m really thinking about. You’ve got a certain vibe, and I bet you it connects with a lot of other people, even in this audience, who would be like, I want to learn from you. I’d love you to walk me through this. I’d love your templates to reach out to brand. So just be thinking about that. Because I bet you, as somebody who has figured some stuff out and is still figuring it out, you can now turn around as Anca and teach this.

Anca Toderic (00:47:28) – Yeah. And I’m. I mean, anyone could reach out to me, email me, DM me on Instagram. Like, again, I’m an open book. I’m more than happy to share., I’ve had great experience, even just with reaching out to other bloggers at the beginning, if that. I heard on a podcast and just said, you know, I’ve really loved that podcast and I’ve made some great friendships of people are just really open and kind and you find your people.

Anca Toderic (00:47:52) – , and I think that’s putting yourself out there. I think for, for whatever reason, sometimes people don’t want to ask for help or feel like they’re intruding. And for me, it’s like, what’s the worst I can say? Like, hey, I’m not going to answer you or like, please don’t bother me or I don’t have like, okay. And you move on and they’ll never think of you again. Same thing with brands. You know, you email them five times. It’s like if you find me annoying, you find me annoying. Like they’ll forget about you. Like, that’s just I don’t have time to even think about what the brand thinks about me. They’re thinking about themselves and making sales. And if your email pops up again, they’ll I if it takes them being like, oh my gosh, let me respond to this woman because she won’t get off my back. I’ll take it like it’s not offensive to me.

Jillian Leslie (00:48:33) – Anca, I am so happy that you came on the show and shared what you have found and how you’re making all of this money.

Jillian Leslie (00:48:43) – So if people have questions for you and want to reach out to you, or if they want to work with you, where should they go?

Anca Toderic (00:48:51) – Thanks, Jillian. It was so fun talking to you., if anyone wants to reach out,, they can DM me on Instagram at the butter table or send me an email. Anca at the butter table. Com I’m more than happy to answer questions. And if anyone wants to work one on one with me., I typically charge 150 for a one on one coaching session, but I absolutely love your podcast, and,, I’m already an avid listener. So for your for your listeners, I would love to,, give a discount and charge $100 for the first five people that sign up, and they can do that at UGC coaching Willow tree cart.com.

Jillian Leslie (00:49:35) – Oh wait, so do it again. So tell people how to sign up for your coaching.

Anca Toderic (00:49:39) – Yes at. UGC coaching dot military cart.com.

Jillian Leslie (00:49:44) – I love it. And you’re using military cart.

Anca Toderic (00:49:46) – To I know what it’s like.

Jillian Leslie (00:49:47) – It’s great.

Anca Toderic (00:49:49) – I’m a fan all around the podcast and everything you do. So yes.

Jillian Leslie (00:49:53) – And right back at you. All right Anca, will you come back on the show in a couple months to update us all on what you are doing and how this part of your business is growing?

Anca Toderic (00:50:04) – Absolutely. I would be delighted.

Jillian Leslie (00:50:07) – Well, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Anca Toderic (00:50:10) – Thanks, Jillian.

Jillian Leslie (00:50:12) – I hope you guys can tell what a huge fan of Angus I am, and I love her willingness to share. She believes that the more information out there, the better, and she wants to help other bloggers tap into what she is doing. That’s very much how I feel too. Like rising tides lift all boats. And what is interesting is that this is a whole new revenue stream, just like also selling digital products. In fact, food bloggers are having so much success with military cod. That’s it’s our biggest group of people who purchase. So if you are thinking about selling digital products, if you’re a food blogger and you are not selling an e-book of your top recipes, you are missing out.

Jillian Leslie (00:51:04) – And I know it sounds like a lot to start, so get on a free call with me. Go to. You can go to Military.com right there on our homepage. You’ll see where you can book a call with me. And I would love to help you see your business in a new way. It’s always great to get fresh eyes on what you’re doing, and I would be so happy to do that for you, and to paint the picture of what it would look like if you started selling your knowledge directly to your audience. Again, just go to milotree.com, sign up for a 20 minute free call, and I will see the rest of you next week.

Make Money with Brand Collaborations | The Blogger Genius Podcast with Jillian Leslie

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