What I'm Buying From Target This Fall

Sharing a few things I am buying from Target for fall in this blog post. Luckily, Target has affordable items so most of these clothes and accessories are under $100!

What I'm Buying From Target This Fall - Affordable by Amanda.

I'm going to blame my Target fall obsession on my boyfriend because now he lives less than 5 minutes away from Target so I am constantly popping in to see the latest arrivals. Of course, despite my best efforts at leaving my credit cards tucked away somewhere safe inside my car when I do try-on hauls, I still manage to swing by the self-checkout line to pick up a few goodies. My impulsive shopping behavior is getting out of hand, friends! The plush fall cardigans and even the stretchy denim jeans are easy staples that I can justify buying because a new season is coming and it's technically part of my job to try out new clothes, right? Right! Plus, finding a great pair of jeans is always difficult for me, so when I slipped into this pair of $15.00 high-rise skinny jeans, it was immediately a done deal. 

Tops and Sweaters

What I'm Buying From Target This Fall - Affordable by Amanda.

How freakin' SOFT does this top look!? I love the deep v-neck and the pretty light pink shade mixes easily with your existing wardrobe. This same top is available in white, black, and cream, too. This piece is something you can wear with pants, jeans, skirts, and shorts. I would stock up on a few of these tees before they sell out as it's currently on sale for $12.00. Below I am listing a few more sweaters and tops that I either tried on in Target or have on my fall wishlist. I already own this colorblock cardigan and I will admit that I haven't taken it off ever since! It truly does live up to its name as a "cozy sweater cardigan". Keep checking the Target site and your local Target for restocks as this cardigan continues to sell out like CRAZY!

Pants and Denim Jeans

What I'm Buying From Target This Fall - Affordable by Amanda.

When filming my Target try-on last week, I grabbed these plaid mid-rise belted trousers. The trousers are also available to style with a matching twill blazer which would look great when layering a thin creme sweater underneath. The tapered design of these trousers makes them fit and accentuate your legs, as they did for mine! I tried my trousers on in a size 8 which fit like a medium would.

At the end of my Instagram Stories try-on, I also picked up a new pair of stretchy $15.00 High-Rise Skinny Jeans - Universal Thread - Medium Wash. I am wearing this right now as I type out this list, haha. These jeans were affordable ($15!!) and I chose my regular size 8. I love the amount of stretch I found with this specific high-rise skinny jean, too. 

Shoes and Boots

What I'm Buying From Target This Fall - Affordable by Amanda.

I am so excited to see this exact pair of ankle boots available from Target again this year. I own a pair of these boots in a light grey color, but they also released what appears to be the same exact style and cut. These Indie Heeled Booties are not pricey at all -- just $34.99 -- and I've worn mine for the last year and they are still in great condition today. The black pair is definitely making my list for fall this year! Another fashion blogger I follow, Cathy from Poor Little It Girl, also made a huge round-up of her favorite Target finds that you can check out here. She picked out these $29.99 brown Chelsea booties and it looks like the chic block-heeled booties have stretchy sides to give you even more comfort when sliding them on before you start the day.  

Accessories: Bags, Earrings, and Hats

What I'm Buying From Target This Fall - Affordable by Amanda.

From structured top handle handbags to circle crossbody bags, Target should be your one-stop-shop for a great new fall piece. I swear some of my best bags have come straight out of Target's selection of handbags over the years. This fall Target has quite a collection of chic handbags to choose from. I am interested in picking up a brand new olive green tote. This under $40.00 zipper satchel (see above) looks like the best option!

Hats are my second favorite accessory right behind bags. I know I already own this brown felt hat and this white felt hat, but I couldn't ignore the absolute cuteness of this blush pink hat found at Target! I've already purchased the blush pink hat ($19.99) and I cut off the poof pom on the side because I didn't like how it looked. Now the blush pink hat is perfect and I am looking forward to styling it with a bunch of cute fall outfits this month and into October. No jeans and sweater combo is complete without a floppy wool hat!

I would love to hear your favorites in the comments below along with what types of budget buys you'd like to see in a future blog post on Affordable by Amanda! (As a quick reminder: scroll through the slideshows within this post to see a few more of my favorites and to be redirected to Target to shop each item). t

How to Make Brands Fall in Love With You

As a blogger, influencer, content creator, entrepreneur, I am constantly responding and pitching to BRANDS. These are my solid tips for making brands fall in love with you! Keep reading to learn more. 

How to Make Brands Fall in Love With You - Affordable by Amanda - Tampa Blogger

1. First, Get On A Brand's Radar

You would be silly to believe that a large brand is going to offer you $$ compensation after one e-mail when they have NO CLUE who you are! Brands and the people who work for them are human beings, not robots. They want to feel the same emotional connection that you have about the products they spend their days marketing and promoting out to the world.

You should channel your love and adoration for a brand by getting on their radar. 

This is the first step to making a brand fall in love with you and potentially work with you on a future collaboration. Say hello to them on Instagram by leaving genuine comments, supporting their new product launches, and congratulating the brand on reaching new achievements.

Stay up to date on what the brand has in store for the rest of the year by following all of their social media channels. It's also a good idea to sign up for their e-mail newsletter so you can hear about all the chatter behind an exciting new product launch before anyone else! When pitching the brand, you can source the information you find on new product launches and tell the brand how thrilled you were to discover the release of XX product. SHOW the brand how much you care about them! Establishing an emotional connection with a brand is crucial to make a brand fall in love with you.

How to Make Brands Fall in Love With You - Affordable by Amanda

Don't forget to mention how much the products have impacted your life or why you rely on a certain product in your day to day routine to go a step further in the right direction. You can e-mail this to the brand in your pitch e-mail or you can simply share it with them on their brand Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. With an influx of influencers on the web these days, it's important now more than ever to GET YOUR NAME OUT THERE!

2. Post About The Brand on Your Channels

Another easy way to make brands fall in love with you? Post about the product/s you already use and love on your channels! Yes, this is free advertising, but it could also lead to a potential paid collaboration in the future. Spread the message about why you love a brand so they can see you.

Visibility is key for making a brand fall in love with you. 

Consider this example: a crowd of influencers is standing around in a group and each one of them is shouting "Me, Me! Work with me!"

The brands will be OVERWHELMED to pick you from the huge crowd. That's why I am telling you to go ahead and POST about the product you use and love from a brand to inch your way to the top where a brand can notice you quicker. There are plenty of platforms to share your details with top-rated brands and I outlined the 8 best and worst influencer platforms in this blog post.

Once again you are establishing how much you authentically LOVE the brand and you are getting on their radar much faster than your competition. For example, I am a beauty and skincare junkie, so I am constantly trying out new drugstore and Sephora brands to not only see what I like to keep my complexion clear but also to see if I find myself gravitating towards a certain brand. I love Drunk Elephant moisturizers and I even posted about using them in recent blog posts and on my Instagram feed.

The brand noticed these posts and reacted immediately when they saw the great content I posted featuring Drunk Elephant. I got in touch with someone from their PR team and was gifted $400 worth of Drunk Elephant products. I continue this important relationship to this day with such a wonderful brand and you can do the same thing once you start posting about brands you 100% love!

3. Be Nice!

Being nice may actually benefit you when you talk to brands, I kid you not! No press team wants to deal with an influencer/content creator who is difficult to work with, doesn't reply to e-mails, or is rude in general. You need to practice etiquette whenever you address a brand, period. Even if a brand messages you back saying they "don't have a budget to work with you" at the moment, it's better to stay positive and nice than to lash out after feeling the sting of rejection.

Rejection happens. I am rejected from brands all the time, but I still keep my cool and message them back telling them to keep me in mind for any future paid collaborations that they might have a budget for to hire me.

How to Make Brands Fall in Love With You - Affordable by Amanda

How to Make Brands Fall in Love With You - Affordable by Amanda

How to Make Brands Fall in Love With You - Affordable by Amanda

Consider reaching out to brands and treating the interaction like a job interview each time you do it. 

You want to perform with the best intentions to land the potential job, right? You wouldn't lash out at the person interviewing you when they say they can't hire you at the moment. Don't take things to heart! Don't take things too personally! Some brands just don't have the money to pay you, even if you know in your mind that you would produce excellent content for them. Being nice is a simple way to show your level of professionalism, too. One day you could hear back from the brand offering you a huge contract to work with them because they remember how nice you were way back in the day.

4. Overdeliver On Your Deliverables

Hooray! You landed an awesome campaign with a brand of your dreams.

What do you do next to make that brand fall in love with you? Overdeliver on the deliverables you agreed to complete for the brand. Yes, going above and beyond will no doubt keep your name on the good list to work with again and again.

Overdelivering on these deliverables (images, blog posts, channel shares) could mean different things depending on the campaign and how much time you have to keep creating. For example, if you plan on providing the brand with 3 unique Instagram Stories, why not share a few extra ones in the mix? Add some specific polls to increase exposure to even more of your followers to click on the brand tags that you include in your Instagram stories. Add music to the Instagram stories to create engaging images and videos for your audience to connect with.

How to Make Brands Fall in Love With You - Affordable by Amanda sponsored post wearing a gray bathrobe on her bed holding up naturally serious skin care sleeping mask.
A sponsored Instagram photo for Naturally Serious Skin

Go. Above. And. Beyond. It will pay off, trust me. 

The brand you work with will notice everything from your timeliness to complete the campaign down to the smaller details where you included more than 3 Instagram slides as acceptable deliverables. Send the brand as many extra social posts as you completed for them to see evidence of your hard work, too! I personally love overdelivering when I am working with a brand that I already love because I use my platforms to share products/brands that I trust. More examples = more authenticity.

5. After Your First Campaign, Pitch Another 2-3 New Concepts or Ideas

I keep a running list of blog post ideas on a notepad. This list contains everything from fashion to beauty ideas that I think of on the fly. I eventually take one or two of these ideas and weave them into my pitch e-mails to a brand. I often come up with my best ideas when I am lying down in bed for the night or in the bathroom (LOL) and I keep my notepad with me at all times in my purse. You never know when you will get inspired or feel the itch to brainstorm creating something new!

I take into consideration my top 3 brand pillars (beauty, fashion, travel) and pitch brands unique ideas to help the company elevate their brand message with the help of my audience. Working with a brand requires thoughtful explanations that you should outline in your pitch e-mail. Tell the brand exactly what you will do for them in exchange for compensation, gal! I often pitch 2-3 ideas so the brand can have a variety of options to choose from once they read my e-mail.

Pitching more than one idea is another way to make a brand fall in love with you because you are letting them know that you are A) versatile with creating content B) creative and willing to make changes to fit the brand's message. Showing flexibility with what types of content you can provide the brand is HUGE! Don't stick to just one single idea -- instead, add 2-3 incredible content ideas that you come up with to send over to the brand's PR team to look over.

How to Make Brands Fall in Love With You - Affordable by Amanda

On another note, I use my Instagram "save" tool on the app to save pictures I see as inspiration for brand collabs. Stay up to date on what's trendy and cool over on Instagram to help gear up your pitch idea for success. For example, these days you can't scroll through your feed without noticing fun abstract brush strokes or pops of glitter behind an influencer thanks to graphics created by users such as Mallory On the Moon. Content that pushes boundaries and just plain looks fun is really on the rise these days.

6. Make The Relationship Longterm 

You just wrapped up a highly successful, exciting brand campaign with a company you loved working with. After the campaign has ended, I would not only e-mail your point of contact a nice thank you, but I would also let them know your availability to partner with the same brand again in the future!

Credit: Adweek

Credit: Adweek
Instead of wasting my time pitching to brand after brand, I've slowly realized the importance of securing a couple of great brand relationships over starting and ending a relationship after one single job. Stay in touch with the PR guy or gal that acted as the "project manager" for your specific campaign. In a couple of months, why not shoot them another e-mail explaining more content ideas that you could provide for the brand? I go into more detail covering my blogging journey in this blog post if you are interested.

For example: My good friend and influencer turned business coach, Kahlea, has been working with a haircare brand called Not Your Mother's for an entire year. The brand just flew her out to New York City for freakin' FASHION WEEK!

That is such an amazing accomplishment and because of her excellent relationship with the brand and the people behind the brand she was able to continue posting Instagram photos on her feed in paid partnership with NYM. Time and time again she proved her worth for the brand with each new post she delivered. The brand obviously took their relationship a step further by flying her and her photographer out to NYC for Fashion Week! Solid and consistent work can definitely lead to the most exciting new ventures for content creators, as it did for my friend Kahlea.

How to Make Brands Fall in Love With You - Kahlea Nicole Business Coach
Photo Credit: Kahlea + Christine Wozz

Do you work with brands on a regular basis? Share your experiences in the comments!