How to Get Your Products Into Celebrity Hands

How to Get Your Products Into Celebrity Hands

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Today, I am interviewing Sarah Shaw, a leading expert in getting eCommerce products into the hands of celebrities. She has gotten her and her clients’ products in the hands of a wide range of A-list celebrities including Sharon Stone, Liv Tyler, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Angelina Jolie, and more.

But why is getting your products into celebrity hands so important?

Because it can lead to a massive reach and boost in growth for your brand. Her clients have used celebrity gifting as a method to have their brands mentioned in People Magazine, OK magazine, InTouch, Us Weekly, Oprah’s Book Club, O Magazine, and more.

The press that came out of celebrities using her and her clients’ products have often led to 6-figure brand deals and rapid revenue growth.

In my interview, Sarah was gracious enough to share her best tips to getting your products in celebrity hands. She breaks down her method to six simple steps any business can follow to get your products into celebrity hands.

The 6-Step Guide to Getting Your Products Into Celebrity Hands

Step 1: Figure out Who Your Target Market Is

Step 1 - Figure out who your target market is

First you need to clearly define who your customers are so that you can target celebrities who have a large influence over your target market. 

For example, if your product is child-related, you want to target celebrities who have children and make sure their fans are parents who also have children. Then research photos of the celebrities that are widely available in the internet or in magazines and see if you can find photos of them around town with their children. If you find that they are often photographed out in public and you sell clothing, they may be a good fit to send a gift to since there is a possibility they may wear your outfit around town and be photographed in it. 

Step 2: Make a List of Celebrities You Want to Contact

Step 2 - Make a list of celebrities you want to contact

Do your Google research and make a list of celebrities you want to contact. Then go to a website like www.contactanycelebrity.com where you can get instant access to the contact information for over 59,000 celebrities, influencers, and public figures. You can simply purchase a one-month membership and download all the celebrities’ information that you want.

Once you get all the celebrities’ information who you would like to target, you can start planning how you will pitch your products to the celebrity in a simple email.

Step 3: Pitch Your Products to the Celebrity’s Gatekeeper

Step 3 - Pitch your products to the celebrity's gatekeeper

Decide what you want to say and make your pitch to the gatekeeper, which is their publicist or manager. Don’t bother their agent with a gifting offer since their agent usually doesn’t manage that aspect of their personal brand. Sometimes if the celebrity does not have a publicist or manager, their gatekeeper could be their lawyer. 

When pitching to their gatekeeper, remember these are just normal people, so talk to them in a natural way as if they are a friend.

Briefly introduce yourself and tell them about you and your product. Let them know something very specific about their personal life and therefore, you think they may be very interested in your product. The key is to give them a specific reason why it relates to them that only someone who has researched the celebrity would really know.

For example, you can tell them you know their favorite color is pink so you  specifically picked out your pink product.

Or perhaps they have a newborn baby and you want to send them a baby gift box personalized with their baby’s name.

Let them know you would love to gift them with something. You can provide a link to your catalog and tell them they can pick anything they want.

A great subject line for the email to the gatekeeper could be something like:

A Gift for [Insert Celebrity’s Name]

It is clear, concise, and to the point. You’ll also want to keep your email very brief to make it easy to skim. If you follow these two principles, you’ll often get a response back saying your email has been forwarded to the celebrity’s assistant.

If you get a response back that tells you to send anything you want, it is best to write back and try and get more details about what the celebrity would like. This is because you want to make sure the celebrity actually loves your product and will use it. 

Hopefully they’ll come back and tell you what the celebrity would like.

Step 4: Send Your Gift to the Celebrity and Make Sure They Receive It

Make sure to include a personalized card in the package and let them know you thought they would really like your product. If they would like anything else, you can include your catalog and let them know they can pick out anything else. Tell them how they can easily get in contact with you if they would like anything else. 

Once you see the package has been delivered, you can email your contact and let them know you see it was delivered and want to make sure they got it. This is how you can make sure your product is given to the celebrity.

Step 5: Monitor for Photos, Videos, or Mentions of the Celebrity With Your Product

Step 5 - Monitor for photos, videos, or mentions of the celebrity with your product

Once you know they have your product, start monitoring their social media and see if they have posted anything with your product in it. If they have, make sure you capture it for your records so that you can use it on your own marketing channels, including your website, emails, and more. 

You’ll also want to monitor different online and print publications to see if the celebrity has been photographed with your product. If they have, make sure to keep a folder on your computer of all the publications they were photographed in along with the photos of the celebrity.

Step 6: Leverage Any Proof of the Celebrity Using Your Products for Your Own Marketing and PR Purposes

Step 6 - Leverage any proof of the celebrity using your products for your own marketing and PR purposes

If you don’t get a personalized Thank You note from the celebrity or their team, but you get an email from their gatekeeper thanking you for the product, congrats! You can screenshot that email and send it to different media outlets. Tell them the celebrity has your product and ask them if they want to write a story about it. Of course you always want to stay in integrity here and never put words into a celebrity’s mouth. But you can definitely state facts, such as telling the publication that the celebrity has your product.

You can also send an email out to your list and let them know the celebrity has your product with a screenshot of either a Thank You note, email, or any photo or video proof of the celebrity using your product.

If you are trying to get into stores, you can use the celebrity as leverage to get your first large purchase. You can do something fun like create a coupon code with the celebrity’s name in it and use the celebrity’s photo with your product in your promotion. 

The goal is to monetize your product being photographed in a celebrity’s hand. So make sure to be creative if your product does get exposure from a celebrity. You can pitch an idea to different celebrity magazines for them to use the information about a celebrity having your product in an upcoming article about seasonal fashion, makeup trends, baby products, and more.

The outreach is two-fold:

First you are reaching out to the celebrity’s team to get your products in their hands. Second, you are reaching out to different publications to provide information about the celebrity having your product. Just make sure that you are moving quickly.

How to Make Your Product Pitch Stand Out

Make your pitch very personalized to the celebrity. Definitely do not automate celebrity outreach. You really want to make each email pitch very specific to the celebrity and their lifestyle.

You can use your prior research and knowledge about the celebrity to personalize your outreach and tell them your brand is very popular with people like them.

For example, if the celebrity endorses environmentally-friendly brands and is a new parent, for example, you can congratulate them on the birth of their baby (call the baby by their name) and then explain your product is very popular with environmentally-conscious new moms just like them.

How to Make Sure You Can Leverage Press From a Celebrity Using Your Product

Reese Witherspoons handbag in Legally Blonde
Reese Witherspoon's handbag in Legally Blonde

Send a nice card with your gift with a PS on the card that says something like:

“PS – We’re a small brand. If you love this and you want to tag us, this is our Instagram…”

So keep it casual, but also give them the opportunity to mention you should they want. 

If you are sending your products to a celebrity with a smaller audience or an influencer, it may be worth asking if they are interested in a revenue share or affiliate marketing opportunity, or if they are interested in donating money from the sales they generate to a non-profit of their choice.

What’s the Difference Between Influencer Marketing and Celebrity Gifting?

Influencer marketing product review

Sarah mentions the biggest difference between influencers and A-list celebrities is that most celebrities will not ask for money to post about your gift whereas influencers usually ask for money upfront before mentioning your brand in a post.

So if you are paying an influencer to endorse your product, you want to definitely make sure you research their engagement heavily and ask them if they have any data on past sales they have generated for other brands. You can also look at their posting history and see how many comments they tend to get for their posts and what type of engagement they get on their sponsored and ad posts to gauge if they may be a good influencer to work with.

You can also reach out to other brands influencers have done sponsored posts for and ask them how the influencer partnership has performed from them. You may even be able to learn how much they paid for the influencer and how many sales they can attribute to the influencer’s marketing efforts. Or perhaps their goals were different than sales, such as followers or email list growth, so it is always a great idea to take your time to research influencers and the brands they have partnered with in the past to see if it will be a fruitful partnership for your brand.

Personally, I think some of the most powerful influencers are YouTube vloggers because not only are they considered experts by people searching how to do something on YouTube, which intrinsically builds trust into their recommendations, but also their video views continue to build over time and have the added benefit of SEO juice. So if your influencer marketing budget is limited, I highly recommend first seeking out influencers on YouTube vs. social for more long-term results.

If an influencer isn’t interested in an affiliate program but promises you the moon and stars, that could be a red flag. If they are truly confident in their ability to generate sales for you, then invite them to put their money where their mouth is and prove it by considering participating as an affiliate or with a revenue share agreement.

What Are the Top Mistakes Brands Are Making When They Contact Celebrities?

One of the biggest mistakes brands make when trying to get their products in the hands of celebrities is talking too much about themselves and coming off as too salesy.

It’s really important that you make sure your product gift is all about the celebrity you are giving it to and adds value to their life. So make sure to keep your included card short, sweet, and to the point. Make it more about them then it is about your brand. Your products are more likely to be used when they are personalized to the celebrity and considered a genuine and thoughtful gift vs. a sales pitch.

Another big mistake is making your email subject line overly complicated and not direct enough. A simple email subject line of:

A gift for [insert celebrity’s first name]

works very well in getting the gatekeeper’s attention. 

Can You Use a Photo of a Celebrity Using Your Product for Your Own Marketing Purposes?

Snapshot of InStyle Magazine displaying Sarah Shaw makeup bags

If the photo is in a magazine, then yes, you can use that photo with proper credit since the magazine has already purchased it from the photographer who took the photo. It is recommended to take a screenshot of the photo within its proper setting so it can have proper credit to the magazine it appeared in.

If the celebrity themselves posts a photo of themselves with your product, you can screenshot their public post and reshare it with your audience.

But if you are trolling for photos of your products in celebrities’ hands on a paparazzi website where photos are being sold, you must pay for the photo before using it. 

Want to Learn More About Getting Your Products Into Celebrities’ Hands?

Sarah Shaw has several programs that you may find helpful, including resources such as celebrity contact lists, store lists, outreach letters, and more. You can learn more about Sarah and get her free Celebrity Access Blueprint at https://sarahshawconsulting.com 

CEO of Hawaii's largest Digital Marketing Agency, Karizma Marketing, Toccara Karizma is a Digital Marketing Consultant renowned for turning eCommerce businesses into 7 figure powerhouses.
Follow Toccara to discover the best-kept industry secrets that will skyrocket your sales, or enquire today about enrolling in one of Toccara's many digital marketing courses.

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