But Robyn, we’ve spent YEARS finally getting brands to understand how important bloggers and influencers are in this world?!
Yes, I know. Hear me out.
I’ve been blogging for over two years, and in turn have come across a lot of opportunities whether it be gifting collaborations with brands, reviews of products, event invites, sponsored content or social media content. Sponsored content (where a brand pays an influencer/blogger for sharing their views/wearing their clothes on their blog, in my case) have been subject to many a discussion recently, especially when it comes to bloggers knowing their worth (and some not disclosing it, naughty celebs).
But is it ok to work without payment? And at what point should we be asking brands for fees to work with them? I’m giving you my unpopular opinion on why it’s definitely ok to work for free with a brand to begin with, and why you shouldn’t be ashamed to.
P.s. by free, I mean with something included, like a gifted product, but no monetary compensation.
FOR THE BRANDS
So you get an email from a brand to collaborate on a gifting basis because they don’t have the funds for sponsored content. They’ve (hopefully) looked at your blog and social media pages and decided they love your content and want you to be part of a new campaign.
The brand looks good, but they’re not paying you… so it’s a bit shit, right?
However, from a brands perspective, they’ve never worked with you before, and although they like the content you could produce, how do they know it won’t take you 3 months to complete with emails that took you 18 days to reply to? How do they know you’re not actually a massive pain in the arse? Can they really trust a person they’ve never met?
FOR THE BLOGGERS
Your gifting opportunity comes in and you take it because the content works really well with something you have coming up. You also take it because HELLO this is WHY YOU BLOG – BECAUSE YOU LOVE IT! Getting money (in my case) is part of my job, but having my blog is also just as much my passion.
You reply to the gifting opportunity, you respond quickly and give them all the info you need, you keep the brand updated on when you can post, and you post the FAB photos that you always try and post. Then of course you send them the link and tell them how much you loved working with them (because you did!).
YOU gave the brand the easiest and most rewarding collaboration possible.
Who are they going to go to for their sponsored opportunities I wonder…
AND IN COMES… THE RELATIONSHIP
If you asked me what the most important thing is about blogger and brand collaborations, I would 100% say relationships with the brand. It’s great having one off collaborations and whatnot, but those relationships between brands that you work with often are what make you that blogger that you aspire to be. Relationships with brands are what take you from one-off gifting collaborations to ongoing sponsored opportunities, because you’ve proved how organised and damn sassy you are.
As a blogger you’ve made life easy for the brand, and as a brand you’ve made a fab relationship with a blogger. As soon as those campaigns come in you’ll be their first port of call, all because you took that first unpaid collaboration. Especially from that small start-up brand who you supported when they had no budget… look at them now!
Top – c/o Just Fab
Skirt – c/o Just Fab
Bag – c/o Just Fab
Shoes – c/o Just Fab
Doing things for free is given such a negative name. Sure, doing ongoing free collaborations is taking the piss, but do we not think it’s fair for brands to want bloggers to almost prove themselves before they take them on? You wouldn’t start a new job without an interview, would you? We need to stop looking at ‘free collaborations’ in the light that they are bad for bloggers, and remember that actually those free collaborations can sometimes lead to those paid opportunities that’ll make you successful.
I’d love to know your thoughts on this *waits for the blogging world to slate me*. Let me know in the comments!
** c/o shows items gifted to me for the purpose of the post, but all items are chosen and styled by me! **