Let’s start with the basics, what is a sponsored post? A sponsored post is anything in exchange for posting on your social site or blog. This can be a product, service or a monetary fee.
In Instagram, these type of posts are typically marked as #sponsored or #ad in the caption.
All the time I am asked about “all the free stuff”. Anytime the subject of blogging comes up, this is normally one of the first few questions I get. Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t like free?! Or getting paid to post? Even better! But there are some mistakes that can be made while navigating the sponsored waters. Here are my 7 pieces of advice when it comes to sponsored content.
1. Taking TOO MUCH Free Stuff- When I hit about 30,000 followers, I realized that companies would send me stuff for free. Overnight, I started getting flooded with emails for products. I started saying yes to everything and as soon as I knew it, my feed became one big ad, and for what? A free curling iron? A headband? It sounds silly to say now but at the time it was SO HARD to say no. Companies were telling me how to post, when to post. I was quickly losing control for free products. It just wasn’t worth it. If you are just starting out, I urge you to just take a few things at a time that you know you are going to like or that fit into your brand. The more you grow, take even less. It’s easier for me to have one paid post and then go buy what I want, rather than posting for free all the time.
2. Working directly with brands- I much prefer using agencies than working directly with brands. A LOT of companies are just entering the online influencer market game. They can have unrealistic expectations. However, if you use an agency, as your liaison, between yourself and the brand, they can explain these things to the company. Plus, 9 times out of 10, agencies are VERY CLEAR with what they want posted and how they want it done.
3. When it starts going South, get out- This normally only happens when you work directly with a brand, but if you are having difficulty getting agreed upon content in the collaboration, I would just cancel the collab. It’s only happened to me a few times, but as soon as you start having to go back and forth too much about your vision for the project, it’s better to cut your loses and walk away with as little of a time investment as possible.
4. Undervaluing youself- It’s hard to know your worth in this digital marketplace. I get deals all the time with a very wide range in dollar amount. I think it’s important to really think about the deal and how much time it will take you, and price accordingly. It’s really tempting to take every deal, but anytime I’ve done this, I’ve always been disappointed. Also, it brings the whole market place down. Just think if an ad agency was having to create your content. They would need a photographer, model, hair and makeup, just to name a few. You and your product are worth something!!
5. Taking a product that doesn’t fit you- your audience knows you and knows your brand (if you are doing it right). If you are a fashion blogger, don’t take a deal for a video game. Know your brand and work deals around it accordingly. Your ads will seem completely fake and your audience will lose trust in you.
6. Do it timely- I had one collaboration, that due to external reasons, took months before we could get started. By the time we got around to doing it, the brand had completely changed their mind about what they wanted. They had seen other campaigns by then and wanted something very different than the original agreement. You will be so much happier if you get stuff done ASAP.
7. Take campaigns for one photo – If you are on Instagram, for example, don’t agree to 3 photos and an Instastory – it will be too overwhelming. If a tea company wants 5 posts from you, it can get very hairy, very fast. Take one deal at a time and let them know they have the option for more posts at the end. Anytime I’ve ever had multiple photo deals, they ALWAYS, ALWAYS change the direction in the middle of the campaign. Meanwhile, you’ve already pre shot all your content and have to start over. Save yourself the headache.I hope my mistakes help y’all and if you haven’t created your own blog yet, It can be kinda confusing, I know. I walk you through how to set it up here. Stay tuned for my next post on my blogger series!