Let me begin this publish with the truth that in contrast to the present blogging landscape in 2019, I didn’t begin a weblog with the intention of working with manufacturers.
As written in my bio, my shoe blog started in 2010 as a advertising effort to promote my own product: shoe t-shirts (hence, identify the Shoe “Tease”, get it?!).
After just some months, my blog started gaining traction, great visitors & the t-shirts turned history. Properly, type of. You’ll be able to nonetheless snag some over at Zazzle #shamelessplug #nonotsorry ?
But as the blogging landscape shortly modified to at least one where manufacturers decided to take a position considerable advertising efforts on influencers (this term nonetheless makes me cringe, btw!), I sorta went alongside for the journey, not understanding what to expect.
And let’s be trustworthy. Even 10 years later, I am always stunned on the curveballs certain collab will throw my means. Thing is, this grown ass lady has reached a bit of a breaking point. And I’m right here to talk about it in probably the most logical method I can.
Pictures by Brunarico.com
So right here goes me blabbing concerning the 6 causes you don’t see me posting much sponsored content material. And keep in mind, this is me speaking about my decisions. I’m not judging yours.
Lots of my reasons need to do with various dangerous model apples that have soured the expertise for me. The MOST outstanding of these causes, nevertheless, is that I have greater fish to fry. However more on that later.
1. I Don’t Accept All Gives
Truly, I don’t settle for most. Just as many Instagrammers/bloggers/influencers/content material creators (let’s name ourselves “creatives”, from here on in, we could?) which were at it for some time do, I decline most presents that come my method.
One cause might be that the brand isn’t an excellent fit. Or perhaps I don’t notably like the product or need the service being provided. Or that I can’t assure placement for one thing I haven’t but tried. Or the price just doesn’t justify the work.
I work with brands that I respect, with reps which are pleasant to work with & have an ideal monitor document of working with different creatives (yep, we speak!). I additionally prioritize working with these I’ve already had constructive experiences partnering with.
But many a time, I decline collaborations due to the expectation that creators work without spending a dime. And that doesn’t make much of a partnership now does it?
Which brings me to my next level as to why I don’t do much when it comes to the sponsored content thing….
2. I Don’t work without spending a dime*
*Nicely, let’s simply say, that’s true more often than not. Let’s be trustworthy: we’ve all completed some pro bono work right here & there.
It will possibly happen when I love a product I’ve both bought myself or been gifted. If it deserves rave evaluations & matches into the content I’m actively creating, I’m probably going to speak about it.
If something is obtainable to me that I was available on the market for already, or if an unimaginable once-in-a-lifetime experience comes my approach? I might say sure. Particularly if I have the time to dedicate to it.
Nevertheless, usually speaking, I don’t create content totally free or negotiate on my already aggressive pricing. Particularly not when it’s something that’s demanded of me. Entitlement is just not engaging.
Content creation takes time & cash, individuals. But, most of those who get in contact with a blogger for their very own or shopper’s advertising functions, don’t appear to know that.
And this is not a small-Instagram-account-with-a-decent-engagement drawback. No creator is immune.
I personally know a slew of Instagrammers, each massive & small where free work is just not solely asked of them, but expected.
Doesn’t help that many beginner Insta accounts are very happy to fund a “collab” on a discounted item. That’s an entire other story for an additional publish, although, ha.
My “favorite” ask proper now’s free work in trade for a “test” submit. You already know, to see if the return on no investment is value it for the company. Sorry, but no.
Plenty of assets are available to PRs & brands to be able to determine collaboration potential. This consists of software that can spell out actual attain, engagement price, audience authenticity and so forth. It’s NOT on you to be a brand’s guinea pig.
And keep in mind that Instagram isn’t the be-all-end-all of social media advertising, either. I might not have 100Okay Instagram followers, however until just lately, was clocking in 85Okay uniques & 100Okay month-to-month pageviews on, yes, this very weblog.
Even so, many manufacturers anticipate me to check out, photograph, edit, assessment & give them full use of my pictures, without spending a dime. No social platform is resistant to this!
So when 1/10 manufacturers need you to work totally free/principally at no cost but 99% of the time one doesn’t work at no cost, then, yeah. I probably gained’t be posting much sponsored content material with these numbers!
three. Contracts That Make Me go Hmmm…
Oddly sufficient, nearly all of my most successful partnerships concerned a couple of quick emails & a blissful working relationship. You bought it: No. Contract. Or at most, a simply worded 1-2 page doc listing expectations on each side.
90% of the contracts that have come my means in the final couple of years have been tens of pages in size, poorly worded & have on no account, been within the artistic’s favor.
When I give a potential shopper my fee, that is the charge calculated for what my work + viewers is value. And it is my minimum. I am VERY clear to that reality.
Brief timelines, additional pictures, exclusivity or use of my photographs outdoors of a repost, is just like guacamole: it’s additional.
Yet, even after an agreement has been set in place, I’ll obtain a contract that includes a number of the following nuggets:
- in depth exclusivity clauses not allowing me to say any unspecified “competitor” for weeks at a time
- rights to sell, reproduce, alter & distribute my photographs AND likeness to any third celebration. Forevah. For FREEEE
- all hyperlinks have to be dofollow hyperlinks (complete no-no in search engine land!)
So I proceed to tell the offending corporations what I can supply them at the fee that was initially provided & agreed to. That always includes me sending back contracts with fairly the quantity of strikethroughs.
What happens? Properly, it relies upon. The model typically declines to pay more, but still requests the added work. I typically get ghosted. Or the brand delays response time, then uses timing itself as an excuse to tug out of the collaboration.
Nevertheless, pushbacks on my part don’t essentially translate into a lost partnership. However typically they do. And that’s ok. Belief me, there isn’t a better feeling than figuring out your shit & more importantly, understanding your value!
I am very happy to strictly work with those that worth me. There isn’t any higher collaboration than one that’s based on mutual understanding & respect. And the thrill of working collectively!
Sadly, many creators signal contracts and not using a second although, unknowingly giving up rights to their work, their picture & efforts. Or knowingly achieve this because they really feel like they haven’t any selection. And I really feel you, as a result of I’ve been there.
The sheer volume of latest accounts & blogs popping up on the every day, breeds that many extra inexperienced creators which might be the right pawn for unpaid or sneaky model initiatives.
4. Dodgy Post-Collaboration Conduct
That is the point that saddens me probably the most. Think about you’ve gone by way of the motions of pricing, doing the work, posting it & invoicing the brand. And also you’re glowing at the outcomes.
And guess what? Your issues are simply beginning. You start receiving more requests, for yet one more IG story, or to add a couple of more links to your publish. Or to make stated links “follow” links (insert eyeroll right here).
Or a brand new player on the town: brands wanting the artistic to reshoot your complete marketing campaign, even when the collab goals have been adopted to a T. This hasn’t occurred to me, but I’m shocked to listen to what number of occasions it has to others.
Or worse: them deciding, even after opting out of purchasing an prolonged licensing payment, that they may go ahead & use your photograph in all places afterwards. Please be aware that simply because you create pictures with a brand’s products, does NOT entitle them to make use of, share & or submit them as they fancy.
Thing is, these request typically come after you’ve accomplished the work & earlier than you’ve gotten paid. This enables the shopper to robust arm the artistic into accepting their requests at the danger of getting spent the time doing the work & operating the danger of not getting paid.
Aaaand, probably the most outstanding drawback in the entrepreneurial world: not getting paid. There’s nothing extra life-sucking on this biz than chasing down a cost.
Luckily, a quick letter from a lawyer will do the trick, but until the paycheck is value it or you’ve got lawyer relations/buddies, the time & value is probably not well worth the payout. Nevertheless, there’s rather a lot to be stated about standing up in your rights vs. standing together with your tail between your legs.
Whether ignorant mistakes or not, it’s never fun to complete a venture — or a minimum of assume you could have — after which find yourself in an uncomfortable, typically dead-end state of affairs. Let’s not overlook the toll it may take from one’s mental health.
I would have a barely totally different perspective on all the above if I have been signing on minimal 10-20Okay campaigns, but I’m not. The emotional value & time dedication to cope with a few of this post-collab behaviour is usually a deterrent for me to signal on any new work with new shoppers.
5. I Not often Pitch Brands Anymore
Most creators don’t pitch & typically watch for brands to return to them. Some are in a privileged place of receiving so many paid partnership requests that they will afford to not.
The key of getting probably the most work from corporations — even in the event you don’t have a large following — is to strategy them first. And yes, you will get paid.
Pitching vs being pitched does not prohibit you to work on a gifted basis! Take into consideration how many emails you receive from net developers, entrepreneurs & search engine optimization specialists. Are any of them offering up their providers at no cost?
In fact, pitching might not land you a marketing campaign, however on the very least it’s going to get you onto a PR/model’s radar.
However the time it takes looking for PR contact emails, pitching, following up, emailing again & forth for a slim hope that a paid collab might surface, just isn’t value it for me & how I prioritize my enterprise.
Which brings me to probably the most outstanding cause as to why I partake in few collabs. And it’s probably the most logical!
6. My Business Isn’t Founded on Sponsored Posts
I know, it will possibly appear a bit surprising at first, however model collaborations don’t presently issue into my ShoeTease business plan.
However don’t get me mistaken, as much because it sucks my soul to cope with the above, I love working on ongoing collabs and/or with corporations that really worth my time & work. It may be one heck of a terrific wild journey too!
Nevertheless, my present private state of affairs doesn’t permit me much time to dedicate to working on professional objectives. Which is shitty, but it is what it is.
So I’ve had to apply the 80-20 rule & dedicate my time primarily to what provides me probably the most return on funding. Principally financial, but in addition from an emotional perspective. And that’s selling my own product — Pombons shoe clips in case you’re curious ? — growing & sustaining my blog, growing my affiliate gross sales/ad income & helping others do the same.
It took a whole lot of onerous work to develop my website into what it’s in the present day. However it has benefited me with a strong passive part-time revenue, which in turn allows me to pursue new ventures & proceed topping up my present weblog with search engine marketing wealthy posts as I see match.
The liberty of not being sure to manufacturers or the Instagram algorithm for revenue (which is a lot more fickle than Google’s), is priceless. As is the privilege of selecting whom I work with & in what capability. And I can’t wait to launch my web optimization course for bloggers so that they too, can take pleasure in this similar freedom!
I’m unsure what course the business will take, or what part I will play in it, but I’m completely happy the place I’ve landed.
And as far as model collabs go, I’m doubtless not going to rule them out 100% quite but. However the biggest present of all is having the selection.