Everyone loves getting free stuff right?! Well, when it comes to being an Instagram Influencer, free product offers are a normal part of the day-to-day. But, should we be accepting every free product offer? Learn when & why you should actually be saying no to brands & why | Learn more at ElleyMae.com | #instagraminfluencer #freeproducts #workwithbrands

If there is one thing I wish I knew when I first started my career as an Instagram influencer, it’s this..

You should never feel pressured to post about a free product, let alone say yes to a free product offer in the first place.

Now, you may have seen my previous blog post where I shared when & why you should say no to brands. If you haven’t, go read that post first & then come back here. It’ll read much easier, trust me.

In that post, I highlighted the importance of knowing your worth & knowing when it’s the right time to dig your heels in the sand & say “thanks, but no thanks”.

You see, as influencers, we are often swamped with emails & Instagram DM’s with all kinds of offers from brands and companies wanting to market their products and services.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great.

Actually, it’s freakin’ awesome!

In fact, without free products, influencers wouldn’t be able to generate half the content that they do, simply because they wouldn’t be able to afford to keep up with the trends.

But, there comes a time when, as I explained in this post, integrity is lost & influencers are saying yes to every free product offer, whether it appeals to them or not.

 

Everyone loves getting free stuff right?! Well, when it comes to being an Instagram Influencer, free product offers are a normal part of the day-to-day. But, should we be accepting every free product offer? Learn when & why you should actually be saying no to brands & why | Learn more at ElleyMae.com | #instagraminfluencer #freeproducts #workwithbrands

 

And, when we’re saying yes, yes, yes to FREE “collaborations”, what’s going to happen when we’re offered PAID collaborations?!

Hint: there’s not going to be as many of them!

 

When you show brands that you are willing to take a product for free, research it for free, photograph & edit it for free and then post about it to your entire social media following for free, you’re showing them that you don’t value your work*.

*As much as what you should do

Now, you may be thinking “but Elley, I only have 4k followers, I have to work with brands for free. They’re not going to pay me until I have at least 10k followers, minimum”.

EEEERHHHH.

WRONG.

 

Wanna be let in on a little secret of mine?

I was making over $100 per sponsored post before hitting 10k followers on Instagram.

And, wanna be let in on another little secret of mine?

Around half of those paid collaborations came from free product offers.

 

Everyone loves getting free stuff right?! Well, when it comes to being an Instagram Influencer, free product offers are a normal part of the day-to-day. But, should we be accepting every free product offer? Learn when & why you should actually be saying no to brands & why | Learn more at ElleyMae.com | #instagraminfluencer #freeproducts #workwithbrands

 

That’s right. Instead of caving in & saying yes to every free product offer I was sent, I showed every brand that reached out to me that I valued my work.

Sure, some said no. But guess what, the rest said yes.

 

And, like I explained in that post you just read, you’re far better off to work with brands who value your work, respect your work & appreciate your work, than those who just want some free publicity.

 

So, with all this in mind, how can you actually know when to say yes to a free product offer & when to say no?

Well girl, it’s all about trusting your instincts.

If something feels off, a little fishy or making you uneasy, then trust those feelings. Thank the brand for their offer, kindly decline & move on with your day.

Actually, to make things even simpler here’s something that can help.

Convert non-paying brands to paying ones

Thanks but no thanks decline email examples say no to brands

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With this swipe file, you’ll not only learn exactly how I say no to brands but converted tonnes of non-paying brands to paying ones.

Mhmm, you heard me.

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Okay, back on track. Where were we?

Ahh yes…

 

Knowing when to say yes (& when to say no) to free product offers

Whilst majority of the work is done by your intuition, there’ll come a time when you just can’t decide whether or not to say yes.

Let me help.

 

If a brand is offering you a free product in exchange for any of these things:

  • A discount code for their website (usually around the 5-10% mark)
  • Free shipping on their website
  • An affiliate code for their website (usually around the 5-10% mark)
  • “Exposure” on their Instagram account with “XX followers”

Then you need to think about your time, your tools, your trade & your talent.

 

⏰ Time: How long is it going to take me to receive the product, trial it on myself, see if I like it, write a review, take photos of it, create my content & then publish it?

🛠 Tools: What tools am I going to need to use in order to try & review this free product? (Ie photography equipment, props etc)

📓 Trade: What skills are required to complete the job? Do I need to photograph the product or search for stock imagery? Maybe I’ll need to research the brand’s history…

💁🏼‍♀️ Talent: Am I an expert in this field? Do people look up to me in this area for advice & value my feedback and opinions?

 

When you take into account these four things, you’ll then know if putting all of that effort into something for free is really worth it.

And, if you run through all of these questions & find yourself saying “yes”, then go right ahead girl, accept that free product offer & go for your life!

 

As I mentioned earlier – without these free products from brands, influencer’s just couldn’t pump out the amount of content they do (without breaking the bank, that is).

It’s about knowing which free product offers to say yes to & which to politely decline.

 

Think about this…

You’re a fashion influencer, devoted to helping late teenagers find their style & change how they feel when they wear clothes. You receive a free product offer for a wicked new smoothie shaker (+ 10 x sachets to get you started).

Do you say yes?

Well, it all comes down to you.

When you accept an offer like this that probably definitely should have been sent to a health/fitness influencer, you’re doing a few things.

You’re not only showing your audience that you will take up any old offer just for the sake of a free product, but you’re actually taking away the opportunity for one of those health/fitness influencers to try that product.

Why?

All because you decided you’d love a new smoothie shaker that will end up sitting in the back of the cupboard gathering dust 😅

 

Not sure how to say no? Grab my free swipe file already!

Convert non-paying brands to paying ones

Thanks but no thanks decline email examples say no to brands

Grab your free swipe file now to use *real life* examples of emails I've sent to brands, converting them from non-paying to well-paying collaborations.

No spam. Pinky promise xo Powered by ConvertKit

 

So, to summarise #allthethings, I’ll leave you with this my friend..

The next time that you’re sent a free product offer, I want you to ask yourself these two simple questions:

  • Is this free product worth it, taking into account my time, tools, trade & talent?

and

  • Do I really have an interest in this product/does it apply to me? Am I taking away the opportunity from an influencer who has a true interest in this product?

 

And remember, if something feels off, trust your intuition. You are the only one who knows you best.

Trust yourself.

Elley Mae - Social Media & Blogging Mentor

Loved this post? Pay it forward & pin the graphic below! 👇🏼

Everyone loves getting free stuff right?! Well, when it comes to being an Instagram Influencer, free product offers are a normal part of the day-to-day. But, should we be accepting every free product offer? Learn when & why you should actually be saying no to brands & why | Learn more at ElleyMae.com | #instagraminfluencer #freeproducts #workwithbrands

Everyone loves getting free stuff right?! Well, when it comes to being an Instagram Influencer, free product offers are a normal part of the day-to-day. But, should we be accepting every free product offer? Learn when & why you should actually be saying no to brands & why | Learn more at ElleyMae.com | #instagraminfluencer #freeproducts #workwithbrands Everyone loves getting free stuff right?! Well, when it comes to being an Instagram Influencer, free product offers are a normal part of the day-to-day. But, should we be accepting every free product offer? Learn when & why you should actually be saying no to brands & why | Learn more at ElleyMae.com | #instagraminfluencer #freeproducts #workwithbrands