If you’ve ever been offered a free product, discount code, free shipping, affiliate link or all of the above in exchange for posts on your blog or social media, then there is one thing you should know…
It’s okay to say no to brands like these.
Nowadays, I too often see bloggers & social media influencers taking up any and every opportunity brands throw at them all because it’s “so exciting” and they can’t believe “they chose me!”.
Without being a total negative nancy here, today I’m coming at you with some hardcore home truths babe.
Not every brand that reaches out to you wants to work with you.
They’re looking for someone, anyone, in fact, to give them free advertising in exchange for a measly offer.
For example, they might “give you 10% off & free shipping in exchange for an Instagram post!”. Or who knows, they might be super generous & send you a free $5 sheet mask for you to promote on your food blog (huh?!) in 3 x blog posts.
Now, you may read these examples & think I’m absolutely crazy or just making it all up.
But I’ll tell you here & now honey, I ain’t. I mean, have you heard what other crazy things bloggers get asked on the daily?!
Anywho, I’ll tell you here & now, I’ve seen emails like this come flooding in my inbox, offering me some “wicked deal” that I “can’t pass up” where one thing is clear – the only party benefiting from the so-called “collaboration” is the brand.
In fact, let’s take a look at some of the real-life examples of emails I’ve been sent from brands in the past. Let me show you why you too should say no to brands like these.
Example #1 – I’m apparently a YouTuber now!
Here’s what’s sooo wrong with this email:
- I’m not a YouTuber, I have no channel. Yet they supposedly had A) Seen my videos & B) Subscribed to my channel. Hmmm.. Something is telling me that they have no idea who I am or what I do.
- Their target audience is mothers with young infants. My target audience was 18-24-year-old makeup collectors. If they had known that (or that I wasn’t a YouTuber), they wouldn’t have wasted their time [or mine] emailing me.
- The email is all over the place & unprofessionally put together. Nothing makes sense & the fonts are all off. A quick copy-and-paste job.
A perfect example of why it’s okay to say no to brands.
Example #2 – $45 worth of product that doesn’t appeal to my audience?
What a doozy. Here’s a few things wrong about this email:
- The brand straight up asks if I want to do something for them. There is no mention of them knowing who I am, appreciating what I do or any kind of personal connection here.
- They’ve offered me 3 x months worth of their product to sound like more than what it is. At this stage, I was charging a minimum of $200AUD for a blog post on ElleyMae.com. That’s $155 more than what their razors were even worth. Hmmm…
- Nothing about this email talks about what I will benefit from the collaboration. It’s all about the brand. For example, here’s our product, will you promote us, we’ll give you our product in exchange for a post, here’s some info on our product. Never once is there a mention of them seeing my blog as a good fit. The only thing personal about this email is that they’ve changed the first name to say “Elley” from their copy-and-paste template.
Another example of why it’s more than okay to say no to brands who simply see you as a number.
It’s disappointing, isn’t it?
And lucky last..
Example #3 – A discount code & a “chance” to be featured on their Instagram…
A few things I’m not a fan of:
- The whole “hi doll” introduction & no mention of my name. There isn’t anything personalised about this email.
- In order for me to work with this brand, they’re asking me to spend money. So instead of me working for them, I’m actually just another customer. Where’s the logic? Plus, when I visited their website, they were already offering 30% off to new customers… So I’m literally gaining nothing.
- Oh & then, I will make 5%, FIVE PERCENT, commission off their $15 lashes every time someone purchases through my links. If you’re terrible at maths, to give you an idea of how much you’ll make.. That’s a whopping 75 cents people!
So now you see babe, it’s actually more than okay to say no to brands.
Now, of course, I’m not talking about turning down every offer you ever receive. But, if a brands offer does one of the following things, give them a simple “no thank you” and throw it in the archives –
- The offer is soooo not appealing to your followers. It has nothing to do with what you blog or post about, it’s just not the right fit.
- You don’t see any kind of personalisation in the offer. They haven’t addressed you, your blog or made basically anything in the email about you. You’re *sadly* just another victim of the CTRL+C > CTRL+V phenomenon.
So, keeping these two things in mind, it’s time for me to let you in on a few of my secrets.
Today, I’m going to teach you how to combat brands who don’t want you for you & how to tell those brands that hey, I’m not just another number in your email list, I’m a businesswoman & I’m worth far more than what you’re offering!
But, before we go ahead, I want to reiterate that not all brands are like this.
Not all brands will want to take advantage of your following, your social status & your audience.
There are so many incredible brands out there that would be dying to work with you, they just need to see you first!
I’ll show you how to write those brands ripping cold emails to land sponsorships after this post, okay? Then you’ll get to see just how amazing some brands can be! Just Ctrl + Click right here & I’ll teach you how to nail those emails shortly, pinky swear.
Know Your Worth
Now, first things first. If you’re ready to position yourself as a professional & an influential babe in your niche, then you’ve gotta know your worth.
It wasn’t until I realised how much more time I spent creating content for brands for free than I did creating posts for me that I started to know my worth. I realised that instead of working on free promotions 24/7, I should be focusing on working with the brands who are *genuinely* keen on working with me.
Instead of spending all of your time making brands happy, focus on making you happy.
Your time is precious, your talent is unique & you have tools to pay for.
So girl, don’t you ever, and I mean ever, feel bad if you have to say no to brands. Especially when your worth is flushed down the drain.
However, knowing your worth is about more than making money, it’s about your happiness & your integrity. Which leads me on to my next point…
Don’t Lose Your Integrity
When you’re just starting to work with brands, it’ll be more common that you’ll take up “contra” collaborations. Contra collaborations are those where there is no monetary value exchanged between yourself & the brand, just a simple “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” kinda thing.
In saying that, I’ve seen babes just like you making money on Instagram with 3k followers! Ctrl + Click that bad boy like our killer cold emails post & we’ll get to that shortly.
But when it comes to accepting offers from brands, whether they’re paid or not, you can lose your integrity.
Straight from the Google gods..
Integrity: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”
So just because a brand is willing to give you something, that doesn’t mean you should always say yes. And I know, when a brand offers you money in exchange for a post, it’s tempting to just say yes. But like I said, keep your darn integrity woman.
We touched earlier on how some brands may reach out to you with an idea that doesn’t really appeal to your followers. You’ve just got to say no to brands like these girl.
Because not only are you wasting your time promoting the wrong kinds of products/services, but your followers will actually lose a ‘lil respect for you. And in the big bad game of blogging & Instagram, the connection with your audience is everything.
Don’t risk losing your integrity for anything. No matter how many products you’ll get sent, how much money you’ll get paid or how “irresistible” an offer sounds.
Don’t Say Yes Just Coz’
If I had a penny for every time I saw a blogger/influencer post about something just because it was free [or worse, discounted], I’d have a lot of damn pennies.
You see, these brands that are reaching out to you like my crazy-ass examples from earlier aren’t interested in you. They’re looking for anyone who will grab their bait, give them free advertising & do it for little or no cost.
The worst part is – every time you say yes to these brands, you’re doing injustice to the rest of the blogging community.
Okay okay, that sounds a little rough. I get it. Let me rephrase…
When you take up these derogatory & degrading offers from brands who couldn’t care less about who is promoting them, you’re essentially telling them that it’s totally acceptable. You’re telling them that every other blogger should be happy with paying $100 for a product to promote it because they “have a chance to be featured on their Instagram”.
Do you see where I’m coming from with this one babe?
So the next time a brand reaches out to you & offers you some kind of *fabulous deal*, remember these three things: know your worth, don’t lose your integrity & don’t say yes just coz’.
All you’ve gotta do is thank them for their email & politely decline their offer to work together. Poised & professional.
And then you can giggle it off 😉
And remember chick, you can say no to brands. It’s all up to you.
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