Things I’m Tired of Hearing From Brands About Influencer Marketing and Bloggers

Last Modified: February 3, 2017 at 3:39 pm by Tianna | Leave a comment

7 Things I'm Tired of Hearing From Brands About Influencer Marketing and Bloggers

Things I’m Tired of Hearing From Brands About Influencer Marketing and Bloggers

So, I’m back again with another post about blogging today and it’s a bit of a rant.

This post is all about the things I’m personally tired of hearing from brands about influencer marketing. I want to preface this post by saying that I LOVE working with most brands. Most brands are amazing and I’m so grateful to be able to work with some truly amazing ones. Almost all brands understand they must compensate bloggers fairly for their work. This post is NOT for those brands.

It’s a post for all of the brands that sent me an email asking me to promote their products and then responded with hilarious and/or infuriating responses. If I had a dollar for every time I got one of these emails, I would be a literal billionaire by now. So, yeah, I hope you enjoy. If you’re a brand owner, I hope that this is enlightening as to how words and mindsets affect us bloggers. Perhaps it can improve your relationship with bloggers, change your perspective, and help you understand blogger viewpoints.

“Paying you would be inauthentic.”

I’m sorry, what? This hilarious conundrum of bloggers working with brands, what is commonly referred to as influencer marketing, is that brands frequently feel entitled to free promotion. All kinds of excuses are made for the “why” they can’t pay you. It’s not in the budget. They don’t “usually” pay the bloggers they work with. And my personal favorite: paying you would be inauthentic. I’m sorry, what? I really wonder how this would go down if I tried to email them about purchasing their products and then said “paying you would be inauthentic.”

“We don’t usually pay bloggers.”

Okay, I mean, I get it, but I just hope that you would take one second to think about how it sounds. Actually, no, the lovely and inspiring Erica over at Coming Up Roses blog put it ingeniously by saying “I equate this to me walking into Nordstrom, picking up a Gucci bag, and waltzing over to the store associate saying, “Hi there. I really love this bag, and I want to have it. I cannot afford it. Can I have it anyways?” or, “You should let me have this for half the price, because I don’t have enough money for it.” I don’t think I can say it better than that. There are many reasons why bloggers shouldn’t work for free, but the main 2 reasons are that it devalues your work and it devalues the work of other bloggers.

“We don’t have a budget for this campaign.”

It’s not the fact that said PR or brand doesn’t have a budget for the campaign, it’s the fact that they send me an email with a laundry list of demands and THEN they tell me they don’t have a budget. It’s the equivalent to asking someone to remodel every single room in your home and then asking them to do it for free. Please tell me in what profession that would pass? In what occupation would the employee or employer be willing to do free work? Just because you have no budget in place for marketing doesn’t mean it’s okay to do this. Quite frankly, it’s unethical.

“We would love for you to write about our brand and spring trends by X date for no money. Our favorites might be shared on our social media channel.”

This as more a continuation of my previous 2, but in a different vein. These brands and PR’s are not only demanding, but they have a set deadline for your work even though they’re not willing to pay you. They like to disguise that fact by cleverly offering social media shares (maybe) and you can join their affiliate program. Well, goody! If only that could pay the bills. Mind you, these are the same people who email you week after week asking if you’ve done the work and/or/if/when you are going to. Excuse me while I delete and block your email…

Please post our infographic “for your readers.”

No. thank you; I don’t think I will. Especially since your infographic has literally nothing to do with my blog content. Does more need to be said on this?

“Please share our sale.”

If I have an established relationship with a brand or shop, I don’t mind giving their events or sales a shout out on twitter or facebook. I really don’t, BUT if I have no idea who you are or we’ve never worked together, where do you get off? I mean that honestly. It’s just rude. It’s like walking into someone’s home without knocking and then asking if you can set up a banner for a party at your own home. I just think it’s so ironic when brands say bloggers are entitled, that we just want “free stuff,” and that we’re taking advantage of them.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: affiliate programs and products are NOT compensation!

It’s not possible to pay my bills in face cream, sadly, and affiliate programs are not a form of compensation for work. They just aren’t. They are commission payment for referring people to a product or site and that is all. Free products are never free; they always come with strings unless said brand sends them to you as a “gift.” If they are attached to a campaign or sponsored post, that’s not free. Bloggers pay taxes on it. 

If you want more help, I did another post offering tips for media and PR when working with bloggers and I have an entire category on blogging for bloggers who need help; I’ve got your back!

What Are You Tired of Hearing from Brands and PR About Influencer Marketing and Bloggers? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! 

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14 thoughts on “Things I’m Tired of Hearing From Brands About Influencer Marketing and Bloggers

  1. February 7, 2017 at 11:22 AM

    This is a topic that I have written about and spoken about on my Podcast. I love the brands that get it and shy away from the ones that don’t – great post.

    1. February 7, 2017 at 12:26 PM

      Thanks so much Antionette – I’m glad you understand my thoughts on this! I definitely shy away from the ones that don’t understand and work with the ones that do 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I’ll have to check out your podcast!

  2. February 7, 2017 at 5:46 PM

    Amen to that! I’ve gotten some absolutely maddening emails before and I’m just dumbfounded! I HATE the inauthentic excuse. Like hello you aren’t buying my opinion! You’re paying me to do a job and that’s it. Glad the blogging community is coming together on this!

    1. February 10, 2017 at 8:54 AM

      haha thanks for sharing your thoughts, Katie! Yes, it can be infuriating, but I try to detach myself these days otherwise it’s just exhausting to deal with. I have premade response emails just so I don’t have to think about it too much and I can move on. It helps a lot. I totally agree with you though. I hope brands start coming around to fair compensation. Thanks for stopping by! xx

  3. February 8, 2017 at 9:44 AM

    Great read. I haven’t done enough partnerships to experience some of these, but the inauthentic comment would really piss me off! Keep the blogging posts coming!
    -Kristin
    countdowntofridayblog.com

    1. February 10, 2017 at 9:19 AM

      thanks for sharing your experience, Kristin! The inauthentic comment just baffles me, but yeah it’s annoying. Glad you like my blogging posts 🙂

  4. Tereza
    February 8, 2017 at 11:19 AM

    Amen to all of this. I can’t even handle some of the stupidities they come up with but you’ve caught pretty much all of them here. In fact I have a similar post scheduled for Saturday haha! I feel like everyone’s getting very frustrated with these agencies right now! x

    1. February 10, 2017 at 9:21 AM

      too true. Hilarious we’re all talking about our struggles with brands. Glad I’m not alone in this! I’ll have to check out your post too1 xx

  5. February 9, 2017 at 11:53 AM

    Ok, I feel really dumb because I honestly never thought to charge for reviews. I didn’t know I could! I really believed that the product they were sending me WAS my compensation! I don’t even know what I would tell them I charge – is there a formula you use for review pricing? What is the best way to approach this? I feel like this would be another good blog post for dummies like me! lol
    Sabrina Zimmerman recently posted…Get Your Sweat On With Pommello Sweats!My Profile

    1. February 10, 2017 at 9:26 AM

      haha don’t feel dumb! I never charge for reviews; I don’t want to confuse people. I DO charge for featuring brands within a lifestyle context (like sharing brands within a post about skin or makeup trends or a DIY post). I try to avoid working with brands I don’t already know and love because I am not in the business of lying to people or skewing my reviews with a bias, if that makes sense. But anyway! Yes, you should definitely be charging, though don’t be surprised if some of the brands you’ve previously worked with get annoyed that you are charging now because many get super indignant about it. There are many formulas out there. I got my pricing from a publisher network I was previously a part of that helped me calculate my pricing based on social following, subscribers, etc. Haha okay well I’ll try to do a post on how/what to charge brands if you like! Might take me awhile to put that together, but I’ll put it on my list xx

  6. February 11, 2017 at 8:31 AM

    This is such a great read! It’s amazing some of the things these brands request and how they think it’s acceptable!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

    1. February 14, 2017 at 12:34 PM

      thanks Jill! I’m glad you think so. It is insane some of the things brands think they are entitled to, but don’t want to reciprocate. I just hope they can come around and we can work in harmony in the future 🙂 thanks for sharing your thoughts! xx

  7. March 1, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Oh, I can relate to so much of this! Of course, we all want to be- and should be paid. I really do think it will end up that way in years to come. A really interesting and honest post (it’s what a lot of us are thinking) I have said before that all bloggers need to make a stand and stand together on this. That’s the only way it will get sorted.
    thank you so much for linking up with Celebrating Style. I hope you come back x
    http://www.vanityandmestyle.com

    1. March 7, 2017 at 8:22 AM

      Absolutely and I hope that over times, these posts can help make lasting change in perspectives 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Laurie! xx

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