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.
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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