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Today I'm sharing a little bit of an insight for influencers or those looking to get into this world. It should go without saying, but obviously the photo is to have a pretty image to spruce up my post - none of these brands have ever sponsored me or wronged me in any way! So, shall we jump into 5 sponsorship scenarios that should set off alarm bells...?
This has happened to me a few times - usually when I'm working with an agency under strict instructions and have no contact directly with the big-name brand in question - and whilst I appreciate they can't just throw product around that's allocated to a specific marketing campaign, surely a bit of common sense should apply? One one occasion I was approached to do a sponsorship for a fragrance which was yet to launch and, whilst I liked the brand in question and the notes sounded nice; I just wasn't willing to agree to do the sponsorship having not smelled the scent in question! There was no way of me popping to the shop to try it and they wouldn't give me a sachet sample, so I just had to turn it down. The only exception really would be if the concept of the post was trying something for the first time, which isn't that common when it comes to beauty products for obvious reasons.
- 'I KNOW IT'S SKINCARE, BUT WE NEED YOU TO POST THIS WITHIN A WEEK' -Quite often I've had turned down opportunities with brands I really love just because the timescales are too tight. At the end of the day; unless it's a product I already know and love, I just don't think it's possible for me personally to go through the process of receiving the item, testing it out, producing the content, having the brand agree it, making any changes and so on within a week or two. Particularly with something like skincare, I personally like to have used a product for a good few weeks before returning a verdict, so it's frustrating that just because money is involved, certain brands expect this all to magically happen 5x faster! What's more frustrating is that many creators will just do it and post the product they've used once gushing about how great it is, so without our collective push-back, brands will keep making these demands.
- 'WE NEED THE POST TO INCLUDE EVERYTHING IN OUR SUMMARY' *SENDS OVER AN A4 SHEET OF ESSENTIAL POINTS* -At the end of the day; for me, the difference between an advert on a website and a sponsored collaboration with a creator is that the former is the brand's exact message in their words and the latter is using the creator's personal visual style and voice to share the message in a way that feels more authentic. If you just want your own phrases parroted back or want to dictate to a creator to take photos in a way that's not in keeping with their personal style; I don't know why you wouldn't just save yourself the bother and buy some ad space! Well, I guess I do, because influencer content probably gets a lot more engagement... However, I really think that if you're asking for a certain type of photo that looks nothing like anything the influencer would naturally post, you're kind of shooting yourself in the foot because it won't look authentic to their following. Just choose people making the sort of content you want the images to be in the style of in the first place and trust them to create the sponsorship in a way that will bring the engagement you chose them for. It's so important to let creators share the brand message message in a way that suits their personal tone of voice, instead of turning it into an infomercial! (Which will look even more phony when the exact same wording is used by three other influencers that week...)
- 'WE WILL SPONSOR YOU IF YOU ONLY SHARE POSITIVE MESSAGES' -This is a really frustrating one because, no matter how amazing the product is; there'll be someone out there who it doesn't work for and it feels inauthentic not to mention that in a review if you usually would. Also, the brand should have confidence in their product enough to allow the creator to share their full and honest experiences on it without trying to control that message in every single way.
- 'OUR BUDGET IS £50 AND WE'LL NEED THIS LIST OF REQUIREMENTS ACROSS ALL YOUR PLATFORMS' -This is one that really annoys me because it devalues the time and work put in by creators. It's fine to be working with a smaller budget, but look to approach smaller creators and ask for one thing as opposed to 10! It's just unrealistic to expect someone with a large following to create reams of material across different platforms, spending their time and money to make the content for a pittance. Again, it's one of those things where if people didn't do it, brands would stop demanding it, but clearly some people are going for it!
Do you accept sponsorships? What are your biggest no-nos?