How’s September treating you? We’re getting back into the academic life (read: skimming most of our readings and embracing senioritis) and basking in the glory that is the PSL. It’s back, folks. The dark days are over.
This month, we said we’d talk about how to turn posts into paychecks, but we want to take a step back: Why should you even be paid for your work in the first place? Why should you expect payment for sponsored content?
Because an audience is an audience.
When you’re still growing, you might not have 50 million eyes on your content in a month – maybe you’ve only got a dedicated crowd of 50 and counting. That doesn’t mean that your audience isn’t valuable. When you write sponsored content, you’re sharing your authentic experience or opinion with your readers, and because your readers trust you, the brand is getting positive exposure and building good rapport just for being featured in your post. Even if you don’t have a mass following, that’s worth something.
Because your voice matters.
As mentioned in the last point, when you write for a brand, you are crafting them a unique story that will resonate with your readers; it’s helping them spread the word about their product through someone else’s voice, which is so. much. more. valuable. Organic buzz (or even seemingly organic buzz) coming from a third party who has tried and loved a product can be even more helpful than a brand’s own marketing; it’s the same as someone *else* raving about how fabulous you are versus you raving about your own fabulousness. This value, then, is something their marketing department can’t bring to the table themselves – that’s why they asked you! You are providing them with the opportunity to speak directly to their consumer in a real, relatable way – through you – which is valuable for them and takes work on your part. You deserve to benefit.
Because free product ain’t gonna pay the bills.
We guarantee that baristas at Starbucks don’t solely get paid in free coffee (though that’s a hella sweet perk of the job). In the same way, it’s okay to expect more than free product in compensation for your work. If there’s a brand you absolutely love and you feel comfortable receiving free product in exchange for an awesome sponsored post, go for it. But know that you have every right to ask for payment if you don’t feel like free product is enough to make the opportunity worth your time. It’s okay to ask for what you’re worth!
We’ve all gotten those emails…
With autumn nearly upon us, we’re reaching out to a select group of bloggers to share their cozy fall essentials for the home. Whether it’s layering cashmere blankets in the den, adding a heavier down duvet to your bed, making soups or drinking pumpkin spice lattes in the kitchen, what are your fall essentials for keeping the home cozy?
If this is something you’re interested in, let me know ASAP and I can send over more details, including an exclusive visual guide of our team’s fall favorites at home. I look forward to the possibility of working with you. We’ll be sharing some of our favorite posts on social media — the more creative, the better!
Yes, I received this email on Wednesday.
A few things here to remember:
- When a PR professional writes a creative pitch to make their company sound amazing, that speaks to their writing abilities – not why you should be promoting them.
- If they are reaching out to you, then clearly they found you no problem – what’s them posting about you on social media going to do? You’ve never heard of them, but they’ve heard of you – do the math.
- No product OR monetary compensation mentioned? That’s literally free advertisement for them. What’s more? Writing about their product without ever interacting with it means you’re literally lying to your own trusted followers. Maintaining your own reputation and the trust amongst your readers should be your #1 priority as a blogger when it comes to working with brands.
- Marketing teams have marketing budgets. If you respond to their email asking for a budget for the campaign and they respond with, “We’re just hoping to generate some buzz about this fabulous product and don’t have funds allotted to this specific project,” – or something of the like – then that’s not your problem. Marketing teams have marketing budgets, and just as they wouldn’t expect a billboard for free…or to pay for a billboard after they see how many impressions it really brings them…you can’t be expected to offer them advertising for free.
To bring it all home, here’s an example of a quick and easy response to emails like this to have on draft:
Thank you so much for your email! I’m happy to hear you’re interested in working together. After checking out your site, I think you’re totally right – we’d make for a great collaboration!
My media kit can be found here (*insert hyperlink to media kit*) including all details of working with *insert blog name here*, with everything from previous brand collaborations I’ve completed to my rates for various marketing options. Please look it over and let me know how you’d like to proceed! I look forward to hearing back from you, and I hope you’re having a fabulous week.
Boom. The ball is back in their court, and it’s a no brainer that you expect appropriate compensation of some sort for all of the valued hard work you put into running your own business.
What’s your own personal policy on being compensated for talking about brands?
Would love to hear your own thoughts in a comment down below! Would also love to hear what’s in your mug this morning, because these are the important questions in life.
And PSSSSST…hop on over to Instagram if you’re in the mood to win a Kate Spade bag + iPad.