collaborations in exchange for free products does not make you a sell out

collaborations in exchange for free products does not make you a sell out

It takes a lot to share posts like these, collabs can be a tricky thing.  And as I’m sure you already know, opinions on the internet can get pretty feisty. So, if you disagree, just do us both a fave and play nice or turn the other cheek!

I’m sure you’re all aware of the campaign I’ve been doing for a certain accessory brand.  If not, check out my Insta and be sure to follow along.  A lot of fuss has been happening over this brand.  So much to the point influencers are deeming those who are taking collabs with this brand, “sell out’s”.

Here’s the back story.  This certain brand rarely budges when talking money.  They hold fast to gifting merchandise in exchange for posting on Instagram.  Apparently they have no budget for influencers and yet you see Kendall Jenner of The Kardashians sporting this brand on her Insta and you know she’s getting paid for it!  Yeah, I get it!  They can pay Kendall all the big bucks while only allotting the free stuff to the influencers, making them work hard for that free item.  Facebook groups were blowing up and everyone was trippin’, including me.

I had just accepted a collab with this brand before all the cray broke out.  In the midst of all the Facebook group thread explosions influencers were having regarding this brand, a shipping notification came through to my email and I immediately felt remorse for accepting the collaboration.  Not only did I feel remorse, but I felt like a sell out.  A sell out who didn’t care about her brand or had any integrity, according to one influencer.  Of course, the following statement was not for me.  But just a general opinion of someone who wouldn’t take a collaboration with this particular brand.  I had spent way to much time reading all the Facebook threads, leading me to feel the way I did!  It’s so easy to get caught up in that junk if you’re not careful.

After my item arrived and I had to post four seriously easy photos to Insta, I just let the stress go.  I like my item!  It gave me an opportunity to get creative with posting to Insta and share a discount code with my friends, family and followers.  I’m not a sell out.  Not to mention, if I absolutely despised the item after getting it, I would have sent it back.  I literally wear it everyday.

So, you wanna know why I don’t think you’re a sell out, right?  It’s because everyone’s situation is different.  I work from home, raise my two kids three and under and I like sharing products I believe my followers will like.  I have allotted time to share collabs in exchange for free products and plus, I like blogging.  Short and sweet, my point is you do you!  You’re not a sell out for sharing an item you love from a brand who only does collabs in exchange for merchandise.  Who cares what anyone else thinks?  If you only take ceratin collabs because you’re excited about the opportunity, do it!  But you better do it!  My definition of a sell out is someone who doesn’t support the brand nor follow through with the collab agreement.  After all, the brand is the one you should be supporting, not your personal agenda.

Taking collabs in exchange for free product, I think, help with the following:

  1. It gets you comfortable working with different brands and deliverables on your end.
  2. It helps you define whether or not your blog is a business or just a hobby.
  3. It allows you content to create when first starting out and building up your following.
  4. It builds up your contact list. Meaning once you’ve become established you can then look over past collabs, reach out to your contact for that brand and pitch with the intent of getting paid. That’s why following through on any brand agreement is so important.
  5. It allows for you to find your own authentic voice and define your brand. At some point in your blogging; vlogging, youtubing venture.  There will be brands reaching out that just won’t align with you.  You might take these collabs and you might not.  But either way, you’re forming your brands identity and voice with the collabs  you do and do not take.

Now, I know what some a lot of you are thinking.  This particular brand I’ve been discussing, actually pays some influencers but not others.  I can see the frustration in that, but I’m not sure this will ever change. Believe me, I want it to!  So, force yourself to change your mindset.  Instead of getting upset that you’re not getting paid, make a decision.  Try striking a deal and if that doesn’t work, decide to support the brand on their terms or just walk away.  Sometimes you can support the brand in exchange for free product and they provide wiggle room and will accept whatever deliverables you can offer on your terms.

So,  don’t stress yourself out worrying about what other influencers think.  You do you, girl!  Stay authentic to your community.  Your community is different from anyone else’s community because of you and you alone!  Staying authentic to your true self will never deem you a sell out, at least not in my book! And if you find someone who thinks otherwise, send them my way – they just might need to be loved on, a pat on the back!

Well, babes!  Go put your blinders on and conquer the world one collab at a time!  I do hope that it’s paid, but if it’s not…you’re not a sell out!

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XO – Savvy



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7 thoughts on “Collaborations In Exchange For Free Product Does Not Make You A Sell Out

  • Sara Strand

    I review books and get them for free in exchange for review. That’s not selling out, it’s my job.

    • Yeah, that’s the point I’m making for those that have experienced an issue such as this. More prevelant in the fashion world rather than book review world. Thanks for reading.

  • shootingstarsmag

    I don’t see any problem with accepting only a free product for working with a brand. If you want do it, then do it. Not all brands will pay influences – or they will only pay the top ones and it can suck, but it’s how things work. It either works for you or it doesn’t, and that’s totally up to the individual blogger. Not a sell out in my point of view.

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

  • Neely

    Girl I accept free product if it is something I would buy anyway. FOr example we got new furniture for our guest room in exchange for a post. we needed it!

  • Mother Daughter

    So far no one has offered us anything that I would want but if they do we will take it. We figure we need to start somewhere.

  • Nikki Vergakes

    You go girl!

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