So I've been wanting to say this for a while but it is something I would like to say in 3 different ways, depending on whether you are a follower, a fellow blogger/IG'er, or a brand or PR person for a brand. So I thought I would put it out there and open it up to questions and then do a bigger blog post on the topic. So, here goes:
This whole blogging/"influencer" (I hate that word but it is what it is) thing is tricky. Brands get a lot of value from us, but they don't often "have a budget" to pay for that value. And many IG'ers undervalue themselves.
On another hand, lots of people follow these bloggers and find tips, products, etc from them. We share bits of our lives and give a lot of our time to writing posts, creating and photographing DIYs and recipes and sharing product sources, etc. And then, we are often criticized or judged if we get paid for that time. (I haven't experienced this much but I've seen others get a lot of negative response from sponsored content). I'm not saying everyone asks us to work for free or everyone judges us for getting paid. But both happen. I get at least 30 emails a day asking me to partner with a brand. I take time to respond (usually to a PR rep that I'm sure isn't working for free) with my rates. And then, probably 7 times out of 10, I'm told "the brand doesn't have a budget for promotions right now, but..." followed by a request to do it for free or for product. And usually that product is valued under $100. Frequently under $20. Yesterday I had a brand offer product that costs $19 "in exchange" for a post AFTER I quoted my rates. Honestly, I was insulted. And I'm frustrated.
I just feel like a lot of people feel entitled to what we as bloggers do or act like it has no value or it isn't a job. And I'm wondering why that is.
To my fellow influencers: know your value and stop working for free (or low value product). And if you follow those bloggers, please don't criticize them for trying to earn money for their time. Brands: start allocating part of your budget for micro-influencing and don't reach out if you aren't prepared to pay for our services.
Also, peonies to balance out the rant ☝🏼💖