I have a job and that is, I handle the online and pr marketing efforts of various brands. Now as a blogger who has worked with various brands from past to present, I've heard many stories about these so- called "Freebie Bloggers". I've never ever thought that there are people who will actually trade in their dignity for free stuff and event passes, until I have verified their existence.
I'm currently handling this fashion brand, and I was approached by a Beauty Vlogger and Blogger: The Vlogger (who is reportedly notorious for stalking brand managers) informally offered a Youtube feature, while the Blogger (who is reportedly an event crasher) was pretty upfront and asked for some gcs. Thank goodness for traffic measuring tools, I was able to gauge right away if my company's investment would be worth it or not.
I'd like to believe that there are two types of bloggers, at least in our country: The Famous and Infamous. The Famous ones have gone through all the necessary procedures, invested enough time, money, and effort to get to where they are, while the Infamous ones are an audacious bunch: They set up a blog, write about one or two posts, then declare themselves as "New Media" and invoke the magic word "Blogger ako!" (I'm a Blogger!), trying to shortcut the process and commanding brands to cough up event invites, loot bags, and gcs.
I do not wish to lambast Freebie Bloggers in this post, but rather I want them to use this as a reflection sheet and make them realize that there's still time to change before the grave gets deeper. So to the Freebie Bloggers out there, I have some valuable tips for you.
1. VALUE-FOR-VALUE EXCHANGE
- Companies collaborate with bloggers because not only do they want to create new networks, but they also want valuable mileage for their brand/s. Before you approach a brand and order a loot bag just like how you would order burger and fries, you have to ask yourself: Can I give justice to this brand? (whether in writing or exposure) Are my statistics and blog impressive enough to back me up? There are a lot of companies who track press releases for their brands (and your track record as well) and if they find out (through measuring tools) that you're not as good as you seem, it's time for you to start singin' London bridge is falling down, falling down...
2. ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP BEFORE APPROACHING A BRAND
- Brands are handled by people. People are people therefore, treat them as such. You know how it feels when you encounter a new person and that person instantly borrows money from you? How does that make you feel? Irritated, right? It's the same thing with brand people: If they sense that you're insincere and you just see them as huge walking loot bags and event passes, good luck on trying to erase the first impression.
3. ON APPROACHING BRANDS
- For me it's okay to approach brands if you've already accomplished Tip #1 and Tip #2. And when approaching brands for any collaboration or request, you have to make them see why you're worth saying yes to. However, approaching brands all the time makes you look desperate and-pardon my French-cheap. Don't lose your delikadesa.
Another thing, write a formal letter when approaching brands. Be professional!
4. THIS IS NOT A CHARITY
- Being invited to an event or approached by brands clearly doesn't give you the right to invite or request products for your blogger friends or even your family. I was tagged in an event invite on FB, and there were invited bloggers who kept on adding their blogger friends to the guest list which to me was quite unbecoming. Usually, blogger invites are good for one person only. Wait for brands to tell you that yes, you can bring a companion or they can give you extra products. If you really need a companion to accompany you when going home, be polite and ask if they can accommodate your guest. If they can't, then that's the end of the story. Don't attend the event. Pushing it and mouthing various reasons as to why you need a companion makes everything awkward, not to mention it makes you look bratty.
5. IF YOU'RE NOT INVITED, THEN YOU'RE NOT INVITED
- I've heard stories of freebie bloggers emailing brand managers, asking them why they're not invited to a particular event or much worse, if they could invite themselves to that event. How hard it is to understand that you're not invited? There are brands that don't invite me to their events and that's okay-that's life: Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don't.
So don't assume: If you're not invited, then you're not invited. DON'T PUSH IT!
6. WHEN POSITIVE REVIEWS MAKE YOU LOOK FAKE
- I LOVE IT: The most abused phrase in many sponsored posts. I'm not questioning your perception about any product-what I'm saying is when you do product reviews, lay out the pros and cons of the product (I'm sure there's always one!). There are bloggers who are afraid that brands won't sponsor them anymore if they mention the cons of any sponsored product that's why they highlight all the positive aspects only. Brand people are not as unforgiving as you think-in fact, almost all of them prefer honest opinions. (but civilized ones, please)
If you keep on churning out positive reviews, eventually, your viewers and readers will smell something fishy in the way you write your reviews and trust me, they'll start dropping out one by one. If you're insincere yourself, your audience will feel it.
7. SELF- ENTITLEMENT
- Self- entitlement is evil: It makes you feel that you deserve anything you want, whether you work hard for it or not. I believe that yes, you deserve all the good things in life, but guess what? You HAVE to deserve them. You have to understand that putting up a blog does not entitle you to media perks overnight-it doesn't work this way.
8. IT TAKES TIME
- Time is the natural course of life. Seeds endure seasons before they turn into trees or flowers and babies go through stages before they become adults. Laureen Uy may seem like she became an Internet star in just a short span of time, but bear in mind that she has honed her skills by being a fashion enthusiast all her life and by apprenticing to other stylists before she made a name for herself. Even if life is very fast in Cyberspace, it will still adhere to the universal principles of time. So be patient. One day, your time will come.
9. STALKING PEOPLE IS CREEPY
- And irritating, if I may add. Brand people appreciate bloggers who are open to collaborations, but if a certain brand person doesn't know you and you keep on bombarding him/her with messages, phone calls, emails, and Twitter and FB messages, you'll just drive them away. Be polite. Contact them once or twice then wait for them to respond. If they don't, then look for somebody else who is willing to collaborate with you.
10. DON'T BE RUDE
- Even if Social Media Marketing is very hot right now, there are brands who are still trying to learn the tricks of this trade. Don't take advantage of their innocence and inexperience. You wouldn't want the same thing to happen to you, right?
Being famous is great, but being famous and respected is even better. Your dignity is one of your most precious possessions so please, don't trade it for two lipsticks, free food, or an invite to a 2- hour event.
Disclaimer: All photos were sourced from Google
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Beauty. Fitness. Fashion. Food. Travel. Unicorns. World Peace. Digify Corporation.