Whether or not you should be working for free as an influencer has a clear cut answer and I’m showing you exactly how to make sure you get paid.
IE 274: Should You be Working for Free as an Influencer
Now I am not here to belittle you and tell you that if you have worked for free, that you are hurting my bottom line and you are a horrible person.
What I need you to understand is that if you do decide to work for free, that you want to make sure that the product you are receiving is something that you would normally pay for or is worth the time that you’re putting in for the work.
Disclosure of Free Product
I also want to make sure that you are clear on the fact that you still have to disclose.
That content is sponsored, whether you are doing an Instagram post in Instagram, a reel, a blog post, etc.
Whenever you receive a free product it is considered payment.
Therefore you are still required by FTC guidelines to market it as such.
I know that you’re going to tell me, “Oh, but so-and-so always gets things for free and they’re not disclosing.”
I don’t care what anyone else does.
Like your mother would always say, if they jumped off a bridge? Would you jump off?
I don’t want you to jump off that bridge.
Make sure that you are covering yourself because if you are doing this as a business, you have a lot more to lose than someone who is just doing this for a free product.
Why Working for Free Hurts You
I want you to keep in mind that when you work for free with a brand, it is hard to then turn it into something paid.
You can absolutely use it as a case study.
If you decide to do this campaign for that free product then you must make sure that you treat it like it is paid, which means that you should be able to tell them the data that goes along with the campaign that you did.
What was the ROI (return on investment) for them?
Even if the investment is product you need to get your foot in the door with that brand.
Look at your insights in Instagram as well as your analytics on your blog.
Any sort of data that you can give them about the engagement is what you are looking to provide them with so that you can do a paid collaboration with them in the future.
How to Turn a Free Offer into a Paid Offer
If you were at the point in your business where you are not working for free anymore, because you understand the time that goes into this, you have an audience they want to get in front of, you understand the problem that you solve and you are treating this like a business.
Then I need you to be able to articulate that to a brand.
In my renegotiation script, I walk you through how exactly to do this.
You are going to state to them that “In order to keep the integrity of my site to any readers and previous brands I have worked with. I only work on compensated content”.
Some people have a problem with the way in which I state that because it sounds like I’m automatically saying that I’ve only worked on paid content in the past.
You may have worked on free content in the past, but you’re treating it like a business now. And that is what you are trying to make sure that you do for your audience and for any brands that you’ve worked with.
This also means that you need to make sure that the brands that you are renegotiating with are a good fit for your audience.
The problem that we often get into as influencers that we constantly hear stories about are the influencers that reach out to get something for free like a dinner or hotel stay.
They don’t articulate what it is that they’re going to do for the business.
They’re just asking for a free meal.
You have to be able to state the value that you hold.
If you have an audience, know the problem that you solve, you get engagement with your people then you do provide value.
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