When I first started blogging, I thought receiving products in exchange for a post was AWESOME!! I wanted to give everything I possibly could to make my photos and blog posts amazing for brands, by spending countless hours on them. Little did I know that my time was worth WAY more than free products. My time was worth $$$.

The way I look at, any time you spend working on a something for a brand is time that you could be spending on other things like working, hanging out, etc. Yes, I know when you start out you’re like “but I would just be watching Netflix.” BUT that’s still how you’re deciding to spend your free time. Time working on writing a blog post, shooting photos, styling outfits and whatnot for a brand is not free time. It’s work time, therefore you should be compensated.

Brands are going to start reaching out to you. What you need to have ready is a media kit and rate sheet. A media kit gives you a chance to sell yourself to brands as well as listing the brands you’ve worked with in the past. A rate sheet is where you keep all your pricing packages. These are the rates you’re going to charge brands to have their products posted on all your platforms.

Typically, I receive emails or direct messages from brands asking to work with me in exchange for free products. Sometimes their list of demands, as I call it, is pretty lengthy and all they’re offering me are free products… This is when I’m like “whaaaaatttt?” and get my typing fingers ready. Be polite and thank them for reaching out to you and then follow up with asking if they have a marketing budget. They can’t possibly expect you to do all this work for solely free products. Many times, the brands respond by stating they do not have a budget for paid partnerships or collaborations.

At that point, you have to REALLY think about one, the product, and two, your time. Ask yourself if you truly like the product and are willing to do it at no charge. If you do, then tell them that you normally charge for posts but in this case, you’re willing to work with them because you like the brand that much BUT tell them that they need to offer you something in return because you’re not being compensated with money. For example, I’ve asked brands to write up a contract stating that they will repost me on their platforms which gives me more exposure to their followers. Not only this, but I negotiate that I will do one post on my Instagram or one post on my stories instead of everything the asked for. Because it’s INSANE to only be doing all that work for free products. In addition, I tell them I want to be put on their list for when they do start paying influencers. If they like your content enough, they’ll want to back you. If they come back again with zero marketing budget, I would pass.

I believe you’re worth more than you give yourself credit for. Never be afraid to ask for more! What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? The brand says no?! That doesn’t hurt you at all. Brands know about marketing budgets for influencers and know it takes a lot of time to put good content out there, so if someone says no, someone else will say yes.

Let me know if you guys have any more questions on this in the comments!

Love Always,

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Tanna Wasilchak