Gimme the money!
I constantly see tweets and comments on a daily basis, all around the subject of being paid for ‘online’ work. This is such a broad subject I could blab on about it for many moons to come, so there’s no way I can fit it all into this one blogpost. However with NO.34 about to turn 1-year-old and having the huge privilege of now being able to make a small wage, I would like to put my toe in the water and say a little something from my experience.
Not a day will go by without me seeing a tweet talking about a brand that hasn’t paid their invoice, or doesn’t think you’re ‘big’ enough for the budget your suggesting, or that they just expect you to work for absolutely free! Then of course there’s all the tweets pointing out the fact there is still so many people posting paid content and not even labelling it with as little as #AD (but that’s for another day). Please don’t get the tone of this wrong, I have absolutely no problem with people tweeting about such subjects, in fact I encourage it and have taken part myself.
Although I’ve only been officially blogging for a year this month, I’ve had my fair share of dealing with brands and PR representative; to be fair the majority I have worked with have been utterly amazing! But occasionally you do get that bad egg of the bunch, that makes for an uncomfortable experience where you feel like you’re justifying why you think you should be paid for your work.
Something I see quite often is bloggers/influencers thinking they’re way to small to justify being paid for collaborations. I can’t stress this enough…it’s not all about the followers! In fact its more about the quality of your content, as the classic saying goes “quality over quantity”. Yes of course brands love to work with high-followed influencers and more likely than not, they’re the ones who get the big bucks and why the heck shouldn’t they! They’ve worked hard to get there. But this still doesn’t mean you need to lower your expectations of being paid.
I understand why people find it insulting when a brand/PR state they don’t have a budget to collaborate with, but request a 400 word blogpost, with a min of 4 images, a link-back to their site, at least 2 social posts promoting said blogpost…and we’ll send you out the pack of glow-in-the-dark shoe laces free of charge (seriously)…hmm, no thanks. My sneaks will just have to keep to old ordinary laces for now. Or even worse is if they offer you a discount code to buy the products and said discount code is the same as the student discount they already offer on their website…nope again.
How I create a budget?
Look I’m not saying I should be paid £’mils (although if you’re offering). The way I create my budgets: I have a general set budget for everything I have to offer, blogpost, social post etc. So once I have that set price I see what the brand/PR is looking for from me, I then take into account the time it will take me (on top of my job), expenses that may take place e.g traveling to a certain place for pics, then add it all up and see if I will break-even, then I alter accordingly. Pretty simple, I don’t whack some massive charge on because I think I’m a huge influencer, I just create a budget I think is fair to the amount of work and effort I put into it, I mean editing images and posts takes like forevs’!
Don’t get me wrong if a brand I LOVE contacts me asking to collab but they don’t have a budget, with the time available I’m more than happy to work with them! In fact the majority of my online content I create is not paid for (some of my links are affiliated but that’s just pennies).
I don’t get offered a budget?
Yesterday I received a message from someone saying that when brands contact them they never say they have a budget! This is often the case, at the end of the day it’s all about business. So if a brand can get you to create high quality engaging content for them free of charge then they’ve hit the jackpot! It’s not very likely they will outright offer to pay you…so if you don’t ASK you don’t get! Plain and simple, just a quick email “what’s your budget for this?…” will do. Simple and easy.
What to expect when asking for a budget?
You need to be ready for endless amounts of ‘no replies’. It seems to be some unwritten rule that when it comes to talking about money, if a brand/PR decides they no longer want to work with you because you’re asking for a budget they just wont reply to your email (rude I know), but don’t take it personally this literally happens to everyone at some point! For me it’s on the daily…Whoop! Personally I couldn’t do this, even when a brand emails me that I’m not a fan of I still email back politely to decline the offer, I mean manners people!
You could also find that you have the deal all set up, everyone is happy with the budget and the content planned. Then you just wont receive the items that were apparently sent out over a week ago, then once again emails will just not be replied to. It sounds really band I know, but it’s just something that happens, so never ‘count your chickens before they’ve hatched’ (another ‘saying’ for you). I’ve fallen foul of this before, planning what I’m going to buy and everything, then of course no money to be seen.
I think that’s my little rant over with for the day…I’m in no way trying to be negative to anyone or throw shade in anyones direction (how do you even do that). I just felt like I wanted to have my say on the subject, so there you go. I’d love to know what you guys think, or any experiences you’ve had.