I can hardly believe that we’re already nearing the end of June. Unfortunately, there is no pause button on life and I need to get ready for the weeks ahead…
Preparing means doing a little deep thinking on working with brands. Next week I will be speaking about working with brands at both Haven Conference in Atlanta, followed by Digital Family Summit in Philadelphia the next weekend. (You can join me by following along on Twitter or Facebook.)
As I work on my presentations, one thing keeps popping into my head over and over…One of the biggest mistakes that I see bloggers make when working with brands is not knowing when to say no.
In the Beginning
It’s understandable really…It’s so flattering to be “noticed” by a brand, right? It’s sort of like being asked on a date by one of the really cute boys in high school. How can you say no?
It’s fun at first. You get lots of free stuff – project supplies, tickets to events and things for the kids. It’s like Christmas every week.
You justify the work, because you like Christmas. You pretend like the free merchandise saves you from some of the spending you would do on your projects (rather than just creating new ones). Plus, someone told you that giveaways are a great way to build traffic and readership.
Have you been there?
It’s not long before you’re receiving dozens of offers a week and doing steady work with brands. The problem? All of that free stuff actually comes with a price.
The pressure of working with many brands can be intense. Your blog, in a sense, is not yours anymore. It’s no longer a hobby, it’s a job. You can loose your sense of inspiration and ability to post what you want, when you want to.
You gain “followers” who are really only interested in free stuff and are less than engaged.
And worst of all? Maybe you loose sight of your own brand. You’ve seen this happen right? You absolutely adore a blog. You read daily. First, there’s a review here and there. A giveaway. Suddenly 60 percent of the blog is sponsored content and you’re no longer interested in reading.
The lesson here is learning to pick and choose. It’s important to say yes to things that further your goals, but it’s just as important to say no to things that would take you away from your goals even if the opportunity is highly enticing.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before entering into a relationship with a brand:
- Consider wether the product or service will be a good fit with your regular content and benefit your readers.
- Content is king. How many other bloggers is the brand working with? Is your content going to be unique?
- Is the compensation fair?
- Do you feel good about it? There’s something to be said about intuition.
How to Say No
Saying no is especially hard for those who are empathetic and nurturing…Moms. We want to extend a “helping hand” that helps us be connected to others.
Here are a few ways you can say no that will allow you to maintain a good relationship with brands.
- Acknowledge that you appreciate the offer
- Explain why you cannot participate: pay, poor fit, not enough time, etc.
- Be firm and consistent
- Let them know if you would like to be contacted again in the future.
Have you caught yourself saying yes to something you shouldn’t? Just remember, every time you say no to something that is not important, you’re saying yes to something that is.
When would you say no to something?