Hello readers! It’s been a little over a month since I shared my last post (sorry!) I know y/all probably get sick of me and my excuses, but this semester has been a wild one. Virtual law school did not come to play with us this Fall 2020, okay?! So much has happened since then but two super exciting things that have happened include me ending my recording hiatus for my podcast, Handle Your Scandal. You can find my most recent episodes here and here. Additionally, I landed my first paid Instagram post with a company! I knew I wanted to land one by the end of 2020 so landing one two months before the year ended has made me so happy. I’m hopeful to have more paid opportunities in the future.
My paid post led to one my friends and fellow creative to ask to write a post on how I decide what brands to work with. I think this is such an important question. When it comes to being an online content creator who is either paid or gifted products to post, you have a responsibility to be super selective about what companies you decide to promote. In order to help you do that, I will give you a few questions I ask to navigate that decision-making process.
1. Does this company align with who I am as a person?
If a company does not align with me as an individual, then I won’t work with them. Period. There isn’t really much more to add to that. Hopefully you know who you are and what you stand for. Don’t work with companies that conflict with that, no matter how much they are offering.
2. Does this company fit with my online brand?
Being clear on your brand is so important before you start working with companies, especially if there are certain aspects of yourself that don’t necessarily fit with your brand. For example, my brand is all about motivating millennials and gen z to live a well-balanced life. What I consider a well-balanced life includes making time for school/work, our own wellness, fitness goals, and personal development while I also run a blog. I also have other things that help me achieve this like drinking coffee/matcha, working out, and more. There are certain parts of my life that don’t really align with my brand. If I was to suddenly talking about being the perfect girlfriend or something like that, my followers would be confused. I keep this in mind and won’t really do anything related to relationships in my content because that’s not what my brand currently is. I could easily change that in the future, but for now, it’s not that. This means I maybe wouldn’t collab with a dating app UNLESS I felt that it would be useful to my audience, which leads to the next question I ask myself.
3. Does this company/product align with my audience and help them?
While it’s good to be clear on your brand, sometimes things outside of your brand could potentially help your audience as well. My audience (on instagram and my podcast) is made up of mostly women who are between the ages of 20-35. While a company might not align with my personal brand, it still might be something that could potentially help my audience. If something does not align with my brand at all, it would have to help me audience in a tremendous way in order for me to even consider working with them.
4. Would I use this product if I wasn’t getting paid to do so?
When it comes to gifted products, I’m a little less strict because I feel more comfortable telling my followers “This company sent me this and I tried it out, here’s what I think” as opposed to “You should definitely try this product!” If I know that I could not see myself using something if I wasn’t getting paid or something in return for it, then it I will not work with that company. Being authentic with my audience is extremely important to me and one of my top priorities as a content creator. I will not promote something to them that I know I don’t like/wouldn’t use.
These are some of the questions I ask myself before I decide to work with a company. If you struggle answering any of these questions because of lack of clarity in your own brand, then you definitely need to get clear on that before you want to get paid to post anything. Lacking clarity in these areas means that your brand needs some more work before you get to that stage of being an online content creator. You gotta crawl before you walk and walk before you run. If you are able to figure these things out, you will have no trouble knowing what companies you want to work with (and what companies you want to avoid.)
I hope this post helps you figure out exactly how to determine what companies to work with. When I was offered my first paid post, I was so excited! However, it’s important to remember your values and integrity as you navigate the influencer marketing world.
Do you have any more questions about deciding which brands to work with? Would you like to see more posts like this? Let me know in the comments.
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