About a year and half ago I dropped all my brand collaborations.
Maybe you were following me back when that happened, it was a gradual process, and one I let you in on. I don’t think brand collaborations and influencer marketing are bad, I just didn’t like what they did to my feed and honestly some of the other Instagram feeds I followed.
I watched feeds I had followed for years because of their voice and perspective turn into revolving doors for every brand that hit them up. I was also realizing that I was well on my way to turning my own feed into a billboard and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want the message you all left with when you scrolled past my feed to be “You don’t have enough stuff.” Or even worse, inspire envy or jealousy.
But at the same time I love that these brands bring income for families. I absolutely LOVE that influencer marketing allows parents the financial freedom to spend more time together, to hang out with their kids and earn an income without ever having the leave the house. Talk about empowering for society!!
I felt conflicted. I just couldn’t find a way to do it that felt authentic to me and so spent the last year turning down every brand that reached out, even the ones I liked or used because I didn’t know how to negotiate space for that partnership on my feed.
But I finally sat down and wrote up my own guidelines for brand partnerships and I’m sharing them here because you’ve been on this journey with me, and because I want to be open with you. These are personal guidelines, in that I don’t think that every blogger on Instagram needs to do these things, this isn’t prescriptive. They are just the guidelines I need to feel authentic to me (classic FOUR for all my enneagram nerds out there!) So without further ado:
I won’t promote any brand I haven’t spent my own hard-earned cash on.
This one is perhaps the most important to me because it really limits the pool to things I can authentically vouch for. One of the things I had the hardest time with a few years ago was inviting people to spend their money on things I got for free. It made me feel kind of car saleman-y. So any brand I partner with will be one I’ve personally invested in. The specific item might be gifted but the brand itself will be one that I have purchased things from on my own.
I want perks for you.
If I partner with a brand, I’m gonna make sure you get a benefit from our relationship whether it’s a discount code or a giveaway item, I want to give back to you guys because you’re the ones who have given me this platform. I don’t like influencer marketing that comes across as "Look at this cool thing I got because you follow me." I want my followers to get in on the good stuff too. :)
This one is more for me. I want to partner with visions and missions, not just brands. I was really inspired by a couple people on social media to include this one. I love when personal values and goals align with companies, and so my heart is to only promote brands that I’m in it for the long haul with. I remember getting products in the mail and thinking “Why do I care about this thing again?” It felt a bit soulless and I don’t want to end up back there.
There you have it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, if it makes sense or how it sits with you. My goal isn’t to turn my feed into a department store, but simply to make room in my life to create the content I believe you actually follow me for. Have you ever had similar thoughts or struggles? I’d love to hear how you processed these things too. Grateful for the little community we have here!!!