The most common emails you will receive for collaborations these days, "We only do barter based promotion, we don't pay"! Are we living in the 18th century? Do they sell their products and services on barter basis as well? I won't pay for your product and services, I will just provide something else in exchange, will that work? I don't think so, then why do you expect the influencers and bloggers to work on "BARTER BASIS".
The biggest fault here is of influencers and bloggers who agree for such promotion, like really? Are your time and efforts worth nothing? You hire a photographer, a stylist, get the shoot done and create such amazing content for the brands and then promote it on your social media accounts as well and you do all these for free! That's really stupid, this needs to stop right away! You need to be paid for your services and work, period! Getting a product or service for free is not getting paid and because most of the influencers agree to this "BARTER BULLSHIT" others who demand a pay gets ignored and a cycle of such free promotion is created.
Influencers marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tool. I own 4 digital media agencies of which 3 are specifically targeted to Instagram marketing, I work with hundreds if not thousands of brands and influencers all over the world and have never heard of them working on the barter basis.
Getting a product in exchange for promoting it on your social media works when you have a small audience, for example, 1000-2000 followers and are just starting out else you should be paid for every follower you have. You are creating valuable content for the brand and as well promoting it to an engaged audience reaching whom would cost the brand a bomb. If you don't know how much you should charge for the promotion then you can use Instagram Money Calculator which tells you the value of your Instagram post and you can charge the brands accordingly.
Brands are the real winners if you agree for barter-based promotions and if you are really serious about making a career as an influencer or blogger then you should immediately put a price tag on your sponsored posts. Brands are making a lot of money through your content and promotion and you totally deserve a pay for it so don't be afraid to ask for it and say "NOT INTERESTED" when they reply we only do barter based promotion.
All the influencers and bloggers should come together and say NO to the "BARTER BULLSHIT". If one agrees to do it the other follows as well and the brands get the confidence of getting free content and promotion done. Few brands are running their entire sales campaign on these model. Just know that your time and work is worth something and providing it for free is really STUPID!
If you are starting out as an influencer you can check out my blog: Instagram Influencer Marketing: The new money making opportunity here I talk about how you can get started as an influencer and a lot more.
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