Working with Brands

5 Misconceptions Influencers Have About Brands

September 4, 2017

Slightly Savvy is an influencer's sneak peek behind the scenes of the PR world, built to deliver the most transparent PR insights to bloggers + influencers who want to transform their blog into a business.

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So guys, today we are talking about the two sides of brand + blogger partnerships…

This Brands vs. Bloggers theme was kind of inspired by the random Mayweather person fight that happened last week that everyone cared about??

Plot twist: I did not care about this fight.

But anyway, it got me thinking about the blogger side and the brand side of collaborations and the misconceptions from both sides about both sides – (did that make ANY sense?)

So, on the blogger side, I know there’s a lot of rumors, misconceptions, and just incorrect “facts” about what brands are looking for…which is one of the main reasons I founded/rebranded Slightly Savvy.

In fact, a lot of the main themes behind these rumors are bloggers thinking that brands are way SMARTER than they actually

Why Brands Are Dumber Than Bloggers Think…

1.  They’re not always paying real attention

I think a lot of bloggers overestimate how much a brand is paying attention.

Not all brands are highly selective about who they give money to for sponsorships.

A lot of brands look at an Instagram following, see 100K followers, and slap the person $5,000 to do an Instagram post…

Because they can. Because they have the budget.

A lot of bloggers get uber feisty about who brands choose to work with like…..

“I can’t believe they paid HER to do that – her writing is horrible!”

“She totally bought her Instagram followers. Look how low her likes are!”

And the plot twist is that no, sometimes brands don’t really care.

Big brands can pay the big money to bloggers even for the slight change they might get some positive ROI out of it.

2. Some brands are slowww

When a lot of bloggers think about working with brands, they’re thinking of the Dollar Shave Clubs and the Sand Clouds…these very millennial brands that do pay bloggers and influencers, do heavy social media marketing, etc.

The vast majority of brands are very CONSERVATIVE. They were slow to even get on Facebook in the beginning, and they still think Snapchat is for nudes.

They’re still buying literally billions of dollars in billboards, TV commercials, direct mail (like the little postcards that come to your mailbox…)

So yes, they’re not going to be doing this new “influencer marketing” thing.

Don’t be shocked or surprised if brands you pitch yourself to don’t work with influencers OR don’t think bloggers are worth paying.

It’s a bummer to hear, but I bet you in 2 years, those brands will be singing a different song.

And now onto how brands are also SMARTER than bloggers think…

slightly savvy brands smarter dumber


How Brands Are Smarter Than Bloggers Think

1. Those legal contracts are real, fam

I see a lot of bloggers in Facebook groups talk about how they maybe didn’t fully understand a brand contract, but they signed it and sent it back anyway…..

And then they had a terrible experience.

Or they want to bash the brand on social media for “not following through with their end.”

Now granted…a brand truly might be the worst and maybe DID screw you over.

But most of the time, the problem lies in the contract you signed.

Brands are always going to cover their butts. So you better believe that legal contract has been fully fleshed out by a team and there’s some hard-core language in there that you need to pay attention to.

what you can do to be smart too //

  • read every single contract in detail. I know they’re freaking boring, but do yourself a favor and save yourself the huge headache of a legal problem down the road.
  • if you don’t understand a phrase in the contract, redline it in Microsoft Word or in the PDF, and send back to the brand asking for clarification.
  • don’t hope for something you think a brand will just give to you out of the kindness of their heart. If it’s not specifically outlined in a contract, don’t assume

Keep Reading: Bloggers, Stop Bashing Brands from a PR perspective –> here

2. Brands + PR pros talk to each other a LOT

As more and more brands work with more and more bloggers, bloggers will start getting a reputation for either being GREAT to work with or NOT GREAT.

Just because you don’t know all the connections someone has doesn’t mean they don’t have them.

You never know who someone in the brand or PR world is connected to.

And we’re not dumb.

We talk a lot amongst ourselves, at industry events, and online…basically, word will get around.

Sometimes, bloggers can be super high-maintenance and not ideal to work with. They can be almost like mini-celebs with demands, acting like they are better than everyone, etc.

Definitely not every blogger is this way but some are.

Basically, don’t think brands are dumb and if you act like a nightmare to one brand, it won’t get around.

what you can do to be smart //

  • treat every brand the same – no matter if it’s Tiffany & Co. or Sally’s Handmade Jewelry. The CEO of Tiffany & Co. just might have a niece who works at Sally’s Handmade Jewelry.
  • treat everyone you work with same – even the assistant, even the assistant’s assistant. One day, that assistant might be the VP of Communications of a brand you’re trying to work with. And she’ll remember how you treated her, I guarantee you.

3. Be wary of buying followers // how 1 NYC agency busted their bloggers’ fake followers

A recent example of this is an agency, Fohr Card, in New York that created their own tool/computer software to do depth research + analysis on their bloggers’ Instagrams.

And after their study, a lot of bloggers + influencers were turned away and could no longer work with the agency due to unverified Instagram followings.

Jordan Younger, The Balanced Blonde, one of the biggest OG bloggers and apparently a client of Fohr card, said….

“I got an email a couple of days ago from an agency I work with frequently in NYC called Fohr Card. They ran the stats with some super tech savvy programming to figure out which influencers they work with have legitimate followings, and which do not.

In the email from them, they wrote, “There were thousands of influencers [we’ve worked with] whose followings didn’t get verified, and we hope this badge is another step towards adding transparency to the industry and rewarding those who have built real, authentic followings.

Even though it’s really really tempting to buy followers or use other suspicious methods, be aware of the consequences that you’re facing.

Be aware that if a brand and agency found out, it would be embarrassing and probably cost you a lot of sponsorships and a lot of trust, which is the hardest thing to earn back.

Wrapping Up Misconceptions

So! What are some common misconceptions that you see all the time? I’d love to hear them below.

Want to learn more misconceptions + how busting them will help you as a blogger?

Check out the free 5 Day Mini Camp: Breaking Down Myths of Pitching to Brands.

It’s free, brand new, no strings attached, and 5 days of email fun.

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