The dark side of brand & blogger relationships.

I recently shared a post on my website that got a considerable amount of attention (read here), it focused on the attitude and relationship between the blogging community and brands.

The HBC asked me to share my thoughts with you and how I see us moving forward positively.

During my time as a Social Media Manager, Blogger and Brand Ambassador, I’ve attended a number of wellness events and spoke with lots of different brands.

Wellness events bring with them a cascade of “instafamous” faces that often think they’re more important than anyone else there.

They think they can demand what they like of brands by simply using the words “I’m a blogger”, as though it gives them the right of passage to take what they want and act like they want.

From Bodypower to Be:Fit to Balance, I’ve seen it all and brands have opened up to me on the conversations they’ve had with said bloggers.

A number of brands have decided to stop working with bloggers because of their unrealistic demands, but more importantly not delivering on a promise. I feel for small businesses in particular, because often they do not have the expertise to manage this. They’ve started a business and suddenly all of these bloggers say they want to work with them. It initially seems amazing but unfortunately very short lived.  

The influencers receive a free product (which for a start up is so expensive) and the brands find themselves chasing their tails when content they were promised doesn’t materialise.

Why has blogging become all about the free product? Why is the industry being damaged by selfishness and egotistical behaviour?

For me, being a blogger is about sharing positive stories and supporting each other; whether that’s a restaurant or product I love, or simply a running route I’ve discovered. We’ve all had to start somewhere, so why think you’re bigger than anyone else? If you’re only in it for materialistic benefits, trust me, brands are noticing and you will soon find yourself buying products (oh the horror!) to ya’no pretend that it was sent to you, right?

My advice to bloggers and brands…

Contract, contract, contract. There must be a set of guidelines established between the brand and the blogger. I’ve heard the whole oh but that’s not my theme, well then why the hell are you getting involved with the brand? Brands can hold you to this agreement and vice versa. Both parties benefit from having a contract, end of.

Life is about relationships and building connections. You might not think it, but the industry is small. If you start acting up, trust me other brands will know about it and won’t want to work with you.

Test and learn. Neither a brand nor a blogger should be afraid of saying let’s test it out. This is kind of like a probation period when you start a new job. This gives the flexibility to the brand and the blogger to end the relationship if it’s not working out: eg. number of posts agreed published, correct tagging  or a brand hasn’t provided you with what they say they would etc

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, do you have any tips?. Comment below or contact me on my website.