What happens when a brand asks you to do a long list of stuff, that'll take you a couple of hours to do, but wants to pay you in 'exposure'?
Sadly, this happens more often than not. Working for exposure was controversial and rarely spoken about subject within blogging, but as of recent, more and more bloggers are putting their foot down and standing up for themselves and their profession, and rightly so. First off, I better explain what 'working for exposure' is, better I? Working for exposure in the case of bloggers is basically when a brand/PR ask you to do something (i.e. write a blog post, share a tweet, post an Instagram photograph, model for a campaign) for some level of online promotion in return, this can be anything from a couple of focused social shares direct with your handle or a simple retweet. Have you ever had an email where a brand asks you to 'post about it and we'll share it on our Twitter!'? Yeah, that's the type of 'exposure' I'm talking about. But what exactly is this giving you?
In the beginning, this was great. I did it myself and on a small scale, I still sometimes do, when the brand and circumstances are right, and that's the important thing. Anyway, I jumped at the chance anytime a brand approached me asking if I would retweet a tweet, or post about one of their products for a 'chance' to be on their social media. It's great when you are starting off in blogging to build up your relationships with brands and PRs, but just how far, is too far? When do you get to that point where you think, 'Hey, I'm worth a little bit more than that'?
Recently, I was offered to do something pretty exciting with a relatively-okay-medium-sized brand and they would pay my travel - cool, huh?! The catch? An unpaid day off work, six hours of travelling in total, and no payment for my 'time'. I'd get some social coverage in return, which was somewhat a bit rubbish as my social channels are currently bigger than theirs are. I think that's a lot to ask for from someone who is mediocrely established in blogging (I think, am I? HA!). I mean, I am not blowing my own trumpet here, but I've worked with multiple brands and done some pretty big things, so I am obviously worth something, right? RIGHT. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? WE ALL ARE. We just need to realise it. (Please, don't go off demanding ££££ from every brand that approaches you, that's not the jist).
You see, us bloggers have such a HUGE influence nowadays. So much so that the magazine purchase rate is supposedly declining due to the fact that that is just not where we're going for fashion inspiration, or beauty advice nowadays. Bloggers are a much more reliable and honest (most!) bunch of guys and girls who just like to talk about the stuff that they like, and sometimes, we can get paid for it - WHICH IS AWESOME. But it's the times where brands think that they can get away with stuff, especially with bloggers who don't realise just how much their services are worth. Because when a brand approaches you as a blogger to collaborate and you agree, you're offering them a service - and in some respect, that should be paid for.
I say in some respect, as every now and then (and I mean every now and then!) I will do the odd dot of work for exposure, but usually, it's with a brand who I love to the very core and respect. I'm not saying that I won't post about a gifted sample because I haven't been paid to do so, because that's just silly, it's when a brand tries to reel off a list of requirements on newer bloggers who will jump at the chance due to the *possibility* of a retweet or two. We need to stand up for ourselves. Everybody else gets paid in their day job, so why shouldn't we?
Bloggers. You ARE worth it. Please recognise that.