We, ‘influencers’, should stop asking for freebies

It’s too often that I see a message on photo websites about influencers who approached someone to get a free service or product. Something that I find disgusting to read.

First of all, let’s define what an influencer is, right?

Influencer according to the dictionary:

A person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.

Influencer according to my definition:

An influencer is someone that has an audience or fan base, which they can direct into a certain product, service, or even mindset.
So, in general, you can look at an influencer as a marketing tool. I know that sounds derogatory. But hey, it is what it is.

As a travel blogger and photographer, I have had the chance to ‘use’ my audience to get free products, services, and experiences.
I don’t like to use the word ‘use’ though. I started blogging and social media as a passion and a way to showcase my knowledge and skills. Never as a way to get money or free stuff.

That being said since I went full time I have done my best to try and get monetization on this website. This is the form of ads and working with brands.

Not one of them I emailed myself.
(By the way, you can learn how to support me in this blogpost)

The brands came to me as they notice the value of my blog and social media channels. Some of the brands gave me opportunities for free, others paid me for a one-off or long-time collaboration.

Every time I see an article about an influencer asking for something for free, I just get annoyed. Sure, you have ‘reach’ and ‘fans’. But you asking for something for free isn’t necessary.

The real joke with these influencers is that they often go for products and services that are already established.

Brands going into influencer marketing are often new, starting a new product, or are looking to set foot in a new market.

The case of the wedding influencer

Photographer gets bashed after refusing to work for an Instagram influencer for free.

Let’s have a look at the influencer in the above-mentioned article.
She’s asking photography to work on her wedding. In the article is stated that the requested package is worth £5000. This is a reasonable fee. But a high-end one.

I know a couple of great wedding photographers personally, and none of them charge this price. Yet.

This couple is an established duo that can afford to ask these prices.

If they really needed new customers, they would probably charge less. In the 1000-2000 pound price range.

Asking them to do this for free is thus ridiculous.
So please, you there, influencer: STOP ASKING FOR FREE STUFF.

If you really want to be a great influencer. Like, shiver, Kim Kardashian. You better work your ass off!

Some tips by someone that is barely an influencer:

  1. Make quality content
  2. Pick a niche. Not your life or personality is not a niche.
  3. Pick a niche. No your life or personality is not a niche.
  4. Think about your values
  5. Guard those values
  6. Think about your values
  7. Only work with products and services that are actually useful for your values
  9. Engage with your audience, as they are so much worth to you
  10. Respect your followers as if they were your friends
  11. Have respect for the world around you
  12. Think before you act.

In favor of influencers

All negativity aside, there are many good influencers too. I am one, for example. And I hope I am a good one. At Least ethical one.

I have a nice group of bloggers and Instagrammers I can call my friends now. I see how they get money and ‘free’ stuff by creating and posting content. Are they bad too?

No, not at all! They’re great. They are not in this for the money or fame. They just want to broadcast what they love. And brands can help with it and benefit from it. But there has to be a mutual advantage. Which can come in many forms and shapes.

Well, I’m kind of ranted out. What’s your idea of influencers asking for free stuff? Let me know in the comments!

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Disclaimer: There is none, I just really wanted to write this piece of content for you. <3

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