You’ve received your first email from a brand and they want to work with you! This is the moment you’ve been waiting for and why you’ve spent countless hours creating quality content. Before you get too excited, there are a few factors to consider before accepting a brand collaboration. You read over the email and you’re underwhelmed. This collaboration doesn’t seem like a good fit. Should you turn it down?
Believe it or not, I’ve turned down many collaborations for one reason or the other. Keep in mind that brand partnerships are just that–a partnership. It is OKAY to say no to a collaboration that doesn’t fit your brand requirements. Here are a few tips to know when you should negotiate and when you should say no to brand collaboration.
The Brand or Product Doesn’t Align With Your Goals
A mission statement and a set of goals for your brand can act as a compass when you’re navigating sponsored partnerships. You want to collaborate with brands that align with your core values. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re thinking about collaborating with a brand:
– Would I buy this product?
– Have a shopped with this brand before?
– Do I like how they operate within their community?
You don’t want to accept a brand partnership just to say you have a partnership. You want this collaboration to be mutually beneficial for both parties. Think about the project that they have in mind. You should be excited to refer or mention this product to a family member or friend. If you’re having hard time trying to figure out how you’d create valuable content then it’s probably not the right fit. Don’t worry! You will get more collaborations down the road.
They Won’t Negotiate Compensation
Compensation for a sponsored post falls into two categories for me: paid and gifted. Listen ladies, we’re NOT working for free! Before you even think about asking a brand for money, make sure that you’re consistently posting quality content. Once you feel like you’ve gotten that down, you can decide your rates for sponsored projects. A few additional factors determine how and if you’re able to request payment for a collaboration, but you should be receiving something for your hard work. There have been times when I’ve turned down collaborations because the brand wanted me to buy their product and promote it for them. Those are not the type of collaborations you want.
If a brand approached you that means that they saw the value that you bring to your audience and hope that you can do the same for them. Serious brands will compensate you fairly or gift products worth your trouble. If you attempt to negotiate with a brand and can’t reach a place where it’s mutually beneficial, make room for the next collaboration.
You Can’t Meet Their Deadlines
Sometimes I have multiple projects going on at one time and a brand might reach out to me with a quick turnaround. For me to meet the required deadlines and content requirements, I’d have to rush while balancing my prior commitments. Stretching yourself too thin as a creative can result in you putting out subpar content. That can leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouths. Keep in mind that the content you choose to publish during a collaboration represents you and your brand partner.
It’s important to under-promise and over-deliver. When you review the deadlines, try to submit your content a few days earlier. If they ask for 5-7 photos give them 10! Do your best to submit stellar content that exceeds their expectations. It will build your relationships and create opportunities for future partnerships. If you can’t create amazing content and over-deliver on the needs of your brand and audience then don’t accept the collaboration!
Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’re accepting the brand collaborations that are right for you!
When to say “Yes” to a brand collaboration:
-The brand aligns with your core values
-Compensation for the required scope of work is fair
-The turnaround time allows for quality content to be produced
-You’re in the creative space to take on new projects
-You can meet the requirements of the collaboration
-You know the brand and are familiar with their products and services
-This collaboration will add value to your audience and social media followers
When to say “No” to a brand collaboration:
-The brand is not willing to negotiate on the scope of work requirements
-Compensation is non-existent
-You can’t see the value this will bring to your audience
-You aren’t excited about the collaboration
-The collaboration doesn’t line up with your lifestyle
-Your current content doesn’t match the content requirements for the collaboration
-You’re only motivated by the compensation and not passionate about working with the brand
How do you decide when you should say no to a brand?