You may have stopped by because of my story on Instagram. Click bait! But if not, let me back up just a bit. Everyone wants to know, how to you work with brands and land a smooth sponsorship, right? But no one talks about what happens when it goes wrong. What if the guidelines are a mile long, or worse, what if the product is terrible?! Let me just start by saying, you are going to run into situations just like this if you haven’t already. But remember, you are a pioneer traveling into un-chartered waters. So after you’ve hip-hoorayed that your being asked to collab, it’s time to sit down and consider all the possibilities…
Lets start with that story I mentioned on my Instagram. Last summer, I was pleasantly surprised to see that an ice cream brand, (which will remain nameless) emailed me to send me some treats. Per the email, this was going to be a one-time delivery of several different flavors for me to try and then, shared at my own convenience.
Now, I tend to agree to terms if there’s some kind of yummy food involved. So, I said yes. I should also mention that they were kind enough to send me dairy-free items due to my milk sensitivity, per my request. Ya girl don’t play with the post milk bloat.
For some reason, they were delivered late and then picked up by my Father-in-law (completely unaware of the fragile contents) who then set it down to get some unnecessary California sunshine. I asked about it the following day and no one had seen my coveted package. A whole day had passed and I started to worry. I searched the premise like a blood hound sniffing the air for a hint of any creamy aromas. Then, I saw the sad box sitting in the sun. I ran over to it, swooped it up in my arms, possibly shedding a tear or two as I gave it the classic “don’t leave me” speech. It was done. Donezo. All 8 flavors TKO. Ugh, I was so sad.
I knew I had to break the news to the company who so graciously send their beloved flavors, entrusting me with their creation. They were probably peeved that I let them sit out in the sun. I waited patiently for their reply… Which never came. I mean, I understand why.
It was an awful waste and I felt terrible but it was a one-time freakish accident. It happens. But it shouldn’t happen often. Since then, I’ve kept a tight log of all my paid and gifted collaborations and always ask for tracking. Only now as a store owner myself can I really understand the cost and effort that go in to a “lost exchange.” Thankfully, we at Tres Vu have an army of ready and available Influencers/Bloggers who do an amazing job at creating organic content that speaks to our customers and brings in sales and brand awareness. There are some kick-butt females out there reppin Tres Vu among a number of other well known brands and we are HERE FOR IT!
However, there are also those who just want free clothes. Ugh, I hate to say it but instead of becoming a jaded brand, we decided to become more detailed and professional when it came to bringing someone new on board. If they are taking the time to send their media kit with updated stats in a thorough email, then you can bet, we are going to send them executive guidelines, let them pick their items, and show their content some major love! They want to do their best and so should we. That’s a formula for a smooth partnership right there..
Images are from our trip to Manhattan beach July 11th. Some shot with my iPhone then edited with my preset and others with my Canon. Wanna know how I edit? Click here
Avoid a Collab Crash:
Don’t compromise your aesthetic, morals and beliefs on collab’s that just don’t line up. This is key to not only securing a good relationship (and possibly more opportunities with that brand) but can land more brand deals with other similar brands that fit your lifestyle.
If the brand seems pushy about certain aspects, let them know before hand. More than often, they are willing to work with you. If they can’t then that might be a time to politely decline.
Please make sure you have a good, relevant fit before pitching yourself to a brand. There’s nothing more cringe than a creator who hasn’t given your brand a follow, much less a like and then drops their follower count in your lap like a hot potato. Trust me, it’s happened. Numbers can be good, but genuine love for a brand and overall lifestyle similarities win. They come across more natural when shared and people get behind that.
It’s not the collaboration that failed, it’s the execution that did. Saying yes to any potential collab can be fun at first glance but when your plate is filled with too many collabs, things begin to get a little messy. Your execution could become your execution in this weird-world of content creation. Take your time and do a thorough job. If the brand enjoyed working with you, they will come back. And that’s better than throwing some photos together and slapping it up on your blog just to get it done.
If the product didn’t meet your expectations, don’t lie and say you loved it. Let the brand know in a well-thought out email with detailed explanation. This has happened to me before and I will always regret posting about this one product in particular. Since then, I do my research on the brand and weigh my options against the followers who trust my word. I ask myself a few questions: Will this be relevant to my followers? Would I buy this product?
How do you deal with collabs? Have a horror story? Share it below!