It all seems so simple as a natural hair blogger. All you have to do is wake up, wash your hair, post a couple of pictures OR turn on the camera and BOOM…content. It doesn’t take any skill, time, or continuous learning to curate content to very fickle consumers. THINK AGAIN!
True Life: I Am A Natural Hair Blogger/Vlogger
Many social media influencers began because there was a void in information, lack of representation or to document a new journey. You were the girl who was always asked about styling tips, regimen information or the infamous, “how did you grow your hair so long!” So you decide that you can best help the masses by curating a social media platform. You become a natural hair blogger.
You start off extremely optimistic because everything is new and fun! You take 12,000 selfies and go over each one until you find the perfect image of yourself. You post and use the maximum amount of hashtags and watch as your notifications explode with love! The support and admiration of others is addicting and empowering. And as your popularity increases you begin to get noticed by companies! And you are in shock because you can’t believe a company would contact little ol’ you! The story gets better because they want to send you FREE (that’s right free) products to review. You are elated at the thought because in your mind “I made it.” You graciously agree and just like that you have your first product review from a major company.
One obnoxiously normal day you just happen to be casually talking to a fellow blogger/vlogger and they mention getting paid for reviews. You literally have a mental explosion and you have no idea what has just been said. This person decides to further enlighten you on their rates (shock once again). You then evaluate everything you’ve ever done. You feel cheated though you didn’t even know you could ask for compensation, but now you know. As companies begin to contact you, now you include rates. However, the companies (big and small) reply, “we don’t have a budget for product reviews.” In your mind you’re like “what?!” They believe that free product is enough. The biggest question to be answered here is well…is it?
Here is the problem: Several, not all, companies do not consider blogging or vlogging a business. They do not take into consideration the many hours influencers actually spend using the product and filming or taking pictures during the process. And let’s not forget editing, adding music to a video, editing your blog post and setting up pictures and slide shows. The process of curating content that brings value to a product or company is no easy feat. Now understand that everyone works for free in the beginning and some bloggers are perfectly fine with promoting products for free simply because they love the brand. But it is up to you as a blogger, vlogger and influencer, to assess your platforms and determine when you should request compensation.
But here is the skinny: Companies have unlimited earning potential with your original content. They have the choice to use your content for the duration of the company’s existence and make MONEY. Meanwhile you, the creator, got free products.
But here is the skinny: Companies have unlimited earning potential with your original content. They have the choice to use your content for the duration of the companies existence and make MONEY. Meanwhile you, the creator, got free products. These companies get to bypass renting commercial space, hiring actresses, paying for editing, lighting and promotion. Some save thousands of dollars a year using bloggers and vloggers. There are some smaller companies who really and truly do not have budgets for promotion, so it’s important to remain flexible when approached by a smaller business. At the end of the day know your worth! It is okay to say “no” to opportunities or “yes” even if there is no compensation offered. Sometimes the relationship you can build with a company is worth more than a couple hundred bucks. Happy creating!
Do you think bloggers, vloggers and influencers deserve to be paid to promote products for companies? Let’s talk about it…comment and let me know.
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