If you’re an influencer, you’re likely to get approached by brands who want you to create content in exchange for their products or services. Collaborations of this nature are commonly referred to as trade exchange deals.

Now I’m all for building relationships when you’re starting out. However, working for free shouldn’t become a habit.  Creating content is a service, and you deserve to be compensated fairly for your services. In this blog post, I share tips on how to respond to brands that want you to work for free.

Set your rates

Think about how much you want to charge for your services. There are plenty of rate calculators in the market, but I urge you not to use them blindly. Consider the following, how much time do you spend creating content, what expenses do you incur? Use these rate calculators as a general guide.

Create a media kit

The next step is to create a media kit.  Media Kits are essential for anyone that’s trying to build an online brand. These are tools that help you reach out to clients and showcase your work.

A PR executive that works for a financial services company once shared that she doesn’t work with influencers that don’t have media kits. And the reason for that was because she felt that an individual that doesn’t take the time to get a media kit made doesn’t take themselves and their business seriously. And she wouldn’t want that kind of person to represent her brand. So, don’t be that girl. Ensure that you have a media kit ready when a brand reaches out to you.

Your Media Kit should include the following info:

Number of followers on all socials

Audience Demographics

Website/Blog Stats (if you have one)

A short introduction

Contact Details

A list of brands you have worked with

Your rates

Create email templates

Now that you know your rates and designed your media kit, you are ready to draft email templates to respond to each inquiry. If the brand that reaches out to you is serious, they’ll engage further. If not, they’ll disappear.

Here are some examples:

“Sounds good. What is the budget for the required deliverables?”

“I’m going to pass on this gifting opportunity, but please keep me in mind for paid opportunities in the future.”

“Thank you for reaching out. However, I’m only focusing on paid collaborations at the moment.”

If you struggle to say no to brands that want you to work for free, I hope that this blog post will make you think twice the next time a brand offers you “free exposure.” If you put the work, brands will eventually pay you for “exposure.”




Photography by Unsplash