A couple weeks ago my step-dad said, “What you’re doing as an influencer, some people can make thousands of dollars just for posting for a company.” I have to be honest, I cringed.
I HATE the word Influencer.
This teacher friend of mine wrote a post on Facebook how she asked her class of 9th graders what they wanted to do when they graduated high school. She said almost half the class said they wanted to be an influencer or start a modeling career on Instagram.
These kids literally want to make money from selling shit for other people. Stuff they wouldn’t even use or wear. But they see all these celebrities like the Kardashians promoting vitamins, skinny tea, anything under the sun and cashing in the checks.
I shamelessly was watching an episode of KUWTK (Keeping Up With The Kardashians) last night and Kim K literally said before Kayne West she would promote clothes and products that she would never use or wear in a million years but she liked the money.
That’s why I hate the word “Influencer” because society has told us it’s okay to promote things we don’t believe in. To throw out all creativity & let our social media just be full of #ad after #sponsored post after #ad.
And I kinda get it. It’s exciting at first when a company wants to send you free product in exchange for a post. And even more exciting when they want to send you free product AND are willing to PAY you just for posting. Easy money that can support your family or lifestyle. So why not?
When I launched Picking Daisies, my first priority was and still is empowering others above all else. I wasn’t thinking of the money I could make or brands I would work with. Instead I thought of ways I could express myself where other people could relate and feel empowered to not only be themselves, but take a chance on themselves and try something new or accomplish something they never thought was possible.
Also one thing I am very passionate about is supporting others and supporting small businesses. When I first launched, I did Small Business Saturday where I interviewed small businesses. It was great but after awhile I felt like I was putting in more work and they weren’t even willing to share to their page.
I had to find a happy medium. I want Picking Daisies to be a blog of empowerment AND a way I could support my family.
So I started reaching out to companies for collabs and sponsorships. Now one thing I will say, is I have NEVER posted about a company or product I didn’t believe in. More times than I can count (today included) I have either turned down companies or received product that was so poorly made and sent it back to the company refusing to move forward. Unlike the Kardashians, if it’s not something I would personally use, then I am not posting about it no matter how much you want to pay me. I avoided collabs with products I wouldn’t use by reaching out to companies I actually wanted to work it.
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But back in May it started getting out of hand. I would spend more time reaching out to companies than I would on any kind of content. I mean my blog posts completely stopped and my profile became #ad after #collab after #sponsored post. I lost the balance. I got wrapped up in all the seriously amazing companies and products wanting to work with me, that I kind of lost my creativity. I had to follow their guidelines and create content around their rules and standards. I started falling into a pattern of just working for others but I thought it was normal because everywhere I turn someone is promoting new shampoo, face wash, home decor and more that I felt justified. I thought my followers who have been so supportive would want to see these products.
And for the most part I haven’t gotten any complaints and have received nothing but support. But I also have been extremely transparent about companies that I work with and that I stand by what I promote. But I just felt like these last two months I was cheating myself and others.
I was becoming an “influencer” who wasn’t influencing others to live an empowered, grateful, HAPPY life like I wanted.. But instead influencing them to buy things.
I craved balance. I craved creativity. I craved transparency. I craved having my blog back and sharing things I cared so deeply about instead of promotion after promotion.
Do you want to be an influencer?
Sure you do. That’s why I get a million questions on how I grew my brand so fast. (All without buying followers thank you very much). And how to work with companies and get more sponsored post.
All of that is fine, and I’m not shaming it because I still love working with companies. But I suggest balance and not selling your soul.
I laugh when I see people seriously posting about paper towels and toilet paper. Like come on enough is enough.
So now I am getting even picker with the companies I work with. And when I reach out to companies I highlight how THEY will fit in MY brand, not the other way around like before.
Instead of saying I will post and do all this for them in a very unstructured, lenient way. I now tell them I am working on this blog post or this kind of content and I think your product would fit perfectly with the content I’m creating.
I’m done giving up my creative rights. I’m done flooding my entire Instagram and lacking total balance.
I prefer to call myself a blogger, but if you want to use the word Influencer, then I hope I influence you to take a chance on yourself. To try something new, take a trip, wear a bold lipstick, and most importantly, I hope I influence you to love yourself.
DISCLAIMER: Don’t worry- I will still share my favorite products as well as my tips & tricks for growing your brand. Just in a much more balanced way.
Well, thank you for reading my rambles and I hope you understand me a little more.