Sponsored campaigns are a major part of the blogging business. If you’re the top fashion blogger in the world negotiating contracts with plenty of zeros on the end or you’re just starting to receive gifted clothes from brands; the process used to decide whether or not to accept a sponsored campaign shouldn’t change much. Complex campaigns create confusion leading us to as quickly as possible, summarize the campaign into very high level answers to these three questions:
- What brand is it?
- How many blogposts and social shares do I have to do?
- How much do I get paid?
When one of these becomes overwhelmingly great or bad we can end up jumping to a conclusion, often overlooking the minute details. This is exactly why it’s important to have a set of questions to answer while reviewing the sponsored campaign. Here are the ones we use when evaluating new projects.
What are the deliverables?
How will they be measuring success for campaigns?
Is what they are looking for attainable?
What’s the turnaround time?
Can I say what I want or does the brand have a set script to follow?
Is there a budget for the campaign?
Is there travel? Is it covered?
Does the budget pay me enough for the ask?
How long is the contract?
If there is no budget then will it bring more recognition?
Have we worked together in the past?
Do I already wear/use products they make?
Does their brand align with mine?
What’s their track record like?
Are there competing brands that I can’t work with or mention?
Is this a dream brand of mine that I’ve always wanted to work with?
Negotiate- Fight for the things you can’t live without and compromise on the smaller issues. Know what your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) is. Most Blogger’s BATNA is that they will produce non-sponsored content and use affiliate links. In my opinion this is a strong BATNA because you can make money through affiliate, you have the choice of keeping your own voice and promoting your brand.
Trust the process and say No when you need to- Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you have to. Sometimes agreeing to shitty terms on the first sponsored campaign with a brand sets precedent for future negotiations.
High end brands should pay too- One of the mistakes I see a lot of bloggers make is if the brand is a dream brand of theirs they are willing to do sponsored campaigns in return for gifted product. This is downright dumb and here is an example why: Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH) which owns Louis Vuitton, Celine, Givenchy and Fendi (just to name a few) spent 4.88 Billion Euros ($6.32 Billion) on advertising and promotion expenses in 2013 and they will probably spend more this year. High end brands obviously have money to spend so if you are ever lucky enough to work with them make sure they pay you as well.
1. LVMH Half Year Financial Report “http://www.lvmh.com/uploads/assets/Com-fi/Documents/en/Reports/LVMH2014HalfYearFinancialReport.pdf”Page 49