We all dream about brand collaborations. But when the first one heads your way, dodge these common pitfalls.
Brand collaborations are one of the most popular ways to leverage your website and audience and make money online. Beginning online entrepreneurs dream about them, looking enviously at their more established peers who seem to catch one dream deal after another.
Paid brand deals can be a bit harder to grab than affiliate deals, especially in the beginning, but they have some very important perks.
Typically brand collaborations are more profitable and they can turn into long-term collaborations. Partnering up with brands that share your values gives you a tiny little part of their spark as well. .
When things go wrong
However, it’s not all blue skies and smooth sailing. There are some common pitfalls that many online entrepreneurs fall into.
We don’t want that to happen to you so we listed the most common ones – and instructions on how to avoid them. Here you are!
Partnering with brands that don’t share your values
Value always comes first! In brand collaborations, you give a lot of visibility to your partner and you also give your stamp of approval for their products. If you promote a company whose values you don’t genuinely care about or a product that doesn’t meet your quality standards, the collaboration will come across as inauthentic.
The immediate result probably is that the brand won’t get the results they were hoping for, which usually means they won’t work with you in the future.
But what is even more damaging is that you might lose your audience’s trust and respect. It’s also important to mark the paid collaborations clearly. It shows your readers that you are being transparent.
If the right brands haven’t come your way yet, don’t partner with anyone. In the meantime, use other strategies to generate revenue and keep working to get the right brands under your roof.
Losing your own voice
This one is linked to the previous one: even though you’re promoting a brand (and getting paid for it), it doesn’t mean you are just copy-pasting their marketing messages to your site. No-no-no.
The power of influencer collaboration lies in the authenticity and the relationship that you as an online entrepreneur have with your audience. And that audience wants to hear about a certain brand from your point of view, in the same style that you write or tell about anything else.
It’s also okay to let your followers know if the product or brand is imperfect in some way. Don’t slaughter them (if the service is that bad, skip the collaboration altogether), but feel free to mention some minor flaws that bothered you, or how something about it could have been better. Share information that you yourself as a consumer would like to know if you were considering using their services!
Not setting goals or measuring the results
Okay, so we got our point through. In terms of content and your voice, you should be respectful to your partner but also stay true to your own mission.
Before using that creative right, set the ground rules with your partner. They are paying the bill at the end, so they deserve to know what they get.
Goals and metrics depend on the client’s aims. Agree on the goals and ways to measure them together, and schedule a debrief call or meeting after the collaboration to go through the results.
Not charging your worth
The price of brand collaborations vary according to the brand, the size and activity of your audience and the extent of the collaboration. Make sure not to underprice yourself from the beginning.
You can consider making an exception for charities or nonprofits, for example. Sometimes beginning influencers also prefer to start with free or cheap collaborations to dip their toes in the water and gain some experience and portfolio.
If you are asked to work on commission, it’s an affiliate deal. That’s fine but the logic is slightly different than with brand collaborations.
We hope these tips set you up for success and look forward to seeing your first paid brand collaboration!