Lately. I have been hearing a few grumbles-in-the-broncs. From Small Businesses working with Influencers and Bloggers. The good. The bad. The ugly.

I wouldn’t be here today without a little help. When I first started out as a maker starting up my own Small Business. I did all the things you I thought you ‘should’ do when starting out. And a few things you probably shouldn’t.

I ran competitions looking for Brand Reps. I reached out to collaborate. I contacted stylists. Interior designers. Beautiful people with darn tootin' beautiful images. And beautiful feeds. I did giveaways. I did loops. I sent out freebies. A lot of freebies. Uh huh.

Sometimes I had success. Sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I made great friends. Great connections. Great collaborations. Sometimes. Not so much. Sometimes. It was an epic fail.

Through it all I learnt the value of business relationships. How to make the right connections. Find the right fit. Choose the right people to align with. To collaborate with. I learnt the value of an Influencer. A Blogger. A Stylist. And why it can be a good thing to invest a little. In the right places. 

Although 95% of my work is unpaid. Not sponsored. And done just for the love. Sometimes I accept a paid gig. Or a gifted gig. Sometimes I charge a fee.

Why? Well. I believe there is value in what I do. And how I do it. I am a ‘business’ too. It all takes time. Photographing. Retouching. Resizing. Researching. Writing. Blogging. Uploading. Promoting. Sharing. Shouting out. Bribing Mini Models to ‘work it’. And of course. I take pride in what I do.

But at the same time. I understand that Small Businesses don't have the cash flow to pay. Or gift. I understand that some Bloggers and Influencers take advantage. Don’t deliver. Don’t respond. And are just a little bit shameless. Sigh. And boo. 

Heck. In my early-felt-pom-making-small-business days. I came across a few doozies. I got burnt. I lost out. I learnt who to trust. What to look for. What not to be when I switched sides. And became a blogger-influencer thinga-mi-bob.

Here are a few tips to make help both the Small Business and the Blogger-Influencer happy. Positive vibes. And positive outcomes. For everyone.

Do some. Do your homework. Look into who you would like to work with before approaching or agreeing to anything. Do they suit your style? Suit your product? Ask to see a Media Kit. Or their stats.

Big followings on Social Media don’t always mean the perfect return. Look at the likes. Look at the engagement. Look at the comments. Unfortunately some people buy followers. Buy likes. Buy comments. So big doesn't always mean better. Numbers don’t always mean authentic or ‘organic’. You don't always get more bang for your buck.

Don’t begrudge them if they have a fee. A lot of Bloggers and Influencers are happy with gifting. Some charge. Some do both. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. And always stand up for yourself.

Let them know what you would like to achieve and receive. Most professional Bloggers and Influences understand the etiquette of working with brands. But sometimes. You need to point them in the right direction. Your direction. Your brands direction. And make sure they meet your expectations.

Make sure you have everything in writing. What you agree to. What they agree to. And what the deliverables are. This is a must. If something goes a little off. You always have this to fall back on.

If you have a specific timeline that you would like them to work to. Let them know. Don’t assume they will snap-blog-post straight away.

See how they have worked with Small Business in the past. And who they have worked for. Do you like what you see? Read? Hear?

Stay true to your brand and your product. Make sure the Blogger or Influencers audience matches yours. And match your vibe.

It’s always nice to chat to the Blogger and Influencer after your collaboration. Ask for a little feedback. Give a little. Even ask how many hits the blog post received. And check your stats.

If it doesn’t feel right. Don’t do it.


Have you had a good experience?
Or a bad experience?
Do you have any tips?
Share below.
We would love to hear from you.

All images are our own. None of these are 'sponsored' or 'paid-for-posts'. Just examples of brands we love. And people we love working with.