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Influencer: Gifted collabs are great, but.....

Okay, I know how exciting it can be to receive gifts from brands, especially if they're a bucket list, dream brand! ✨

But continuing to accept free products in exchange for creating content for brands, without implementing the following three steps, only reinforces the expectation that they can get away without paying you. 🤦‍♀️

It's a common practice for brands to gauge interest and content quality from influencers before offering paid collaborations. However, this doesn't mean:

  • You need to abruptly end the conversation

  • You can't strategically leverage the opportunity for a paid campaign

  • There's no way to navigate this effectively.

Here's how to approach it:

STEP 1: Instead of immediately committing, express your appreciation for the product and your willingness to receive it as a gift. However, without a budget, guaranteeing coverage on your platforms isn't feasible.

But hold off on sending that just yet!

Initiate a conversation and inquire:

"I'd love to understand more about how [Brand] collaborates with influencers and when your next influencer campaign recruitment begins. This insight will help me generate organic interest in your brand and engage my audience. I'd also like to update you on the progress and share some ideas on how I can contribute to reaching your influencer marketing goals this quarter. Does that align with your plans?"

Not bad, right? 🤯

STEP 2: Once you receive the product, feature it organically in three distinct content pieces following this sequence:

  1. Use or showcase it on camera without explicit mention but tagging the brand discreetly in the story. Wait for 2 days.

  2. Naturally integrate mentions of how much you love the product in subsequent stories, visibly tagging the brand. Wait another 2 days.

  3. Create a story post highlighting the product and include a text directing interested viewers to the best online price with a link sticker. Then, DM the story to the brand, reintroducing yourself and sharing your enthusiasm about the product, along with the content you created.

STEP 3: After these stories expire, gather the content, analytics, and any related DMs from your story archives. This social proof can be shared with the brand via a Google folder when you follow up with collaboration ideas.

This method is how emerging influencers cultivate lasting relationships with brands and transition from gifted collaborations to sustainable paid partnerships. It demonstrates your professional approach and the value you bring to the table, signaling that a commercial relationship entails a price tag 💰.

As daunting as it may seem, requesting payment from brands is not only possible but can yield significant earnings, especially when you learn to negotiate your value objectively.


influencer sitting with gifted collab

My goal is to inspire you and to hand you my real-life tested strategies so you can proudly say that you've landed a dream career - except it's one that you've built yourself. 


So even if you have 0 clue right now how to grow your influence and monetize a small audience…


…I can help you get on track to living out your dream of being a full time influencer (if you aren't already!) with brands lining up to work with you. 

You can do this. I mean, if I can do this YOU can do this!! And I am here for you every step of the way! Just hit REPLY if you have any questions!

Your Influencer Big Sis,


influencer tips with katie


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