Gifted Products: 3 Major Benefits of In-kind Brand Collaborations for Bloggers

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WHAT IS AN IN-KIND COLLABORATION?

In-kind collaborations are when brands "gift' you free product or services in exchange for post(s) or a review of the product or service and your experience with it. An in-kind or gifted collaboration might entail posting on your blog, social accounts, creating video content about your experience with the product, or writing a review on their website. It can be all, some, or even just one of these things.

    

WHY SHOULD I ACCEPT IN-KIND COLLABS?

Some bloggers refuse in-kind campaigns altogether and don't take on any collaborations with brands unless they are paid. This might sound like something you want to eventually do too, but while you might be thinking this strategy is #BlogGoals . . . let me let you in on a little secret: 

PRO TIP:  In-kind collaborations can be amazing for your blog, and sometimes give you just what you need to take your blog to the next level.

Saying no to a collab just because it's unpaid is like picking a dish off the menu just because its the right price. . .that doesn't make it the best choice for you and it means you probably missed out on something else you would've loved. Time for us to share the 3 main ways an in-kind collaboration can benefit you:

   

01 EXPOSURE

Working with a brand who is very well known or has a larger following than you is a great way to get exposure for your blog – whether it's just through the fact that you tagged them in an instagram post and used their brand hashtag or if they actually re-posted your content to their account. 

Most brands reserve the right to re-post your content on social, but it's not guarenteed they'll re-post you. Don't be afraid to ask the brand during the negotiation process or initial email exchange to agree to repost your content on their social channels. If they say yes, be sure to add it to your contract as well.

Think of it this way: you could charge a brand for a post on Instagram based on your following and engagement. If a brand with 100K followers re-posts your content, they are giving you value based on the influence their account has. No, it's not cold cash, but in many cases it's probably worth a lot more than charging them would have been. Not only that, you'll gain new authentic followers who love the same brands you do.

NEED MORE?

If you need the full scoop on in-kind collaborations, go snag our Ultimate In-Kind Brand Collaboration Guide. It's got everything you need to know about gifted collabs from basic facts to when to say yes and why to say no to a dea,l to insider tips & tricks, a sample collaboration contract and contract template. If you're a member, you can snag it HERE for free.

02 EXPERIENCE

Brands don't just look at a follower number, your aesthetic, or your engagement rate when deciding to work with you, they also review your past collaborations. 

In-kind collaborations give you the chance to work with bigger brands earlier. It's way easier to land an in-kind collaboration deal with a major brand as a smaller blogger than a paid deal. Gifted campaigns help you get your foot in the door, get some experience under your belt, and show brands what you can do in terms of the content you can create.

With each collaboration you take on, you're building a blogging resume that can help you land bigger and better collaborations in the future. Build this resume strategically.

This is another reason to be careful about the in-kind collabs you choose to say yes to.  Accepting collabs that don't fit your brand means when other brands review your past work to see if you might be a fit, they're more likely to be turned off or think you're a poor fit for their campaign based on the brands you've worked with in the past

03  RELATIONSHIPS 

In-kind collabs are a starting point for future paid collaborations. Just as you rarely hire someone who doesn't have job-specific experience, brands often like to test the waters with in-kind collaborations to see if you're a fit before moving forward with larger paid collabs or long-term campaigns, especially if you're a newer blogger or have a smaller following.

They want to make sure the content you create is on-brand for them and that you are easy to work with (you deliver your content on time, you follow through with the terms of the agreement etc.)

Take the time to build a relationship with the PR or Marketing person who reaches out about a gifted collab. Let them know you're interested in future paid opportunities OR tell them that you usually don't accept in-kind collaborations but love their brand so you'd be willing to if there is potential for future paid campaigns.

What do you think? Have questions or ideas? Leave a comment below or use #myhautesociety

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We’re Cara & C.J the founders of the My Haute Society Community. We started this community as a place for bloggers and influencers to connect in an authentic way, but also to be supported with the resources they need to excel as a content creator. My Haute Society is a community for bloggers and influencers. We have amazing resources to help you grow your blog and succeed as an influencer. Teaching you tips, tricks and industry best practices. We also host events to help connect brands and influencers in meaningful ways that can lead to amazing collaborations.

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