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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)