1. What Is The Company Offering?
Of course as a content creator, your purpose [at least for Beauty, Fashion and a few others] is to review the items for a potential consumer looking for their next buy. You are a vessel of promotion for the company at hand. Now if you purchased items on your own, it's different because you spent your own money. But when companies start to reach out to you, you need to make sure they are not playing you. This tip is especially for smaller creators. Yes, you may be small but you still have a following and creating content for promotion is a time consuming job. What you are willing to take is up to you but you need to be stern and professional with companies or else they will walk all over you, for free. My advice to you is to create a media kit. A media kit is basically a brag sheet and layout of your services and what you charge for them. It's okay to negotiate because every brand is different but make sure you're getting what you're worth.
2. ALWAYS BE TRUTHFUL
This is self explanatory. Sadly, nowadays you have to say this. The content creators, [not spilling the tea on who] who say they love every product they get are the ones to look out for. Actually, the ones who have ENDLESS sponsored videos are the worst. Yes, it's okay to get that coin but are you really doing it for the people. Personally, I got into this industry because I felt as though the Blogging and Youtube platform now was becoming so saturated with people who don't care about the everyday girl wanting to find truthful reviews for products. Every time I review something, I am 100% truthful with it. It doesn't matter if you're getting paid to do a review or not. The minute that you lie is the minute you sell yourself out and lose the trust of your audience.
3. Every Collaboration Isn't A Good One
When the collab emails start rolling in trust me it feels good but you need to keep in mind that every company is not for you. Yes, collaborations are a great way to expand and promote your brand but you can't just take anything. Let me give you an example: A dope swimwear line reached out to me in December about becoming a Brand Ambassador. I actually loved the brand and what it stood for. But mind you, I'm a Jersey girl. It's cold in December and I'm definitely not going to the beach anytime soon. Yes, I could've took the offer but I politely rejected the offer for now because I was not a match for the brand at the time. It's not about the offer, it's about will the offer work for you?
4. Don't Let The IRS Come And Find You
This is actually something that I'm just now learning about and I'm currently researching. Please keep in mind that being a content creator after a certain amount of money is considered a job. Just like any other job, you need to pay taxes. One tip that I've found was to keep receipts for EVERYTHING you purchase in reference to your side hustle or full-time job. Microsoft Excel is a great way to keep track of that [Click here for free budgeting sheets]. The video below is the first video I watched about taxes and creating content. A separate blog post for that will be coming soon!
5. Get Familar With The FTC Before They Get Familiar With You
The FTC to Content Creators is what the IRS is to our wages, annoying as hell but necessary. Due to the new job pool, FTC had to crack down on Content Creators and Brand Ambassadors for the protection of the consumer. The FTC is not here to make your life hard, they're simply here to protect the consumers just like the Dodd-Frank & Sarbanes Oxley Act (if you're a business major like myself you know. lol) Just stay in their good graces and you're fine!
What are some of your experiences as being a content creator? Let me know below or on social media!
Sincerely, Sharon B