8 Red Flags To Look Out For When Working With Brands As an Influencer

When you’re new to the blogging and Influencer world it can be overwhelming and difficult to know what emails and opportunities are legitimate.

Since being in the online world for over 7 years and now running a business solely based around helping Influencers and businesses grow I have my fair share of tips! Here are some of the major red flags to look out for.

1. No Name

If the email starts with ‘Hello lovely’ or something similar/super generic then proceed with caution. Often these are sent out in batch, or the brand is simply being lazy. Either way, you want to avoid brands like this.

2. No Personalisation

If the brand email is completely un-personal and doesn’t mention anything about you other than ‘we love your content’. This again is very generic and can be sent out in batch to multiple influencers at a time.

3. Bad Grammar

If the email has obvious spelling mistakes and errors or bad grammar then again, proceed with caution. The chances of a professional, legitimate brand sending an email like this is very unlikely so be careful.

4. Links

Common hacks happen when there is a link inside the email. It will usually be disguised for you to ‘check out their website’ but in reality the link leads somewhere else. You should always hover over the link to see where it’s going to take you before clicking.

5. Email Address

Have a look at the PR email address that the email has come from. Has the brand emailed you from a Yahoo or Hotmail account? If so, proceed with caution. If it’s a well known brand such as New Look, their email address will most likely look something like this > sophie@newlook.com. It will never be newlook@hotmail.com.

6. The Amazon Scan

If you receive an email where the brand asks you to purchase their item on Amazon with a voucher that they’ll provide you – delete the email and proceed no further.

7. Heavy Discount

If the brand offers you a heavy discount e.g. 80% off their product – this is not a collaboration and they are treating you as a customer. Politely decline and educate the brand as to why this is not a collaboration.

8. Pay For Shipping

Similar to the red flag above. If the brand offers you a free gifted item but then asks you to pay for shipping – politely decline and educate the brand. This is not a collaboration and you are being treated like a customer.

A collaboration should be mutually beneficial for both the Influencer and the brand. At the very minimum the brand should gift you the product free of charge.


Be polite and thank the brand

Kindness goes a long way in any industry and you never know where this brand will be in a few months and they may change their tune.

Educate the brand

Explain to the brand exactly why you can’t work for free. Each piece of content requires photographer fees, travel time, editing photos, engaging with your community and more. Take a look at the example below.

“Thank you so much for the opportunity! I’d love to create some content for you! Unfortunately, I cannot work on a gifting basis – as the photographer, travel fees and time spent editing leave me with a financial loss on this basis”.

Stay open for future opportunities

Say to the brand that you’d love to be considered for future campaigns if and when budget does become available – since you are a huge fan of the brand after all.

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