5 Misconceptions Influencers Have About Brands

5 Misconceptions Influencers Have About Brands

So guys, today we are talking about the two sides of brand + blogger partnerships…

This Brands vs. Bloggers theme was kind of inspired by the random Mayweather person fight that happened last week that everyone cared about??

Plot twist: I did not care about this fight.

But anyway, it got me thinking about the blogger side and the brand side of collaborations and the misconceptions from both sides about both sides – (did that make ANY sense?)

So, on the blogger side, I know there’s a lot of rumors, misconceptions, and just incorrect “facts” about what brands are looking for…which is one of the main reasons I founded/rebranded Slightly Savvy.

In fact, a lot of the main themes behind these rumors are bloggers thinking that brands are way SMARTER than they actually

Why Brands Are Dumber Than Bloggers Think…

1.  They’re not always paying real attention

I think a lot of bloggers overestimate how much a brand is paying attention.

Not all brands are highly selective about who they give money to for sponsorships.

A lot of brands look at an Instagram following, see 100K followers, and slap the person $5,000 to do an Instagram post…

Because they can. Because they have the budget.

A lot of bloggers get uber feisty about who brands choose to work with like…..

“I can’t believe they paid HER to do that – her writing is horrible!”

“She totally bought her Instagram followers. Look how low her likes are!”

And the plot twist is that no, sometimes brands don’t really care.

Big brands can pay the big money to bloggers even for the slight change they might get some positive ROI out of it.

2. Some brands are slowww

When a lot of bloggers think about working with brands, they’re thinking of the Dollar Shave Clubs and the Sand Clouds…these very millennial brands that do pay bloggers and influencers, do heavy social media marketing, etc.

The vast majority of brands are very CONSERVATIVE. They were slow to even get on Facebook in the beginning, and they still think Snapchat is for nudes.

They’re still buying literally billions of dollars in billboards, TV commercials, direct mail (like the little postcards that come to your mailbox…)

So yes, they’re not going to be doing this new “influencer marketing” thing.

Don’t be shocked or surprised if brands you pitch yourself to don’t work with influencers OR don’t think bloggers are worth paying.

It’s a bummer to hear, but I bet you in 2 years, those brands will be singing a different song.

And now onto how brands are also SMARTER than bloggers think…

slightly savvy brands smarter dumber


How Brands Are Smarter Than Bloggers Think

1. Those legal contracts are real, fam

I see a lot of bloggers in Facebook groups talk about how they maybe didn’t fully understand a brand contract, but they signed it and sent it back anyway…..

And then they had a terrible experience.

Or they want to bash the brand on social media for “not following through with their end.”

Now granted…a brand truly might be the worst and maybe DID screw you over.

But most of the time, the problem lies in the contract you signed.

Brands are always going to cover their butts. So you better believe that legal contract has been fully fleshed out by a team and there’s some hard-core language in there that you need to pay attention to.

what you can do to be smart too //

  • read every single contract in detail. I know they’re freaking boring, but do yourself a favor and save yourself the huge headache of a legal problem down the road.
  • if you don’t understand a phrase in the contract, redline it in Microsoft Word or in the PDF, and send back to the brand asking for clarification.
  • don’t hope for something you think a brand will just give to you out of the kindness of their heart. If it’s not specifically outlined in a contract, don’t assume

Keep Reading: Bloggers, Stop Bashing Brands from a PR perspective –> here

2. Brands + PR pros talk to each other a LOT

As more and more brands work with more and more bloggers, bloggers will start getting a reputation for either being GREAT to work with or NOT GREAT.

Just because you don’t know all the connections someone has doesn’t mean they don’t have them.

You never know who someone in the brand or PR world is connected to.

And we’re not dumb.

We talk a lot amongst ourselves, at industry events, and online…basically, word will get around.

Sometimes, bloggers can be super high-maintenance and not ideal to work with. They can be almost like mini-celebs with demands, acting like they are better than everyone, etc.

Definitely not every blogger is this way but some are.

Basically, don’t think brands are dumb and if you act like a nightmare to one brand, it won’t get around.

what you can do to be smart //

  • treat every brand the same – no matter if it’s Tiffany & Co. or Sally’s Handmade Jewelry. The CEO of Tiffany & Co. just might have a niece who works at Sally’s Handmade Jewelry.
  • treat everyone you work with same – even the assistant, even the assistant’s assistant. One day, that assistant might be the VP of Communications of a brand you’re trying to work with. And she’ll remember how you treated her, I guarantee you.

3. Be wary of buying followers // how 1 NYC agency busted their bloggers’ fake followers

A recent example of this is an agency, Fohr Card, in New York that created their own tool/computer software to do depth research + analysis on their bloggers’ Instagrams.

And after their study, a lot of bloggers + influencers were turned away and could no longer work with the agency due to unverified Instagram followings.

Jordan Younger, The Balanced Blonde, one of the biggest OG bloggers and apparently a client of Fohr card, said….

“I got an email a couple of days ago from an agency I work with frequently in NYC called Fohr Card. They ran the stats with some super tech savvy programming to figure out which influencers they work with have legitimate followings, and which do not.

In the email from them, they wrote, “There were thousands of influencers [we’ve worked with] whose followings didn’t get verified, and we hope this badge is another step towards adding transparency to the industry and rewarding those who have built real, authentic followings.

Even though it’s really really tempting to buy followers or use other suspicious methods, be aware of the consequences that you’re facing.

Be aware that if a brand and agency found out, it would be embarrassing and probably cost you a lot of sponsorships and a lot of trust, which is the hardest thing to earn back.

Wrapping Up Misconceptions

So! What are some common misconceptions that you see all the time? I’d love to hear them below.

Want to learn more misconceptions + how busting them will help you as a blogger?

Check out the free 5 Day Mini Camp: Breaking Down Myths of Pitching to Brands.

It’s free, brand new, no strings attached, and 5 days of email fun.

  • Teaspoon of Nose

    This is so helpful!! Definitely saving this for future brand work. Thanks!!

  • Always love your tips! The legal verbiage can be confusing even from an affiliate marketing perspective. I’ve legit emailed some affiliates I work with to ask for clarification, let them know what I’m thinking of doing, and negotiate a resolution that works for both parties. This extra conversation helps them & it helps me. I’ve read so much about affiliate marketers being “cut off” so to speak despite all their work!

    Excited for this mini camp series!!


  • This is such good information! As an agency owner, I will say that it is very true, all of us talk to one another. I also don’t mind seeing Bloggers and Influencer’s with their own counter contracts. Shows professionalism.

  • These are really good tips, especially for someone (like myself) who doesn’t know all that much about working with brands and would like to learn more for future reference 🙂 xo

  • Bruce Schinkel Jr.

    Really great tips. As someone just starting into this world, it’s great to see where to spend more time, and what to take a little less seriously

  • Teresa Desouza

    Great insights! I used to work in PR as well, and then started my blog, and it’s amazing what goes into picking the right influencers for the right campaigns! Now that I’m on the other side, I’m so flattered every time someone reaches out!

  • Rachel Ritlop

    Yesss girl! I couldn’t agree more! I cannot stand to see bloggers bashing brands online. It seems clear to me that brands/PR reps talk and it’s unwise to bash brands publicly!

  • Sarah Jean

    I’ve never worked in PR but this is so full of great information for both bloggers and brands. It would be nice if more brands saw influences for their worth, but also agree it is dumb to bash them! word gets around!

  • Always love how you break things down in a tell it like it is attitude that also makes complete sense ::round of applause::


  • These are all so very true- great post! As a blogger who is on the brand side as well, I agree with each and every one of these. There are definitely a few bloggers/ influencers on my list that I will not work with because they were difficult (or maybe they have a manager or agent who was difficult), I see them bash other brands, or their sponsored work was poor quality. We do take notice of these things!

  • Brittany Daoud

    This was super helpful! I have noticed a lot of brands don’t seem to care if the people they are partnering with have engaged audiences or not, which is kind of a bummer for those of us with smaller but more engaged followers!

  • This was a really cool post. Since I’m new to the influencers world, it’s nice to hear about how the relationships work.

  • so much great information here for someone just getting started on their work with brands. definitely pinning to return to again, thanks!

  • Bridget Roddy

    So much great advice. Especially about the slow to change brands… those can totally be a nightmare!

  • Mia Lupo

    Love how you explained both perspectives! You gave a well-rounded view of the things both bloggers and brands should expect/research

  • This is really interesting, brands are always very different and as a small blogger at the moment I mostly just get the usual “we give you money for link in post”, which are not things I’m interested in, and I’ve never had a formal contract from the few brands I have worked with but I will definitely keep a lot of this in mind 🙂

    The Quirky Queer

  • Makaela Premont

    This was an interesting read! I never thought that brands might still be out of date or very slow to Getting with the new times!

    I’m hoping to increase my sponsor posts so I can start getting paid to blog

    -xo, Makaela

  • Dieter Hovorka

    Wow, interesting to read. I did not work yet with influencer but was reading a lot about it

  • Cecilia Wood

    This was such an informative post – thank you so much for sharing! I’m a small blogger and have only done a handful of collaborations, so I’m glad to have this information going forward.

    xoxo, Cecilia // sunnysidececilia.com

  • Liza Perry

    I loved that real post! I really really agree about the legal side! I’ve had some proposals who seems to be interesting but then I turned them away as they were really unfair contracts behind (I’m a lawyer side from blogging so its easier for me ;)). I also agree with the fact PR talks a LOT together, been approached by different people had no idea where they were coming from … then found out PR’s world. Thanks, loved reading!

  • Natasha Lynn Brown

    Thank you for sharing these informative tips! Looking forward to utilizing your advice.

  • I’m a new blogger and I loved reading this. Thank you for such an informative and insight post!

    -Lily // https://www.thedaisylifeblog.com

  • Tatiana

    I am just starting to blog and wonder a lot about how to work with brands. Thank you very much for the tips!

  • Amy

    Yessss! I’ve worked on both sides as a marketing consultant doing influencer outreach and as a blogger on the receiving end of influencer outreach, and I love that I get the perspective from both sides. Thanks for pointing out little-known facts!