Are influencers being taken advantage of?

street shoot

The way brands advertise has changed massively in the last 10 years. Influencers and content creators now play a huge part in how brands promote their new products. However some brands are starting to take advantage of influencer marketing and using creators in a way which is becoming an issue in the industry.

Earning Potential

Influencers have the potential to earn a really good income through promoting brands. There are lots of ways to make money, for example – through sponsored posts, affiliate links, or becoming brand ambassadors. For the more well known influencers with a large following, they have the opportunity to be taken on all expenses paid brand press trips in return for promoting the latest products. You will also see them creating ‘edits’ with fashion brands as well as creating their own designed collections. These sort of campaigns not only give the influencer a large pay check and commissions through sales, but also generates a massive revenue for the brands.

Read all about it..

For a brand to place an advert in a magazine it can cost thousands of pounds – even tens of thousands depending on the magazine. This is a big chunk of money for any business. Brands now realise the potential that content creators, bloggers, and people with a large social media following have. Using influencers to promote their products for them not only helps them to spread the word really quickly, it also helps to encourage others to go out and buy these items. We live in a world now where reviews can make or break a business and influencers have already gained the trust of those who follow and engage with their content so they are perfect for showcasing products to everyone.

A brand has no way of easily being able to quantify how may people saw their advert in a magazine and how many sales were generated because of it. But an influencer is able to provide a brand with statistics showing exactly how many people liked their post, how many commented, liked, saved or reposted it. If the influencer shared a discount code or a link these can also give the brand an indication of how much interest the viewers have in their product. This sort of data is hugely beneficial for a brand.

street shoot

street shoot

The issue with “gifting”

There are a lot of people that want to be an influencer or a blogger as a career choice and the market has become saturated. Because of this, brands are able to have their pick of the bunch. They have a huge amount of choice and a lot of people hoping to break through and be noticed are more willing to accept free or gifted products from a brand rather than asking them for any form of payment.

Creating content is time consuming – Writing blog posts, shooting the products, filming, editing the photos or videos all takes a lot of time, work and effort. You wouldn’t go to any regular job and expect to put in hours of work without being paid so this should be no different. A free item doesn’t pay the bills at the end of the day but a lot of brands will now only offer this to influencers and where so many are willingly accepting this, it is making it more and more difficult to receive actual payment from brands.  For example, to send out a few free items of clothing is such a tiny cost for many companies and so they prefer to do this rather than actually paying the influencers.

So for any aspiring influencers/bloggers reading this blog post, always ask a brand what budget they have available if they contact you asking to collaborate on a project. A brand that tells you they don’t have a budget is not always being truthful. All marketing departments have a budget whether they are a small business right up to the large corporations. It’s time for bloggers to be given more credit for their worth. Of course it’s completely the decision of the content creator if they are happy to work on a project on a gifted basis only and agree to not accept payment for their work. I myself still do this if I love the brand and am passionate about their products. However, unless bloggers/creators in the industry stand together more on making a positive change about being paid more regularly by brands as opposed to purely working on a gifted basis, we are far off from this being resolved.

In this industry there isn’t a set standard on how much you should charge for your content and there is a massive grey area with this, adding to brands being able to take advantage for this.

Leave a comment below if this issue has affected you. I would love to hear what your experiences have been with blogging and receiving payment for your content.

Image @Pinterest

Outfit featured in today’s blog post

Love heart Jumper :  I saw it first

Denim Petite Lockett Handbag  : Jimmy Choo 

Sunglasses : ASOS

 

What I have learned in my first year of blogging.

It’s my first blogging birthday – Hannah Lu Loves is a year old! I can’t quite believe how quickly this past year has gone. It only seems like it was Christmas 5 minutes ago. I have loved writing blog posts, working on content and my photography so this first year has been fun.

I didn’t know how it was going to turn out or if anything would actually come of it. I only knew that I wanted to blog about the things that I have been doing or enjoying. I was always getting asked where my clothes were from or what make up I was using and I thought, what better way than to blog about it!

I have learned a few things along the way which I wanted to share with you, and these might be useful if you are thinking of starting a blog yourself. So let’s get into what I have come across in my first year…

Fabulous opportunities

The plus points of blogging in my first year have meant some really great opportunities. I’ve been invited to product launches, events and even a fashion show as part of London Fashion week which was amazing! I’ve also been sent lots of lovely products to review and test out which is something that I really enjoy doing. It’s so much fun to try new brands and to write my thoughts about them. I’ve bought things in the past after reading blogs and reviews so I know how useful it can be.

Receiving gifted items is amazing and I’m so grateful for this, but if you want to start blogging, I would advise not to go into it thinking that you will be constantly receiving gifted items all the time.  This is just a small part of the process. You need to genuinely love writing, producing content and focus on that, which leads me onto my next point.

It’s hard work!

Working a full time job, running a home, having a social life and blogging, let me tell you is not easy! There are days when I get home from the office, where I’ve been looking at a computer screen all day and the last thing I want to do is carry on with more typing.

I aim to post a new blog once a week and I haven’t always stuck to this. I have so many ideas buzzing around my head and have things that I want to write about, so I would love to increase this to twice a week. That’s a new goal I’m going to try and set myself for my second year.

You really have to be passionate and dedicated about blogging, putting in the hours if you want to go the distance.

Prepare to have IT headaches

I am not what you would call an IT whizz in the slightest. To be honest, computers and technological things hurt my head! I’ve literally had to teach myself how to use WordPress, (with the help of some YouTube tutorials along the way) and learn about plug ins, backlinks, coding, SEO, the works. They don’t make it easy let me tell you! SEO is a really important topic though for bloggers and if you want your blog to grow and be noticed you have to pay attention to this.

People don’t understand it

When you mention that you have a blog, a lot of people don’t really understand it. They think you are trying to be a model by having your picture taken, or that you are only in it for the freebies. It can be frustrating having to justify to others about why you are blogging. I decided not to tell many people about it as couldn’t be dealing with all of the questions. I enjoy doing it for myself and for my readers and that’s all that matters.

Expectations from brands

I have been approached by a lot of brands in the last year and those who I’ve chosen to work with have been lovely. Some brands will give you a free range on what content you put together and others will send you a criteria of what they are looking for. I have heard some horror stories from other bloggers though where brands have asked for drafts and made endless corrections and changes to their work. This I can’t get my head around. The brand must have seen their previous examples of work/blog posts so I they should have known what kind of content to expect from them surely?

Never let a brand dictate to you what your final published blog post will be like. Your post will not seem natural and will sound like a walking advertisement.

Be assertive with brands

There are some brands out there that will contact you asking to collaborate, but then expect you to work completely for free. You wouldn’t do this in your daily life, and blogging is no different – time is money people!

I don’t think brands always appreciate the time, and effort that goes into putting together a blog post and to expect you to do this completely free of charge is quite cheeky. Be assertive but polite with them and if you want to ask regarding payment, then it’s good to be clear and upfront on this.

Brands not using your images

This is something which has bothered me over the last year. I actually read a really great blog post on this. I’m not able to link it as she has called it a day with her blog which is a shame. She was saying how bad it made her feel when she had worked so hard to put together photography for a brand related blog post, but they never used her image on any of their social media channels.

This happened to me not so long ago with one brand, and it also really bothered me. It starts to make you feel paranoid – was my image not up to their standards? Why have they been using loads of other people’s images but not mine? Is it something about how I look?  – this is a dangerous mindset to get into but something that you need to be prepared for.

Who knows why brands don’t always use the images you have worked on. If you liked them and were happy in how they turned out, just remember that. Don’t allow this to demotivate you or make you feel bad about yourself. You will also get rejections from brands, and not hear back from them occasionally. This is also something to bare in mind and its important not to let that get to you. Something better will always be around the corner!

Staying true to yourself

Being authentic is one of THE most important things when blogging. If your posts are purely just product reviews, a blog can start turning into one big advertisement zone. I can often tell when people are talking about products just because they have been paid for it. I see it a lot on YouTube when people are promoting brands, when they cannot even pronounce the name of them properly and you can tell they aren’t really into what they are trying to promote. The whole thing can come across as a bit of a sham.

For me personally, I love writing reviews on products but I also want to talk about things that are going on in my life and about places I’ve been or  lifestyle hints/tips. Variety is key!

Promotion, promotion, promotion

Writing blog posts alone is not enough. The market is heavily saturated and you need to get noticed. I have found that using other social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter are essential for getting your name out there and gaining new readers. A good tip on Twitter is include hash tags of pages that help to promote bloggers and their recent posts. They will re-tweet for you which is a great way to gain new readers and interest.

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading about my first year blogging and I’m looking forward to the future and to see what else is in store for me!

Leather Jacket – Per Una at Marks & Spencer

Cream T-Shirt – Zara

Jamie Jeans – Topshop

Handbag – Jimmy Choo

8 things that have made my 2018 amazing


2018 is coming to an end and I don’t know about you but I feel like this year has really whizzed by. I personally have had a great year and looking back, I have achieved some amazing things which have all contributed to making it a good one. Here are 8 highlights that have made it so special.

New Car

Although I finally passed my driving test last year, this Summer my boyfriend and I finally got round to getting a car. When I lived in London, I didn’t really need one as I only really used public transport to get around but there are certain things which having a car have really helped with such as food shopping. There is nothing worse than having to juggle a load of carrier bags of food shopping on the bus.

I love how much freedom having a car has given us and we are now able to drive to visit family easily and to be able to go away for the weekend. For my birthday in October we drove up to Oxford to stay in a spa hotel which was so much fun. Next year we plan to go on many more weekend trips away and explore further areas in the UK. 

Career

In January I started my new job at Ralph Lauren. Just call me Rachel from friends! Although it has been hard work and pretty stressful at times, I was promoted in September which was a great achievement. Since then, I’ve taken on new challenges and I have been learning new things every day. I have also been loving working in the Mayfair are of London. It is a fashionista’s paradise being surrounded by the biggest names in the fashion industry. I love the window displays and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I often post pictures of these!

Amsterdam

I have wanted to go to Amsterdam for years and this year I was able to visit for a few days. I love the unique style of houses lined up along the pretty canals and we went on a canal boat trip which was so much fun. It’s a great way to get a feel for the city so I recommend booking one of these. Of course we did all of the usual tourist spots like the red light district, and various famous “coffee” shops but our favourite place that we went to was the Foodhallen which was a large indoor food market. We stayed there the whole day eating loads of gorgeous dishes! Amsterdam is quite expensive but it is definitely worth a visit. We stayed in Citizin M which is one of my favourite hotels to stay in Europe.

Summer Heat

This summer was the hottest one since, well I cant actually remember when! I haven’t been on a beach holiday this year but with weather that good it really didn’t matter. The sun always puts everyone in such a good mood and with the football world cup taking place over this Summer, it was such a fun time. The only thing that I wish I had done was to have bought a fan. Literally every local store and online had sold out and at one point it was over 34 degrees at night! I am going to buy one in the new year to avoid missing out next time.

Festivals

I love a good festival and this year I went to Made in Birmingham and Boundary in my home town Brighton. I have been to so many events in Birmingham over the years but this this was my first Made festival. The field they hosted this on was miles away from anywhere and was a bit of a mission to get to. There were around 20 of us travelling there together and it was fun going in a large group. The only downside was the weather. It literally poured with rain all day!

Boundary festival though was AMAZING. I will definitely be going again next year. It was great to have this event on my own doorstep and the music was so good. It was also packed with people all day and had an all round fab atmosphere. I had my hair done for the event by the brilliant Braid Babes in Brighton. I really recommend them as they can do literally any braid style out there and they are such lovely girls. Their website details are HERE.

Teeth

Blog & Events

Last but not least, of course I have to mention this blog! I started blogging around June and for the last 6 months I have really enjoyed posting weekly reviews and blog posts. I have been so fortunate to have been gifted some beautiful items and I have been able to try out products from new brands that I have discovered. I have also collaborated with various brands which has been so much fun.

I have also been invited to some really great events including a new launch by Lola make up, an invitation to London Fashion week and trying out local events in Brighton such as afternoon tea on a Routemaster bus which you can read all about HERE.

My blog is still in really early days and I have so many ideas and plans in the pipeline. I am really excited to continue with my blogging journey into next year and who knows where it will lead and what other opportunites will come my way.

Here’s to an amazing 2019 and wishing you all a fab New Years eve celebration! xx

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