diving right into the stuff no one wants to talk about but so many of us have experienced in the creative industry regardless of what that role looks like to us as individuals

big piece of the creative [influencer] industry is that your value is placed in numbers
like yes, we get it you want to make sure you’re getting a solid ROI

but brands: we are also investing in YOU as well

micromanaging us or refusing to pay anything for work that is legitimate work is offensive and unfair to put expectations on something or someone to work for free

imagine spending time creating and producing shoots that brands don’t want to pay you for knowing that when the company uses your content for their own marketing their potential earnings have an earning potential far greater than your creative fee

the first time i recognized that imbalance i said hold up: you don’t get to just use me, you have to actually pay me which honestly lead to a lot of ” you do not have permission to use this emails and hard feelings to be honest but also a big opportunity for me to step up and remind myself of my own value and worth

rev shares or commissions are bonuses to the work we do and should not be the sole form of payment that is purely conditional on how many followers you have or someone remembering you have a code like damn who can even remember where they saw that one meme two weeks ago let alone a freaking link or code half the time — yes people remember but good god 60 versions of one person’s branding code that companies come up with is a headache and the tracking links are nightmares beyond elm street some days

but to some, those stats are more important than your immeasurable impact on someones life with your words and how you show up

please note: i love doing this work and i love creating but as much as i love butter, i love the bread that it pairs nicely with

something we could try to remember, and hopefully brands start to take note: someone buying a product you post about says nothing about your impact and should not determine your value

scaled rates for reach happens
no strings attached gifts are more likely to generate harmonic feelings where the creative happily shares on their feed or stories

however to ask for someone to do for free the ad work that you know often costs thousands but will generate more is an insult and is just rude — insert full house gif if i actually knew how to put one of those into a blog post

but not everyone is basing life on stats — thank goodness

working with life is good for example: the impact my sponsored posts with life is good goes beyond if someone uses an affiliate link — which we only just recently added

the messages, the tags, the reach of speaking on experience and supporting others is bigger than the people who comment on a post or ask for a link

creating that safe space for people to connect is powerful
but it’s still super cool when friends tag they’re wearing the things you showed them because i mean twins and triplets freaking rock ok

i could give out codes and links all day for the brands i work with and things i use and someone is still going to forget to use them but always remember to tell me months later “oh i ordered those things you shared” and how much love them and use them daily

i don’t need that validation but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel good
it feels really good to hear impact and that is a good thing
i’ve cried quite a few times over words shared that may not have come up at that time without the sponsored post which increases likelihood of someone purchasing an item because they connected to that moment

but to base whether or not we believe in ourselves on numbers or any other outside validation is a program that we had to earn love

we don’t have to earn love
[more about that to come]

reiterating the fact that statistics are not an accurate measurement of effectiveness of a creators impact:

have all sales been statistically tied back to me the i’ve influenced?

did i get a commission?

does that decrease my value or  effectiveness?
absafkinglutely NOT

the value that influencers, coaches, small businesses hold is not instantly measured by stats — not even over a week

it can be guessed
but not measured 

every action ever word we come across is intrinsically linked to another and a series of events that both lead up to and follow that interaction

getting nervous that a brand won’t pay you or see your worth is a reflection of the worth you are still learning in yourself 

do we do things for free?
do we do everything for free?
hell no
do we understand establishing a relationship before money gets involved?
sure but establish in the beginning what you will do for “free” and when compensation is expected — create an even energy exchange
but finally, should we get paid for creative ad work beyond “free stuff?”
fuck yes — one of the few should’s i endorse

but more important to anything in this conversation i’m having with myself but sharing with anyone who happens upon it is

you are worthy
you have value
you are incredibly capable regardless of likes and reach and stats that do feel good when they’re good
this is not just about influencers or business partnerships of any kind:
this is for life

so take time
thank your people
find a middle ground
budget to pay people
know when you can’t
create community
do freebies when it makes sense 
but don’t give your life away for free
ask the big questions to your self and others
i mean seriously ask your fellow influencer or those you look up to for advice
we have all been newbs at some point
and this market will always evolve
there is always something to learn and people to learn from
especially ourselves

these thoughts are based on years of both amazing and terrible experiences and unless otherwise noted are not directed toward anyone or any partnership just a cumulative lesson on life, marketing, impact, and love