Yesterday I got caught up watching video after video on youtube about Black Influencers who were misrepresented by big brands, but not just misrepresented but taken advantage of. A couple years ago I had written a blog post about something that had happened with a brand who had no women of color in their marketing. This situation is similar but different, for lack of a better term this sitiuation is worst.
Big brands are approaching Women of Color offering us free things, forcing us to sign contracts, pushing tight turn around times on us, and asking for high quality images and videos for FREE!!! While they pay out thousands of dollars to other Influencers who they deem more worthy, and those Influencers happen to not be women of color. They want our audience but they don’t want to pay for it. I know this all too well, and not too long spoke about it in one of my vlogs, I was no longer allowing anyone to send me free products and forcing me to talk about them. A very popular watch brand tried to do that to me a couple months ago and I told them no, if they couldn’t fit me into their budget they could not have the eyes and ears of my followers, period!
Redbubble is an online market if you would like to call it that, for independent artists, and I am a real customer of theirs. When Redbubble reached out to me to be apart of their Women’s Month campaign, I was honored. Not only was this a company I was a huge fan of but this cause is dear to my heart, my soul. Working with them made me realize what collaborations should feel like. I was allowed complete creative freedom, I had a point person that responded immediately to all my questions and a clear and concise outline. They made it so easy for me, all I had to do was show up. The funny thing is even if Redbubble had approached me to do this campaign for free, I would have because I stood by their message and what they were doing for independent artist. The campaign has not even ended and already the person I have been in contact with has already reached out to me in regards to payment, this entire interaction is rare. I thought it was important to highlight this in my blog post.
I did a collaboration a couple months ago with one of those instagram boutiques and we came to an agreement, I did everything on my end and when it was time for payment they took my PayPal and I never heard back from them. To be completely honest this has happened to me three times, it is very disrespectful and unfair. There are companies out there like the very popular Instagram watch company who will pay certain influencer a lot of money and then give the rest of us free watches. In 2019 I made it my resolution that I was going to be very picky with companies who approached me. I was no longer taking anything for review to just review it because that in itself is a scam. I like buying my products and being honest about them without the pressure of someone telling me when to post and what to say. Not all companies are out to scam influencers though, and here’s to all the brands out their being honest and practicing ethical marketing when conducting collaborations and sponsorships with Influencers.
My campaign with Redbubble is still happening and I have selected a few pieces that I am obsessed with. You can click on this link HERE and check out my shop and use my coupon which will give you 15% off anything all month long – My 15% Promo Code – WE19-laurenolauren (until the end of March). We will support brands who include Women of Color and all those who have been under-represented by major brands for far too long. Lets end March on a strong note.