How To Authentically, Honestly Review a Product…. When You Are Being Paid To Do It

Welcome to Optimize Your Account, where we’re breaking down what you need to know about social media platforms and MagicLinks to increase your online visibility, maintain authentic communication with brands and your subscribers, and maximize your MagicLinks experience and commissions. Got a topic you want us to cover? Email us!

A brand emails you. They want to pay you to do an Instagram post, YouTube video, or blog post about their product. You think, this is it! I’ve made it!

Awesome, isn’t it?

Now… How do you create a long-lasting relationship with that brand, and do such a great job on your posts that other brands come knocking, while making sure you’re staying true to your own creative voice and maintaining authentic communication with your subscribers? THAT’S the hard part.

All of this together sounds like a lot, but trust us: Building long-term brand relationships is worth the effort.

READ THE FINE PRINT – We all blithely click “Accept Terms” whenever we have to do another iTunes update, but you should NEVER do that with a sponsored content contract. Ever. Read it all, ask a trusted friend or relative to look it over too, and ask questions & request changes in the document where needed.

BE PROFESSIONAL – You wouldn’t be impressed with a hairstylist that kept you waiting for three hours, only cut half of your hair, and overcharged you, right? The same goes for brand relationships. The brand is paying you. For all intents and purposes, they are your employer while the contract lasts. You should be professional throughout, quick to respond to inquiries, publish posts at agreed times, and fulfil all contractual obligations.

MAINTAIN HONESTY FROM THE START – Nothing is more frustrating, as a YouTube viewer, than watching a video by your fave creator that is clearly scripted by the brand. We advise telling brands up front that you will always be 100% honest, even if you don’t 100% love their product. Be extra polite with any negative aspects to your review or video. It’s never a bad idea to let them know about negatives before the post goes live, either.

YOU’RE SELLING YOUR LIFESTYLE – Your viewers want your life: That’s why they buy the products you recommend! All reviews and content, sponsored or no, should show you using the product. Apply the mascara, live-stream you playing the video game, eat the cookies. Keep your storytelling inspirational and aspirational!

BE PREPARED TO SHOW METRICS – A brand wants a return on their investment, right? Be ready to show exactly how many clicks, how many conversions, how much subscriber engagement your posts received. One way this is done is through an exclusive tracking link from the brand, much like MagicLinks links. Some other options you can use are SharedCount, Google Alerts, and Google Analytics.

DISCLOSURE TIME – ANY sponsored post (or even free samples) needs to have a disclosure, per FTC rules. Whether that’s #spon or #ad on Instagram, a sentence in a YouTube video description, or a postscript on a blog post, it.has.to.be.disclosed. Familiarize yourself with the full FTC guidelines here.

*Images of sponsored content from community members Zabrena, CoffeeBreakWithDani, the GlamTwinz, and Nazanin Kavari.

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