That is NOT a Collaboration

I don't really ever do this, but it's time to take a walk into something of a bit of a negative space to have a little chat around collaborations - or more importantly what isn't a collaboration.

I've had many brands and businesses contact me, whether directly or through a PR agency, to ask about collaborating. Usually these will involve them sending over some product for me to test and try and then post about, and sometimes there may even be a little extra cash involved. This is something I would class as a collaboration. I know some people say you shouldn't just accept free product for your work, and I completely understand that argument, particularly if you're trying to grow your Instagram and make it a viable source of income. But for someone like me who just does it as something on the side and a bit of fun these days, I have no problem just receiving product in return for posting something; at the very least I'm getting the value of the product in return for my work.

This however, is not a collaboration ...

I've had many other examples pass through my Instagram DMs, but I think you get the idea.
I know I'm not alone in this as I've seen bloggers and Instagrammers post about this issue before, but offering a discount on your product, which I still need to buy, and then asking me to then post about it on my feed, is NOT a collaboration.  I often find the brands and companies who try to offer these types of deals are the ones you see commenting on peoples photos asking them to contact them about a collaboration.

I understand how this can come across - oh someone won't give you free product, poor you. But think of it from a more business perspective - essentially they are asking for me to pay to create content for them, they want me to pay to do my work in return for some 'possible exposure' on their channel if they decide to choose my image ..... would you want to do your work if you walked in and your boss said 'I need you to do this for me and just pay me $30 for it as well' - probably not.

There's plenty of talk recently about how promising someone "exposure" in exchange for their work just doesn't quite cut it in the creative field, not to mention just "possible exposure". 

No matter how big or small the company, brand or Insatgrammer may be, if you say you want to collaborate with someone, you need to follow up with a deal that is actually a collaboration and pays them in one way or another for their time - not simply propose something that will earn yourself some extra dollars from getting someone to buy your product.

What's your opinion?

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