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6 Lessons I’ve Learned From Gifted Brand Collaborations

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In this blog post, I’ll share 6 lessons that I have learned from gifted brand collaborations.

For the first few years of my blogging career, I only did sponsor collaborations. I had no idea how to ask for a paid collaborations or how much to charge for a brand collaboration. It took me three years and 10,000 Instagram followers to gain the courage to ask for payment.

It’s common to see young influencers viewing gifted brand collaboration as a letdown to their blogging business. They think that getting paid collaboration is an elevation from their mediocre status.



Social media brand collaboration is a billion-dollar industry, hence, every influencer should get paid for their work.

However, understanding the benefits of gifted collaborations will help to grow your account and credibility in no time. So are you a micro-influencer and are worried about receiving only gifted collaborations? Or are you a gift-only collaborator and are wondering if you made the right decision? This post is just for you! Here are some powerful lessons I have learned from gifted brand collaborations.

HERE ARE THE 6 LESSONS I’VE LEARNED FROM GIFTED BRAND COLLABORATIONS:

Outside of Pokok, KL cafe
gifted brand collaboration
Collaborations with start-up brands leads to longer-lasting brand relationships (herlovita brand collaboration)

1.   Gift Collaboration Helps You to Build Your Portfolio

I was so excited to partner with brands when I first began accepting brand collaborations. With each brand collaboration I completed, I learned little by little what brands were looking for in brand campaigns. Some brands solely wanted sales, which meant these brands saw campaign success as sales. Some brands wanted to raise awareness which meant they used likes, impressions, and reach as the success metrics.

What brands are looking for is an influencer that can engage and turn the gaze of their audience towards their products. It is therefore all about stats and your level of engagement.

Gifted collaborations allow you to work with a variety of brands. Having a variety of brands you have worked with tells a story of an influencer with value. Hence, gifted collaboration builds your portfolio and also increases your chances of getting a paid collaboration.

2.   Some Gift Collaboration Leads to Long Term Collaboration

My first influencer event with The Body Shop Malaysia

By working on smaller gifted brand campaigns, I was able to build credibility as a blogger. Very often, huge brands gift their products to various bloggers and monitor their traction to see who engages the most audience. Whoever does, gets to work with them on a long-term basis.

For me, it started out with The Body Shop Malaysia and slowly it opened more door of opportunity to work with established brands in the beauty and lifestyle industry.

Hence, with gifted collaborations, there are possibilities for a long-term brand collaboration. Refusing gifted collaboration opportunities, therefore, cuts you off from enjoying this.

3.   It Helps to Keep Your Followers Engaged and Growing

It is important to always remember that your followers look up to you for inspiration and ideas. As a result, you have to work hard to keep them engaged. Gifted collaborations give you a chance to check out new products which some of your followers may find helpful.

Likewise, by accepting gifted collaborations you get to grow your own audience. Imagine how much your audience can grow in 24 hours if a popular brand shares your content on their page.

4.   It Gives You the Needed Experience to Work With Big Brands

gifted brand collaboration
gifted brand collaborations

Your first baby steps in brand collaboration may have been filled with excitement and nervousness. As paid collaboration tarries, accepting gifted collaboration helps you to gradually understand what the industry is all about.

While a brand may perceive a successful collaboration as more sales. Another brand may measure success with the brand awareness created by the collaboration. However, you may not get to learn all these until you begin to accept gifted collaboration. Doing so improves your experience, thereby preparing you to work with bigger brands.



5.   It Helps You to Build Your Brands Credibility

No matter how many followers an influencer may have, without credibility, brand collaboration may still be hard to come by. What brands are looking for is proof that if they hire you, you can deliver on schedule as agreed.

By refusing to reject gifted collaborations till you get a paid one, you get to work with one brand after another. As you complete one project after another, your credibility as an influencer gets strengthened.

6.   It Increases Your Confidence to Work With Big Brands

gifted brand collaboration
My first collaborations with Laura Mercier Malaysia on World Lipstick Day!
gifted brand collaboration
Baby steps in brand collaboration is filled with excitement

In the brand collaboration industry, it is safe to say that experience emboldens. As you continue to accept gifted collaborations, with time, you will see tremendous growth in your confidence level.

You will find yourself being able to ask for a paid collaboration instead of gifted collaborations alone. Or you will find yourself pitching to big brands that have learned from experience what they’re looking for.

The juice of the modern-day brand collaboration industry is indeed gifted collaborations. So are you a micro-influencer and have not started asking for paid collaboration? Or have you begun to ask for it but are considering cutting off gifted collaborations? We hope these six lessons help you to see the inert benefits of gifted collaborations.

WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM GIFTED BRAND COLLABORATIONS?

FOR MORE BLOG TIPS, CHECK OUT:

HOW TO START A BLOG FOR FREE

ITS OKAY TO SAY NO TO BRAND COLLABORATIONS

9 THINGS YOU CAN PITCH TO BRANDS AS A MICRO-INFLUENCER

MY FIRST BLOGGING WORKSHOP

Thank you for reading!

6 Comments

  1. Vichitra Kalaiselvan
    8 May 2021 / 1:45 PM

    This was so insightful. Thank you so much for the brief points on the benefits of accepting gifted collaborations.

  2. 8 May 2021 / 2:03 PM

    This site of yours has become my knowledge base. Thank you for imparting you hard earned knowledge with all of us!

  3. Komal
    8 May 2021 / 4:03 PM

    This was really helpful. Thanks a lot! Have a great day

  4. 8 May 2021 / 5:17 PM

    Thanks for reading Komal, i hope it helps you in gifted collaborations.

  5. 8 May 2021 / 5:18 PM

    I’m so glad to hear this. Thank you for your constant support, my friend.

  6. Stella
    28 May 2021 / 6:47 AM

    Still waiting on my first brand collaboration… I’ve been super lazy with my account, I think I posted 3 or 4 times in the last YEAR. I have around 5k followers so no swipe up, which sucks, so I have to be very creative with what I’m sharing.

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