5 Smart Tips for Working with Brands


I consider myself (at best) an amateur freelancer, but every opportunity I've received has been a result of my blog and the network of bloggers I've met.  If you're looking to create a career outside of your blog, freelancing is usually that starting point.  It helps build up your resume, your experience, and your network.  It gives you the opportunity to work within the schedule you have

Over the years, I've had the pleasure with working with several brands over the years – a shoe company, two fashion companies, and of course – IFB. These opportunities have typically come in the area of content creation, and as a blogger, this may be the type of work you want to pursue to build your resume.

5 Tips for Working with Brands:

  • Find out who you report to.  It's not unusual for a brand to have multiple people working in online media, marketing, and advertising.  Before you agree to anything, find out the essentials of who you're working with – who do you answer to? Who “pays” you? Who should you contact if there are customer service needs? Who manages negative comments and responses?  Knowing this ahead of time can save you time & energy in the future!
  • Have a clearly outline of your duties.  It's very easy to move from “I'm doing X job for you” to suddenly doing “X, Y, Z, and A, B, and C as well.” If you want to take on extra duties for the experience and have time to manage it, do it! (And be sure to negotiate compensation for the extra work!) Many bloggers have full plates already, and having additional work that you didn't sign up for can make you feel stressed and overwhelmed.  Be sure to get it in writing what you'll be doing and what your deadlines are.
  • Get it in writing. The best brands I've ever worked with had a contract with expectations listed.  This isn't to say you can't find that perfect fit and work without a contract!  But in general, having something in writing will protect you as a blogger.  If you don't get anything beyond an email of your duties, be sure to hang onto it – you never know when you'll have to refer back to it.
  • Make sure you're getting fair compensation! This will vary from project to project.  My first freelance project, I earned $7 in “store credits” per blog post OR a 30% discount on project in exchange for 3 blog posts per month.  And I'll tell you this much – unless you're spending approximately 15-30 minutes on a post, it's not fair compensation. If you're writing blog posts, it's not usual to get $25-50 per post, depending on what you're writing, the degree of work in it, and the time spent on it.  If you're working on other projects such as managing social media, set a firm and fair hourly rate.  Base it on your experience, the current market, and what you think is fair for your living standards.
  • Find out their pay schedule/invoice schedule.  If you're working with a larger brand for pay, chances are you're going to have to invoice them.  Many companies pay their invoices on a net-30 or net-90 day schedule – which means it may be 1 or 3 months before you're paid!  If you began freelancing to supplement your income, this is so important to know.  Otherwise, you may find yourself without the funds to pay your bills!

As you start freelancing with brands, it's up to you to be proactive and protect yourself.  If you freelance and are working with brands, we'd love to hear your experiences! What tips do you have and what lessons have you learned on the freelancer's path?

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]


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17 Responses

  1. The Kentucky Gent

    Great advice – free lancing for my work on their blog currently.

    Having a “I’m doing XYZ on ABC days” was a big help in making sure I had enough time for work, my personal blog, and freelance work.

  2. Sharan Nixon

    Good Morning, I am the Executive Director of the Fashion Umbrella, and also the Lead Coordinator for Baltimore Fashion Week, and I am writing to let you know that we posted the 5 Smart Tips For Working With Brands on our Bloggers page which will be populated today.

    I just wanted to let you know that we will be more than likely reviewing your site on a regular basis to add fashion related articles to our Blogger’s page. If this is a problem, please email me and I will remove it immediately.

    Thanks for being on the web.


  3. Onianwah

    Ok, so this post came a tad too late, lol. I have recently being burned by 2 brands I worked with and they are both still owing me in arrears of more than one month each. I will definitely be employing these tips with the next brand I work (that is for sure).
    Thanks Ashley.

    Lagos, Nigeria

  4. Lisa

    Hey guys,

    So I recently started blogging and a company reached out to me for collaboration! We scheduled a phone meeting but I needed some guidelines on what to ask!! This helped me out tremendously being that I am extremely new to this!! Thank you so much for all you do!


  5. Casey Shteamer

    I haven’t really thought about freelancing yet. It seems more stressful as I don’t get to dictate the content, but it does sound like a good way to make some extra money. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Kate S.

    I too recently started a blog! I look forward to growing it and working with brands. This was a very helpful post, thank you.