I think I just had my first “diva moment” as a fashion blogger. I can’t spill too many details, but I was asked to represent a brand at their event coming up and I set a few conditions before agreeing. I requested that they hire someone to do my hair and makeup before the event and that it not coincide with my work schedule. We went back and forth a bit through email, the company reassuring me that hair and makeup could be natural, so I didn’t have to worry. I was so close to dropping my demands and ultimately waking up at 6am the morning of the event to get myself dolled up before work, but I kept hearing my mentor’s voice in my head. As entrepreneurs, business women, bloggers, we need to know our worth. The company reached out to me to represent the face of their brand. They will be using my name in their advertising efforts and I will have to be present until the end of the event, mingling with guests while wearing their brand head to toe. Clearly, I am worth something to them. But what is my time and energy worth to me? I like the brand. They were a pleasure to work with in the past. I’d like to continue to support them, so I decided my time and energy was worth a hair and makeup pampering session and I didn’t back down. And the greatest thing happened. They agreed.
The topic of collaborations is a hot one that comes up at almost every single blogger meet-up. We all appreciate the “free” blogger gifts that are showered on us in exchange for posting photos, but at some point, we need to take a step back and evaluate our worth. When you break it down and see just how much time goes into planning and creating a blog post from initial communication to styling and shooting to photo editing and writing, you’re looking at hours of work. Can we as bloggers honestly say all that time is worth a t-shirt? It depends. If it’s Alexandar Wang, obviously. But what about your basic no-name brands that can’t offer quality clothing or even exposure? I’d say no. I’m not saying we should say no to all brands that request an unpaid collaboration, but I am saying we need to know our worth and only accept when it feels right.