Receiving a sponsorship offer after months or years of working on a content creation platform can be a significant and memorable achievement. It indicates that your channel is finally reaching the attention of companies. However, as exciting as it is to collaborate with a brand, you must remain on guard before entering a deal.
Like everything else, there is a possibility that you may be working with a fake collaboration brand. While their intentions vary, you should avoid signing an agreement with these individuals or risk damaging your reputation.
These are seven signs of a fake collaboration that you need to know.
Content Creation Platform 101: 7 Signs of a Fake Collaboration
1. Informal Language
Collaborations in a content creator platform are as legitimate as any other business dealings. Brands are paying influencers to promote their products, hence it is a form of advertising. Therefore, the language between the two parties should follow a formal tone. Everyone should respectfully address each other, especially since it is the first sponsorship. If your first sponsorship offer uses emojis and speaks in a cutesy or casual manner, consider declining the request.
2. Unprofessional Invitation
Generally speaking, you should receive potential brand collaborations from your email or in one of your accounts on social marketing platforms. However, don’t be surprised if you see companies offering sponsorships in the comments section. While it is tempting to contact these establishments, you might be better off ignoring them as these are one of the methods scammers use to trick influencers.
3. Sponsorship Offer Came From Unofficial Accounts
One of the biggest red flags of a fake collaboration is sponsorship offers coming from unofficial or unverified accounts. Generally speaking, these come from bots that scammers use to trick influencers into signing a deal. Fortunately, most social marketing platforms use strict security measures to take down these accounts. Nevertheless, there will be times when some of them remain active and send you an offer. If it happens, ignore, delete, or decline their sponsorship.
4. Refuses to Sign a Contract
Contracts are your ways of securing collaborations and ensuring you receive proper payment. This is a vital part of sponsorships that companies are open to, especially since they will also be asking you to sign agreements. Therefore, if you receive an offer in a content creation platform and the collaborator refuses to sign your terms and conditions, decline them and wait for the next one.
5. Collaborator Does Not Follow Your Content
You should start feeling suspicious about a company when they don’t follow your account on a content marketing platform and still offer you a sponsorship deal. It is highly likely that they have not done the necessary research to determine whether you are fit for their goals. Remember that collaborations require money. Companies invest in an influencer by sending products and paying the necessary fees. They do all of these as part of their marketing project. Therefore, treat it as a red flag when a brand offers sponsorship when they don’t follow your content.
6. Lack of Payment Except Shoutout
You might be familiar with the usual situation where some clients refuse to pay money to an artist and instead promise to give them a shoutout. Evidently, a professional shouldn’t work for no monetary compensation. Shoutouts generally don’t outweigh the cost of accomplishing the task. Therefore, if a sponsor is offering you this form of payment rather than money or even tangible products, you may want to consider declining the offer. Remember that you are working as an influencer in a content creation platform. You are spending significant effort in making your videos that a shoutout is not enough to return the time spent in making the sponsored content.
7. You Need to Pay for the Product
You may receive a sponsorship offer in a content marketing platform where you have to advertise a product. Generally speaking, the company should provide it for free. However, if they are asking you to spend your money to receive it, consider declining the offer. It doesn’t matter whether there is a discount or you are only paying for the shipping fee. Any professional brand would shoulder all of these expenses. Although some may not give you money for the sponsorship, it would be fine if you received free merchandise appropriate to the work you did.
Receiving collaborations from various companies in a content creator platform signifies your presence as an influencer. Brands, local or international, are starting to notice your works. However, be wary of offers attempting to scam or damage your reputation. Here is a quick recap of these seven signs of a fake collaboration.
First, sponsorship offers that utilise an informal language, such as emojis or cutesy words, are not something a professional company would do. Generally speaking, matters like collaborations require a certain level of professionalism from everyone involved.
Second, offers like the DM-me-for-more-info one should be a clear sign that they will only waste your time.
Third, legitimate collaborations should come from official accounts. Otherwise, you might be dealing with bots that scammers use to trick influencers like you.
Fourth, collaborations in social marketing platforms require some degree of security for everyone involved, whether the influencer or the company. Therefore, if a brand refuses to sign your contract, be wary of working with them as you might fall into legal trouble.
Fifth, receiving sponsorship offers from a company that doesn’t follow your content should raise a red flag. After all, no legitimate business would risk investing in an influencer without doing the necessary research.
Sixth, shoutouts are never a valid form of payment. Walk away from a sponsorship offer if there are no tangible benefits.
Last, collaborating with a company means you won’t have to spend anything in exchange for promoting their products. Never sign a deal where you have to pay for anything. It does not matter if there is a discount or if you are only shouldering the shipping fee.
Establishing your presence on social marketing platforms is one of the possible ways to allow potential sponsors to contact you. Therefore, if you want a place to create an account, check out their website and learn more about its features and community guidelines.