When Brands Want You To Work For Free: There’s A Difference Between Being Nice And Being A Fool






Every since I launched my blog, I have received what seemed as 4 innocent emails from digital agencies that represent companies in social media. These agencies make sure their brands have a strong presence in cyberspace. They also use other strategies such as reaching out to bloggers and influencers who write or “vlog” (video) about their clients.



The agencies wanted me to write a blog about their clients’ products and services and promote them on my social media sites – for free. Now, here’s the deal. I am a nice person and I go out of my way to help people. However, when you have an digital agency knocking on your door representing the # 1 CRM platform in the world valued at $44 billion dollars, you would think the agency should spare some of their budget to identify key bloggers and influencers – and pay them to boost their clients’ online media presence, right?



The world is changing – and brands know this.



Before, advertising agencies used large budgets to do productions for television and other advertisement placements: billboards and print ads such as newspapers and magazines, etc. They would either buy the stock photo or footage or produce it themselves. While TV ad spending still accounts for a great majority of a company’s advertising budget, according to CMO Council, by 2018, Internet advertising will overtake TV as the largest advertising block in any company.



What the heck does this mean? It simply means that companies are spending more money on sites like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to advertise their products. It also means that brands are hiring bloggers and influencers such as famous Viners, YouTubers and Instagramers to push their efforts. And, it also means that streaming TV and online reading are killing television, newspapers and magazines.



So, here are my 6 market trends predictions for the next 5 years:


  1. Stock/Image banks will be replaced by user-generated content. You will be able to monetize on the photo you took of the sunset during your vacation. Brands will pay less for your photos (you will happily sell it) as opposed to buying it from an image bank.


  1. Viners/YouTubers/Influencers will command contracts as profitable as Hollywood’s luminaries



  1. Companies will redefine “branded entertainment.” Snapchat and all other entertainment-focused awesome apps will be a company’s advertising driving force.


  1. Being bilingual (Spanish & English) will still be cool. However, if influencers produce only Spanish-language content, at least here in the U.S., an important demographic will not necessarily be reached in the most effective way: Billennials. That’s because Billennials consume mostly English-language media and information. The same will happen with Generation Z kids (14-17).



  1. While many Influencers are charging brands low prices right now (when compared to how much money a brand spends to make a 30-second TV commercial), they will wake up and charge higher prices and based on their personal brand.


  1. Advertising agencies will suffer. Oh, boy. They will suffer. They will allocate more employees and resources into digital, making the traditional offering (TV and print production), almost an after thought.



Last week, Ryan, at a digital agency based in Florida contacted me. He said he was “representing” a personal finance tool that allows consumers to track and monitor their budget closely. He congratulated me on my blog’s ranking and the fact that I write about personal finance and money specifically for women. He also mentioned that this product was running a contest all the way through December 22nd and they were giving away $2,500 in cash to the winner. Readers could submit their info and try the product on a link he provided.



He proceeded to ask me if I could post this info on my blog and social media sites. My response was succinct: How much is (Name of the company) going to pay me?



Women, pay attention to how the market is changing. If you blog or if you are a social media influencer, know that brands have an advertising budget – and you should charge for your services. It’s not about being greedy. It’s about fairness. Be nice to others. However, do not let anybody take advantage of you.



If you didn’t watch my interview with CNN en Español, you can watch it by clicking on the photo below.



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  1. Sol Gonzalez says:

    Monica, I happened to read a couple of posts in your blog, and this one was amazing. It is really powerful. Sometimes we missed the point between collaboration and ‘abuse’ – taking advantage of other people skills. I have noticed lots of companies – who are making money- doing this and what it is sad is that lots of small businesses have been suggested on implementing things like this in order to advance in business. Most of these business don’t even know the harm they are doing to their whole brand and initial marketing intents.
    Great post, thanks for sharing.

    • Mónica Taher says:

      Dear Sol,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I am very sensitive regarding this subject because no one should be abused – and we should not let anybody do this to us, women.

      Kindest Regards!

  2. elsa dinorah zayas says:

    I would like to do a business to help others woman’s like me, in my town but I don’t have the tools I have some ideas but I need your vision for help me, I hope you read this sincerely thanks

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