Brand deals are the backbone of many creators’ incomes. They’re a double whammy of earning potential because you generally get both a video you can monetize and a fee paid by the sponsor. However, sometimes, a brand deal can hurt you more than it can help you. If you work with the wrong company, then either you or your audience could end up getting scammed.

Here are five things every creator should consider before taking a brand deal.

1. Has the company worked with creators or influencers before?

Whenever a company reaches out to you in regards to a sponsorship, ask them for examples of previous brand deals they’ve done. Not only will you be able to get a sense of their expectations, but you’ll also have new sources of information.

Reach out to a few of the creators the brand has worked with before and ask about their experience. If you’re friends with one of the creators, consider asking how much money they were offered. At the very least, you should watch their sponsored videos and envision how something similar would fit with your content.

2. How does their offer compare to your typical rates?

Next, compare the amount of money the brand is offering you to what you’ve made through sponsorships before. Be sure to account for every aspect of the brand deal. For example, if they ask you to do a sponsored video and a sponsored Instagram post, then you should be getting paid more than your flat rate for a sponsored video.

If the brand’s offer is lower than your typical rate, consider what non-monetary payment may be part of the offer. If they’re paying for you to travel as part of the deal or offering you an expensive service or item for free, then it may be worth taking the lower rate. However, if a brand is expecting you to do the typical amount of work for a much lower fee, then you should negotiateyoutube  for your standard rates.

3. What are people already saying about the brand online?

A brand’s reputation can impact the creators who choose to work with them. For example, if you were a beauty vlogger who worked with a reputable luxury makeup brand, then people would begin to view you as a legitimate and trustworthy expert within the beauty industry. However, if you worked with a company that had a reputation for not sending out products or having poor customer service, then your audience might get upset with you.

Therefore, you should thoroughly research the public opinion on a brand before agreeing to work with them. Search the company’s name on social media. Google the name with keywords like “scam” and “honest review.” Read product reviews and comments on the brand’s social media. If the company is based in North America, then you can look the it up on the Better Business Bureau site as well.

4. How effective are their communication skills?

Next, consider the way the brand representatives you’ve interacted with speak to you, whether it’s via email, on the phone, or in person. Do they make their expectations clear? Do they return your messages in a timely manner? Do they address you professionally?

Consider their tone as well. Do they talk down to you? Do they make you feel as if you don’t have any creative input on the project? Do they listen to your ideas and questions intently, or do they make excuses?

5. Will they allow you to test their product or service before committing?

Whenever you do a brand deal, the most important thing in your mind should be maintaining your viewers’ trust. Therefore, unless your sponsored video is supposed to be an unbiased review, you should ask the company to send you product samples to test in advance.

If the brand expects you to recommend their product or service without testing the product first, then you should take it as a red flag. You shouldn’t influence your audience to spend money on something you’ve recommended but wouldn’t use yourself in real life.

Before taking a brand deal, consider how the sponsorship could affect both your channel and your audience. Consider all of the pros and cons to protect yourself and your followers from getting scammed.

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