As an influencer a lot of influencers give us a bad name. I feel like most of them don’t even try the product and just post random stuff so they can continue to get more free stuff. I put a lot of thought and care into my reviews. I try the product for a week or two before I even writing anything, then it normally takes me a few hours to research the product for factual information so I can report how it performed and to get all my thoughts down. Then another hour or so to work on the photography and staging so it really makes me angry when I see people putting half-assed work out there saying “oh this product is great” but not adding any substance or saying why.
There are some product reviewers out there that still have some integrity left (not many but some lol). Personally when I am approached I don’t always accept the opportunity. Sometimes I know right away that I won’t like it or it won’t work for me so I don’t bother with it. Accepting items I know I won’t be able to use is just wasteful and I am seriously against it. The brands sometimes even try to pressure me into it because they just want the free advertising and they don’t even care about how I feel about their products. The only reason they feel like they can do so is because it’s obviously worked on other people.
When I write about a product I like to be honest and share both the upsides and downsides. It may not always work for me but I’ve learned how to indicate that in a way that isn’t offensive to the brand either while remaining truthful so it doesn’t hurt my chances of working with them or other brands in the future. I really wish other influencers would learn to do that instead of just talking up everything they try. I tend to also not accept paid gigs because in those cases they sometimes expect you to just copy what they want you to say. You should always look out for the hashtag #ad or #sponsored. This means the comment may not be the persons own AND they’re getting paid to post it.
When you see hashtags like #pr or #gifted this just means the person got the product free of charge and usually in those cases you’re more than likely reading their actual personal thoughts on the item. Whether they’re fictitious or not however is another story. I really like the middle man platforms for these types of things because you have more freedom of what you’re able to say without the risk of feeling like you’ll be penalized for your opinions. When working with direct brands they’re more likely to take offense to what you’re written. It’s gotten to the point that I just get random stuff in the mail now. Half the time I have no idea where it’s from and I’ve never even entered into any type of agreement with the brand.
My point is there are some people who got into being influencers for the right reasons. I personally got into it because I love trying new brands and I was already doing it at my own cost anyway so it made logical sense for me to give it a try but it didn’t change my stance on being truthful.