It’s all fun and games until you turn it into work, and that’s exactly what I did when I signed up for this mission from Smiley360 and Sleep Number. I was having fun, sampling stuff left and right, but high on the prospect of free goodies I took on too much and that was my downfall.
I’m cool with the usual free stuff requirements – a blog or video and a few social shares. Something totally natural that you can work in without bugging people and looking like you totally sold out. And then, lured in by the promise of a free $90 pillow, I accepted the invitation to join the Sleep Number campaign.
Visiting the store is quite a time investment for a busy mom. I was lucky they had a little Lego table set-up, but there were moments the toddler was zooming around the store squealing.
But the real killer is the social shares. One Facebook post, OK. People actually paid attention and posted their Sleep Number and it was kinda fun to see. But again and again…I’m probably losing friends and credibility with every post. Most of the time I feel like nobody is paying attention on Twitter so I loaded up my feed with as many tweets as I could.
And then this happened: In my rush to get it done, I tagged CrowdTap instead of Smiley360 and my posts were rejected! So not only did I already bug everybody, but I was going to have to do it AGAIN if I wanted to complete my mission. I had gone this far for the darn pillow, I wasn’t going to let it go, so I did it with an added apology to friends that I had let this happen.
I’m still waiting to see if my last posts were accepted, so fingers crossed. This better be the most wonderful damn pillow in the world. (and maybe I will post a photo of it because I Want to this time)
Back in the day, influencer positions mostly belonged to actual celebrities like movie stars and famous models. Thanks to social media, the new influencers on the block are regular people that like to post their stuff online, like me.
I fell into the influencer niche because I’m a sucker for free samples. Like honestly, if you are giving it away, I’ll try it. I love trying new things. I’m also the person hoarding those little bottles of shampoo and shower caps from hotel rooms just because they’re free for the taking.
When I started blogging, it was from a very personal angle and I didn’t intend to do product reviews. When offers started coming in, I wanted to find a way to satisfy the campaign requirements without turning my blog and social media pages into big boring ads. I’ve made an effort to craft honest, informative and entertaining reviews from my own personal perspective.
There have been a few things I’ve turned down. There was a campaign for new tampons and I just couldn’t see myself posting stylized pics of tampons on my Instagram and discussing my personal flow details. And I think we’d just skip the YouTube review for that lol. And then there was the dating site for people seeking sperm donors. For real.
If you are thinking of giving the influencer thing a try, these are the companies I’ve enjoyed working with the most:
My first VoxBox arrived from Influenster and I was pretty excited to get to try out the Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME tone enhancing shampoo and conditioner mask for free. This is a combo product review and regular blog post, because I actually already had this “Blond Ambition” post in my drafts just waiting to be finished so I figured, why not combine them?
I’m usually excited to try anything for free, but currently my blond needs some help so this was just what I needed. Since I went SAHM, I have not gotten within 20 feet of a salon and only then because I was driving past it.
I’m just going to confess right now and tell you all I was not born blond. In fact, I was so un-blond that I had a full head of nearly black hair. I’ve always felt this was a terrible mistake. Like, maybe somebody switched my hair follicles at birth. My hair continues to disappoint me by growing out of my head several shades darker than I desire, so of course I turned to the bottle at an early age. The bottle of Sun-In, of course.
As soon as I discovered this “natural” way of going blond I soaked my hair daily and fried myself in the sun all summer. I was rewarded with a brittle mess of very brassy blond strands and got to tell everyone honestly, “the sun did this.”
I later moved on to the salon, and spent my son’s last day of daycare at the salon getting highlights, lowlights and all the lights in between because I knew it would be the last time I saw the salon for a looooooong time. Stay-at-home-moms do not get the luxury of 4 hour salon visits.
So now I am tackling these dark roots with some fancy Miss Clairol from Sally’s Beauty Supply. And I’ve been wanting to go a little darker blond so of course that translates into “orange.” So back to my free sample stuff. I liked it! But, I am a fan of the purple shampoo products in general. I felt like the products toned down the brassiness and darkened the blond a little, while making the lighter blonds stand out a little more. I probably would have been super impressed if I’d never tried a purple toning product before. But I was very happy with the results. And the hair mask was conditioning enough that I didn’t have to follow-up with my favorite conditioner. I have curly wavy weird hair that just turns into dreads if I don’t use a good conditioner. I think every blond needs some kind of toning shampoo/conditioner to brighten things up every now and then and these products did a nice job. They are a bit on the pricey side for me right now as this SAHM gig doesn’t pay well, so I wouldn’t use them as my every day product but more like a weekly blond refresher.
And one day, after pre-school starts, I’ll get to visit a salon again. I’m hoping they can give me the most perfect blond I’ve ever seen…the color growing out of my son’s head (I produced a true blond so I think that grandfathers me in, right? Lol)