Why I quit INFLUENSTER & gave up on thousands of dollars of free beauty products.
I started Influenster over a year ago, wait, have you ever heard of Influenster? First let me explain.
It’s a company where you can go online and read product reviews, but also, if you’re a social media ‘influencer’ then you can collaborate with them. If you qualify, meaning, if you fit the demographics they are looking for and you have a descent amount of followers, you’ll get boxes of free products. And all you have to do is show them off on your social media channels.
Doesn’t that sound fantastic? Well, it is until it isn’t.
In the picture shown above, that was my first ever package, it was valued at over $450. I literally was like on cloud nine. All these ‘free’ products and all I had to do was promote them on my social media channels.
Here’s the thing, these products weren’t really free because I still had to promote them & promote Influenster. So that means they want me talking about them incessantly every time I get a box. As soon as I received a package I had to log on to my account, follow their instructions, and finish the projects so I could earn badges. The more badges I earned the more likely I’d get picked for the better & more expensive campaigns later on. And how did I earn these badges? I had to create content based on the products that I received and then post them on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. So I had to create pictures and post them on my social media accounts by their deadlines. That’s right, there were deadlines that I had to meet or else I wouldn’t earn my badges, which would make it harder for me to qualify for future campaigns. Why does this suck? Because my life is already kinda hectic as is, and adding deadlines did not make me happy. I did not like the pressure and obligation I felt to promote all these free products. I have a type A personality, and I spend a lot of time on my pictures, I don’t just want to post crap. It was all just too time consuming, and not worth it at all.
Also I’m pretty picky about what goes on my Instagram account, I like that it looks aesthetically pleasing, and with all the Influenster content it made my account look like advertisement. Duh, and that is why I’m getting all the ‘free’ stuff because I’m advertising the products and Influenster. And who likes constant commercials and advertising? Right! I honestly felt I was sacrificing my integrity for free products that I didn’t even need.
Influenster – The ⊕Pros & ⊗Cons:
⊕ You get free products. Not just beauty products, but clothes, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, and food.
⊕ You get to try out new products and enjoy stuff you probably would’ve never spent your own money on.
⊕ Free content that you can use for your blog or youtube channel.
⊕ Perfect if you’re budgeting and you wanna get stuff for free, so you don’t have to spend your own money.
⊕ It can be a fun hobby if you have the time.
⊗ You don’t get to choose which campaigns you want to be a part of, it’s a surprise.
⊗ It floods your social media with advertising. Your social media accounts look like billboard signs.
⊗ Your followers will get sick of seeing all your advertising. You’ll probably lose followers and engagement from them. You won’t receive as many likes.
⊗ There are deadlines that must be met, if not met, you’ll probably not be chosen for the better campaigns in the future.
⊗ You don’t always like the stuff you receive, but you still have to promote them on your social media accounts or else you can’t earn badges.
⊗ The customer service is mediocre and unorganized. There were times I didn’t get credited for completing a task, which means I didn’t get my badge, and the effort/work I put in was for nothing.
⊗ No monetary compensation. You’re only compensated with free products.
⊗ My blog and social media accounts didn’t feel genuine with all the advertising.
⊗ Stuff goes to waste. Unnecessary Items. In reality I didn’t really need all the stuff I was getting for free. It started to clutter up.
⊗ All these products aren’t really free because you have to spend your time and energy creating and promoting content based on the products you received by their deadlines. It takes up a lot of time, especially if you already have a busy schedule.
⊗ Big time waster.
I don’t really need all the ‘free’ Influenster products after all!
I immediately noticed after I posted my first Influenster campaign to Instagram that engagement from my followers dropped quite drastically. The likes were way less than my normal pictures. And at first I didn’t care because I was just so happy to get boxes filled with free products, but now I do care. I hate that I have to sacrifice engagement for objects that I don’t really need. And that’s the thing, I don’t really need all these products. I have a pretty comfortable life, I can afford everything that I’ve already received for free. And here’s the kicker, a lot of the stuff that I was lucky enough to get I didn’t even use. I have sensitive skin and allergies, I have to be picky about the stuff that I put on my skin. A lot of the products that I got have gone to waste because I never even used them. The blush shown above, I didn’t like at all, there was no pigmentation, I didn’t like the way it looked on my cheeks, It went to waste.
I didn’t save any money while I was collaborating with Influenster because I still went out and purchased my favorite products that have stood the test of time for me. For example, below are two pictures, on the top is a bareminerals foundation, and below is a small fragrance bottle from Marc Jacobs (I hated the scent, btw), both I got for free. I haven’t used either one of them, why? Well, I use a Chanel foundation and I wear my favorite fragrance from Jo Malone.
Let me just say that I have nothing against Influenster. I did not create this post to bash them in any way. I just wanted to inform everyone that it is a time consuming, labor of love. Obviously if they’re giving stuff away for free they want to get their exposure. It was a fun learning experience though.
Influenster is perfect for :
- Youtubers or bloggers that want free content for their channels.
- Anyone that is on a budget & can’t afford to buy blogging/youtube material.
- College students
- Stay-at-home moms: ideal if you need extra stuff but don’t have a lot of money to spend.
- Makeup lovers.
- Influencers that have a lot of time on their hands.
- Beginning bloggers, youtubers, or social media accounts that need content or topics.
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