Working With Bloggers: Service Trade

As we touched on last week, there are times when a business trades services with a blogger. In this circumstance the business provides a product or service to a blogger in exchange for their services (typically a feature on their blog and / or social media) rather than making a cash payment.

Now I’m sure the product / service you offer has value and I certainly hope before you started your business you determined a price for your product/service but just because you have placed a certain value on that product/service does not mean it has the same value to bloggers. Let’s say you sell widgets for $50 and you want bloggers to promote your $50 widgets and are willing to provide them a complementary widget in exchange for their promotion. You might feel like you are providing a $50 value to each of those bloggers but your widget is only worth $50 to those bloggers if it is something they were going to buy regardless if they worked with you or not; many of these bloggers will see your widget as something nice to have – they presumably like your widget or else they wouldn’t be interested in working with you but chances are unless these bloggers are your previous customers they were not looking to buy your widget for $50. Meanwhile, we all know that your w widget didn’t cost you $50 to produce. The value to the blogger is somewhere between your cost and price. If a blogger had the choice between $50 cash or your widget chances are they would prefer the cash but ask them if they’d rather have $25 cash or a widget that retails for $50 and more will select the widget. Always keep in mind when trading with bloggers and expect services based on their value of your product / service not your price. This situation can be beneficial to you and the blogger –you are getting a value more than your cost and they are getting a value more than their purchasing power.

When trading with bloggers try to let them select what to receive rather than dictate yourself. For example I recently received Product X from Company B. I happen to be a customer of Company B as well as a blogger for them because I enjoy their products but truth be told I really would have preferred product Y. Product X is a lovely product and like any gift I am grateful to have received it but if I’m being perfectly honest I will only use it a few times and while I will share it on my social media account when I do I would have used product Y more frequently and thus featured it more frequently. When working with bloggers you want your product / service to feel authentic to them and allowing them to choose what they like the best from your offerings will go a long way towards that feeling. Not only will receiving a product / service they want rather than one chosen for them increase the value of the trade to the blogger but the more they like what they receive the greater the chances are that they will continue to talk about your product / service beyond your agreed upon trade promotions – this increases your value from the partnership.