Today I was scrolling through Instagram when I saw someone I admire and follow sharing something they loved. And a yukky thing happened – my first thought was, ‘I wonder if she really likes this or if she was paid to say she likes it?’ I immediately felt awful and pessimistic, but the truth is, she probably was paid. It got me thinking about how I feel about this. I don’t want to feel hoodwinked. So I felt that it was a good time to get really clear on what I share, promote, recommend and talk about – across all forms of media. Because I don’t ever want you to feel hoodwinked!
Now I know I don’t have the following of a skantily-clad beach babe (does that make me sound elderly?) but I don’t think it matters how many people ‘follow’ you, ‘like’ you or ‘subscribe’ to your content – you still have a responsibility to those people.
So this is how I roll…
I will never promote or recommend anything that I don’t absolutely love. No matter how much money I’m offered! If you know my stance on modelling and my choice to work exclusively with sustainable, ethical and cruelty-free brands, despite the fact that there are significantly less of them around, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have a strict criteria for working with brands in other ways too (I’ve gone in to detail with this criteria further down). When I do mention a business on social media, I’ll always use hashtags to clearly state my relationship to the business. Let me expand…
Sometimes businesses will get in touch because they want to send me something. Usually I say, ‘no’ straight up because the last thing I want is more stuff cluttering up my fancy new eco digs. But if I LOVE something and know it will be cherished for years to come, then I’ll be very grateful to accept! A lot of the time a business will send me something after I’ve shared how much I love them or have included them in a post or column. I don’t publish my address anywhere so a business has to get in touch with me before hand, meaning I can screen everything before it hits my mailbox.
I use this if I’m paid to share something, but once again I’ll only do this with a full heart when it’s something that I really want to share with you anyway.
I work with some clients quite closely as an ambassador where I do all sorts of things from branded videos, media appearances and speaking at their events. I’m a proud ambassador for these brands so I’ll always include this hashtag.
I tend to share a few posts about my eco-modelling clients, past and present, because I love them, love what they do and want to share their awesomeness as much as possible!
Extra tid bits:
I’ll do giveaways sometimes, but I’m not usually paid for them. If the opportunity comes up and I think you’d really like it, then I like to find a way to give it!
I’m paid by Nature & Health magazine to write their Eco Style column each issue. I research and source the brands that I feature personally and via media releases that are sent to the editor, who forwards them to me. Brands do not pay me to be included in this column.
I’m a proud affiliate of a few select programs and products. I’ll always let you know if I get a cut of anything I’m promoting.
I have an online store where I sell my favourite essential oil blends, beauty and cosmetic products. I spent so long trialling all sorts of brands and just love what I use so feel really comfortable selling this. I don’t personally have the stock at my office, but I send the order directly to the company and they send it directly to you. This means less postage, less wastage, more gentle. Check it out here.
I ONLY work with and promote brands who share my values. This cuts out a lot of brands as I’m pretty strict but I’d much rather be 100% authentic and be able to sleep soundly at night than start promoting things that don’t feel quite right. Below is a bit of a guideline to how I decide on who I work with:
Vegan – I love animals and feel like they have a right to be here just as much as we do. So I do whatever I possibly can to avoid harming them. This means no animal products of any kind, including food like milk, honey, meat, etc but it also includes leather, fur, silk, wool and filters right down in to the beauty products and make up I use. When I’m doing a photoshoot, my beautiful clients will always source a make up artist that uses natural make up or one that is happy for me to bring along my kit.
Eco-friendly/Sustainable – I work with brands that are doing something to tread lighter on the planet. I realise that it’s quite impossible to do everything – we shouldn’t create new products at all, wear clothes or leave the house if we wish to reduce our eco footstep to zero – but we can all do something. All of the brands I work with do at least one of the following: make things locally, are transparent in their operations, comply with fair-trade laws and ensure workers are taken care of, use organic materials, donate a portion of their profits to a charity or have a recycling/upcycling program. They are conscious of the impact they are having on the planet and doing what they can to reduce it.
Feels good – I’ll only work with or promote something if it feels good. If it aligns with the gentle living vibe we’ve got going on here and it’s something I really believe in. I know that the only reason you guys keep coming back and reading is because we’ve built up a relationship and trust and I don’t want to jeopardise that for a sleezy post.
I hope this makes things a little clearer when it comes to my personal policy on who I work with and what products I’ll promote. I also hope it doesn’t make me sound like an egotistical wannabe trying to get insta-famous! Honestly I just think it’s important to be upfront, 100% honest and clear. I hope if you have a blog or a social media account, and in particular one that makes you money, that you’ll consider sharing your policy, or at least getting clear on your boundaries for your own benefit.
Love Amanda xx