Blogging 101: Why It’s Important to Say No (and How)
posted on September 23, 2015 | by Amanda Holstein
There’s a reason it can be beneficial to turn down opportunities. It took me a while to fully understand why, particularly in the beginning of my blogging career when I was admittedly desperate to work with brands. It was so exciting to be asked to do an interview or get free product to review that it was really tempting to say yes to just about every opportunity. In the midst of the excitement, we often forget to stop and think, “Is this worth my time?”.
Why “No” is necessary
This phrase “time is money” is so overused that it almost doesn’t have any meaning anymore. So let’s rephrase it, because it really is important. You only have so many hours in the day to work, right? And whatever work you put into those hours should be worth your time. For example, you wouldn’t want to spend an entire day working on an Instagram post that you’re not even getting paid for. It’s a waste of time, hours you could have put towards a project you’d be getting more out of (compensation, exposure, etc.).
So when you’re approached for a project, first think about how much time and energy you’ll need to put into it. Then ask yourself what you’ll be getting out of it. It doesn’t always have to be money, of course. Perhaps you’ll get exposure because they brand will feature you on their social channels. Or maybe that brand connection is important enough that it’s well-worth your time. Make sure you evaluate what you’re putting in vs. what you’re getting out before you make any decisions.
How to say “no”
Turning down an offer is difficult for many reasons. Not only can it feel counterintuitive to push away an opportunity, but it can also burn bridges if done incorrectly. Before responding with an outright “no”, it’s important to be upfront. You never know how flexible the brand is until you ask. You can tell them you’re interested but you typically charge X amount for something like that. Or that you’d love to participate but feel it’s too much work for what you’d be getting out of it — then see if they can offer you anything else. Be specific with your ask. Would a shout out on Instagram be worth it to you? Then say that.
If you can’t seem to find a middle ground on this particular opportunity, that’s okay. Tell them you’d love to work together in the future, but that this specific request isn’t a good fit. Be clear as to what is a good fit. Brands, ad agencies, and blogger networks are working with so many different people on so many different projects, so it’s important to make it as easy for them as possible to want to work with you (without compromising your worth). Make it easy for them by being specific with what you can do, what you can offer, and what you’d need in return. They will be much more likely to not only work with you, but remember you for future projects as well.