Patience is a virtue.
I won’t start Buzzer vs Ethics 101 discussion, somebody else has covered this story very, very well here. I will focus on the relationship between buzzers, brands and the audience on social media, instead. Disclosure: I’m not a pro and big portion of this post will be based solely on my personal point of view. And don’t worry, I know my English isn’t that good so I will try to put this simple.
Digital campaigns that involve buzzers (influencers, key opinion leaders, KOLs) isn’t really new phenomenon on Twitter. Sometimes things get complicated when one of the parties―either the brands or the buzzers―do not act accordingly. Here’s an example: brand B hired buzzer X, Y and Z to promote the product on a campaign of a certain period and the payment is already due. X, Y and Z were so upset they ended up bitching out loud. X and Y are new, young buzzers with relatively few experience. Z is not me.
Don’t make this your day job. Being buzzer is nice, and sometimes the rewards are good. You expand your networks, acquiring new skillsets (making a good invoice with pink origami picture atop, for simple example), and learn how to be responsible to your followers. But you still need a permanent day jobs because your payment from this job doesn’t come every 25th day of the month. Sometimes you receive it 2 or 4 months away from the due date, or even worse, some time next year. It’s just full of uncertainty―contracts do not always reflect implementation.
Reputation. In this web 3.0 era (wait, I’m not quite sure if I use the term properly here), reputation is the currency―aside from relevance. You don’t build reputation overnight. Your brain spends so much energy to craft words to impress your followers and increase your Klout shit. Sometimes that’s not easy, so don’t ruin it in minutes.
If you want to complain, or whine, learn anger management first. As cliche as it sounds, it’s understandable when your fee payment is late and you get upset. But remember: this is how you get tested. If you are so mad your complain seems likely to involve table-flipping, do it in elegant way. Contact their reps (those ad guys in charge to connect the buzzers and the brands, you and the money owners), talk in private via e-mails, BBM, LINE, whatever in your reach. Don’t bitch out loud in front of your audience. First, you show immaturity. Second, it annoys them.
Tips: ask those reps when you should contact them again to confirm the payment they have postponed. 1 or 2 weeks is okay. Give them time, and more importantly, give yourselves time too.
Lists. In this industry everyone makes lists―not only those “head hunters” and brand reps―even I myself also make list. Once you did something unpleasing, they might kick your name off the list. Somebody else might pick you, but maybe no. Oh, not only the brands that “hire” you, their competitors may keep their own lists, too, and they take notes. So, be listed for good reasons.
Competition among buzzers isn’t really apparent, but we know it’s there. The brands and ad agencies play significant roles in shaping up the landscape. Every single day new buzzers come and rise. I personally do not bother about these guys―some of them are really good I admit. Go find your own niche. Master something specific; topics about gadgets or cosmetics, maybe? If you’re really good there, people will come back again to you.
Threating brands is childish. “I’m going to blacklist this brand and that brand”. No. Stop that, or keep it for yourselves and your 19year old spouses, young buzzers. It’s a common transaction―brands need channels and you like the $$$. Nothing is wrong with that, nor new. You threat the brands and think they will lose you? No.They can get new buzzers anytime. Trust me, you’re not the only option. Don’t threat people, unless you’re Anna Wintour.
Patience is a virtue, but not everyone can afford it. Good luck.