By: Caroline Vazzana
A few weeks ago I was up at Albright college for a book signing and Q&A. I always love speaking at colleges, because meeting the students who have read Making it in Manhattan is truly a magical thing. During the book signing though, I had several students ask me questions and a common question I was asked was “how do you know if a partnership is actually legitimate?” I never thought about this until that day, but with the age of social media we live and work in, bloggers and influencers aren’t the only ones getting messages from brands, probably which you’ve never heard of, asking to send you product or give you a discount in exchange for a post. Personally, I work with a lot of brands directly, so if it’s not a direct email from a brand manager or publicist, I typically don’t answer. But, for all of my followers out there, being sent messages with seemingly good brand offers, below, I’m breaking down some major red flags to know if your collab offer is legitimate or not!
1. If they don’t address you by name
I will often get DMs or emails addressing me by my handle. For example, “Hi @cvazzana” if they didn’t take a moment to see that my actual name is Caroline, it’s probably just an automated message and not a true offer. Or if it’s not addressed to anyone it just says “Hi” it’s most likely spam.
2. If the email address looks off
Does the address the emails coming from look weird? firstname.lastname@example.org? Seems off to me, it’s probably a no-go and I’d stay clear of them.
3. If they’re asking you to click on any weird links, don’t!
Don’t click the links! There’s sometimes weird scams going around with offers that seem legit, but then ask you to “follow the link for more” just don’t do it. The link is often spam and can make you vulnerable to hackers or viruses.
4. If they’re asking you to send them your password
Again, don’t do it!!!! If the offer is asking for your handle and password do not give it to them. Even if they’re just asking for your handle- if they sent you an email, shouldn’t they know your handle?! It’s most likely a scam, beware!
5. If you’re in anyway shape or form questioning the legitimacy of the offer it’s probably not worth pursuing.
Always do your research, Google the email address it came from, the brand name they’re claiming to be etc. sometimes it’s not even a representative from the brand reaching out, it’s just spam. So when you’re in any way, shape, or form doubting the collab, I would say it’s most likely not legit. And at the end of the day, if you’re still not sure, you could always suggest, “why don’t we hop on a call and discuss the project further?” This is a sure fire way to feel them out further.
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