I could have been a Bliss Body influencer! Alas.
“Hi Matt,” the email began, subject line “Sponsored Collaboration by Bliss Body“.
“My name is Susan and I am the Head of PR at the International brand, Bliss Body!”
Yes, “International” was capitalised.
Oh, that sounds exciting! Although having got as far as the first complete sentence of the email I was already hooked. My fondness for fashion and the active lifestyle scene is well known.
“We came across your Instagram profile “mattjhatton“, and LOVE your style. We’d love to have you as one of our Brand Ambassadors. To celebrate our new Men’s Odyssey collection, we want to give you a FREE Watch so you can post a picture of you wearing it and drive more exposure to our brand.”
A FREE WATCH? And all I have to do is take a single picture of myself wearing it? Sign me up!
“Being an Ambassador will also get you commission from the sponsored post(s)! An easy way of making money with Instagram!”
Look, I don’t think I will never be in the position to be able to retire on my Instagram income, but OK, look I have a kid and a decent day job but also bills and future dreams so a bit of extra income certainly would not go astray.
Susan then went to outline some key points.
The first is that, as a brand ambassador, I get “a discount code so you earn 25% commission per sale”. Cool.
The second point is Bliss Body’s Instagram account name, which I guess is important for tagging purposes?
Also being a brand ambassador means I have the opportunity to be featured on their account. Being someone that lives a lot of their life online, that’s fine I suppose.
“If this first collab goes well we can setup another :)” I would have thought that is largely how these things work but stating it clearly cannot hurt.
“Meet amazing new friends!”
It is at this point I am starting to wonder if these people have actually looked at anything associated with my online life at all.
“Ambassadors have 40% off store wide!”
Hang on. You want me to buy the things I am supposed to be promoting for you?
“Ambassadors only have to cover shipping, which depends on their country”
Ahhhh there it is. There’s the rub. damn.
“How does that sound?”
“Let me know if you’re interested so we can move forward with this and I’ll send all the details + show the watch!”
(Sidebar: who the hell uses “+” instead of “and” like this?)
“I look forward to heading from you!”
Susan then signed off on behalf of Bliss Body, and feeling the need to note she was from London, which she then clarified as being the one in the United Kingdom.
Realising now that my dreams of becoming the
face wrist (they did want to send me a watch after all) of Bliss Body was unlikely to come true, I thought I would reply to Susan and see if we could, at least, make a deal.
“Hi Susan,” I began.
“Apologies for taking so long to reply and thank you for getting in touch about a brand ambassadorship for Bliss Body.”
I should mention I had actually let this email sit for nearly a week before responding. Susan had already followed up with me once.
“I am very excited about the idea of a collaboration and helping Bliss Body reach a wider audience through my channels. Your Odyssey collection sounds very cool.”
This is what you do, right? Reiterate the offer in the affirmative and reinforce your excitement?
I then moved onto the issue at hand: their wanting money from me.
“As we do not currently, and have not previously, had any sort of business relationship, I am going to need you to supply samples of products to try ahead of any promotional content being created.”
I am not, obviously, going to promote any old thing. I have a brand* to protect!
Then I doubled down, specifically addressing the scam.
“I am going to have to ask that you cover any shipping and associated costs during this initial stage.”
Now a compromise offer.
“Once I have had a chance to thoroughly review your products, I will be happy to discuss ongoing content creation. I am sure you can understand that I need to ensure your products are up to par for promotion through my brand.”
Should I have used “up to par”? It is an idiom after all, and this could be misinterpreted. Better proofing might have been useful here.
“If this is OK, I am happy to supply a postal address for you to arrange shipping.”
Readers, no matter what was I going to give her my address. For the record.
“Please let me know as soon as possible as the quicker and sort through this simple first step, the quicker we can both benefit from what you are offering.”
See, I’m not rejecting you outright. Do you want to play the long game? I’m open to being scammed later if, really.
“Thank you again for getting in touch.”
I need to not use “in touch” so much. I hate it but also if I did not use that things would very quickly end up in a “Dearest Penelope, the war continues to drag on and no end is in sight. The trenches of western France grow more perilous by the day…” kind of way.
Aaaaand sent. Let’s see what happens.
Three days later
Nothing. Not a thing.
Taking a leaf from Susan’s book, I send a follow up.
“Just reaching out to see if you are still interested in a content collaboration. I hope you are. I am keen to assist Bliss Body in reaching a local audience here in Australia.
“I look forward to hearing from you.”
I think my brand ambassador dreams are not going be realised through Susan and Bliss Body.
I wonder if the watch is even nice?