Subject: We'd Love To Collaborate With You!
I'm Liv and I am a student ambassador for Bank Fashion, around Leeds city centre. Which involves promoting and marketing Bank Fashion out to the students of Leeds.
I have come across your blog, which is really great by the way, and I was wondering whether you'd like to receive some Bank items of your choice, with a blog post in return?
If you're interested get back to me and I'll give you the details :)
The Bank Fashion Team ♡
This was the first ever collaboration email I received back in 2013! I still remember the exact moment that it pinged through to my inbox, the excitement, pure joy & utter disbelief that such a large (at the time) fashion brand wanted to send little old me, me, free clothes to promote on my very small blog! I remember running into the other room in my house to quickly share the news with my Mum. I did at this point have to explain what a collaboration was & who Bank fashion actually were in order for the news to properly sink in - but wow - what a feeling! This was definitaly the start to a whole new chapter in my blogging career. Just a few short years before this, Bank fashion was a H-U-G-E deal at school. If you owned one of their printed bags as your school bag in secondary school, you were basically - the shit - they were the perfect size for that A4 GCSE folder, your smelly gel pens & copious amount of sweets. They even had the perfect little pocket for your lip gloss... Does anyone remember them? An essential upgrade from that overused JD Sports drawstring carrier bag.
Following my first ever collaboration, a string of emails sat nicely in my inbox and my blogging game because serious business! I was on a roll; I really thrived off the positive results I was seeing and my hard work, time & effort were all so totally worth it! I found myself accepting every opportunity that landed in my inbox and everything that came my way just added to the thrill and excitement of these new opportunities coming my way! The work load built up but turning down opportunities were a no no! In fact, not even a glimmer of refusal entered my mind, the novetly was very much still there, in fact, it didn't think you could say no.... Could you?
The collaboration over kill & churning out work started to take it toll and I personalyl feel like I had lost a little bit of my true self in my blog. I was blogging for the sake of keeping up with the collaborations and not because I wanted too! I would sit and scroll through websites for hours, trying to riffle through the endless categories on websites in hopes to find at least one item of clothing that I - sort of - liked. You see, there are many factors I have to consider when choosing apparel. My options are usually slashed by 50% automatically because I just don't wear the low cut style of dresses that seem to clutter a lot of websites. Not that theres anything wrong with that, it's just not my personal style. But when I look back at my early collaborations, I look at the images and think 'Who is that?'. I was choosing anything and everything just so I didn't have to turn down opportunities and say no to brands.
Theres a lot of competition out there, online retailers, bloggers, the whole online atmosphere is packed with so much amazing content that if I say no to these brands, am I missing out on an opportunity to potentially grow my blog? Am I missing out on an opportunity to grow my own personal brand? But the most important thing I realised by saying no to collaborations is that in turn what's really happening is that I'm not losing my own style, trends and most importantly myself by getting caught up with fast fashion and not my blog!
Trends all come and go far too quickly in this fast paced digital world we now live in and I want to be able to create and preserve an online influence of my own to look back on that is truly 100% me through & through! So after getting out of my cycle of always.saying.yes, I've been a lot more honest with myself and I've noticed that my own style and source of inspirations have naturally changed without being influenced by every single brand that lands in my inbox.
I really want to keep my blog authentic, original and true to myself and my own personal style. I believe the true nature of why blogging is so successful is down to a more honest outlook on not only yourself, but the items you feature on it too and I really want to keep hold of that. I still get so overly excited when my inbox pings with new opportunities, but I've learnt to take on board those opportunities that are 100% me & less 100% doing it for the sake of it.
Have your blogging habits changed since your early days? Do you ever turn down collaborations?
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