The idea behind The Green Fairy was to educate and share was that I have become more sustainable in my life with others who are hoping to do the same. One thing I can tell you is it did not happen over night, I have been on my sustainable journey for almost three years now and I am still so far from perfect!
As my blog grows, I have more and more brands reach out to me and most of them are not sustainable brands. I always say I wish someone had given me some guidelines on being a sustainable influencer because there are so many opportunities I feel like have been missed because I reject so many non-sustainable brands. Well, let me just tell you, I have slowly but surely gotten the opportunity to work with some amazing sustainable brands, but it wasn’t without hard-work!
I figured since all I wanted was some tips and tricks to grow my blog, I figured I would share my current tips and tricks to help the next up and coming sustainable blogger 🙂
1. Do not be afraid to say no!
This is perhaps the biggest tip/trick I can offer you. I know it is tempting when you get a DM saying that a company wants to send you free clothes for you to model or they will pay you commission on any sales using your code, but don’t fall into their gimmicks. 99.9% the clothes are very cheaply made, they are by no means sustainable, and they likely underpay their workers.
If you truly want to be a page that people who want to be more eco-friendly can trust, say no! You will lose more followers if you say yes because it makes it seem like you’re either doing it for the free clothes or just to gain followers (which you likely won’t gain that many because even with the free clothes they are very selective on who they put on their main page)
I have added a transcript from a company that reached out to me and how I politely declined the chance to work with them because they were not sustainable.
Brand: Hey there! How are you? We are looking for aspiring delegates to be our Ambassador and represent out brand worldwide. I am a Brand Manager of a swimwear called *****.
You caught my attention! You look really great and a perfect addition to our team!
Are you interested to hear more?
Me: Hi! Thank you so much for the offer, however, I only work with companies that are sustainable/donate some portion of their revenue to an environmental organization. Again, thank you so much but I am going to have to decline your offer.
So do your research on a company if you’re unsure before you buy … which leads me into tip #2
2. Question the company by sending them a DM, Email, or if they have a phone number listed, call them!
This has been one of the most helpful and insightful things I have done for myself lately. Not only has this allowed me to make new connections with brands, but it has also allowed me to learn so much more about the products I promote and what goes into the process of making/shipping them.
Below are some of the questions I find myself asking the most:
- How is your company/product sustainable?
- How is your product produced?
- What materials are used and where do you source them from?
- Is there anything your company is doing to offset it’s carbon footprint (i.e donating funds to a charity, community events, etc.)?
- Where do you source your materials from?
- Do your workers have a safe working facility and are they paid a living wage?
- Is your leather sustainably sourced? (This one changes usually based on the type material used)
I usually tweak them a little bit for each brand, as no two brands are the same. But don’t be afraid to ask whatever it is you want to ask. One thing that is important for me in brands is transparency. You should never just be a sale to them, they should want you to be a client for a long time and one that says good things about the product/brand.
And you must be weary of accounts/brands that say they are sustainable because some of them will lie to you about their company just to make a profit off of you. I had an experience with a brand that I knew was not sustainable and I gave them the opportunity to have a conversation with me, I was really just being nosy and trying to see if they would lie to me about it, and they told me they were sustainable, but when I asked for more information on how their product was made and what materials were used, they left me on read… so you tell me?
3. Be weary of the “official scouts”
I am not sure what it is with offical scout pages but they drive me bananas!
The “Official Scouts,” are usually people who make commisson for a brand, either when they bring new people in or when someone uses their ambassor code. Nothing is wrong with that, some companies are just shady with the way they reach out to people with their “scout” accounts.
One company in particular is the worst with it. I have gone back and forth with revealing the name of this company, but I decided after the fifth “scout” reached out to me in the same day, I didn’t care about revealing the name.
The company I am talking about is SandFlair. They are a swimsuit company whom I believe is solely based online. I first looked into their company for a friend who asked me if I had heard of them and if they were sustainable, after about 10 minutes of research I quickly learned they were not sustainable and their swimsuits were not made to last. Their website lacks so much information on the company itself, it is literally just a site to by swimsuits off of or contact their customer service, which I have also read is spotty. If you ask me, their ambassador program is a MLM scheme, but they try to make you feel special by offereing “free products,” which they are usually free, but you have to pay shipping – which can cost you a pretty penny sometimes!
Just please be careful and if you think they are a sketchy company, do your research, ask your questions, educate yourself before you spend the money on a cheap product.
4. Support the companies you want to work with/ already work with by purchasing their product full price sometimes!
This has been something that not only leaves me feeling good but it also helps out the brands so much! Sustainable items are often deemed expensive, but they usually are not expensive for the quality product you will receive.
For example, I have recently bought from Wild (Deodorant), Nube (Sports wear), and Mimikinis (bathing suits and sports wear). All of these companies offer some sort of sustainable/eco-friendly product! I love each of them for a different reason, but I have lots of friends who have discount codes for these products, however, I purchased two of these product without using a discount code and the other one I did use a code, but my friend got a free refill, so I thought I help her out too!
Just think of it this way, you buying their product at full price might help them keep their lights on, it might help them pay their workers a higher wage, it might mean that the creator behind the brand can pay themselves for all their hard work, or it could mean more money to ocean conservation or another environmentally friendly organization. You never know where that extra money from not using a discount code is going to go, but I can assure you it will not go to waste and it will be appreciated!
Now, I am also not saying to never use a discount code, I fully understand what it is like to not have a ton of money to spend, so don’t be afraid to use them, but also give back when you can, it’ll come back around!
5. Share products you buy as well as ones your gifted
This tip ties in with a little bit with the one above, but sharing not only the products you are gifted, but also the ones that you purchase is also a great way to build up your following, as well as get the attention of other brands.
I can truly say that once I started sharing products I bought along with products I was gifted, my following increased as well as the amount of brands I had working with me.
I think that it is important to give and take, this well make you seem more genuine and it will make you more of an educator than an influencer, which I think is the best thing to be! If you are always sharing the same thing that everyone else is sharing, than you’re just going to be another post in a sea of hashtags/tags – stand out and share the odd products you use and love, it will pay off – trust me!
6. Be consistent with your message
I know it sounds like I am repeating myself, and I might be a little bit, but just trust me and you’ll be shocked at what your blog will do for you.
By a consistent message I mean you should always stick to sustainable living, or sustianable clothing, or whatever it is you think you want your blog to be, let it be that. Don’t let brands that don’t match your message crowd your feed, one or two is okay, but keep it consistent.
And engage with your followers, ask them what content they like from you and which they don’t – this will give you an idea of what to post more of and it will give you an idea of what you should maybe stop posting.
7. Don’t be afraid to create the content you want to create with the product
Trust me, brands love originality! So be goofy, use that color you think no one else likes, climb that tree, be yourself! A lot of sustainable brands, especially skin care ones, love when you are in your true form – in the world of sustainability we aren’t into all that photo shopped BS. I recently worked with Thinx period underwear and they shared a photo of mine that showed the outline of my pants (picture below). I love this picture because it shows my true body doing what it does and I was also so happy to share it with Thinx to help show others that it is okay to have lines, we all do, just gotta love your lines!
Well that is pretty much all the tips I have, I know they aren’t grand, but they will work and they will help you grow – I mean they helped me so I am sure they will help you too 🙂
If you found my tips helpful or if you are Eco-blogger (new or old) comment below with your username/website so I can check out your tips and tricks!
Thanks for hanging out with me, until next time…
The Green Fairy