Professional Conduct 101: How to approach a brand when you can no longer complete a brief

Vamp Collective

Sometimes we really want to be “YES-MEN” and seize every opportunity that comes our way until we realise that we’ve bitten off more than we can chew and we simply don’t have the time, or space on our Insta feed, to do the fantastic job we want to. In order to be treated and paid as a professional you must ensure that your actions reflect you to be. When you’re working with brands on campaigns these are usually time sensitive and they are heavily reliant on you to fulfil your agreement, for example an Instagram campaign may be launching alongside a new product line and posting about a item that is no longer available or no longer relevant two weeks later, more often than not, is not an option. Retracting your commitment with brands and agencies last minute can damage the success of the wider campaign, your and the agencies’ reputation and the reputation of Influencer marketing as a whole.

Life gets chaotic sometimes and things happen that are beyond our control which prevent us from keeping our commitments. When life throws you a curve ball which prevents you from completing a brief that you’ve agreed to, here’s a plan of action to maintain professional and ensure you son’t damage your working relationship with brands and agencies. We’ve also noted some tips on measures you can set in place to ensure you are doing everything possible to prevent this scenario from occuring.

Action 1: Plan ahead

To prevent organisational mishaps keep a record of the timings for all of your briefs, whether these have been confirmed or not, as this will help you to structure your business. If you’re working with Vamp and your schedule starts to look a bit busy one week you can reach out to us to say that you are no longer interested in a brief you applied for. It can also be helpful when in discussions with brands directly to let them know that there are deadlines that you need from them in order to confirm your participation; this is most useful for brands who are looking for you to post on a very specific date or posting window.

And as always, leave yourself time to create non-sponsored content to post to your social media channels too as this will help keep your feed a healthy mix of sponsored and non-sponsored posts. This comes back to what we always recommend about not saying “yes” to every brief and only signing up for briefs with brands/products that you would really like to promote.

A really handy tool to use is the Vamp App which allows you to organise your paid and unpaid work with brands all in one place. You can create a brief, or store your work with Vamp on the App; it’ll send reminders and will help you to schedule your posting times.

You can download the App here


Action 2: Always have a backup plan

The majority of campaigns are time sensitive, particularly if it’s surrounding a product launch or an event, so it’s always worth having a backup plan in place for all your jobs. If you are planning on shooting a new look outside give yourself a deadline to shoot so that if it ends up raining all week by Wednesday you have already made the decision to switch to an inside shoot or have some friends on speed dial if your laptop crashes so that you can use theirs in the interim.


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Action 3: Ask if there is a possibility for an extension

Depending on your situation, it might be that you just need a little more time in order to fulfil the brief requirements. If you put your hand up early enough and say that time is what you need sometimes it is possible to organise an extension. Perhaps the clothes you received are the wrong size and you need to organise to get additional sizes sent or perhaps your laptop had to be urgently sent to get repaired the day that you needed to edit your campaign shots. Regardless of the reason, ask for more time and keep the turn around as quick as possible.

Action 4: Communication is key

As soon as you are aware you many not be able to post communicate as early as possible as it gives the brand time to organise a contingency plan. Best practice is to explain the situation as soon as you become aware of it so that the brand knows you are not dismissing your commitment to them. Of course you don’t need to divulge all of the personal details, but make sure to articulate that you have explored every possible avenue to fulfil the job so it doesn’t simply look like you’ve forgotten and run out of time. Acknowledge that you realise that you are putting them in a difficult situation. Don’t forget that the simple act of apologising, being sincere and taking ownership of your actions can go a long way in holding up your reputation.


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