They're all over Instagram. Beautiful babies, and cute kids, smiling their way into a wardrobe full of free clothes and exclusive giveaways. Simply by posing with a puppy or rolling around on a play mat...kids are showcasing some of Instagrams most popular brands & their parents are loving every minute of it. So what does it take to be a brand rep & how do you get your little pumpkin in on the action?
The first thing you need to know is what a child Brand Rep actually is. To put it simply...a Fashion Brand Rep is a model. Stores send free clothes, accessories or even nursery decor to a rep and in exchange they are required to take beautiful photos and post them to their Instagram feed.
A Brand Enthusiast is a little different. Instead of receiving free clothes, enthusiasts are given a discount which can be up to 60% off any purchase (usually they're required to purchase at least once a month) and in return like a Brand Rep the brand wants the enthusiasts to take beautiful photos and upload them.
So now that you know, basically what a brand rep is, you're probably wondering how you get in on the freebie action! Well the easiest way is to search via hashtags. There are several good ones #brandrepsearch #aussiebrandreps #childbrandrep and these usually lead you to a store that is having a brand rep competition. There are also specific sites that can get you started. @aussiebrandreps actually connects reps and brands together. You can even shout out your interest in being a brand rep on your Instagram page. Stores ask for reps..you can ask for stores. The next time you post an image you love include in your comment that you'd love to be a brand rep. You never know who might be looking. If you have a connection with a store already (perhaps you're a really good customer) get in touch with them and let them know you'd be interested in being a brand rep if ever they are looking. If you've been a brand rep before, include this in your Instagram bio.
Now before you get overly excited and start donating half of your childs clothes to make room for all the new ones...remember the competition is fierce! Who doesn't want free clothes & who thinks their kids are the cutest on the planet??? Yep... everyone!! So it's no surprise that when a store runs a competition, they can literally receive hundreds of entries. But that shouldn't stop you! You need to take into account that a lot of brands usually have an idea of what they're looking for before they even announce the competition.
What you shouldn't do is Direct Message the store that's running the competition with endless photos of your child. Every child is beautiful...and it's actually you're styling & photography skills that brands are looking for...not blue eyes & dimples.
I'm in...now what?
Obviously you need to take great photos and you need your kids to love having their photo taken...again, and again and again. Remember in exchange for free clothes/products the brand you're repping for wants more than 1 long distance out of focus photo. You need to find the right location, have the right light and showcase the product (not the ice cream that's dripping all over it). Being a brand rep takes time and patience, but it can be fun.
You also need your Instagram account to have a public profile, so if this is a concern then repping might not be for you.
Read the rules.
Like all competitions there are a number of rules. The store usually has a time frame (3-6 months) for each rep and then they run another competition. They also request a certain number of images to be posted per week/month. This varies with every store and can also depend on the number of reps they have in place and the product itself. If you don't meet your end of the bargain...you won't be sent anymore products..end of story!
The fine print.
Okay... so here's some questions we get asked ALLLLL the time!
1. Can I keep the clothes?
The answer should be yes. If a store isn't paying you a fee then the clothes should be classed as payment. Being a brand rep takes effort, and you should be compensated for that. (Have it in writing)
2. Can I sell the clothes on eBay once my child has outgrown them?
Technically if the clothes are your form of "payment" then yes you can sell them...but ONLY after you have taken the required number of photos. (Have it in writing)
3. Can I be a brand rep for multiple stores at the same time?
Of course! A store may include in your contract/agreement that you don't promote a similar brand within the same photo (eg. a wall of prints from various artists) that may draw attention to the other brand. (Have it in writing)
4. Why don't I ever get picked?
Are you in it for the right reasons?
Obviously once you enter a Brand Rep competition the first thing the store is going to do is view your Instagram page. If all you do is enter competition after competition to get free products...then repping might not be for you. You need to authentically love taking photos and styling and promote the stores you work with. The idea of having brand reps is not to give away products, but to get promotion which will hopefully lead to sales.
5. Do I need a contract?
The main reason for this is because if things get messy you need something to fall back on. An email is classed as a legal document so this will be sufficient for a contract. Remember, you're working for the store, so talk with the store and include or remove anything you think necessary. Perhaps you've signed on as a rep for 3 months, but you're travelling for a month & can't take rep photos, include these details. Have it in writing!!! I know you're sick of me saying it...but you'll thank me!!!
Okay...so now you know...off you go! Get snapping those pics. And remember to tag #themamasorority in you photos because we love sharing your images.