A Word on Ethical Affiliates, Sponsorships, and Promotions

I don’t know about you, but I watch a LOT of video content. I’m obsessed with Youtube and spend a lot of my time watching the Instagram stories of my favorite brands, business owners, and influencers.

I particularly love it when these people share their favorite products with me.

Here’s a little confession: I love online shopping. I really do. I’m always eager to learn about a new product that combines quality with taste, and much of my “fun” shopping inspiration comes from these IG stories.

Heck, I just bought a pair of BANGS sneakers because someone I follow has been sharing about them pretty consistently. I got them last Tuesday and I’m in LOVE.

Shopping for clothing and shoes online can be really difficult, but I knew my odds of liking these shoes was pretty high because I felt well-informed before buying them.

I knew they were unisex (so they’d probably have a bit more wiggle room in sizing), well-made with vegan textiles, the brand has an excellent return policy, and every photo shared by a customer included a glowing review.

All of those things contributed to me clicking the “BUY NOW” button, but what really sent me over the edge was knowing someone I trusted backed them up.

Here’s why I’m writing this today.

Whether you’re an affiliate, you’ve been sponsored, or you’re selling your own products or services… People are counting on you to market and sell things ethically.

You must tell the truth about the things you’re promoting if you want to steward your influence for good and nurture a positive relationship with your followers.

A few things to ask yourself when promoting or mentioning something on your marketing channels:

  • Did I spend enough time with this product to give an accurate review?

  • Was I completely, 100% honest with my review, or did I exaggerate it in any way?

  • Did I disclose the fact that I am an affiliate, brand ambassador, or was sponsored for promoting this?

  • Did I receive this item for free or at a discount, and did that influence my feelings toward the item or brand?

  • Does this item truly contribute to a better world, or does it harm the world?

  • Does this item prey on a vulnerable population, or damage the self-confidence and self-worth of others?

  • Would I recommend this item to my loved ones without hesitation?

  • Are my reviews and claims for this product or service too good to be true?

If you’ve recently promoted something in an unethical way, consider bringing that to your audience’s attention and clearing the air. Going forward, make a commitment to do better.

Let’s make positive waves in the entrepreneurial world!

Onwards and upwards,