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How to Get Brands to Send You Free Stuff

by Riley Cook

So, you’re interested in becoming an influencer or content creator (aka brand ambassador)?

What is the difference between an influencer and a content creator?


Influencers are known for their repetitive rhetoric, “You guys, I just bought these melatonin gummies and I am obsessed!” They will then proceed to tell you about the product—both the pros and cons—as their job is to influence you, their audience, to purchase the product based on their review of the same.


Content creators are those who go about their day-to-day and share that with their audience. During these routine or mundane tasks, they’ll incorporate a brand into the content, mentioning the brand or visiting the store, all in an effort to get you, their audience, to buy into the idea of patronizing these companies.

All in all, both fall under the umbrella of a brand ambassador.

Now that you know the difference, it's time to act. Perhaps you’re just looking to earn some extra money on the side, or you can’t afford a new wardrobe and would like to promote brands for free in exchange for some trendy pieces. Whatever your motivation, brands from all over the world are always looking for new ways to grow their revenue.

Partnerships and collaborations are crucial for brand growth, no matter the size. When a new brand emerges, it’s typical for them to get inundated with a plethora of tasks: social media management, SEO, marketing, and press. But for most, the budget is slim and they’re just trying to get started. Well, as an influencer or content creator, this is where you come in…


Brands that have the means to hire a publicist should be able to afford partnering up with Brand Ambassadors. Never accept products as payment from publicists working with brands. Even if you are new and have a small following, always charge something in exchange for the promotion.

Here’s the thing: a publicist is solely responsible for getting their client press. A marketing team, on the other hand, is allocated a budget for online ads and promotion. If a company is seeking press only, then they should be emailing journalists, not influencers and content creators. Both of those professions fall under marketing. When you start accepting products in exchange for your labor, you are doing yourself and others a huge disservice. If you want to make this a career, then you have to stand firm. You wouldn’t work at Starbucks in exchange for free coffee, would you?

However, if you just want some free product, then sure, you can accept the items, but always reply to the publicist and let them know that promotion is optional because sending you product without payment is considered an in-kind exchange or media gifting. This also protects you from having to pay taxes on the products they send you. Some brands will try to write off the products—make you pay taxes on the item even though they did not pay for you to promote it. This causes you to lose twice, so to avoid any misunderstandings, simply don’t do anything for free.


Let’s say you want to work with a brand that’s already paid their dues in a sense, in other words, this brand is already popular and has garnered some media attention already. Therefore, you promoting the item for free will be mutually beneficial:

  • Other brands are more likely to take you more seriously as an ambassador, meaning they will pay to work with you.

  • Your audience will respect you as an ambassador since Nike or Mac hired you to promote their products.

All in all, you’re growing in your career.

For this, you want to focus your attention on contacting these brands or purchasing their items, using them, and tagging them in the videos. For example, Lueq offers Brand Ambassadors upwards of $40,000 annually for content creation and promotion once they’ve selected you. For this, you would have to purchase some items first and tag them via social media at #lueqatme, and one of their marketing reps will be in touch if it’s a good fit.

Think about it…maybe you’ll invest about $100 to get the ball rolling, but then you’d receive free products and a salary as long as your contract remains active. It’s a small investment towards a big reward. Below is an image of items that will be going out to Brand Ambassadors who have already started doing this…so why not you?


But what if you just don’t have the initial investment? Well, below is an email template you can use to get in touch with some brands:


Now, let’s say you’re past the point of wanting to just do promotion and you want to be sponsored. Perhaps a trip or to go to an event…it’s easy. Celebrities do this all the time. You may see your favorite actress on the red carpet sporting a Ralph Lauren dress they do not own; well, they were paid to wear it and be photographed in it.

So, to get started, you may want to spend some time on websites like Eventbrite or even our event, The Manhattan Dinner, and gather as much information as possible. If you’re looking to pitch to a beauty brand, then you want to find events that have beauty as their niche. When you do this, you can contact the brand and propose the following:

“I came across this event taking place on January 3, 2024, in Brooklyn, NY. After speaking with the event organizers, I’ve come to learn that this event will have over 2,000 guests, press, and a professional photographer. If your brand is interested, I would love to promote your products while attending. The sponsorship includes a ticket to the event, items to wear and promote, and a mutual license for social media marketing. If you’re interested, please let me know as I would be delighted to work with you!”

In the case of The Manhattan Dinner, single men and women are encouraged to get sponsorship deals to attend because Getty Images will photograph them inside. Plus, the images will be published in She’s SINGLE for the Fall 2024 issue with Jiah Star as the cover girl.

All in all, it’s a great way to attend an event you want to attend for free, get some quality images from the event so when pitching to other brands in the future you can revert back to them, and lastly, you can wear something exquisite and stand out. And the cherry on top is that you’ll be a published influencer! Not too many can say that.

We hope this article helped and provided you with some much-needed insight on how to get your career started. Best of luck!


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