Scammers Are Coming for Influencers!

Hi everyone! I know today isn’t my regular posting day- and yes, there will still be a new post on Monday- but I wanted to share an experience with you that I had today. It’s one that I’m sure many influencers have had in their early stages.

First and foremost, if you are a micro/nano influencer with no management team or agency, it’s easy to become a target by scammers. I recently created a business email for my blog and other social media outlets. In doing this, I came across several scam emails offering free products in turn for promotion. Who wouldn’t jump at the offer of free things?!

Something that influencers and personalities without representation must remember is to do research before agreeing on deals and signing contracts.

Before I go into specifics and explain an experience I’ve had, I want to make it clear to everyone that I don’t automatically agree on sponsorships because of the payout. I refuse to promote any product or service that I don’t approve of myself. So when brands that I’ve never heard of reach out to me, I take the offers very seriously and do my research before making any sort of agreement with them. However, I am still very welcoming to any brands willing to collaborate.

An example of a scam experience I have had is of an athletic wear company (which will be referred to as AWC). Firstly, I have yet to review or even be seen in proper athletic wear on my social media. That immediately was a red flag to me. Why would a brand reach out to me if they had not seen any indication that their products would be of interest to my demographic?

After checking their website, I saw every pair of leggings was one sale. They were originally marked for roughly $60 and were on sale for $22. More than 50% off? Every pair? Are you sure?

So AWC had their “representative” get ahold of me. The subject line read “Collaboration Proposal!” Right away I noticed several grammatical errors in the email. I was told that this woman was in charge of ambassador applications and thought that I would be a good fit. Remember that I never posted any athletic wear on my social media. I also never applied to be an ambassador (I mean, I never heard of AWC to begin with). I was told that today only they were giving free products to new ambassadors so I would have to jump quickly at the opportunity.

Something I always do when I get an email from a brand is ask for more information if I don’t feel enough has been provided. I said I was interested in the brand and wanted to know more about the ambassador program.

The reply was sent from a different email, no longer from their rep. The email was also obviously a scam email so I knew right away that this was someone who wanted to con my followers and myself out of money. The email itself was formatted fairly unprofessionally (using emojis mid-email and poor font) and looked like it was translated from a different language, copied and pasted, and sent to me. If no red flags were flying yet, that one was a dead give away.

It read:

” We have our brand new summer collection.

All you have to do is drive traffic to our Instagram and promote our leggings in you page! We will give you a Personal code which you have to share with your followers. Fore very sale you generate us with your Personal code, we give you a *0% commission. We expect you to take pictures with our leggings and send them to us, they will be featured in our page and website”

Then there was a flexing emoji… yeah…

And yes, that was copied and pasted. I did no alterations to that other than replacing the percentage with an asterisk. They definitely disclosed a number.

Then it gave me a link to a private page that showed items for “$0” before I would be scammed into paying for shipping. I had to laugh. How are you guys making any profit if you’re selling every item for more than 50% off WITHOUT ambassador discount codes and also giving ambassadors free items? If you’re going to lie, at least do it well! Your financial department must really hate their jobs…

After I finished up my research on the brand and their products, I discovered that they were most likely dropshipping. This means that they do not have any items in stock. They simply order them from a cheap producer and stick their label on it. I had a hunch when I read a review that said they waited a very long time for their order.


That’s just a little bit of what smaller bloggers/influencers/personalities go through with sponsorships/ambassadorships/etc. If you’re dealing with similar situations, I have a few tips to make sure you and your followers are safe from these nasty money grabbers.

  1. Do your research on the brand- the brand itself, the quality of the product, and reviews given from customers.
  2. Look at the emails used- sometimes it’s easier than other times, but always evaluate the email address they use. Sometimes it won’t even look professional or appropriate for their line of work.
  3. Judge the email- spelling, grammar, format, EVERYTHING. Real brands won’t let things like that slip when they are representing themselves.
  4. Check Facebook pages- some people make pages to alert other people about scams that they’ve fallen victim to.
  5. GOOGLE- always google the brand and rely solely on reviews that are not on the brand’s website. Also try looking up the name of the brand with the word “scam” after it to find any additional information.

These are just a few tips that I’ve used to look into unknown brands. Keep in mind that accepting sponsorships or ambassadorships from companies that you don’t know much about could ultimately look bad for you and put your followers at risk as well.

If you missed it, I made a Facebook page! It’s where I’ll be sharing behind the scenes work, life updates, and other fun things you won’t see here! Check it out and drop a like!

https://www.facebook.com/MegannLouiseDotCom/

 

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Reflecting on Two Years Post-Highschool| What I Learned, Experienced, and Became

Yesterday my sister graduated high school. I watched her walk across the stage with her honors tassel, get her diploma from our dad (the School Board President) and toss her cap in the air with the rest of her small class. It was weird thinking that she’s grown up now. Just two years ago, I was the one graduating and she was still learning how to be a student, not an adult.

It really had me reflecting on what all has happened to me in the past two years since I received my diploma. I’ve learned a lot in those two short years and it has shaped me into a completely different person. So what has happened?

1. I  got my first job.

I wrote about this before, but I worked for the Boys and Girls Club Association in my hometown. I got to work with kids, which I absolutely love. Teaching them and showing them that not everyone is a bad guy was amazing. Being a role model to kids who not always had the best home lives is rewarding in and of itself, but getting paid to do it made it even better. I met so many different people who loved helping children and it was inspiring. At the time, I was an early childhood education major so it was a great experience for me.

2. I quit my first job.

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Damn right I did. Five months later and I was out of that hell hole. To this day, I miss my little kiddos that never failed to put a smile on my face. But the other employees from top to bottom were not the crowd for me. After a while, I learned that I had to do what was best for myself and I turned in my resignation. I remember telling the kids I was leaving. It was torture. But now I’m out of a toxic workplace and I’m feeling so much better. No job is worth my sanity, dignity, and time.

3. I fell in love.

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I fell in love with my best friend almost instantly. We met 10 months before we started dating. I had graduated high school already and he was at the beginning of his senior year. My friends and I supported him at every Friday night football game. We slowly got closer and closer and then we started dating.  When we started dating I felt something different about him. You know how kids feel safe whenever they have a certain teddy bear or blanket with them? He’s my teddy bear/blanket. He’s helped me come out of my shell a lot. I’ve been much better with my anxiety since he’s been there to help me. I’ve never met someone so patient and kind. He really is the best boyfriend ever- although I might be a bit biased- and I love him more and more each day.

4. I went to college.

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In the fall after I graduated high school I attended a community college but it just wasn’t for me. I was looking into switching majors and they didn’t have my major, so I made the switch to a bigger university. It was the best decision of my life. I was so much happier. I took a semester off between schools to recalibrate and dedicate more time to that job I mentioned earlier. Once I got to move out on my own and get out of my suffocating hometown, I flourished. I made new friends, learned new things about myself, and got to grow into who I was supposed to be. Being in a big city was super different but with the help of my boyfriend and my new friends, it was manageable.

5. I made the Dean’s List.

After a stressful semester and a lot of hard work, I made the Dean’s list in the spring. I surprised myself with that one. I got roughly 28 hours of sleep a week and the only thing keeping me awake most days was coffee. I was constantly studying or planning time to study. It was an endless cycle of stress for me so getting the news that I made the Dean’s list was really rewarding. Now that I’ve found a major that I like, I’m excited to see how it impacts my grades in the future.


After thinking about all the things that went on after graduation, I’ve thought of a lot of advice I would give people in the position I was in two years ago. I know a lot of it is cliche but I genuinely mean every word I say. If even one piece of advice helps one person, all this Hallmark channel bullshit will be worth it.

1. Don’t let other people influence you.

I did this a lot in high school and once I was out, I realized how much control I really had over my life that I had never known before. When you’re chasing the trends or following the crowds, it’s easy to lose control of yourself without noticing it. Use this time to sit down by yourself and make a loose plan for the future. Don’t let yourself think one time about other people’s plans or interests. Think about where you want to be in five years, ten years, etc. Make it your goal to get there.

2. Make memories

Don’t let anything stop you from enjoying these years of your life while they last. Eventually you won’t be able to do these things anymore. The life you live now is what the younger you dreamt of, so you have to make it something he/she would be proud of. The life you’ll live in 10 or 20 plus years will not be like how it is now, I promise you. Make the best of life now so you can look back at it and say you lived it right.

3. Don’t dwell.

Guilty as charged. But please, whatever you do, don’t dwell on the negatives. Bad things happen to everyone. But the way you recover from them says more about you. Don’t waste your time thinking about the bad things that have happened to you in the past. Spend your time making sure the good things are coming your way. We always remember all the little things that go wrong instead of the little things that go right. We need to fix that.

4. Be open to change.

You have to realize that you won’t be the same person forever. The environment around you will change, your friends and family will change, you will change. Be open to it. Be welcoming to change. I had to teach myself that growing up and achieving my goals required alterations to my life. It was hard at first and I was definitely guarded. With time it got easier and now I cross my fingers every day hoping for more changes because that means I’m one step closer to being the best version of myself.

5. Travel.

A county over, a state over, a country over- who cares? Just travel. Meet new people and visit new places. Remind yourself that this world is bigger than your hometown. You could end up anywhere in the future and that’s really helped me open up my eyes. I didn’t go too far from home, but it was just far enough to give me a taste of diversity.

6. Love with your whole heart.

No half-assed love here. If you love someone, prove it. Nobody is required to stay in your life forever. You need to show them what they mean to you. Give them attention, support, and stability. And if you aren’t willing to do that, let them go. Don’t be selfish. Love wholeheartedly or not at all.

7. Leave your judgment behind.

If you think you can leave high school and keep being a judgmental prick, you have another thing coming. It’s not cool dude. I was that person who judged every book by its cover. Once I went off to college I got to know people for who they really were- their interests, stories, and personalities. Life outside of high school isn’t cliquey and I don’t think I want that to change. So don’t bring that shit into the real world, please and thank you.

If you missed it, I made a Facebook page! It’s where I’ll be sharing behind the scenes work, life updates, and other fun things you won’t see here! Check it out and drop a like!

https://www.facebook.com/MegannLouiseDotCom/

 

 

Let Me Update Ya

I figured it was about time to update everyone on my schooling and other things going on. I finished the semester up last Wednesday and most of my final grades seem to be in (although there’s a couple classes that will definitely wait until the day final grades are due to release them).

After a long semester, I got a 99% on my math final which gave me an A in the class. In one of my history classes, I got 100% on my final and managed to get a final grade of an A in the class. After cramming for my bio exam only 5 hours before the exam (typical meg fashion) I got an 87% and ended the semester with an A in the class. Although I never took a real exam for my communication class, I ended the semester with a B. Taking my intro to com class online was a disadvantage to me for a few reasons- tech difficulties being one. I missed a few assignments due to wifi slip-ups and computer crashes, but I’m still happy I was able to mostly make up for them at the end of the semester. My Middle Eastern History and Bio lab final grades are not in yet and I expect that they won’t be for a while, so I can’t really determine what my GPA will be just yet.

I’m moving out of my apartment on Wednesday and heading back to my hometown for the summer. Next fall I’ll be moving into an apartment much closer to campus so I guess leaving the place I’ve called my second home for the past nine months will be worth it. It’s still going to be really hard to say goodbye to my bigger bedroom and own kitchen though. I’m really grateful for the opportunities this year has given me. I’ve gotten to live alone, and who knows if I’ll ever get to do that again?

I’m looking into getting a job this summer after I get a bit of time to settle back in at home. I’d like to be working a lot to save up for rent, groceries, etc. once school starts back up. So before I really start looking around for work, I’m hoping to spend lots of time with my friends while I can.

That being said, in my free time I plan to be writing a bit more. It’s been really weird not writing. I’ve had quite a few impulses to start writing but I didn’t want to start posting if I was just going to stop abruptly again due to school. But now I have a few months to get myself together and write a little more. I’ve got some ideas for the future of this site and I’m hoping to implement them this summer.

Thank you to everyone who supported me when I took a semester off last year and when I went back to school in the fall. Everyone’s kind words and well wishes these past nine months have been really appreciated. I’m super excited to go back in the fall (I know, who says that?!) and explore my major even further.

Also, I’ve changed my update schedule to every Monday at noon, so keep an eye out for my new posts!

If you missed it, I made a Facebook page! It’s where I’ll be sharing behind the scenes work, life updates, and other fun things you won’t see here! Check it out and drop a like!

https://www.facebook.com/MegannLouiseDotCom/