What We Can Learn From Elle Darby’s Embarrassment
If you have spent any time on social media this week you may have come across a post where a blogger was publicly shamed on Facebook.
This blogger, Elle Darby*, pitched a popular hotel company for a free stay. The hotel owner then blasted her on Facebook, causing a lot of drama between bloggers and those who love to hate them.
*I am only naming her here because she has chosen to go public herself.
We have a lot to learn from this.
In her pitch, Elle boasted about her social media following and a big name company she recently worked with. She focused on herself and who she was. Only one sentence mentioned what she could do for the hotel she was pitching.
It does not appear she researched very much prior to pitching. She didn’t include any information about the brand in her pitch and in her youtube video discussing the issue she mentions them being a “pretty place to stay“. She wasn’t pitching them because she thought her audience would love them. She pitched them because it was a pretty place she came across.
This pitch could have gone to any hotel. There was nothing personal there. There was no attempt to show that she knew the company.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad pitch, but it was very generic and I think that is where she failed – and ultimately irritated the hotel owner as the first thing he mentioned was that she didn’t even call him by name.
Lesson: When pitching, get to know the brand and make it about what you can do for THEM. Have an idea besides just sharing their product.
The Public’s Perception of Bloggers
The average Joe doesn’t even know what a blogger is or what they actually do.
There are bloggers and then there are social media influencers. Not all bloggers are social media influencers, but most all influencers are bloggers. Social media influencers are typically built around a blog brand.
Anybody can blog. It takes a lot more work to be an influencer. As an influencer you aren’t just writing stuff on the internet. You are more than just a blogger.
You are working with big name companies, constantly emailing brands and reps, signing contracts, advertising, creating content, taking pictures, editing them, writing posts, pushing your posts, and filing tax paperwork.
You know who pays taxes? People who work.
Whether or not you like it, blogging is a job and a very viable one for many.
Lesson: The general public is ignorant as to what blogging really entails.
Bloggers Are Relatable
Have you ever seen a friend on social media asking for recommendations for a new X, Y, or Z?
That’s where a blogger (ahem Social Media Influencer) comes into play.
Here’s an example: I follow a dentist on social media. They have a decent amount of followers. But guess what? They aren’t advertising to their followers. The majority of businesses on social media are already doing business with the people who follow them. They are there to gain new customers.
People ask for recommendations because they trust their peers.
As an influencer I am paid to work with brands just like this dentist. This gives me real life experience reviewing a service or product, like my Juvederm experience, that I can then choose to share with my audience. Not every review is going to be positive. Not every blogger is authentic either. As with any profession, you will have dishonest people. For the most part, bloggers are trustworthy.
Lesson: Bloggers have value. The average consumer is much more likely to visit a business that somebody they can relate to has visited and recommends. – Additionally, Every blog is comparable to an online magazine.. Companies will pay to advertise their product with good “magazines”.
Adults are Pathetic
After the hotel’s roasting of Elle went viral, bloggers showed up to defend her and her pitch. Some of them were then ripped apart. Some of them even stooped low enough to leave a 1 star review on a place of business they have never stopped foot in.
Full-grown adults were making fun of the looks of other people.
Full-grown adults calling people ridiculous names.
Full-grown adults were telling each other to commit suicide.
Yep, adults are pathetic.
Lesson: Adults are just as juvenile (maybe worse?) than high schoolers who love drama.
And finally, is there really such a thing as bad publicity?