Turning down jobs

This feels like one of those blogs that’s a bit - icky - to write. But the topic’s come up in conversation a few times recently and so I thought I’d write a few quick words about it.

It being work.

And the icky bit being work that I say no to.

I turn down a lot of work.

- Have you heard influencers say that before? Any influencer I follow will often mention the ratio of work they turn down to what they take on. But sometimes it’s hard to trust that you’re not being fed a line.

First, let’s go back slightly. I somehow missed the stop on my bus and have found myself in a place I never really envisioned. As an ‘Influencer’. I’m using the Joey bunny ears because that term cringes me out, as if my job is to hypnotise and lure you into decisions. We really need to get a better name for it.

But with that title comes a lot more responsibility than I anticipated. Because if we learnt anything from Peter Parker its that with great power comes great responsibility.

I have a specific voice that I want to be online. I want to be honest but positive, its not a space I use to air my dirty laundry or to complain about anything too private with the children. It’s also not a place where I want to come across too together. But most importantly I want to create a space that somehow helps my children. I am on a very earnest but ve-hery slow journey to living more sustainably and creating as little waste within our house as possible and along that way I am learning a LOT.

I want the footprint I leave online to be a positive one and so with that in mind I turn down a lot of work. I absolutely don’t want this post to come across wrong, I think there are a lot of ways it could be read wrong, but put simply I’m a nosy person and I know I’d be interested to read this kind of thing, so I hope you are too!

Back story- I first downloaded Instagram when I thought it was just a photo editing app, I’d edit photos not realising that I was then posting them, captionless, to my 3 followers.

When I gave birth to my first baby, Jet, in 2016 I found a voice that I didn’t know I had and I started writing journal style blog posts, so I created a make shift, glued together Wordpress blog. I was still ruthm131 on Instagram but with the use of hashtags I was starting to find myself involved in conversations with other mums and I felt like I was entering a whole community I had no idea existed. When Jet was about 3 months old I was really enjoying writing more and using Instagram more and I wanted to create a more succinct feel between my blog and instagram, my sister brain stormed with me and we came up with Bright Mama. The reason behind (is probably obvious) is I wanted it to be a positive (bright) space and obvs I live in BRIGHTon.

Over the past 3 years its grown slowly from a hobby in to what is now really a full time job (squeezed in around the babies) and so present day I feel very fortunate to be offered work on a regular basis.

I’m not just going to list every job I turn down because that would make for some dull reading. So for a nice, easy example I’ll tell you about this week.

Job 1: Large High street fashion store

Pitched to me a 3 month campaign. I would post 2 photos per month and 3 insta stories per month chatting about their fashion line (for me and the children).

Firstly, it’s a shop that I used to shop in until recently. I’ve made a decision to try and buy as little as possible and only buy good quality, long lasting pieces. I’m trying to eradicate my fast purchase mentality. This store is classic for that- it always has the latest trend but give it a few months and the hem will have twisted or the trouser length will have shrunk. But it’s cheap and sometimes its hard to argue with cheap.

With all of these job examples, it’s often not actually brands that I whole heartedly disagree with. When a diet tea emailed me a few weeks ago it was obviously the easiest no I could give. But when it’s a brand that I’m a bit more on the fence about its very hard to say no to the money.

But it’s about endorsing. Do I want to publicly, hand on heart endorse a brand that I don’t love, that I’m not excited to share about, that I think the world will be a better place for other people knowing about it.

And if the answer is no, then I say no. I’ve got a mortgage to pay, childcare fees and all the fun realities of parenthood but I also take the responsibility of my place on the internet seriously.

And so although I don’t completely disagree with this shop and I have shopped there in the past, it’s not somewhere I want to shout about. I also am trying to research more about brands attitudes toward their sustainability and how they are approaching their responsibility and until I know more about that I don’t feel comfortable working with them.

Job 2:

Leading children’s yogurt brand

They wanted me to provide one post on my feed and 3 insta stories. It’s a brand that I don’t have an issue with. I occasionally buy their pots for Jet and Nova but it’s not usually my go-to choice. The campaign was to promote their new on-the-go yogurt pouches. A single use throw away plastic pouch. Again, I’m on a journey to reducing our plastic, I totally still occasionally buy items like this but I didn’t want to promote or pretend that I use them all the time.

Job 3:

Supermarket baby care range. 1 post on my feed and 1 insta story.

This was another decision that was influenced by my aim to reduce our waste. This supermarket on a whole is great. I know that they’re implementing a lot of change in their stores, like a lot less packaged fruit and veg.

But the baby range campaign heavily focuses on nappies and wipes. Nappies is an on going journey for me, we have swapped over to re usable but I still totally use throw away nappies sometimes too. I don’t have an issue with them at all. I definitely think you need to find the areas in life where a change doesn’t feel too overwhelming and I know for some people nappies is just a step too far.

But wipes are honestly just the easiest swap. I use reusable wipes from Bambino Mio and they are better in every way to throw away baby wipes. I find they’re more efficient and get the job done better than wipes. They’re then super easy just to chuck in the wash ready to be used again. And with them just being the cloth and water they’re gentle on little hands, faces and bottoms. As well as tables and floors and everywhere else food and poo ends up.

And so although there are a lot of things worse in the world than baby wipes, I didn’t want to be paid to talk about them.

Job 4

Popular children’s TV show. The brand wanted to send Jet & Nova merchandise from a popular kids TV show, they would pay for one post on my feed and 3 x stories to show the merchandise. The thing is, Jet and Nova don’t actually watch it, Jet’s kinda aware of the characters but we don’t watch it. I don’t have any problem at all with the programme itself, we just obvs don’t have time to get into every programme that’s ever on. So it felt unauthentic to talk about merchandise of a show we don’t watch. Simple really.

So there you go, those are 4 jobs that I’ve turned down in the last week.

When you see an AD on my Instagram feed, know that I’m not just ‘selling you any old rubbish’ I’ve given it thought, I’ve looked into the brand and more often than not it’s something I already use and enjoy or have wanted to try.

And one last little thought. YOU control YOUR feed. If there’s people you follow that you feel ram ADs down your throat every other day then just quietly unfollow them. And if you follow people whose ADs you enjoy then support them. Don’t know how?

  • Like their photo (that little heart goes a long way) comment on their photo or even share their photo if you’re feeling super kind 😉

The reality is, no one wants to count numbers but at the end of a campaign the brand will ask for all the insights of a job, the engagement (likes, comments etc) and so in that instance numbers unfortunately mean a lot.

Anyway I could easily write another post with more about ADs and what goes on behind the scenes. But I’ll leave it there for now. I hope I haven’t rambled and I hope it all makes sense.

But for now the babies are in bed so it’s time for Netflix and carbs. The, less cool, parent version of Netflix and chill.

Big love x

journalRuth MarsdenComment