Freddy Rodriguez shares tips to create unique content for brands:
How did you start blogging?
I started blogging between my freshman and sophomore year of university as a way to improve my internship applications in New York City. This was back in 2011 when blogging was nothing what it is now. I was lucky enough to meet the right people at the right time and my hobby of blogging quickly became my full-time career after graduating from Fashion Institute of Technology in 2014.
Tell us about your biggest personal achievement as a blogger/creator.
There are many achievements from travels to many special partnerships. The biggest I'd say to date is being Chase Pay's ambassador and creating a video produced by Chase for their social media.
Do you enjoy working with brands and how do you choose certain collaborations, any criteria?
I very much enjoy working with brands. For me, I have to trust the brand and believe in the brand. For example, I don't smoke, so a cigarette brand and I would not work together. But I really like working together with brands to help them create unique and compelling content.
More and more companies advertise their brands by inviting creators to (opening) events and asking them to share event moments on social media. How do you perceive this as a creator?
Companies using social influencers to highlight their products at opening events has been going on since I first started blogging in 2011. That's what first got me interested. Coming from a small town in Texas, being invited to a big name company’s event where I got to drink for free and usually got a gift was a huge incentive to attend and share my experience on my Instagram feed. In addition, back then, Instagram was actually instant and I wasn't getting paid to attend the event and share my experience. Fast forward to 2019: if a company isn't inviting influencers to their events they are instantly losing (free) publicity. Granted now I don't share a lot of events I go to unless I really value the experience. As a creator it's about keeping trust with my audience and sharing moments that feel organic and resonate well with my followers. That being said, companies should continue to invite influencers and decide if they truly see value working with a set of curated influencers. The company should build a paid partnership with the influencer of their choosing.
Do you have any lessons from past failures others could learn from?
The biggest mistake I have made is selling myself short when it comes down to getting paid. It's so important to value our work. Influencers should not be afraid to ask for more when the ask is outsized.
Any advice for up and coming bloggers/creators?
Be yourself! Be genuine! Be the best version of yourself and have fun! :)