In the land of blogging, we often hear of opportunities to receive free things in exchange for our honest opinion on the products we receive. It's controversial -or at least seems to be so- and is something I've struggled with off and on since the moment people besides my mom started reading my blog.
When a few of my favorite bloggers started using Influenster, I decided to check it out for myself. And I joined, connected all my networks, then waited. And waited. And was thrilled when I got an email saying that I could be a fit for the #BlossomVoxBox. I took a survey (or snap as Influenster calls them) and upon completing it I was a match. They asked for my address and said I'd be getting a green box of happy mail in a few weeks.
Before the box arrived on our doorstep I googled all over to see what exactly VoxBox would expect from me. I wanted to know how much I'd have to share or put out on social media to be a worthwhile recipient of their products. There was nothing for me to read and understand, so I decided I'd write one of my own (you're welcome).
The box showed up outside our door one Wednesday afternoon and I was surprised by the way its contents truly worked with my lifestyle. I unloaded the box and snapped a picture to use for my blog posts and social media.
Then I did what the directions in the box said and checked in online. After checking in the dashboard for your box will come up. It contains all kinds of directions and information as well as multiple pages for you to work through (in the orange on the left).
You can read through the tabs and see what tasks are available, but you're not going to be able to accomplish much without first understanding the products you've received.
So, do the fun part and put everything to work. Drop the shampoo in your shower for your next shampoo day, grab some granola before a hike, start applying that moisturizer with SPF to your face. And you decide what you think. Some things you'll love, others won't be your style, and still more will just be uninteresting to you.
A week has passed and you've munched on every bag of Beanitos you have (plus stocked up more from the store). Check out the VoxBox badges first. Notice there's a ton of ways to interact with the products and their brands online. This was my favorite part of VoxBox -I didn't have to do anything, but instead got to tailor my efforts to be honest and genuine.
After you've read through the VoxBox Badge tasks, you can take on individual badges. I only did these for the products I loved. Some of them ask you to review your product online or to tweet about the product using their hashtag or to like their Facebook page. Often these tasks have multiple steps to them, so be diligent and aware in accomplishing each bit.
Some really helpful (I wish I knew them beforehand) tips:
- Take pictures of yourself wearing the make-up, dipping the chips in salsa, chomping on the granola atop your acai bowl. These pictures will become part of earning your Brand Badges later.
- Allocate your time. A lot of the Brand Badges ask you to review and, well, no one's ever loved writing a paper the night before it's due so employ the same attitude here.
- Familiarize yourself with the hashtags. Each product has a hashtag that it wants you to use and some of them are sort of random so check out the cheat sheet that Influenster provides for you.
- Don't lie. I mean, honestly, you're not going to love it all and you don't have to. There's nothing tied to how you feel about the product that'll win you a better place or campaign in the future.
- Know badges matter, but aren't everything. Some of the badges were just not something I could work out. I didn't want to tell anyone that I'm busy slathering myself in Sally Hansen's Airbrush Legs business when I wasn't. So, that badge didn't work out.
- Always include: "I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."
So, that's VoxBox for you. I know, holy smokes with all the details and conversation, but now there's a place to understand the process and expectations before you have to fully commit.
My honest opinion: the box was fun and well-suited to my lifestyle so I didn't feel overwhelmed trying to "plug" something I don't like. The expectations are completely realistic so you're not sweating it trying to figure out where and when to work things in. And, if you must know, I'd do it over again!
Any questions? Leave them in the comments.