Welcome to Week 4 on my series of resources for bloggers. Every week we will discuss a resource to get freebies, collect PR samples to review, networking with other bloggers, connecting with brands, and even earning a bit of cash on the side from sites that I know from personal experience are not scams. I will never recommend a site, app, or resource that I have not personally used and trust.
If you missed it, check out:
Week 4: Influenster
100% free to sign up.
Influenster VoxBoxes are available primarily to the United States, with some campaigns also shipping to Canada. This is the same for Virtual VoxBoxes.
You may join Influenster for the reviewing community and lists regardless of country of residence, but you WILL NOT receive a VoxBox if you live outside of the US or Canada at this time.
Influenster is probably one of the most well known resources for bloggers on getting free stuff… but there’s constantly questions about “How do I get a VoxBox from Influenster??” and a general sense of frustration feeling like people have never ‘scored on free stuff’ so this is my review on Influenster and How To Get A VoxBox.
Sign-up for Influenster here to follow along!
NOTE: I apologize if some of my screen shots are a little fuzzy. I’m working on fixing the problem and will update the images ASAP, but don’t want you guys to wait for this!
What You Need:
- An email account to sign up.
- NON PRIVATE social media channels.
What It Offers:
- A platform to review products & get ask other users questions about mainstream products.
- ‘free’ themed boxes of products in the form of a VoxBox
- Virtual VoxBox(es) where you can participate in activities to earn a real VoxBox.
Influenster is also a reviewing/list website, but that is not the purpose of this post.
What Is A VoxBox?
A VoxBox is a box that Influenster and the companies that utilize them compile, usually in a theme, to get their products out into the world and into the hands of people with a social reach of people that will see them.
Why Is This Available?
Because this isn’t just a box of free stuff. Influenster uses badges and other activities to try to get people to promote the items they receive. These items are meant to help the company expand their reach by using your social network whether it’s your blog followers, Facebook friends, Twitter fans, or Instagram buddies.
9 Tips on How To Get Chosen For A VoxBox
1. Fill out your profile COMPLETELY, including a profile photo.
The sign-up and set-up is pretty simple, so we won’t touch on that. You’ll need to connect your profiles on social media, and your blog. You can connect your blog by adding the Influenster badge to the sidebar or footer and submitting it for verification. Personally when I did this, it errored out, so I had to contact support to get it corrected. (that only took about a day after I emailed, so if it’s not happening right away, make sure to message them)
2. Complete ALL of your Snaps that are available.
If they’re asking you a new question, it’s because they need the answer for something new they’re working on. If you don’t complete your snaps… they don’t know what fits you! You’re a lot less likely to even get chosen for a chance at a VoxBox if you don’t fill these out. And make sure that you answer honestly, not as someone greedy wanting every free product they can get. It defeats the system to be greedy and over time makes opportunities disappear for everyone.
3. Participate in Virtual VoxBoxes as much as you can.
Besides the physical VoxBoxes, Influenster often runs one or more Virtual VoxBox(es). These have activities varying from simple activities on Influenster, to running out to a store to take a “Shelfie” (I die a little inside every time someone uses that word in a non sarcastic sentence, just saying), that can help you earn a real VoxBox. These are online only boxes, and you will not receive anything physical to participate in them unless you ‘win’ a different VoxBox after.
4. Complete every activity you can on VoxBoxes you received.
Sometimes there’s just a few activities for a VoxBox campaign… sometimes there’s a ton and you can choose the minimum number to get the badge. Let’s be clear. NONE OF THESE ACTIVITIES, outside of checking in your box and filling out the final survey, are REQUIRED.
BUT it would be EXTREMELY smart on your part to do them because it reflects well on you as an Influencer and shows Influenster that you are dedicated. It’s like having a portfolio of work for them (or at least their bot?) to look at. If you were deciding on candidates for a project, wouldn’t you want to choose someone you KNOW puts the effort in? I would too.
And we already know you’re wanting to get VoxBoxes, or you wouldn’t be reading this.
This is what some of the activities look like more specifically, for how to complete them. You can complete some stuff more easily on the app, and some activities can ONLY be completed on the app. It’s available for both Android and all you pod people with iPhones.
5. Be active on Influenster.
This is especially important if you have a smaller following, but it’s always important. By filling out reviews for products you’ve tried, answering and asking questions, earning badges and other activities on Influenster, it can show companies that you’re willing to put in the effort to complete activities and teaches them to expect quality content from you when they send you a box.
Earning badges is one of the best ways to start, because it shows Influenster what areas you’re interested in. Snaps and other activities all help for these. There are badges for topics, such as for Beauty products you earn the Beauty Queen badge, and badges for campaigns and the products within them.
These are the campaign badges I’ve earned to date for my VoxBoxes and Virtual VoxBoxes.
6. Grow your following.
Being active on all of your social channels, including a blog or YouTube if you have one, helps your following grow, and that ups your numbers to Influenster and shows them that you are worth the time and value of sending out samples to you.
I got my first box when I was at under 1000 followers across ALL networks, and had earned the Beauty Queen badge but done little else.
7. Log In Often
Your stats are refreshed for Influenster only when you log in, so if you’ve had a big growth in your following, it’s not going to show to companies until you log back in. Mine jumped again when I logged in to finalize this post with the last images I needed.
8. Prioritize The Email.
Whether this means sending it to your most-used, least-spam email address, or setting a filter to make all Influenster messages get priority/flagged as important, you will NEED your emails for this. IF you are chosen for a campaign, it’s usually a pre-selection, and they will email you the link to a survey which will determine if you are specifically right for the campaign. Again, be honest with your answers. The sooner you get to this email, the better chance you have, because it CAN fill up. And then you’ll have missed your chance. You also usually only have 1-5 days to fill out the survey anyway.
9. Be Patient.
I know, it sucks waiting. It sucks not knowing if or when. But this is a service that is offered to you for free. It’s a bonus if you get one. Don’t expect it. Don’t feel entitled to it. Don’t feel like “oh but she has x followers and I have xyz how come she got one?” because she was probably a better fit than you according to her profile. Similar to subscription boxes, they only know what you tell them. Make sure you’re telling them the right things.
Beyond being patient, you should definitely be involved in other resources as well while you work on these. I highly recommend (and have written articles on) BrandBacker, and for the even less patient: CrowdTap. BzzAgent is one to join and wait as well.
SUPER QUICK INFLUENSTER FAQ:
Who Gets A VoxBox? / How Do They Decide Who Gets A VoxBox?
It depends on what they have available, and what the brand(s) need. Meaning demographics (age, location, gender, etc) + interests (snaps, pre-surveys, etc) + reach (followers, level of activity visible to them) + availability (campaigns they have available) + ideals (what the brands want in a customer) = whether or not you get it.
A brand might have an ideal customer of a 30 year old single mom with a baby that’s 6-12 months old, even if it’s a relaxing or beauty box and has nothing to do with babies. Seriously. As an advertiser we basically make up a fake person of who our average or ideal customer is.
What do I HAVE to do when I get a VoxBox?
Check it in when you get it, and fill out the final survey when you get it in your email.
Beyond that, always check the Details page for your boxes from your Dashboard.
How Long Does It Take To Get A VoxBox?
If you meant before you get chosen for one? I joined on December 16th, and got my first box in April.
If you mean how long the shipping takes? My boxes have taken roughly a week, say 5-12 days, to get to me, consistently. You’re likely to see them come up in your shipping before they email you the shipping info if you use MyUSPS.
How Often Will I Get A VoxBox?
This varies greatly as well. You might get them once a month or more than that, you might only get them once a year, or less. Again, don’t feel entitled. Even if you write amazing content and have a ton of followers, you just might not be the demographics a brand is looking for as who they think is their ideal customer. From an advertising perspective, someone in your target market is likely to get it out to more people in your target market than someone that’s outside of that ideal market.
That being said, after joining in December 2016, I have gotten VoxBoxes in April 2016, June 2016, July 2016, & August 2016.
Wanna see what I got?
My Influenster VoxBoxes
VoxBox #1: Rachel Ray Nutrish Super Premium Food For Dogs ($15.99 retail)
One surprisingly large box containing a bag dog food. Caught me so off guard to see this on the counter in a huge white box.
Scout barely had an appetite at the time and the second I put this in his bowl he gobbled it up. It was so funny to watch. You can tell his ‘little sister’ is quite jealous.
VoxBox #2: Blush VoxBox ($16.93 Retail)
This box I got because of my history in wedding photography. It was a wedding theme and this has been my favorite box to date. Obviously.
VoxBox #3: ZzQuil (<$1 Retail)
NOT PICTURED. I seriously have no idea where I put this, but it was literally one of the little freebie samples of 2 ZzQuil pills and came in a little purple VoxBox.
VoxBox #4: Revive VoxBox (value not determined yet)
I only recently got this. It’s not super my thing. I tried one of the protein powders (my first protein powder ever) and felt like I was drinking cold watered down cappuccino. Felt very weird. I’m going to use the other two in recipes instead. There’s also individual coffee pods that I don’t have a machine for, but you CAN use them in regular pots with a filter so… maybe my folks will use it? I don’t drink coffee.
Fun fact. I got that same Shea Moisture sample on the same day in my August Birchbox. Stay tuned for that unboxing tomorrow along with my Ipsy August Glambag!
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Convinced? Sign-up for Influenster here!
If you missed it, check out the other resources in this series: BrandBacker, CrowdTap, and BzzAgent, and make sure to check back next Monday when we go over the not-so-obvious resource for bloggers that opens up opportunities for thousands of dollars in free products. Literally, I hit $1000 in freebies because of this.
If you’re forgetful, just hit Follow on the blog, and it’ll be in your feed Monday morning!