Learning To Say No Without Sacrificing Your Relationships

Learning To Say No Without Sacrificing Your Relationships

Posted by Anna Kate on 11th Jan 2021

In the creator space, and life in general, it is physically impossible to say “yes” to everything and everyone. There are only so many hours in a day, so prioritizing what brands and other creators you choose to collaborate with is imperative to your success… and sanity. So, how do you manage to keep your relationships afloat when it’s time to turn someone down?


No one likes to get ghosted! If a brand or agency approaches you about a campaign that just doesn’t feel right, let them know. Deleting or not responding to an email simply because it isn’t the right fit for you is the fastest way to alienate a relationship. Instead of leaving them in the dark, let them know why you won’t be able to work together this time around. Being a creator is essentially running your own business, so it is extremely important to act professionally, especially when communicating with brands you’d like to work with in the future.

It’s Not Them, It’s You

There are countless reasons you may turn down a campaign, so it’s important you let the brand know specifically what didn’t work for you. For instance, the particular product or service they’re reaching out about may not align with your lifestyle. You wouldn’t promote a patch that helps you quit smoking if you don’t actually smoke, right? Let the brand know upfront that your post wouldn’t feel authentic and therefore wouldn’t drive the results they’re looking for. It’s not that their non-smoking patch isn’t great or effective, it’s just not the right fit for you or your brand.

The campaign could also be coming at the wrong time. You may already be slammed with scheduled posts, traveling out of town, or simply too busy to commit the time it takes to create the content you’re known for. Instead of sacrificing the quality of your work or overloading your followers with too many sponsored posts, be honest! Never accept a campaign knowing you won’t be able to follow through in the end. You may love the product/brand, but patience is a virtue and waiting for the right time can be the difference between a successful campaign and a total flop. Most brands will appreciate your commitment to your craft and simply look for other opportunities to partner in the future.

Look Toward The Future

If the brand or agency you’re saying “no” to is one you’d be interested in potentially working with later, let them know! This particular campaign may not be in your best interest right now, but a different one definitely could be later down the line. Instead of just shutting them down, leave your response open ended. “For that reason, I don’t think executing this campaign would be in the best interest for your brand or mine, but I would absolutely be open to revisiting other campaigns in the future.” 

Saying “no” isn’t always easy, but it’s a part of life. If you can learn to say it in a respectful and professional way, you’ll benefit by protecting your time and your brand without burning any bridges.

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