Gifting products to influencers is a great way to spread the word about your brand and create UGC (thats user generate content for those who hate acronyms!), and reach a range of new potential customers. Previously its been a manual process of reaching out to hundreds of people on instagram, hoping they reply, and then posting them the product/arranging the service for them and crossing your fingers they post something! has changed all that. Now you can list your contra collab directly in our ‘Contra Offers’ section, and influencers who are interesting in collaborating with you in an unpaid capacity can apply. You then pick the people you want to gift, and leave them a review at the end of the process. Simple!

We’ve put together this guide on how to maximise your contra gifting collaboration with influencers.

1. Set a fair contra to posts ratio (be realistic in your expectations!)

Remember, influencers normally get given product plus payment to collaborate and promote brands. If you only have contra available and not monetary compensation, then make sure you’re making it worth their while.

Here’s the maths:

Product or service value: $75 (this is the minimum value for contra gifting on TRF)

Influencer following: 5k max
Content: 1 x Instagram in-feed post, or 2-3 stories

Product or service value: $300- $500 

Influencer following: 10-20k
Content: 1 x Instagram in-feed post

A good sense check is ‘Would I do this collaboration myself? If someone gifted me this product/service, would I want to post about it?” – if the answer is no, rethink your offer 🙂

2. Attach photos

Attach clear photos of your product or service and a catalog for the influencers to choose from if you have more than 1 item on offer. Quality influencers know what type of product looks authentic in their feed- they need to ensure your product suits their audience.

3. Describe your brand

In 3-4 sentences describe who your brand is for, why people love it, any press you have received, awards won, or celebs who have used your product.

4. Don’t limit yourself just to Instagram!

Don’t forget, influencer marketing is so much more than just Instagram! Perhaps instead of asking for a post on Instagram (which most influencers will charge a fee for), you can ask for a google review, a Facebook review, a post on Facebook, or even linked in! Also, remember that Instagram stories are a great way to work with influencers as they can use swipe up links to drive traffic to your website. 

5. Understand the difference between Contra Collaborations and Paid Posting

Contra gifting is like social sampling – you can’t dictate what an influencer writes or posts, ask them to use discount codes, dictate what words they use and when they do the post, and etc. This person has expressed an interest in collaborating with you, so if you provide them a great product or service, they’ll share it in a way that best resonates with their audience in an authentic way. If you want full creative control, and to dictate the deliverables, then a paid influencer campaign is the way to go 🙂

6. Make your delivery impressive!

Go the extra mile and include a handwritten note, beautiful packaging, a wow moment from the moment they start interacting with your brand. They’ll be more likely to share additional content if you gift them something aesthetically pleasing.

7. Keep your brief simple

Keep in mind with unpaid collaborations that the influencer isn’t being financially compensated for their time, content and reach so we recommend keeping your briefing briefing document clear and simple, as the influencer isn’t being paid to read it! They are much less likely to take part if you have way too many guidelines and requirements for an unpaid collab. So give they the info they need in a quick and simple document, thank them for their involvement, and let them bring their vision to life. 

If you have any questions about contra gifting or working with influencers, say hello to the team here at! We are experts in the field and can guide you on the right offering for you and your brand.