I’m pretty lucky to have great relationships with lots of brands. Most of these have been nurtured and grown since I started blogging in 2009. I’ve met clients in person, shared baby photos and exchanged Christmas cards. The relationships have grown outside of just a simple one off review and giveaway into something more. Because of that, I’ve been involved in some amazing opportunities.
I work with some pretty popular names and I often get requests to share my contacts with other bloggers. Usually it’s from a blogger I’ve gotten to know, and I am more than willing to help them. Sometimes it’s from someone I have never heard of, who sees a sparkly name and wants in. If I think the blogger is the right fit, I may email the client to see if they’d like an introduction. Sometimes they say yes, but more often than not, I get asked to NOT share their contact information. I respect that decision, after all, it’s not mine to make.
Over the past week, I’ve seen lists of contacts shared with other bloggers, most likely without permission. One of the lists I recognized at least 5 names of people I have worked with. The blogger who was sharing the list assured me that she had permission to share the names. I doubtfully emailed one of my clients and found out that no, she hadn’t given permission to share her name, and even worse, didn’t remember working with the blogger in question. That’s pretty disappointing.
Even if “easily” found on the Internet, sharing contact lists like this is disrespectful. It’s like giving out someone’s home address without permission. All sharing lists does is damage the blogger client relationship.
Now, it’s one thing if a client gives permission to share information, I know of one company that loves to work with bloggers and she is happy to have her contact information shared. But even then, I would never post her name on a list or in a public database for all to see.
Please, stop publicly sharing lists of client and brand contacts. They don’t like it anymore than you would like finding yourself on a public list of blogs they don’t want to work with because you’ve shared their information.
If you’re just getting started, don’t worry, the brand relationships will come. And if you’ve been blogging for years, keep nurturing those relationships, you never know where they will lead you.