The following article is my opinion on how small, freelance, and indie designers should hand out free merch. Note: I am not saying bloggers are bad. On the contrary, most bloggers are cool. I'm just saying that donating your promotional items to charity can be just as effective as sending them out to a top notch blogger, and it can be more rewarding.
How many times have you seen a spoof on the fashion designer personae that shows a shallow, callous, self-absorbed dilettante in fur or leather behaving badly? Truth be told, the stereotype has roots footed in fact, however, it's been a while and things have changed. I can't remember the last time I pulled a human along on a chain and used him as a footstool in public.
Today many designers love doing nice things for animals, the environment, and even fellow man. As an indie designer I've found a great way to help out a worthy organization while clearing out old inventory, AND getting a little publicity to boot.
Blogs are a great way to get the word out about your handiwork. I am all about working with bloggers and getting on good blogs. A good review on a blog with lots of traffic can be very helpful. But by "good review" I don't mean a positive review of your work, I actually mean a well written review with effective keywords, good photos and relevant content that will be featured at the top of the blog for more than a day.
But blogging isn't the only way to get the word out about your products. Why not give your merch to charity?
Designers, here's your chance to take the high road. Do something meaningful with your freebies. Sending them to a blogger is a good idea, but association with a good charity with a good cause that you believe in will go a lot further.
Others who support that charity will get to know you as one of them.
You show that you're not just in it for the money or pure material gain.
Charities work hard to promote their cause, and if you donate they'll promote you in the process. These promotions are worth so much more and will reach a lot more people in a more effective way than a basic review that will quickly be pushed down the ladder to make room for the next.
Here's the bottom line: If you're going to give your work away for promotion you should consider donating to charity IN ADDITION to blogs. Both are good outlets, however, charities do more than just get the word out about you.