The TRUTH About Sponsorships (Did I Sell Out?!) RMRS

Did You Sell Out Lessons From Business Sponsorship
How To Keep Your Company Healthy [0:00:00] Hi! I’m Antonio Centeno. I’m the founder of
Real Men Real Style. Today, gentlemen, I’m going to be answering the question, “Antonio,
did you sell out this holiday season? What in the world happened?” I had a number of
emails come in and people are asking, “Antonio, why did you have so many sponsored posts?
I’m watching your videos and it seems like you’re always putting in a plug.” In fact, I received a great email the other
day, constructive criticism, from a gentleman. He’s saying, “Antonio, I hope this finds you
well. I wanted to tell you that me and my mates, we love getting your emails, but it
seems almost that none of your most recent posts and videos are genuine. There’s no other
way to put it, Antonio, sorry. Every time I watch one of your videos now, there’s a
plug and they all seem to be with your friends. What’s going on?” He goes into a little bit more detail. I like
emails like this. Actually, I respect constructive criticism. I go back and I’m always trying
to evaluate to become better, but I can tell you guys straight up, of course I didn’t
sell out. I understand it. The number one thing I have with my channel,
with Real Men Real Style, with any of my courses is your trust. To be honest, I had a number
of companies approach me. They wanted me to put out content. They had certain ways they
wanted it and I didn’t feel it was conducive to the audience that I have. I didn’t feel
that I could do this. I didn’t have time to test their product or I didn’t believe
in some of the products, and so of course I just pass on that because when it comes
down to it, the number one thing I focus on whenever I’m — and I’ve got a business here.
The number one thing I realized is I’ve got to have your trust. There used to be a time — and I think when
I receive these emails, when I look at some of the comments, when I get feedback from
people, I feel that there has been a real loss of trust in the industry. It used to
be that salesmen were people that CEOs, that founders of companies, the consumers, oftentimes
they could actually trust a salesman. He wasn’t your enemy. He was actually someone who’s
looking out for your best interest. Let’s say in a small town, he realized that in a
sense, if he took advantage of you, you weren’t going to come back, that he was going to get
a bad name and a bad reputation. Now, the web I think has brought that back
because you guys can go out there and you can leave bad reviews. You can go out there
and you could warn other people. I truly think that what we’re doing here is a great service
because in a sense, we’re trying to bring better information and we’re trying to distill
it, in a sense, bring it together and make it easier for you to make smart purchasing
decisions. So all of these companies — and that leads
me to point number two, is he’s asking, “Antonio, why are you only dealing with your friends?”
I definitely understand. Was it nepotism? He’s looking at this and he’s like, “Wow!
Do they have some type of syndicate here that he’s only bringing in his friends and they’re
all patting each other on the back?” The truth is the people that run these legitimate companies
I become friends with because I can commiserate with them. They’re the only people who work
in the same industry as me and they go through the same things, and I find that people that
run legitimate companies that I love and that I enjoy their product, I call these people. We spend two to three hours on the phone and
I’ve got more in common with these guys. I find that Mike over at RibbedTee, Francis
over at the Aran Sweater Company, Evan over at Paul Evans, the shoe company that I talked
about, Luke over at, I know these guys now by name because we talk
to each other. We email each other and we share business tips with each other, and these
are the kind of people that become your friends. You see this in industries around the world,
anyone that works in tech, anyone that works in fashion, anyone that works on home construction.
Of course, if you want to be at the top of your game, you’re going to get to know other
people in your area who are doing the same thing because steel sharpens steel and you
want to be around smart people who are pushing it in your industry. That’s why in a sense,
I’m now promoting my friends because they’ve become my friends because of what they do
and the quality of the product that they put out. Point number three is I experiment and test.
Really quick, guys, I am going to make mistakes. It’s just something that happens. I realized
that probably this holiday season, I should’ve had a little bit more breakup in the number
of sponsored posts I put out. I also didn’t let you guys know that I was going to be putting
out this many. I tried to give you a heads up, but I only had so many days to pack in
so many sponsored posts. I think in the future, what I’m going to do is try to actually put
out more videos and break up the periods in which I’m having the sponsored posts, but
this is something that I’m learning as I’m building a company. The last few years, we have just taken Real
Men Real Style from nothing to a very healthy, six-figure business. I’m hoping to become
a seven-figure business here in 2015 or 2016. So as I’m growing, as I’m making mistakes,
I really appreciate you guys giving me feedback, working with me, and telling your friends
and helping us grow. So here’s to a successful 2015 and I thank you guys for the constructive
criticism and for helping me grow. I’ll see you guys in the next video. Take
care. Bye-bye. [0:05:20] End of Audio

40 thoughts on “The TRUTH About Sponsorships (Did I Sell Out?!) RMRS

  1. Congratulations on a six figure business in such a short time, well deserved in my opinion. I see where these emails about selling out have come from but at the same time I understand why it is necessary. You could possibly give some other brands that you personally like or heard good things about alongside the sponsored product. I find that this would give a little more credibility to your knowledge on the products. It is just an idea, I am sure there are better options but that is what first comes to my mind.  Cheers

  2. Personally, I don't mind the sponsorship. But, i appreciate your honesty. Keep on with your good work. And, please make a video about style tips for teachers.

  3. Great video, I don't really feel like you had to explain yourself, but still nice of you. I have something else to comment on and that are the youtube subscribers. As much as some people give their subscribers names or call them friends, youtube subscribers are very unfaithful. In the second you will make mistake, they will point out and never forgive you. Saw it many times on other channels, big youtubers, having massive base of subsribers and nice comments, but then they make just small mistake, could be something irelevant and video instantly gets dislikes, hate comments and that also then repeats on few future videos, atleast until they forget it happened. And that really sucks, as a youtuber, you can't really rely on subscribers to have your back. I'm not saying this is happening to you, I think your audience is mature enough, but still, something to think about. Even smallest mistake will be noticed these days, people should be more patient and kind.

  4. I saw a video you did years ago were you recommended Raja Gulat at Monte Carlo Tailors. Based on trusting you, I bought a suit from him in 2014. I like the suit a lot, and am glad you exposed me to the company; I wouldn't have found it otherwise. So I like when you mention companies you trust.

  5. Seems like the second people see a company name, or a brand, in a youtube video, they just instantly go "SELLOUT" :/ love you man! :)<3

  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your actions, it shows you care about the feedback of your viewers and it increases my appreciation for you. I always found that if you recommend a brand, it really does great work. Also thank you for the content you provide on RMRS and AoM, it has helped me a lot to find my own style and know the basic rules that exist. Keep doing what you do. 

    I agree that you should try to decrease the centrality of which you send out sponsored content. I think, just as some other people mentioned, that it might be a good idea to also highlight some other brands. I found it very helpful when you gave recommendations for other websites about men's style, after which I know regularly check Megan at stylegirlfriend for a female perspective on men's style. Maybe you could offer some similar recommendations for brands (If possible some international brands, since I am from the Netherlands), when you discuss certain pieces of wardrobe. For example, when you talk about boots, you could mention some brands you think offer great quality. Of course you can go into more detail and give some extra attention to your friends, but it is nice to see your opinions about some other brands as well. I think this can be a nice balance between reviewing brands and giving your friends some attention, making it feel less forced and as some guys scratching each other's backs. Although I never saw it that way. 

    Sorry for the long comment, and congratulations with the succes of the company. Had no idea you were that big already.

    Have a great day,


  7. I've always got the feeling that your videos are about the advice first and the product second, or third. I stopped following other, similar channels from people you know. I did this when I had the feeling, that most of the videos they put out, felt like a sales pitch. – Your videos are different. You talk about Jeans and at the end you tell me, that you trust Lee and that's how it should be. You talk about sweaters and at the end you promote a brand that is proving awesome sweaters.
    In short: After your videos I know which attributes are important in a product and a brand that I could use as a benchmark. You've got some money, I've got some knowledge. win – win

  8. How have the recent Youtube changes with sponsored advertising effected your videos? I know some people that make more money with paid advertising then they do with the Youtube ads, so they completely disable their ads now because of those changes.

  9. I always appreciate your videos, no matter the sponsor. It always seems honest to me, so I'm happy. 🙂 Keep up the great work.

  10. eh, as opposed to denying selling out flat out, I think it's better to just own up and accept that sponsored posts will be the norm now. I mean, this sounded more like a justification and a precedent that you're trying to set for in case you DO actually sell out. But it's pretty cool of you that you actually went the trouble to make a response video for your viewers. 

  11. It was good that you responded to this concern and got it out in the open.  But I really do not see what the problem is.  I understand that some of these posts are sponsored, and as a consumer of information I take that into account.  I also realize that this is how you make your living, and I think that is a good thing.  It is better to get advise from a someone who is doing it for a living rather then someone who is doing it for a hobby.  Also, when you provide a source I look at it as a potential resource that I did not know about.  I prefer buying from small businesses, rather than large.  Finally, I only get what I think fits me.  For example, I bought one of the wallets that fits into your front pants pockets, and love it.  However, you also had information about bow ties, and I can assure you the only way I will ever wear a bow tie is if the undertaker puts it on me. 

  12. Bro, I'm an aircraft mechanic and appreciate your tips regardless of the backing. I will always be a subscriber.

  13. Hey Antonio, these days there is a lot of cynicism, but I have always trusted your content. I see the work you put into your videos and I am a firm believer that it reflects how much you care about motivating men to be better and providing them tips on how to do so. Keep up the good work much success to you, your business and your family.

  14. I expect and hope you make money from advertising and plugs. So long as you actually try out the product and truly think it is of good quality. Very happy for your success as I hope the same for myself.

  15. Honesty is always the best policy with these things. Tell us it's a sponsored post end of story. Been a subscriber for over 2 years and enjoyed watching your content grow and change.

  16. Just on your point about trust and small town salesmen at 2 minutes in, my grandparents seem to believe the issue arises because of the huge increase in chain companies and the need for more money so rather than hiring a trained tailor at every clothes store who will fit you perfectly every time and possibly refit clothes for you, instead we have mass produced clothing sold by under 20's who are working retail as their entry level job and have no experience with the product they are selling only experience selling. 

    All that aside personally I don't have a problem with you advertising other products/people, UNLESS you stop providing advice on how to wear things and their history, how to find the right fit, how to tell the quality of the clothing you are buying, etc content as well.

  17. The simple fact you made a video addressing these questions shows your honesty. It never crossed my mind you were selling out. Ads and sponsors are just a fact of being a YouTuber. Some of them I like, some I don't and others I don't care for. I really enjoyed your 100 Gift Giving Guide. So many things I didn't know about or quality products I have trouble finding. Keep up the great work!

  18. No matter what, the more your business grows the more criticism you are going to receive.

    I enjoy the advice you give, I want you to recommend products that you use, enjoy, and are made by people you trust.

    Its frustrating how so many people immediately get turned off when they hear someone is trying to build a business and make money. Just like in your video, it is possible to build a financially profitable life and not be screwing others over.

  19. I love your videos. I don't think you're selling out. If you are going to be sponsored make sure its on a product you believe on and one that you think it will appeal to us. Alpha does a great job on it. Your videos are always helpful and they carry great content. I wonder how you will bring everything together moving forward. Asta luego..

  20. Appreciate your honesty, I have recently lost faith in Alpha M channel when he endorsed head and shoulder for best anti-dandruff, while it didnt work for me. Could you please do a vedio on anti dandruff product?

  21. Antonio, I agree with you that the measure of trust in salespeople has greatly diminished. There is one trend that I hope you could offer your opinion here in the comments, that is the trend of reviewers to receive free products in exchange for a review. Some reviewers do give honest reviews no matter what, but it becomes questionable whether even the reviewer with the highest integrity doesn't dampen their review to appear more favorable to the company who gave them free goodies. After all, what company would want someone to review their product if that review is going to hurt their business?

    Antonio, what do you think of this trend? Do you believe reviewers can maintain their integrity while also receiving free goods in exchange for their reviews? Is it worth trusting the recommendations of these reviewers at all?

  22. I subscribed to you when you had 10000 subscribers, i knew back then you would become great. dont worry; everyone who has a business (me T_T) understand how hard it is. no one blames you for anything that you do as long as you know what you are doing.

    good luck! 

  23. Thank you @Real Men Real Style! Antonio, I have no problem with sponsored videos because most of the time I can't access it due to international obstacles. Anyhow, great video of explaining it. It is a fine balance between try to "push" viewers to a specific vendor and just saying "I know this guy and his business and I vouch for it". Hope I got it right, English is not my native tongue. 

  24. I remember one of the first videos I saw of this channel, a young lad asked advice for an expensive suit for his middle school graduation (or high school, I can't remember) and you told him to save his money and rather get one off the thrift store and tailor it.  I subscribed right after that video.  You always give advice over products and even then, they're suggestions.  Whenever someone asks me for fashion advice, I always forward them to your channel.  Keep up the good work.

  25. Hey man. You have a really positive attitude about this. Great move making the video and showing your subscribers that you really care. My view is that if you firmly believe in a product, there's no harm in getting paid to say that on camera. The key element is that you're honest though, which I can tell you are.

  26. Dear concerned viewer,
    Antonio runs a business to make money to care for himself and his family.  As a media company, sponsorships tend to be one of the biggest sources of income, and without them it's hard to have a media centric business.  Direct plugs are also better than relying on the ads attached to the video since they are more directed, hopefully seen as more honest and legitimate, and aren't getting bypassed by the majority of users with ad blocking software.

  27. Quit trying to sell us these advertisements. Saw you selling Lee Jeans, now I don't know who to believe when watching your new videos.

  28. If you’re an entrepreneur, influencer, or simply someone who wants to earn a living doing what they love – Menfluential is the event for you.

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