As a blogger and marketer, I know that when you work with brands a lot is going on. From the deliverables to the rate, it’s all over the place until a contract is in place. You’re going to have some back and forth if you know your worth and I’m here to tell you that you’re in a good place.
If you know your worth then this isn’t really for you but I would love for your input and for you to share your advice with other bloggers.
Many of you probably have a blog or you create content on YouTube or Instagram — either way, you are putting in work and it’s a job for you. You deserve to be compensated for what you are doing.
I say this as someone that puts in the time for shoots and styling, writing blog posts and captions, researching promo and SEO, this is no joke.
Get Your Money
One could say that free goods are great compensation. That’s not true, though. Brands will offer you items for free all the time. That might be their budget for smaller brands but the big brands, they have a budget. They have advertising and PR dollars and influencer marketing is considered both. There is always a budget and you just have to handle that with grace.
Get your money, my friends. If you’re putting out quality content with a great engagement rate and reach then you should get your money. Don’t play this number game with brands that only look at followers. Some of those big influencers have bought their followers and they’re banking in on it but those brands aren’t if the followers aren’t buying.
When it comes down to it, show them your engagement rate and tell them the amount of work that will go into the project. Most of the time, they’ll negotiate with you. And, always negotiate payment for full rights to your photos or if they want to use across their channels. Some brands think the fee they pay you includes this but if they’re going to pay a photographer for rights then they can pay you, too.
Your work should not be rewarded with free products. Been there, done that, regret that.
By day, I’m a marketing manager in the influencer world so I know a bit about what’s going on in the world. I don’t work for an influencer agency but I do work for a brand that heavily utilizes influencers for Instagram along with affiliate marketing (completely different from my role). As a marketing manager, I can tell you that we look at engagement especially your likes and comments. You can have a lower number of followers and we’ll still work with you if we like what we see.
Content is key. Yes, we’re looking at your Instagram page and stalking to see what you produce. If you’re creating stellar content, we want to work with you and we will find a way. I think that’s a very important takeaway. Your content and the amount of work you put into it will show.
Not going to lie, I check the likes to see if followers are legit. Especially influencers who post content and have 1,000 likes within 30 minutes — I’m intrigued and want to make sure I’m getting authentic retention from your audience.
At the end of the day, you will be paid for your worth. You just need to fight for it — whether it’s negotiating a higher fee or negotiating fewer deliverables when your price isn’t met. Advocate for yourself.
As a creator, I know how much working I’m putting into a project. When the deliverables include social posts for each channel, a blog post, and deadlines for drafts, etc. I make sure that my fee includes all that I will be working on.
Many people get hung up on the followers and Instagram but utilize all channels for an increase in your fee. Brands are looking for people to write pieces that feature their products.
I find that many creators will take the first offer that is given to them and you shouldn’t do that if you feel that you deserve more.
I’ve dealt with brands that think that giving me free product will cover a photographer to shoot their product. Some brands feel that product is sufficient but it’s not and you shouldn’t let them think that. Remind them that multiple in-feed shots, 3-4 story frames, and rights to your photos do not align with free products.
Don’t let them take advantage of you because some brands will do that.
Three Ways to Negotiate Your Rate:
- Share a media kit that will provide details on brands that you have worked with, your numbers (engagement rate, followers, audience information, etc.) — brands can see the work and numbers that you did for other brands.
- Provide your analytics that shows your engagement rate and how your audience reacts to your content — brands need to see how the partnership will work to their advantage.
- Break down the landscape of work that you will be doing and why your rate needs to reflect that work — brands receiving a breakdown will understand the amount of work they are receiving
At the end of the day, brands have an advertising and public relations budget — they can afford you. They can afford to pay you for your work, just like they would pay a photographer, graphic designer, and copywriter for their work. Remember that you’re doing all that.
If we all start charging what we deserve, brands would start with better offers.
And, network with other creators in Facebook groups, on Twitter, etc. to see what’s acceptable and what’s not. That’s how I learned how to push for what I want.
Make sure the output equals the input
Your rate needs to match the work that you are putting together for a brand. You’ll regret it if you don’t ask and find out from others that the brand will pay.
Many times they’re throwing out a number and it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it or not. Sometimes, you have to walk away from the deal and other times, they’ll make it work.
A great resource to check out — The Influencer League. They offer courses and workbooks on how to increase your following and work with brands. Check them out.
Another great resource would be your peers. I’m all about chatting and discussing with my friends on whether or not a deal is worth it. Your blogging people will keep it real with you and some might even have the experience to share with you.
At the end of the day, it’s up to you to advocate for yourself.
If you know you’re worth it, don’t back down. Name your rate and play up your worth, the worst that can happen is negotiating an acceptable rate.
If you want more on my brand talks and experiences, here is a piece on how to start working with brands.