One of the most important aspects of any business deal is negotiation. It also can be one of the hardest, but I’m here to hopefully make it a bit easier for you guys. I’ve been negotiating and landing brand deals for 8 years now… since I was only 14! So I would like to think that after all this time I’ve nailed down some good tactics. As a blogger or influencer who does paid partnerships, you’ll eventually have to negotiate with brands because they won’t always agree to your price. So, here are 8 tips on how to negotiate successfully with brands!
Negotiation Tip #1: Don’t Ask If They Have A Budget
One thing I would never recommend is even asking a brand if they have a budget. If they’re looking to work with influencers chances are they do! Any reputable and well-established business has a whole budget for influencer marketing. If you ask brands if they have a budget it gives them room to say no and makes it seem like you’re open to working for product exchanges instead of compensation.
If a brand hasn’t mentioned money value after discussing the details you can ask “What is your budget.” This implies you are looking for a paid compensation and not just a gifted collaboration. Then they can tell you a price or range and you can negotiate from there.
Negotiation Tip #2: Know Your Worth
This one is SO important guys. You have to know your worth and how much effort and time goes into a branded post. You’re not only promoting the brand on your social media and gaining them sales, but you’re saving them money too. It takes more money to buy props and hire photographers to shoot content. Plus all the lawyers and licensing fee’s that the company would have to pay. When brands use influencer marketing they’re actually saving a lot more money so keep that in mind.
As always you want to be professional when talking with a brand. But that doesn’t mean you have to be shy or scared. Put your best foot forward and show them you know your stuff, because you do! Brands can usually pick up if you’re not confident in yourself and lowball you. Go into every business deal with confidence and know how much your personal brand is worth.
Negotiation Tip #3: Compromise (With Caution)
In some business deals, you will have to compromise a little. Whether that means adding an extra story post or reducing your asking price by $20. While it’s important to compromise you should be cautious about it. If your set price is $100 for a post and a company is asking you to do 1 post and 2 stories for $50 that doesn’t sound like a fair deal to me. You don’t want brands to lowball or take advantage of you because that’s not compromising. On the other side, you have to understand brands can be cautious when working with influencers they haven’t had experience with. They don’t know if you’ll be worth that investment so be willing to compromise when needed
Negotiation Tip #4: Know When To Say No
I know the last thing you would want to do is decline a paid deal from a brand, especially if you’re pretty new to paid collaborations. However, I promise you as you grow there will be more opportunities! You never want to accept a deal that’s not fair and underpaying you. It’s okay to tell a brand that if they can’t pay your set rate you’ll have to decline their offer. It’s essential as a blogger and influencer to know when to walk away!
Negotiation Tip #5: Prove Your Worth
When brands agree to work with you and pay you compensation that’s an investment on their part. With any good investment, you want to make sure you’re getting a good return. So if a brand seems hesitant to pay your rate or work with you, prove your worth! You can do this by providing them with your professional media kit (you can find a blog post about how to do that here), show past collaborations as examples, and providing statistics. These statistics could be from your insights tab on Instagram or sales you’ve made for other brands if you have those metrics. This helps show brands that their money is being put to good use and in return, they’ll gain new customers/sales/followers, etc.
Negotiation Tip #6: State a Higher Price
If a brand asks you first how much you charge you can say a higher price than you are willing to accept so there’s more room to negotiate. Keep in mind this isn’t the best route in every situation and you should be prepared to lose this collaboration opportunity. I wouldn’t do this if you’re just starting off and this is your second collaboration. I only use this when I get a bunch of collaboration requests at once and I only want to accept the highest paying ones.
You can also use this technique as a cushion. So, when a brand offers lower and if you accept the offer it’ll be a win-win situation for both parties because the brand got the rate they wanted but you also got your asking rate. For example, say your set rate is $100 and you tell a brand $130. They then say they can only offer you $100 and you agree. The brand saves that $30 but you also get your set rate of $100! Remember only use this technique if you don’t mind possibly losing the collaboration or you have a lot of offers. I’ve used this technique many times and I personally love it and it’s worked out in my favor more times than not!
Negotiation Tip #7: Include Additional Value
If you want to meet a brand halfway or want them to agree to your terms you can also try including additional value. This can be in terms of an extra story post, a Pinterest pin, a TikTok video, etc. If you agree to extra posts just make sure it aligns with your pay rate and you’re not being underpaid. You can also add value that isn’t an extra post by agreeing to an exclusivity agreement. This means for a set time (ex: 3 months) you won’t work that brand’s competitors. You can give the brand full licensing permission which means they can use your image on their social media channels or marketing purposes without paying you extra.
Negotiation Tip #8: Ask For Extra Value
Going off the point above, if a brand wants to pay you 20% lower than your asking rate you can try to ask for more incentives to make up for that 20%. For example, say your set rate is $100 but a brand only wants to pay you $80. You can ask the brand to include a product that they sell to make up for that 20% discount. Brands are usually more willing to send free products rather than pay a higher compensation rate.
Those are my top 8 tips for negotiating with brands as an influencer! If you have any questions or extra tips make sure to comment when down below.
If you guys want to learn the basics of landing paid collaborations or how to price yourself check out my influencer blog post series below: