The day’s finally here, all those long hours and years of unpaid work, and finally, a brand reaches out to you and wants to offer you a paid brand deal. One question I always get asked is how to negotiate these deals and also how to set fair rates. I’ve been working in social media for 9 years so I’ve racked up tons of experience. If you follow me on Instagram or Tiktok you know influencer money talk is my favorite topic! That’s why this week I’m back with a new blog post all about navigating paid deals as an influencer.
Disclaimer: This blog post is in partnership with Lumanu however all opinions and thoughts are my own! You can find full disclosure here.
Part 1: Setting Rates
First, let’s talk about setting rates! The industry standard has always been $100 per every 10,000 followers but in my opinion, this is very outdated. If anything use this as the bare minimum starting point. You can also use online calculators (like influencer marketing hub) as a reference. However, in my opinion even those calculators price you very low. Pricing is unique to every influencer because there are so many factors that come into play. For example what type of content are you creating? If it’s video content always set your rates higher. Does the brand want to use your content across their social or whitelist it? Charge for that! Do you have an exceptionally high engagement rate? Raise those prices. 3% is an average engagement rate so you want to aim above that.
Since I don’t agree with the very outdated industry standard I decided to create my own. So my base rate is to charge $100 per every 2,000 followers as your starting point for in-feed static posts. However, if you have a lower engagement rate and you find brands not agreeing to your rates then lower your prices a little. If you find brands easily agreeing to your rates and you have a super dedicated community then price yourself even higher than that. For story posts, I charge about 50% lower and for reels, I charge 50% higher.
Part 2: Negotiating Rates
Now that you have a better idea on navigating rates let’s talk get into negotiation! Always remember to negotiate because every time you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table that could’ve been yours. So here are my top 3 negotiation tips that I swear by.
Negotiation tip #1: Don’t be the first one to give a number
There’s a saying in business- the first to give a number ends up losing, and that’s very true. When negotiating with brands avoid giving your rates first because then you’re locked at that number. Especially if you’re a new influencer, 9 times out of 10 brands are willing to give you more than what your rates are. I know I’ve made this mistake a few years back when I was undercharging. Now, I recommend asking the brand what their budget is. If they insist on you giving your rates I would give them a range. With a range, at least you’re not locked at one number.
Negotiation tip #2: Have results to back up your rates
It’s hard for a brand to agree to pay you hundreds of dollars when they’ve never worked with you before. That’s why I always recommend including past brands you’ve worked with in your media kit. Show how your posts perform, especially your sponsored posts by including screenshots of your analytics. If a brand has worked with you multiple times and has shared with you the amount of clicks/sales you got them, make sure to include that too! Anything that will convince brands that you’re worth the investment.
Of course, at the end of the day, you have to know your worth and sometimes walk away. If a brand isn’t willing to meet you at your rates (and your rates are fair) then it’s okay to decline the partnership. I always have influencers ask me- but what if the brand says no. Or they’re scared that if they negotiate the brand won’t want to work with them. The truth is there will always be brands that are willing to pay you what you deserve! You just have to find the right brands for you who believe in what you do.
Negotiation tip #3: Offer reduced bundle deals
This is my favorite method to get high-paying brand deals! So when a brand asks you to lower your rates, let them know that you can only give a discount if a brand wants multiple posts. This way you’ll ultimately get a higher paying brand deal and the brand will get a discount. I always have the most success whenever I offer reduced bundle deals and brands love it too! Usually, if a brand wants a story + Instagram post I’ll reduce my total rate by $50. However, if they want 3+ posts or higher-paying content such as a reel + post I’ll reduce the final rate by $100.
What to do after landing a paid brand deal?
Okay so you’ve figured out how to price yourself, nailed the negotiation portion, and now the best part- a brand wants to offer you a paid collaboration! This is always so exciting but a little overwhelming especially if this is your first deal.
That’s where Lumanu comes into play. Lumanu is a creator’s dream platform because it seriously has everything you could need as an influencer. You’re able to document collabs in one easy spot and include due dates, send an invoice, upload documents like contracts, and more. I used to write all my collabs down in a notebook but by using Lumanu everything is organized and I can access it anywhere! Oh and the best part? NO FEES!! I can’t tell you how many times brands have paid me through Paypal and it takes a chunk out from my end. With Lumanu you can send invoices and receive payment without any fees being taken out.
Currently, Lumanu is waitlist only but you guys know I got you with the inside hookup! You guys can get in right NOW and for free by using my code “ZaraKhan” So make sure to make things as easy as possible for you and sign up for Lumanu right now so you’re all set up and ready to go when you land your first paid deal.
These are my top tips for negotiating brands deals and setting rates as an influencer. Have any other tips that have worked for you? Make sure to comment them below to help others out!
Make sure to follow me on Instagram and Tiktok, I give exclusive tips on my post captions + stories! You can also subscribe to my newsletter below to keep updated on my blog posts and receive freebies.
Make sure to check out my other social media related blog posts here:
How To Work With Brands When You Have Under 5k Followers
How To Successfully Grow On Instagram In 2021
The Ultimate Guide To Creating a Media Kit