The world of influencer marketing and the social media ad industry is still very new and unorganized, which has created a space where every creator and individual is charging different rates. If you’ve been following our blogs, we’ve explained how hard these discrepancies of pay can have on the industry and influencers themselves. You can find this information at The Ugly Truth: How Influencers Are Hurting Themselves. In a quick recap, the blog touches on how this large gap is created, comes about and how it can negatively affect a fair monetary value for influencers.
So, we thought we would put together a step by step information tidbit for you on how to confidently charge for your brand partnerships. Below will provide you with important questions to ask yourself, links to free services and overall advice on how to feel successful.
Step #1 Educate Yourself
Congratulations! By reading this blog you are already on the right track. Knowledge is power, so of course this is a great starting point.
Exploring the internet and seeing what is out there about the industry and how to properly charge for your services, is key. We spoke to this in a previous blog Money Talk When to Charge How and How Much. Like this, there are multiple other forms of information. Just exploring the internet and seeing what knowledge it can provide you will only guide you further in the right direction.
Step #2 Does This Fit My Brand?
This may not be everyone’s first thought when it comes to making money. The majority of people in most industries are concerned first with the monetary value and not with who they are working with, especially if they are offering a high price point. It is completely fair and understandable if you are this person, as in the end, for a lot of you, this is your only source of income and you need to make sure your bills are paid.
I challenge you to consider the alternative first. You have spent so long building your own brand so you owe it to yourself to consider the following question: Is this partnership a good fit for my own brand and what I represent?
Believe it or not, this is an extremely important step as who you are and what you post and talk about actually generates more or less job opportunities for you. Moving forward, we have seen and heard that brands have become more interested in ‘brand fit’ themselves, rather than who can get them the best engagement and conversion. Therefore you must protect your own brand.
Step #3 Pitching: DON’T Sell Yourself Short and DO Protect Yourself
Time is money. Ultimately, one of your goals as an influencer from a revenue side is to collaborate with brands. One way to speed this process up is by pitching, especially when first starting out. We understand and would like to point out that this can be a very daunting and time consuming task, which a lot of the time can lead to no results (not to scare you). BUT, the one time it does work out will make the effort worth it.
So, an important question to consider while pitching is, am I selling myself short and at what benefit? If you are pitching yourself or have been reached out to and they come back with no budget, what do you do?
If it is a brand you love and want to stand by then go ahead and do the free post or story to build that relationship. If you are just starting out and want to make connections, this is also a viable option for you and will be super important. Gifting/exchange partnerships are a great way for you to align yourself with brands you already love, support, and even use. It allows you to authentically share a brand with your audience and not feel any sort of pressure from being paid.
Yet, I would still ask the question: are you wasting your time? There are many influencers posting negative experiences about companies, short cutting them for requesting free services regularly. So, back to step one, educate yourself.
If you see an influencer speaking about a bad experience with a brand, ask them for their story because you of course want to protect yourself, but also offer your support and love for their unfortunate experience. This way you become aware of who is and is not worth your time or money.
To end on a positive note though, as there are some negative stories, I like to think there has to be a lot more positive ones. If you see a cool campaign by a fellow influencer, ask them about it. Not only are you building a relationship in this lonely social media world but you are also gaining industry knowledge about what PR agencies and brands you can trust. This helps you see who is worth your time and who to pitch to later.
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#4 Rate ‘Calculators’
For some of us, it can be a very overwhelming task when it comes to valuing our talents and skills. This process can result in undercutting ourselves and what we deserve to receive for a partnership. Remember, you are talented and got to the spot you are today because of your skills, experiences, personality – basically because of “Your Brand”.
These free services below can give you a better idea of what you should be charging for your services. Please note: These “calculators” have been created by other entities and should be used as more of a guideline or assistance in you finding your best rate.
- Followers x1% is a way we can calculate for charging for a collaboration. More information can be found here
- Instagram Rate Calculator: The Influencer Marketing Hub is a great place to find tools and resources on anything influencer marketing related. This calculator takes the average engagement rates of your Instagram posts (engagement being likes and comments on your posts) to find your rate. Again, this is a starting point, because as we said above, brand fit, reach, saves, shares, story views, etc. can really impact your rate for posts).
- Youtube Rate Calculator: This tool allows you to put in your account and then shows you your current subscribers, estimated monthly earnings from Youtube ads and then your estimated price to charge for a video partnership, based on a $22-$30 CPM (Cost Per Millie, meaning cost per 1,000 ad impressions)
- TIKTOK Rate Calculator: This calculator works the exact same as the Instagram Calculator. It takes your likes and comments to create your engagement and receives a rate based on that.
How to navigate these services vary but our advice is to look up other influencers you feel are around your caliber in terms of audience size, reach, engagement, etc. to fairly compare your price point. Use Ninjalitics to look yourself and others up to compare engagement and stats, so you can find someone within your range to reach out and chat with.
Lastly I would just like to repeat, these services are not 100% accurate, but it will start to give you an idea of what you could/should be charging for sponsored content.
#5 Having A Manager – Join a Team / Community
When you get to a certain point in your career and you are dealing with more brand deals and higher paying collaborations, you may need some assistance. A manager does many beneficial things for you and your career, specifically with negotiation and pitching, which is their area of expertise.
A manager will have a level of industry knowledge perhaps not available to you as they work with multiple brand partnerships for multiple different content creators. They have available to them the real information of what brands are willing to pay and for who or what. Therefore, during negotiations or pitching they can find you a real, fair, price point.
The reality is that multiple companies will lowball unrepresented talent and fairly pitch those involving a manager in the deal because they know about this gap of knowledge within the industry. Based on our history, brands are more likely to take a manager more seriously than an influencer on their own. This also separates you from direct conflicts during a negotiation period and allows you to feel comfortable because it is your manager asking for a higher/better rate.
Another value a manager can bring when it specifically comes to charging is the contract negotiations. Depending on what is being asked of you, they have your back and find the needle in the haystack of unreasonable or more costly requests in the fine print of the contract. You can feel confident that you are not signing away your services and are being fairly and accurately paid for them.
Again, when finding the best fit for you, consider what value that manager/agency can bring to the table for you. Finding yourself a home that has a community in place can help. Find yourself an agency that will allow you to have the above conversations mentioned candidly and comfortably.
Involving yourself in communities willing to share with one another is very important when it comes to building the best industry knowledge you can. At Boost Society, we have an influencer first approach, where we are always looking out for what is best for you and wanting to grow and build with you as you create and grow your brand.
Let’s start the conversation here. Any questions? Concerns? Horror stories or positive stories you’d like to share with the Boost Network community? Share in the comments below and let’s build a community that this industry has never before seen.
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