Money Talk: When to Charge, How and How Much?

** FREE ADVICE ALERT **

To flow off of last weeks “The Ugly Truth: How Influencers Are Hurting Themselves”, I want to dive into the concept of charging for a collaboration, when is the right time, and how to go about doing it.

Now, please correct me if I am wrong, but if you are an influencer yourself, thinking about getting into this industry, your curiosity and passion in this work has lead you to think, “I really want to make some money at this” or “could I even make money from this?” Which eventually leads you to ask yourself “should I be getting paid for this and when?” The reason your reading this very blog is because you know, or will find out, trying to navigate when and how to do this is for sure a challenge…but don’t worry I am here to help!

WHEN IS IT THE RIGHT TIME FOR ME TO CHARGE? 

INVESTIGATE AND DO YOUR RESEARCH

Defining when is the best time to start charging is very dependent on a lot of factors and will take some trial and error until you feel you have hit a right fit. Start by seeing if other influencers around your size, in your country and engagement are getting paid for partnerships. Look at their profile and even reach out to them. **Here is to hoping more of the industry is open to helping and talking about this** (If you are following along I spoke to this in my last blog).

HOW MUCH DO I CHARGE?

THE INFLUENCER CALCULATION OR FOLLOWERS X 1%

The million dollar questions (pun intended), HOW much is my content worth? What can I charge? Well, start by asking a brand up front, “do you have a budget for this partnership?” Some may say yes, others may say no, and a lot will ask for your rates. A good rule of thumb for your rates would be take 1% of your following, and that would be your rate, roughly, in USD dollars. So for example, someone at 10K followers, should charge around 100 USD/Instagram Post. Someone at 300K following would charge around $3,000 USD/Instagram Post. Now, you have to take into consideration that other factors play a significant role in the amount you charge and the amount someone is willing to pay. These factors include but are not limited to your location, engagement levels, and what branch of content creation you are in (food, travel, fashion, etc.). For example, if you are based in Europe and someone else around your size is based in the US and are charging more per post, this is because the US has a lot more spending power when it comes to marketing as a whole than any other country. Also, some brands are only willing to work with US based creators. This unfortunately does cause less opportunities for those of you who live outside of the US.

Instagram Stories are highly dependent on your views. If you are getting between 4-10K views, you could be charging around $500 USD/story or a 3-frame story. Also, having stats, like an average amount of swipe-ups are really great to share with a brand to show how engaged your audience is.

That 1% (of your following) is highly dependent on the opportunity and it can change every time. Some people will do partnerships for less, especially if you are talking long term with a brand or a bigger package deal, others will charge more if it is a big project, big brand, usage rights, exclusivity and more included. This is where having a manager to help you navigate and negotiate the business side of the industry can be so helpful. Us, managers, take over this time consuming calculation and can pitch you accordingly based on our industry knowledge. You can learn a bit more about that from the latest podcast on Her Life By Design by Christina Galbato, where I was fortunate to be able to share some of my knowledge with her listeners.

HOW DO I MAINTAIN PAID PARTNERSHIPS? 

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

I think the key, especially when starting out, is relationship building. It is important to show that brand/partner why you are so amazing, and why they should continue to work with you. You NEED to go above and beyond, whether you have 10K followers or 500K. Show the brand that you truly love their product and that you are willing to authentically, organically, and naturally share it with your audience before and after your #ad (paid) campaign.

We have had creators on our roster, go above and beyond for a brand, which has led to a 6-month extension on the partnership. We are even now discussing taking that partnership to a full year amabassorship because they truly love everything about the creator, and how we appreciate the brand.

I would strategize this way…

  • On product arrival (if you do not already own it), share a little story with your audience that you just got this in the mail and cannot wait to try it out or try it on. This starts to peak people’s interest in advance of your actual paid campaign. You have now shown off the brands product, tagged them, without being paid (if you are being paid for the partnership). They will appreciate that.
  • On campaign day share your approved content, but maybe your caption reads, remember a few weeks ago when I told you I was going to try this out, or where it out for dinner, “well I love it!”. This now drives more engagement with your audience who have already seen you mention it and are interested in seeing the product in action. The brand also appreciates a more in depth caption and further proof of you speaking to their product/brand before the partnership content went live.
  • 2 weeks to 2 months after #ad day you should post again, whether that be about the brand in general or about that specific product again. For example, a shampoo that you have now been using for 1 month and are STILL in love with it. Tag the brand and share on your stories or in another post. This brings the brand/product back up again to your followers, which only solidifies the fact that you are a true user and that the campaign was authentic and organic to you as an influencer. Not only that, but now the brand sees this and realizes that you are becoming more of a brand ambassador, rather than just a one off partnership, and they potentially, will want to work with you again because of it.

Those three steps have now made you a TRUE influencer who is sharing a brand over multiple occasions, because you love it and believe in their products. Who wouldn’t want to work with someone like that? 

Now, let’s get back to 3-5 days after you have posted your #ad content. I think the best way to show how much you care about a partnership and to show a brand how much you appreciate working with them, is a final wrap up email (specific guidelines to follow below). This could be a report you put together, or just stats and screenshots. Some brands and PR agencies already ask for stats, but let’s give them even more.

Things to include in a final wrap up email…

  1. A BIG THANK YOU for the opportunity and how great it was to be a part of the campaign and to work with such an epic brand/service.
  2. Screenshots of your story and post stats for your PRE #AD CONTENT & your #AD CONTENT. Make sure you label the pre content, so they are aware you did that, and mention it in your email, in case they missed the content/tag. 
  3. Screenshots of DMs and comments from people asking about the product or for more information.
  4. Tell them what you loved about it, how you felt it performed and ideas you have for future partnerships. This tells them you are already thinking about the future and shows them how much you care about how your content performs for them. Be honest and true to yourself. They will love that!
  5. Give them LIGHT (not super harsh) feedback, if there is any, because sometimes partnerships goes perfect, about the whole partnership process. This could be as simple as just “a little more clarity from the beginning” or “next time, a bit more creative freedom would really allow me to showcase the brand in my best way possible”.

Even after your 2 week to 2 months content has gone live, you could send another report just reminding the brand that you still love them and that you are still getting great buzz around their brand/products. This can be a key part in locking down another big partnership with them as you are making yourself fresh in their mind.

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER… 

SIDE HUSTLE 

As a side note, but a very important money making piece of advice, I think being a new influencer or smaller influencer, especially if you have quit your 9-5, having consistent paid brand partnerships coming in becomes a necessity. You potentially left a consistent paying job to try and live your happiest life, but at the end of the day, bills need to be paid.

I have had countless conversations and my recommendation always is, find a way to have a side hustle for your hustle. Find something you can make decent money at, that will allow you to continue being a creator, while you grow, so that the financial burden does not make you only focus on the money. Spend your time creating and developing engaging and valuable content and the money will come. It is a process, so if you cannot stay at your 9-5 or if you have already left, find a side gig that you can spend a little time each day or week that will pay the bills, at least for now. 

WHAT NEXT? 

Knowledge is power 

Keep an eye out over the next few months, as we will be releasing an online course that will give every new influencer or someone interested in learning more about the business side, a deeper knowledge of how to navigate it. It will also give more insight into “how to charge properly” and everything you need to look out for, as well as charge for, when working with brand or PR partners. This will be a deep dive into my knowledge and I will be giving a bunch of awesome tips, tricks and tools to be successful with your business as an influencer. What is great, is this course will help you no matter what platform you are on, whether that be Instagram, Youtube, TikTok and everything in the middle.

Keep an eye out for next week’s blog. I am going to do a reverse of last week “The Ugly Truth: How Influencers Are Hurting Themselves”, where I spoke about how a few brands have found ways to get free advertising from nano to macro influencers. I am going to speak about the great brand and PR agency partners and how smooth it can be when you are working with a partner who is a perfect fit! Take some insight from this week on relationship building, as that will lead into amazing brand and PR partners.

In the end, there are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding when is the right time to start charging for partnerships and how much. Try to take some of these tips and start using them for future partnerships. Let me know in the comments how you handle charging for partnerships, or if you haven’t, what you are going to try moving into 2020 to build on your brand partnerships and relationships.

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