Let's talk numbers. It's truly what everyone wants to hear about but nobody wants to talk about. "How much do you charge?" is one of my most FAQ from other bloggers. Why? That's because influencer marketing (brands paying influencers to advertise) is still a super new industry. Referred to by most as still being "the wild wild west!"
Rates are all over the place and there's no set formula that everyone adheres to when setting their rates.
Brands are also all over the map, willing to pay more or less based on different factors from one influencer to the next. But you know what? You can ABSOLUTELY use that to your advantage.
Before we get too far into details, let's back up. If you haven't been following along in this blogging series, check out my latest posts: How to Start a Blog, How to Turn Gifted Into Paid Collaborations, Top 6 Influencer Marketing Platforms, Do These 3 Things Before Pitching a Brand, and Should I Do Unpaid Collaborations?
I'm going to share this information that will hopefully be a resource and a baseline for you to calculate your own brand rates, create your own valuable packages, and negotiate your first or your highest paid brand campaign ever!
Something that I always ask bloggers before helping them come up with a rate or negotiate..."what value can you offer the brand?" Take a minute and think about that. Do you have a super niche or highly engaged following? Is this a brand that you use everyday? Are you part of a community that you'll be able to share the brand with? Do you create high quality and unique content that the brand will be able to use on their channels? There are so many ways you can bring value to a brand partnership.
Let's get into the details. The old rule of thumb is $100 for every 10,000 followers aka 1%. BUT that's obviously silly because I charge a lot more than $100 and I don't even have 10k followers. Read that again! Brands are willing and able to pay you for your work, even if you have under 10k followers!
So I'm going to give you a new baseline formula that will help you start the negotiation process with a brand. Instead of the 1% rule mentioned above ($100 for 10k followers), we are going to create a new rule and build off of that. Again, this is just a baseline for you to use to negotiate. Every blogger is different; every campaign is different. There will absolutely be times when you might want to work for much less than your normal rate, and the beautiful part of this industry is that YOU CAN! This is *your* business and you get to run it how you want to!
We are creating your baseline rate that will be your AUTOMATIC response to the question "what's your rate?" You won't have to think about it; you'll just know that you'll start with this number and go from there. No need to waste time calculating a new rate for every single brand who reaches out to you.
We'll talk more about packages and how to create even more valuable brand offerings in the future. This is just a place to get started!
Round your Instagram followers up to the nearest 1,000 for easy math. I'm all about easy math. Calculate your 1% number.
For example, if you have 8k followers on Instagram, multiple 8000 x .01 = $80.
NOW DOUBLE THAT = $160. (or I could have said just calculate your 2% rate...but again, all about easy math over here!)
That's still low in my opinion and in my personal experience. SO now I want you to think about any expenses that you might incur as you work on this campaign. Do you work with a photographer? (I recommend that you do!) Will you have to purchase props? Ingredients for a recipe? You should also think about the time it will take you to create this post! Maybe you're spending $100. Add that to your base number.
Now you're at $260.
Since you're about to negotiate...you know they're going to try to get you to lower your rate. SO add another $100 just to give yourself a little negotiating wiggle room.
Now you're at $360. I know it sounds like I'm making this up as I go, but I'm not! I was paid more than this for Instagram posts when I had 8k followers.
Last but not least, round up to the nearest $100.
Your rate is $400 for an Instagram post.
OR the potentially way easier way to calculate this would be instead of calculating your 1% rate, calculate your 5% rate. FIVE PERCENT. Yes, I'm serious!
There are ways to slice and dice that rate, but that should be your BASE for negotiating. You can use that rate to negotiate for cash, and if the brand wants to lower it, then you can negotiate for in-kind product to make up the difference, so now you're getting cash AND product, and the brand is still honoring your value.
There are actual numbers that you can use to back you up: cost of photographer, cost of props, and then the value of your time! Approach each negotiation with confidence AND the knowledge that you can say no thank you or negotiate a different offer.
We'll get into contracts, negotiating photo rights, and so much more, but I had to put out this information first! One of the biggest problems in the influencer industry is that micro-influencers are working for FREE. When that stops, bloggers will be paid more reasonable rates. Keep this in mind before you say yes to unpaid work!
Questions about blogging as a business? Slide into my DMs @rhondajenkins.