How To Negotiate Better Deals For Yourself, Your Blog, And Your Business
There’s no question that negotiating deals can be intimidating. In fact, its so intimidating that many bloggers & entrepreneurs are settling for WAY less than what they’re worth and are missing the opportunity to monetize their influence. Since influencer marketing is still considered relatively new in the marketing industry, there aren’t any set rules for when you should charge money for collaborations with brands and how much you can charge. In order to know when you’re ready to start monetizing your blog and influence, there are 4 main factors you should take into consideration:
- Your Niche: The more specific you are about your content and niche, the more appealing you will be for brands who are looking to target your exact followers.
- Your Engagement: If people are commenting on your posts and replying to your stories then you have an engaged audience. Brands want to see that you have a community that is interested in what you have to say.
- Your Followers: I had 5,000 followers when I had my first paid collaboration. However, I firmly believe that you can start asking for compensation as soon as you have 1,000 followers. Don’t hold yourself back from negotiating paid brand deals simply because of the number of followers you have. In fact, “micro-influencers” has almost become a buzz word because they are so highly coveted by brands looking to build deeper connections with a niche audience.
- Your Consistency: If you post once every couple weeks, then it tells your followers and potential clients that you’re probably not very serious about turning your blog or instagram into a business anytime soon. If you’re actively engaging with your followers with new content, then it shows that you mean business.
Now that we’ve covered the key factors of when to monetize, let’s talk about how to negotiate. To answer the question “how much can I charge?”, you can charge whatever you think you are worth. And guess what? You have to set the price for yourself because brands aren’t going to do it for you. So here are some tips and tricks for negotiating killer deals for yourself because you are probably worth more than you think:
Stop saying yes to all the free stuff.
Free products may sound fun and cool, but take into account that nothing is “free”. There are usually strings attached to the “product for post” or “trade” deals. Brands will almost always expect that you post something about them in exchange for “free” product. So in other words, by saying “yes” to these deals, you are telling those brands that you don’t value your own work and time.
Ask brands about their budgets right away.
If a brand reaches out to you inquiring about a collaboration and doesn’t mention compensation, ask them about it. You can respond politely by thanking them for their interest and ask them right away what their budget is for the collaboration. If they say that they don’t have a budget, I would send them your rates or kindly pass. There will be a brand who will value your time and work, trust me. Its worth the wait.
Only endorse what you love.
If someone reaches out with a product that you don’t love, do NOT say yes to it. If you don’t love it, then you’re letting your followers down by recommending it to them. And over time, it can truly damage your reputation and lose trust with your community.
If the brand is willing to pay you, make sure you are setting boundaries before signing a deal. If a brand asks for one Instagram post, 1 blog post, and 10 stories all to be published within a week, its not realistic. You need time to plan, create, and edit your work. Many brands need you to tell them what will work best for your schedule.
Set your pricing with a media kit.
An easy way to set pricing expectations with brands is to create a media kit with your prices. Think of different packages based on what you can offer a potential partner. If you’re a blogger, you’ll likely want to incorporate Instagram posts, stories, blog posts, and potentially even additional charges for exclusive rights to your photos. If you’re not sure where to start, check out Canva for some great Media Kit templates.
In closing, my advice is to never be afraid to ask for more. You put a lot of time into your business so you should never be settling for less than your worth.