“How much do I charge?” is arguably the most asked question in influencer marketing, and for good reason—the world of influencer content is still relatively new. But if you have set rates and a plan in place, you’ll eliminate a lot of the stress of partnerships and brand outreach.
When it comes to pricing for brand collaborations, there’s no perfect equation. As much as we wish there was a go-to price that works for content across the board, there just isn’t. That said, there are a few best practices you can follow to eliminate the confusion quite a bit.
The Industry Standard Equation:
For social posts: $0.01 x number of followers*
*if “like” engagement is over 2.5%, charge $0.02 or more per follower.
For blog posts: $0.10 x monthly site sessions
Before giving a final fee, run through the requirements for the partnership. Consider an add-on fee if...
You have to include more than 10 images in your blog post
You're giving the brand image rights
You're posting an Instagram Story that drives to your blog post
You’re required to share your blog post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest
You have a manager with an overhead fee
You're working with a brand that requires certain verbiage
You have to travel
You have to buy props
You have to outsource any work (e.g., a photographer or makeup artist)
The project requires a lot of pre- or post-production
The brand requests more than one round of approval, extra images, additional links, or an unusual timeline
Consider the value of each of those asks. When finalizing pricing, think about how much time each task will cost you. Don’t be afraid to charge more if you see yourself putting a lot of extra time into the project!
When should I start charging?
The short answer? Now! If you’re able to offer a brand value, then you deserve to be paid. And the numbers above aren’t hard and fast rules: If you only have 5k followers but your work fits into a certain special niche, you don’t have to stick to the industry standard. If you believe your work is valued at a higher cost, charge what it’s worth.
Too many people think you have to wait until 30k or 50k followers to start charging for partnerships, but when you offer value to a brand, you should be getting paid. Think of it this way: Professional photographers charge thousands of dollars for social imagery, and many of them only have a few thousand followers on Instagram.
How do I have “the money talk?”
Talking about fees is uncomfortable—we get it. But if you have a strong media kit that shows analytics from your social platforms and website, it’ll do the talking for you. Data is the best way to prove a point.
If you’re partnering with a brand you really love and want to build a relationship with, consider being flexible the first time you work with them. Name your price, but don’t be afraid to offer a slightly discounted rate for more posts if you want to build a rapport and make it an ongoing partnership.
Do I need a manager?
Is it time to hire representation? That depends on several factors. Answer the following questions if you’re considering hiring out:
Do you spend the majority of your day answering emails?
Have you hit a wall when it comes to partnerships and outreach?
Do you feel like you just don’t have the right connections?
Do you hate handling contracts?
Do you feel like you know your branding well enough to relay that information to a manager to pitch to brands?
Do you have the financial stability to give up a portion of your commission to a manager?
If the answer to most of these questions is yes, then a manager might be worth considering. They’ll find potential collaborations, handle client back-and-forth, and have those difficult money conversations for you. But that doesn’t mean you’re entirely off the hook: Successful brand partnerships start with showing the value you can bring to a brand, so you still have to come to the table with strong branding, high audience engagement, or unique blog content as selling points.
How do I sell myself?
Consider your brand guidelines, website design, SEO, email and overall content planning. If you're constantly winging it, it’s going to be difficult to set goals for content and partnerships. At Flocke hq, we work on influencer growth through brand and marketing strategy. The best way to feel confident in your content is to have data that shows growth and a larger strategy that outlines your long term goals.
At the end of the day, your personal brand is yours. You call the shots and get to pick how you handle brand partnerships. Remember: Your pricing comes down to the worth of your work and the time you're putting into everything you do. Ultimately, you're the voice of your brand, and no industry standard is perfectly crafted to you.
As you take on this year, we recommend that you create a 30-, 60-, and 90-day content plan and a growth strategy that ensures brand partnerships are always within reach. If you need a little guidance or want to learn more about what performs best, head over to Flocke hq and find out what we can do for your brand!
Tyler Grove and Rachel Broas are co-founders of Flocke hq, a digital marketing consultancy geared solely to help influencers build and scale their personal brands. As influencers themselves (@rachellaurenlucy and @tytygrove), they know the hard work that goes into creating a successful empire off of your own personal brand.