Before you start working with brands, you should expect a negotiation process. Negotiating brand deals as an Influencer is important so you can get paid your worth and secure mutually beneficial partnerships.
You want to know your worth as a creator because, at the end of the day, this is a business. Brands normally “shop” for the cheapest option that will save them money. The last thing you want to do is end up overworked and underpaid.
Learning how to negotiate will help you land long-term partnerships and bigger deals — and I’m sure that’s what we’re all aiming for!
In this post, I’m sharing tips that have helped me negotiate better and show that I take my business seriously.
Negotiating Brand Deals As An Influencer
What Can You Negotiate?
Before we discuss these tips, you should have an understanding of what you can negotiate. It’s more than talking about the amount of money you’re expecting.
Here are some other things you can negotiate:
- Usage Rights
To learn more about the terms I mentioned above, check out this post where I break down important terminology to know in the industry. Knowing these will help with the negotiation process.
Ask for Their Budget
Talking about money isn’t fun, however, this is your business and you should be fairly compensated for your time and work.
Asking for a budget is the easiest way to let brands know that you expect payment. You’ll be able to find out the range they’re working with and what deliverables you can offer based on those numbers.
There will be some instances when a brand claims they don’t have a budget — it’s up to you to decide if you want to move forward with a product exchange.
If you don’t want to work for free, here’s a response you can send:
At this time, I’m only focused on paid partnerships, therefore, I’ll have to decline moving forward.
If you have a budget in the future, feel free to reach out then! I’d love to partner with you on a campaign.
Another response can be:
Due to the time and resources that I use to create content, I’m not able to accept gifted/unpaid projects.
I’d love to discuss a paid partnership in the future when you have an increase in your budget. Thank you for the opportunity!
Do Your Research
When it comes to negotiating brand deals, it’s important to learn about the company. The more information that you have, the better you’ll be able to negotiate.
Who is their target audience? What kind of Influencers have they partnered with in the past? Do they prioritize diversity?
When you look at their platforms, do you notice that they lack something? Maybe they need more content featuring a person using their products or they need help with product photography.
If you can offer a solution for something they need, this can help the negotiation process work in your favor.
For example, let’s say a brand doesn’t have a lot of videos on social media showing how its products work. You can offer to create a tutorial for them to fix this pain point.
Brands appreciate it when you can offer value to them. This is why research is key so you can know how to tailor your negotiation specifically for the company.
Related Post: Brand Partnerships: When You Should Decline Them
It’s important to use your best numbers to your advantage and prove that you’re worth what you’re asking for.
Some things to consider when proving your value are your platforms, equipment, and influence.
Which platforms are you on that would provide the most benefit for the brand? Do you have high engagement from your audience? Are you using a professional camera to create your content?
Answering these questions will show the brand why they should work with you and pay what you request!
Feel free to send them your impressions, reach, and engagement rate for the platforms you’re active on.
You can also share comments that stood out to you from your audience to show how much they trust your recommendations.
Share Recent Partnerships
One thing I love to do is share recent partnerships I’ve completed that are relevant to the brand I’m negotiating with.
For example, if a skincare brand reaches out to me, I would send them links to sponsored posts featuring products similar to theirs. Sharing this will show a brand how your content performs and give them an idea of what they can expect.
If you don’t have sponsored content to show, you can share your best organic content.
It’s even better if you have content that features the brand you’re negotiating with! This can establish brand affinity and show that your audience enjoyed learning more about them.
You can attach a link to the content in the email and also screenshot the analytics for the brand to review.
Create Packaged Deals
It’s important to know what goals the brand wants to achieve so you’re able to figure out what type of content to offer them.
Creating a package of deliverables specifically for the brand will show them the value you can provide and that you can help them exceed their goals for the campaign.
Creating packaged deals can lead to long-term partnerships which is something you should aim for!
A packaged deal can look similar to this:
- (1) Instagram Post
- (1) Blog Post
- (2) Pinterest Graphics
- (1) Tiktok Video
In this package, you’re providing the brand access to a variety of platforms that can help expand its reach. This can offer long-term exposure for them and provide more value.
Related Post: How to Increase Your Income as a Content Creator
Learn to Compromise
Every negotiation won’t work in your favor. If you’re interested in working with a brand because they align with your values, then there’s nothing wrong with compromising.
A partnership can lead to a long-term relationship with a brand which means more deals and guaranteed money in the future.
You have to weigh the pros and cons during each negotiation and figure out how beneficial it’ll be for you.
Negotiations will always include counter-offers and compromises, therefore, you want to stay prepared and never take it to heart.
Know When to Decline
No matter how much you negotiate, sometimes brands won’t budge. This is when you determine if the partnership is worth it.
It’s okay to walk away from a deal if it’s not mutually beneficial or providing value to your audience.
Even if money is included, you still may have to decline. It’s important to keep the trust of your audience and only partner with brands you align with.
Honestly, you’ll turn down more partnerships than you accept on this journey, and that’s okay! Just because you didn’t secure one deal doesn’t mean you’ve failed.
When you decline a partnership, keep it professional. You never know if you’ll have an opportunity to partner with them in the future.
Negotiating brand deals as an Influencer will take time to learn and become comfortable with.
This journey is full of trial and error and you’ll always learn from your mistakes. Each time you negotiate is a chance to do better and sell yourself more.
Every brand that reaches out won’t be the perfect fit. Many opportunities will be presented to you and it’s best to choose them wisely. All money isn’t good money!
Always keep the interests of your audience first and that will help you choose companies that you can have successful partnerships with.