Before you start working with brands, you should expect a negotiation process. Each partnership will have different requirements and some offers may not be pleasing to you. Negotiating brand deals as an Influencer comes into play when a partnership isn’t mutually beneficial.
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
Anything is up for negotiation when it comes to working with a brand. You won’t receive what you don’t ask for!
To learn more about the Influencer terms I mentioned above, check out this post on my Instagram where I break down important terminology to know in the industry. Knowing these terms will help with the negotiation process.
Ask for Their Budget
The thought of discussing money is nerve-racking. No, talking about money isn’t fun, however, this is your business and you should be fairly compensated for your time and work. When a brand reaches out, ask them what their budget is.
Asking for their budget is the easiest way to let them know 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 whether or not you want to move forward with a product exchange. However, if you want to get paid, a good response to that statement would be:
”Thank you for letting me know! At this time, I’m only focused on paid partnerships, therefore, I’ll have to decline moving forward. If you have a bigger 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 I use to create content, I’m not able to accept gifted/unpaid projects at this time. I’d love to discuss a paid partnership in the future when you have an increase in your budget. Thank you for the opportunity and I hope we can work together in the future!”
Do Your Research
When it comes to negotiating brand deals as an influencer, it’s important to know about the company. The more information you have, the better you’ll be able to negotiate. I love reading about a brand’s backstory to see if their values align with mine.
It’s also good to check out previous Influencers they’ve worked with. This will give you an idea of the type of content they’re looking for and what would match their aesthetic the best.
Brands appreciate it when you take the time to learn about them. This will show your genuine interest and that you’re selective with who you choose to partner with.
Find out who their target audience is and whether or not their products/services would interest your community. Does their mission resonate with your values? Is this a brand you’d support with your money? Figure out those answers and you’ll always choose the best partnerships.
Brands want to know what value you can provide to the partnership. What would be the point in working together if you can’t give them what they’re looking for? 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? Also, does your audience trust your recommendations?
Answering these questions will show the brand why they should work with you and pay what you request!
Related Post: Pitching to Brands: The Do’s and Don’ts to Remember
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 organic content that features the brand you’re negotiating with! This can establish brand affinity and show that your audience enjoyed learning more about them.
Negotiating with a lifestyle brand? Send lifestyle-related content. Beauty? Send over tutorials and reviews that you’ve completed.
Create Packaged Deals
Each partnership will be different. 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. Not only will this provide a better deal and value for the brand, but it also brings more money to your bank account.
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 professional 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 for this and never take it to heart.
Related Post: Important Questions to Ask Before Working With Brands
Know When to Decline
No matter how much you negotiate, sometimes brands won’t budge. This is when you determine whether or not the partnership is worth it. It’s okay to walk away from a deal if it’s not providing value to you or your platforms.
Even if compensation is included, you still may have to say no. You want to keep the trust of your audience and only partner with brands you align with. You also want to work with brands who know your worth and value as a creator.
To be honest, you’ll turn down more partnerships than you accept, and that’s okay! Just because you didn’t secure one deal doesn’t mean you’ve failed. There’s always a better opportunity around the corner and brands who will respect your craft + prices you’ve set.
When you choose to decline, make sure it’s respectful. It’s important to maintain a professional relationship with brands because you can have the opportunity to work with them in the future. I’ve been able to partner with brands the second time around of them reaching out because I left the door open for them.
Related Post: Brand Partnerships: When You Should Decline Them
Negotiating brand deals as an Influencer will take time to learn and become comfortable with. In the beginning, I know I missed out on opportunities because I didn’t understand how to properly negotiate my worth.
This journey is full of trial + error and you’ll always learn from your mistakes. Each time you negotiate is a chance to do better and sell yourself even 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 ensure you choose companies that you can have successful partnerships with.