This post is going to discuss ways you can determine how much to charge when taking on paid social media campaigns. The difficultly with influencer marketing is the lack of an industry standard. If you’re someone who feels too awkward asking for money when it comes to working with brands (even when you feel like you deserve it), keep reading! I know this will make it easier for you because I used to be that awkward person.
There are so many variables at play when determining how much an influencer can charge. These variables include:
- Industry/niche. E.g. The beauty industry may pay more (to an influencer with the same social standing) than the food/drink industry.
- Your engagement. Engagement can be calculated in the form of likes, comments, shares, saves, etc. The higher engaged your audience is, the more you can demand.
- Other social platforms. If you have numerous social platforms (e.g. do you just have an IG or an IG + Youtube channel?) you can generally charge more as the brand can reach a wider range of audience.
- A brand’s budget. Small businesses may not have the budget to pay an influencer or might not be able to pay as much as a global brand when undertaking the same amount/level of work.
I’m sure there are so many other factors which I haven’t mentioned. Although the above points play a role in determining price I want to concentrate on a few other factors which you can use to formulate and justify your rates/fees.
- Cost of goods. This takes into account the money you spend to produce your content (you can use a rough estimate based on previous content that you’ve created or by reading what the brand will require) for e.g. ingredients, props, hiring a photographer, hiring a creative space, manager’s fee, travel, etc.
- Time. You can estimate (based on your usual time it takes to produce content) how much time you spend preparing, brainstorming, editing, photographing, travelling, etc. From there you can multiply the hours by your hourly rate.
- Equipment. If you have invested in special equipment such as a digital camera you may want to charge a fee for wear and tear/maintanence.
- Exclusivity. This refers to if a brand collaboration states that the influencer cannot work with other brands/competitor brands for a certain length of time. You’ll have to factor in possible loss of income due to this clause and scale your prices accordingly.
- Usage rights. Sometimes the brand will want to reuse and or repurpose your content for their own marketing. You can think of this as selling your content to the brand. How much will depend on points 1-3. Brands may offer a royalty programme if they intend to use your content for large marketing campaigns (outside of social media platforms).
Lets use this photo of mine and calculate how much I would have charged if it was part of a paid brand collaboration (using the above 5 points).
Cost of goods
$2 for 3 apples
$3 for a packet of thyme
$2 for tonic water
$4 for a bag of ice
$20 dollars for 3 types of teas (to be fair 2 out of 3 teas were gifted to me by brands but I’m pretending that I had to buy it myself for this exercise)
Total cost = $31
All up I would have spent about 3 hours from idea development to final edit. Lets say I charge $40 per hour for my time. This equates to $120.
This photo was taken on my i Phone X not a camera. So I won’t add a charge for it (I would add a fee if I had specifically bought the iPhone to take photos with).
Not an exclusive collaboration.
Lets say the brand wants to use this photo not just for Instagram but to print in their magazine. I’ll charge $120 for the right (equal to my time spent creating the photo). I would also discuss a possible royalty program if my image was used in a money generating way.
In total I could justify around $270 as a starting figure. I would then factor in all the other variables discussed earlier and come up with my final fee/rate. To make sure that I don’t overshoot on pricing I often look at influencer marketing applications/research online to see what other influencers are charging.
I screen grabbed this rate card from an influencer campaign app.
If you feel stuck/don’t know where to start when it comes to charging for your work, use my 5 points as a rough starting guide. I’m still learning so much my self and know the advice here may not be the gold standard but more of a personal experience. Hopefully this helps out a few of you and if you have any questions you’d like to ask me, please do so. I’m more than happy to help!