How to Negotiate with Influencers in 6 Steps
Updated: Jul 20
Negotiating with an influencer is tricky.
You need to make sure you’re offering them fair compensation for the work you are expecting. At the same time, you may need to work with a limited budget.
How can your brand find the right balance between the two?
To hit the sweet spot, you need to master the art of negotiation.
There is no fixed pricing structure for influencer collaborations. Most brands determine the compensation based on the influencer, content, and campaign requirements.
That’s what makes it difficult to negotiate with social media influencers.
But with a little research and preparedness, your brand can easily navigate these murky waters.
In this article, let’s take a look at how you can negotiate for an influencer deal.
How to Negotiate With Influencers: A Reliable Guide For Small Businesses
If you want to negotiate effectively with influencers, you need to be clear on your priorities. At the same time, you need to understand what motivates social media influencers.
With a little bit of planning and groundwork, you can extend a mutually beneficial deal for both the involved parties.
Here are some tips to help you nail the negotiation process for your brand’s next social media marketing campaign with an influencer:
1. Be Thorough With Your Research
When you are reaching out to an influencer with a collaboration proposal, it’s similar to extending a job offer. You want to make sure you’re partnering with the right influencer and offering them a great deal that they can’t resist.
Even before the actual negotiation process begins, invest time into researching the influencer and their content.
Here are a few things your brand should check during influencer evaluation:
Influencer Media Kit
To make the whole process quicker and more straightforward, you can leverage influencer marketing platforms like Fourstarzz Media. On our influencer marketing platform, you can get a comprehensive influencer report on all of the listed social media influencers.
From the credibility of followers to influencer follower growth, content engagement, and interests, you can check it all out within a matter of minutes.
Here is a screenshot from an influencer report from Fourstarzz Media:
2. Determine Influencer Compensation
Let’s be honest:
You can’t randomly decide on an estimated post value or sponsored content. There needs to be some basis for it. Otherwise, it’s like shooting without an aim.
You can use rate cards as a yardstick to negotiate.
However, your brand shouldn’t move ahead with a “one-size-fits-all” approach for your marketing campaign.
You should determine fair compensation based on the influencer deliverables and campaign details.
Before you come up with the final number, also consider if a fixed price (pay per post) model or an affiliate-based commission model will work better based on your campaign goals.
Some questions that can help your brand get through this process include:
What type of content do you want influencers to create for you?
Influencer compensation heavily depends on the type of content you want them to create for you. The pricing for different content like sponsored posts, Stories, and videos will vary.
Similarly, the channel for your social media marketing campaign will also be a determining factor. Each social media channel has a different base rate.
For instance, Instagram videos are typically shorter than YouTube videos. So, you can expect to pay more for YouTube collaborations.
What is the volume of content that you expect influencers to deliver?
The amount of content you expect influencers to deliver is an important factor in the negotiation process.
If you are offering them bulk work or are looking for a long-term collaboration, your brand has the bargaining power. Influencers may be willing to lower their estimated post value for a steady inflow of work.
What is the influencer’s reach and engagement?
The most important factor to consider during the negotiation process is the overall value that influencers can provide to your brand.
For influencer evaluation, take a look at the number of followers they have on their social media profiles. In addition to this, take a look at the average engagement rate of their posts.
The higher the number, the higher the ROI you are likely to get.
What is the bottom line?
Expect to compensate influencers more if they can offer you more followers and higher engagement.
Which product are you promoting?
During the negotiation process, your product and industry are also crucial factors. The more expensive your product is, the higher your brand can expect the influencer compensation to be.
Social media influencers are likely to charge a higher fee from a brand to promote products in the premium or luxury segments.
3. Consider Offering Perks
Don’t have a large budget to work with for your influencer marketing campaign?
Your brand can still strike a good deal with influencers.
You just need some creativity to bring down influencer costs. Invest some time into understanding what motivates the influencer whom you are approaching. When you offer them a deal with something the influencer wants, they are more likely to agree to your deal.
Some influencers may agree to work for non-monetary compensation such as free samples and access to events. Alternatively, other influencers may lower their fees for free food, flight tickets, hotel stays, merchandise, or subscriptions.
4. List Deliverables and KPIs in Your Proposal
When you’re reaching out to an influencer, list all of the influencer deliverables clearly in your proposal. The way you communicate with influencers during the negotiation process sets the tone for your relationship.
Also, mention which metrics you will measure to evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns. If you want influencers to work exclusively with you, you need to add terms of exclusivity.
Adding these details will help you set the right expectations.
However, don’t expect influencers to agree to everything you want.
Do keep in mind that the more deliverables and conditions you add, the higher the compensation the influencer may expect for the marketing campaign.
5. Prepare For Collaboration Contingencies
In your negotiation process, it’s important to touch upon ways of handling any possible contingencies that may arise. To cover your bases, your brand may want to:
Add a Non-Disclosure Agreement
A non-disclosure agreement ensures that you can protect any brand-related information that you don’t want social media influencers to reveal. It could include payment terms or perks related to your influencer marketing campaign.
Include an Exit Strategy
An important part of negotiating with influencers is also defining how and when a deal should end. Include clauses that clarify how either of the involved parties can cancel the contract. Additionally, define how you may handle potential conflicts. Negotiate these terms clearly before you seal the deal.
6. Be Specific Yet Flexible In Your Approach
Just like with any other negotiation, it’s always a good idea to keep some wiggle room while approaching influencers for influencer marketing campaigns.
The point of negotiating is to close a deal, so that both of the parties involved get a fair deal.
Try to accommodate all of the influencer’s demands that you think are reasonable. At the same time, be clear on the terms that you are not willing to negotiate.
For instance, you should ensure that influencers follow FTC guidelines for their sponsored posts. That should be a non-negotiable term for all brands. But you may want to reconsider exclusivity clauses for your marketing campaigns to give influencers more freedom.
Ready to Get Started Negotiating with Influencers?
Before you work on your influencer marketing outreach strategy, it’s important to invest some time in research. To be successful at negotiation, it’s essential to be clear about your campaign deliverables. Clearly understanding your requirements and your deal-breakers set the stage for effective negotiation.
To reach out with a fair deal, you need to know what motivates influencers. Based on what their priorities are, you can leave some room for concessions.
Keep in mind that negotiation isn’t about having the last word. Instead, it’s about finding a middle path that works for both of the parties involved.
Do you have any questions about how to negotiate with influencers for influencer marketing campaigns? Do you have any tips to add? Please share them in the comments below.