A few months ago, I wrote a post on why and how microinfluencers should be compensated and the response was incredible. Today, I’m following up on the conversations I’ve had with countless influencers and am teaching you how to get paid by brands as a blogger through negotiation, including an e-mail template for a response! If you want to start getting paid as an influencer or blogger, keep reading!
One of the most asked questions I get is: how do you actually ask brands to pay you?
Before I get to the “how”–I want to explain the why behind asking for compensation. We, as content creators, need to know our value and be firm on that before entering a conversation around compensation…otherwise, we’ll most likely chicken out and just accept the status quo.
We, as content creators, provide a service for brands. We create digital marketing content, we generate buzz around their products, and we create pathways for brands to generate revenue. Sound simple? Wrong.
Content creators are also: creative directors, stylists, photographers, photo editors, video editors, copywriters, marketers, social media managers and so much more. We eliminate so many costs for brands because otherwise, they’d need to hire a person for every one of those jobs I mentioned, which is way more expensive than finding an influencer to create content for them.
Because of this, we as content creators, need to step up and advocate for compensation. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when we accept product for post, we devalue our industry and other hardworking content creators. It’s time we know our value, advocate for it, and shift the way brands work with bloggers and content creators.
Think of it this way: you would never go to the doctor and say: Can you perform heart surgery on me in exchange for a scalpel set? I really love your work and would love to offer a product in exchange for a service! I mean, how ridiculous does that sound? Yet that’s exactly what brands do to us as influencers.
If you’re a micro or nanoinfluencer and you think you’re following is too small to charge–think again. Just as a reminder, I earned my first paid gig at just 1,100 followers. Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need 10,000 followers to charge brands. I’m going to show you what a typical exchange with a brand will look like and guide you through a response!
Question: How do you respond to an e-mail proposal and ask for money?
When a brand reaches out to you, they will generally e-mail you with something like this (this is totally fictitious and not actually a company):
My name is Kay and I work for the brand called Amazing Outfits. We love your style and would love to collaborate with you!
We would love to send you 2 outfits of your choice in exchange for a blog post and 2 instagram posts.
Let me know if this sounds of interest to you.
Now what do you do when a brand sends you this? How do you actually respond and get them to pay you? Assuming this a brand that aligns with your values and you actually want to work with them, your response should look something like this:
Thank you so much for reaching out. I took a look at your products and love the style and mission of your company as it aligns to my brand of helping women look good and feel good. I am interested in working with you!
My rate for a blog post (5-6 images included in the post) and 2 Instagram posts is $250. Does that work for you?
At this point, the brand will either accept your offer, counter your offer, or say they cannot pay. If they accept your offer: AMAZING. If they counter offer: STILL AMAZING. I typically increase my rate in my initial proposal to be proactive about them counter-offering. This will ensure you’re still getting a fair amount for the work that you’re producing.
If they cannot offer pay, it’s entirely okay to walk away from the partnership. Or you can negotiate them down and say something like this:
I appreciate your offer but am unable to write blog posts for free. I am willing to do one instagram post + one IG story unboxing in exchange for the two outfits if that works for you.
Keep it short, simple, and straight to the point. Never feel awkward for saying that you can’t do something for free–in fact, brands should anticipate this answer!
Question: How do you determine your rates?
I use this resource from the Instagram Marketing Hub
which calculates a rate range based on your engagement % and following #. According to this website, I should charge anywhere between $54-90. I typically will ask for something in the middle like $75.
For a blog post, I charge $85-$100 because they are more time intensive with the writing, multiple photos, and all the links that I include.
Question: Is it really possible to earn money when you have less than 5,000 followers?
Heck yes it is! As I mentioned before, I earned my first paid brand collaboration at 1,100 followers. Since my first blog post on getting paid as a microinfluencer, I’ve helped several women also land paid gigs! To highlight this e-mail strategy, I want to share with you two examples of how this has played out:
One of my friends who is just over 11,000 followers had never been paid by a brand before. She had several ongoing partnerships with clothing companies that would gift her a certain allowance for clothing each time. They reached out again to partner with her, but this time, she wanted to ask for pay.
I coached her through it by giving her a response like the one you see above, and this time, the brand offered her a $500 clothing allowance and $500 for her instagram posts. Prior to her asking, she had done the same collaboration for free. But by simply asking and letting the brand know her rates, they agreed and ended up paying her.
This goes to show that brands are expecting you to not ask for payment, so they don’t even offer to begin with. Because if you can find an influencer who will do it for free, why would they pay? It’s up to us to redefine brand partnerships and advocate for the pay we deserve.
Similarly, I had a friend who is around 1,000 followers earn their first paid gig! She gave the brand her rates using the rate calculator and the brand actually offered her more than what she asked for–now that’s a dream!
In my own case, I was able to negotiate pay for three brand partnerships that initially asked for product for post using the same e-mail response. In 2019 alone, I’ve earned $830 in brand partnerships. I share this with you not to brag, but to show you that it is possible. I write this post in hopes of increasing transparency around pay. I write this to show you that it’s not about having the most amount of followers or likes. I share this to show you that quality content, authenticity, and hard work can get you brand partnerships! But most of all, I share these insights so that other women can feel confident in stepping up and asking for what they deserve!
To close, I want to remind you that you are in a position of power to negotiate with brands. If they reach out to you, it’s because they see the value you would bring to their brand. They already enjoy your content and believe in the work you produce. Own it and walk with confidence as you craft that e-mail. Hopefully the response I included in this blog post helps you and if you learned something new, let me know in the comments!
If you enjoyed this post, would you please help share it?–it is my goal to help other boss babes turn this hobby into a real side hustle! The influencer marketing space is here to stay and WE, as influencers, get to determine the path that it takes. Let’s do this! Let me know if you have any other questions you’d like for me to answer in an upcoming blog post!
Lastly, this post is sponsored by Loft! Thank you to Loft for providing this boss babe outfit–felt it was perfect for this topic! There’s nothing like an amazing work outfit to make you feel ready for that negotiation. 🙂
What I’m Wearing:
My whole outfit is from Loft and I’m so obsessed with this business casual look!
- Striped Neck Tie Blouse; Currently 40% off!
- This is my new favorite blouse. It’s the perfect lightweight material that’s comfortable and loose. The fit is loose and has the perfect pastel colored stripes that complement these lilac pants. I’ve already styled it multiple ways on my instagram too–that’s how much I love it!
- Grey blazer with elbow patches
- I’ve also styled this blazer in multiple ways already because it’s that good too! It’s soft and comfortable–it has just enough structure for a blazer but isn’t stiff like some others. The elbow patches give it an interesting detail and makes for a fun statement blazer!
- Slim Tie Waist Pencil Pants in Violet; on sale right now! $30 off regular price!
- These pants are a dream. Comfortable, flattering, and in the most perfect violet color for spring! I am wearing these in my usual 6 petite and they fit PERFECTLY. Loft seriously nails it every time!