How To Determine Your Influencer Payment Rates
You work tirelessly to put out compelling, well-thought-out content for your audience on social media. All that effort, time, and creativity need to be compensated for - and getting ‘exposure’ or free products from a brand won’t always cut it or pay the bills.
The influencer marketing industry is a billion-dollar enterprise. You will have seen your peers and popular creators posting loads of brand deals and partnerships on their profiles. They share products, services, and promotional material for all kinds of ventures. But it’s unlikely that they share the rates they charge brands to put that content out.
The creator economy might seem daunting, and determining your rates can be tricky business. You want brands to approach you and confirm a project that is mutually profitable, but at the same time, you have to be careful not to undervalue yourself or sell yourself short. So, today we’re going to examine how best to determine your payment rates as a serious influencer hoping to establish profitable relationships with other professionals.
Let’s get into it: where to start
Putting up a sponsored post for a brand is vastly different from a brand paying a standard advertising fee for a billboard. There is no hard-and-fast fixed fee that everybody would consider an ‘industry standard.’
Influencer marketing is far more specific to the personal brand you have created. The first thing potential clients look at would be your engagement rate, follower count, and similar quantitative analytics. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how to calculate your engagement rate and its value in the market.
But beyond these tangible metrics, you have to factor in more qualitative measures of value: does the product or deal fall perfectly into your niche? Do you have a special skill set that would enhance the quality of the collaboration? What kind of impact do you regularly achieve with your posts, how many DMs can you expect, is your audience a close-knit and engaged community of followers?
There are several calculators online which can tell you what your engagement rate is. For Instagram, the general rule is to divide your likes by the number of followers you have and multiply the number by 100 to arrive at the percentage. Read our post on how to improve your engagement rate here.
AspireIQ reports that $0.14 is the standard compensation rate which is multiplied by the engagement rate to get an estimate of what payment for one Instagram post looks like. But, as said earlier, this rate may need to be adjusted for a number of things. If the collaboration requires exclusivity, cross-platform promotion, unconventional rules, or other specifications, you can charge brands more. Your celebrity status can also boost prices.
Formula for Payment Rates
Other popular, accepted formulas look something like this:
Engagement rate per post (a percentage) + adjusted fee for the format of the post (x #of posts) + qualitative variables = final rate.
The industry standard is $100 for every 10,000 followers + additional fees for the format of the post t (x # of posts) + qualitative variables = final rate.
The Influencer Perspective
Once you’ve got an estimate of the payment rate using these formulae, you should also look into the client you are hoping to work with. Analyse the brand’s past advertising strategies, the nature of the product you’re promoting, and try to get a sense of what their brand goals are. How are your profiles and principles compatible? What are your biggest assets for this particular collaboration, and how can you leverage them to your advantage?
Before you commit to a collaboration or share your press kit with them, we recommend reading through our guides on how to identify the right brands to collaborate with and how to negotiate with potential collaborators.
The format of content is crucial to determining a payment rate. A static post’s formula of $0.14 multiplied by the engagement rate does not necessarily apply to videos, stories, or reels. For videos, the industry standard is somewhere around 0.16$ multiplied by the engagement rate. For reels, it’s even higher.
Contests and giveaways that are posted in the static feed usually cost = (number of posts multiplied by 0.14) + (number of videos multiplied 0.16) + (number of Stories multiplied by the price per Story)
Instagram stories are chargeable using the formula = number of average views per story multiplied by 0.06.
This increases if the story has additional features such as a poll, questions, a swipe up feature linking directly to the product being promoted, etc. Influencers are encouraged to charge a particular conversion fee for every time the poll is engaged with, the swipe up is clicked on, or a question is asked. These features of engagement can be charged for over and above the standard fee for a story.
Mentioning the brand in a single caption usually costs less than any other deliverable. Meanwhile, the practice of affiliate marketing, where the influencer gets paid a commission for every product sold through their platform usually attracts a rate between 5-30%.
Instead of working through these rates each time a brand reaches out to you, create a press kit with all relevant baseline rates for the different types of content you’re open to putting out as part of a collaboration. Let brands know what point you’re starting at. From here, the negotiation can begin as they will give you more insight into the specific deliverables they’re looking for, and what goals they hope to achieve with the collaboration.
These formulae appear complicated at first glance, and negotiating with large brands may seem intimidating for a growing creator. But don’t let that deflate your payment rates. Brands stand to gain a lot from influencer collaborations, and you deserve fair compensation for your efforts. Good luck, and get that coin!