Welcome to The Spark Show! In this episode, you'll learn more about pricing your services as an influencer and what to take into account when you're pitching to brands.
Now, I can’t tell you exactly how much you should be charging because everyone is different, but I can tell you what are the things you need to consider when pricing your services.
First of all, I wanna talk about your services. So many influencers are underpricing themselves by working for free or accepting free product, because it actually takes a lot of time to create content. It’s not just posing and taking a picture with a product - that’s not what we do.
Creating content starts with the concept and producing the actual storyline. Now, you may not be aware that you’re actually producing, but if you think about movies or TV shows, this is what happens first. They don’t just start shooting the show, there’s usually a writer, a script and a producer - or a team of all of those people who first need a plan on what is happening.
I have a background in entertainment marketing so I know exactly what happens when a show or movie is green lit - it goes to production before the shoot even occurs, there’s a whole kickoff, lots of planning and usually the writer has pitched the show and has to finish the script or has already created one.
As influencers, we do this on a smaller level - we still need to come up with the idea. It’s not just stand here and take a picture. I’ve worked with some of the biggest brands out there like Disney, Activia, Kroger and there is production involved where I have to come up with the story and concepts first before I even shoot or even before I sign the agreement to do the sponsorship. They want my ideas first, and that takes time and creative energy.
The brands usually have someone on their marketing team doing this or they hire agencies for thousands and thousands of dollars to create these ideas. Think of ad agencies and if you ever watched Mad Men, they have to come up with concepts and ideas that take time, money and energy.
So, that’s just the first step - producing the content. Then, you have to actually plan out the shoot - where are you shooting? Who’s shooting? What are you wearing and your hair and makeup? That’s all part of it.
Then, there’s the actual shoot and how long it’s going to take to get the right shot. Usually when I work with brands, I give them a couple options and if you’ve done a shoot before then you’ll know that it usually takes a hundred shots to get the right ones. When I work with a professional photographer, it usually takes a couple hours. And also, think of the location - you’re usually scouting for a location or many brands and influencers rent a space and pay a location fee, so you need to factor all of this into your pricing.
After the content is shot, then you have to think about the selection process which takes time to go through the photos to choose which ones, then the editing of the photos. If you’re doing videos, this can take even more time because you have to go through each second of the video and choose what you’re keeping and what you’re not. Video editing can also take hours of work if you’re adding text and graphics and all sorts of stuff.
After the content is created, there’s the posting process including the caption, the description, the actual upload and then making sure everything is tagged and has the right keywords, plus the approval process from the brand.
Aside from the content, you’re also engaging with your followers on a daily basis (or at least you’re supposed to be). You’re responding to comments, putting out your organic content and building trust and connection with them.
The reason why I’m talking about all of this is because so many people are scared to charge for all this work. At the end of the day, it comes up to at least several hours, if not several days of work, and you’re doing it for free or for very little money.
I get it, in the beginning you may just be starting out and building your influencer portfolio, gaining experience and building relationships - that’s fine. But there has to come a point where you monetize your business, because then, it’s not a business and it becomes a very time-consuming hobby that you’re not getting paid for.
It all comes down to knowing the value that you provide.
Most influencers realize that when they do charge, the brands say yes. But, if you don’t ask, you will keep just getting discount codes, free stuff, or rates that you’re not happy with.
So, that’s the first thing I wanted to talk about when thinking about what to charge as an influencer. There are benchmark rates for Instagram that some brands still adhere to - $100 for a post for someone who has 10,000 followers, but that doesn’t take into account engagement rate, target audience (if you have a very niche-specialized audience), or if it includes extras like stories, lives, IGTV and other channels.
I have students that have taken my Seal the Brand Deal course that have gotten brand deals over $1000 with less than 10,000 followers because they followed the strategies that I teach inside the program.
It’s not just about presenting your rates, that’s one part of it. There’s also a lot of pre-work that needs to be done.
The second thing that I wanted to talk about when pricing your services is making sure you have your influencer portfolio ready.
This is where a lot of influencers get stuck because they have a media kit, but no rate card and case studies - which I teach are the three essential elements to an influencer portfolio.
A media kit is kind of like a resume for influencers that shows your information, your channels, audience demographics, who you are as a brand, and what brands you’ve worked with. It’s a great snapshot to send to brands so they know more about you.
Now, a rate card is a pricing sheet with your services and what you charge. If you don’t have a rate card, it’s kinda like saying you work for free. So, you should have one if you’re trying to monetize your influencer business.
Lastly, the case studies - this is something a lot of influencers don’t have, so if you do have it and brands are considering multiple influencers - you will stand out. This is a deck or presentation that goes deeper into previous collaborations or sponsorships you’ve done that includes the content, screenshots, analytics, feedback and it really shows the work you’ve done. If you think of it like an artist or an interior designer or architect, they have a portfolio of their work to show you before you hire them. It’s the same idea and makes it easier for a brand to say YES.
I have tutorials inside the Seal the Brand Deal course to help you create your entire influencer portfolio as well as examples from other successful influencers and which program to use, so you can start going from free stuff to paid sponsorships!
The last thing I want to talk about when talking about pricing is your money mindset.
This is actually the thing that I believe most successful people work on on a daily basis because it’s usually what gets in the way of you making the money you want to make.
If you believe that you shouldn’t get paid for your work, it’s true.
If you believe that you should get paid, you will.
It’s really about working on your own beliefs. A lot of my students ask me how to do that, how do I work on my money mindset and start creating new beliefs about money?
First, you have to identify what are your money beliefs and stories that you’ve been living with this whole time?
Some of the most common ones are: Money is evil. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Money is hard to make. Wanting more money is greedy.
Really take the moment to write them all down so you’re aware of them.
Then, you have to create new beliefs and write them down. These are called affirmations.
It takes time to create these new beliefs, so you can write them down every day, say them and your brain is gonna start adapting them as your new truth.
Here are some of mine: Money is awesome. Money flows to me easily. More money = more impact. Making money is easy. I can make as much money as I want to. Money = Freedom, and you can write whatever feels good to you.
Make it a practice, because remember, you’re undoing decades of money beliefs that you picked up from childhood and society.
Start being aware of your thoughts about money and you get to decide what your new money stories are going to be.
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