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3 Approaches to Setting Your Price as a Creator

Updated: Jul 16

It took me a long time to write this resource - much longer than I anticipated. I could have easily written this just based on my brand-side knowledge and called it my perspective. But I didn’t. I’ve been taking the time observing posts and comments and speaking to the moderators at @influencerpaygap. I spent some time trying to gain perspective. I questioned my own instincts and I read through comments to understand hidden dynamics that maybe we not so apparent to me. I let people in the community bring up issues that frankly can’t be solved with a mathematical, one-size-fits-all solution.


The more I learned, the more I realized that it’s going to be incredibly difficult to create something or claim something that is going to make every person happy.


What may be a great recommendation for one person, may not be workable for another. To put a price tag on someone’s worth, will never be a one size fits all kind of thing. Everyone is well deserving of their personal worth. And everyone has a different opinion on what they would do, for what cost.


I launched The Creator Elevation Digital Workshop to a group of 6 creators for 100% free knowing eventually I was going to charge for it. I gave free access to at least 3 friends and a few people who reached out with true appreciation for my help. I have read enough business literature to understand the worth of this program. I have unique experience, worth thousands or dollars. Yet even understanding my worth, I gave this away for free. Having more flexible deadlines, having a group that would give me feedback and testimonials, that would share as they were learning, that would test drive my content for me, the “practice” - gave me value that was going to help me jump start the program faster that if I created for no one and had to struggle for my first sale. I believe in building credibility, in building a “rap sheet”, in building proof. I’ve employed this even in my approach to freelancing and that allowed me to double my income in only 2 years - I simply had the proof and experience to charge more for what I created next. But would everyone have done the same? Would I even advise everyone to do the same?


The answer is no. I see the challenges in doing what I did for other people in different position - I see my privilege. And the same applies to YOU putting a price on your services.


I see many people claim, “If you do work for free, you will never be able to charge for it!” Which may very well be true for some brands and some cases; but it’s just as true that you will be able to create, build and increase your worth over time too. Like most things in life I believe what to price, when and how is something you need to find that works for you individually - and that you have proof of what works for you.


My mantra is this: Know your monetary worth and know your goal. Know that you could never accept less - and that would be 100% okay. But know also that accepting less is not undermining your worth, when you are able to receive, re-create or re-leverage additional value from your partnership and what that value looks like is a reflection of your individual situation and needs. Make it well known that I am NEVER advocating working for free, I am NEVER advocating working for less than you are worth - I am advocating that you KNOW your worth and you make informed decisions coming from that place of worth in regards to what you are being offered.


Mini-Agenda

  1. Some Facts / Tips

  2. Ideal Rate / Acceptable Rate / Min Rate

  3. What goes into a Rate

  4. 3 Approaches to Pricing (Ad Value, Freelance Value, BVPP)

Let’s start with some facts and tips.


  • There IS such a thing as overcharging. That is why the conversation around pricing is so critical. I wish I could tell you that I skim the comments of Instagram posts debating pricing and worth and I’m like “YEA GIRL, GET YO WORTH!” when someone calls out high rates, but I am actually FEARFUL of what would happen if we continue to push rates higher and higher. While some high pricing is just a matter of a brand knowing total worth and value of an influencer (and that IS cause for celebration!), I know some is also a result of over inflated pricing. Over the 7+ years I have worked in influencer marketing, I have only seen rates inflate and inflate - often times justified, but in other times - to the point where many brands start to more deeply question their returns for the spend. Where brands will invest more in other places and less in influencer marketing. When brands start to pull budgets away from influencer marketing, we will see less opportunities - not just on the individual level, but on the collective level. Lack of results creates a distrust in using influencers and contributes to a slow decline in what has always typically been a massively inclining market. Our job is to still position the concept of influencer marketing as valuable to the brands who employ it - and there is a fine line where it becomes difficult for even the most experienced of strategists to show that value when prices are over-inflated. It’s critical that all parties work together in better transparency over pricing.


  • The cold truth is we will share brands we like and people we like regardless of whether or not we are paid for it. It is our nature and a root as to why money even entered the picture. Bear in mind that influencer has evolved from a variety of different methods - namely Public Relations (Earned Media), Word of Mouth Marketing (Earned Media / UGC) and Advertising (Paid Media). Public Relations and word of mouth marketing have historically relied on gifting whereas advertising was pay-to-play. Influencer marketing can be seen through any of these lenses and is the reason why “gifting” programs still exist alongside programs in which brands are paying. The catch being that with “gifting” programs, there should be NO expectation of mention or content (anything that is, is not “earned” media) - and many brands don’t get that. Monetary compensation was introduced for incentive, guarantee and has evolved to be a bargaining tool to assure an equal exchange of value in situations where partnership is expected and generally contracted. Don’t be afraid to contribute both earned media as well as pay-for-play partnerships - you can counterbalance through minimal effort, no expectations, and genuinely just share what YOU like how you want to share it. I call this “incubating” brands and I consider it “social good” sometimes to lift up brands you genuinely like or people who are out there trying to bring great, life changing products to market - much like you would if you weren’t even “an influencer”. It also helps restore balance and trust from audiences for when you DO run paid ads. And if you don’t want to? That’s cool too, because….


  • Pricing services and personal worth ultimately come down to how people value their time. The price of one hour, when you have 20 of them free may look different than one hour when you have 5 of them free. It may look different when you are 21 vs. when you are 31. It may look different depending on who is doing the asking. It also may look different when your income comes from another source. I’ve historically viewed this as a “good” thing - knowing good start-up brands would be able to affordably work with start-up creators and there is a lot of love and happiness and win-wins going all around. But I learned quickly that collectively, this contributes to a lot of inequality of pay snd opportunity. This has directly contributed to pay gaps in which people with similar metrics have been paid LESS - this DIRECTLY contributes to a black pay gap! For this reason, I have always favored an approach of the BRANDS doing their research on what they should pay influencers (obviously with REAL creator input). Being the first to make an offer based on knowledge and research and as much objective material (metrics) as possible when trying to negotiate with creators can help prevent any extreme lowballing and in-equal pay that only worsens the gap. So do this: know your goal rate / acceptable rate / and min rates (getting to that in a minute); that is your worth - but before offering up your rates, ask the brand for their budget or what they are offering for someone with your particular metrics. If it’s higher than your acceptable rate - you can simply meet their rate or go a tad bit higher with reasoning. If it’s incredibly low, you can negotiate and cite or backup your ask with metrics. It’s rare that a brand will be spot on, but it helps bring the conversation away from subjectivity and personal value of time, more to “market” rates based on data that provide better equality of payment. (it’s not a complete solution, but it’s at least a start.)


  • It wouldn't be wise of me to really have a conversation about pricing without bringing up the evolution and definition of what an "influencer" is and without pointing out how differently this can be defined. FLASHBACK to only 7 years ago (2013), over 75% of "partnership posts" were forged on gifting only and an "influencer" looked a lot different than they do today. Most were grateful to receive free product - and that proof brands to even further justify payments for the above-average ROI. The concept of being an "influencer" wasn't about getting products - it was about showing and establishing community around a particular lifestyle. Free products were the reward of establishing community and influence over that community and a way to align products that would be impactful to that lifestyle - it was a direct evolution from Word of Mouth Marketing and Public Relations, which often used gifting to "earn media" placements. Money began entering the picture as a way for brands to incentivize influencers to work with them, to create a more even value exchange and to exert more involvement in the product of the partnership, which began shifting the tides away from "gifting" being the majority, to being the minority at an estimated 30% of brand partnerships. For a large portion of influencers, the concept of being an "influencer" still is not about money, payment or product - the focus is still on community, the focus is still on highlighting products that support particular interests and lifestyles, and the considered payment is secondary. These influencers are more likely to still accept gifting, accept lower rates, accept value-exchange that is non-monetary, provide pro-bono exposure and more depending of the fit of the brand partnership. On the same timeline, we saw a rise of "creators", skilled media-mavens with a knack for design and curation, capturing the attention of audiences and amassing influence for skill and quality. They also shared in the definition of being an "influencer" due to above normal reach and engaged audiences. Money entered the picture here when brands realized they could "contract" creative services of influencers and also have target distribution of that created content - it was a direct evolution of Social Media Advertising. In directly comparing the two, you can see how divergent the two are on everything from their purpose, to their business strategy, to the time input into their craft - and how this could create wider disparity in rates demanded - or even differing perspectives on everything from gifting, affiliate marketing, ambassador programs and beyond. We saw influencer marketing emerge as a money making opportunity and as a legitimate business, bringing in yet more demands for money to pay talent agents, to pull salary and more that comes with the cost of being an entrepreneur - and with that, more emphasis on fair, worthy payment. The truth is that ALL of these creators exist somewhere in the ecosphere and that ALL experiences have validity and truth to them. The truth is that like influencers, a lot of brands in varying positions over what they can actually invest exist - looking to pair up with the right kind of influencer. Understand your purpose as an "influencer-creator" and your expectations of being an influencer and match with the brands who best respect your evolution, what you produce and why you produce It. Understand the other influencers, the varying situations and purposes that also exist and don't be afraid to re-establish the importance that money has to you being an influencer - no matter if that is to diversify how you work with brands and how much you charge, only ever accept payment, or even keep your influence away from monetization completely. I don't believe there is ever going to be a clear-cut one-size-fits-all answer to what an influencer is and what it looks like to monetize that influence.

Whats your IDEAL RATE vs. ACCEPTABLE RATE vs. MIN RATE?


These are three rates it’s important to have when entering negotiations with brands over the price of your services.


Your IDEAL RATE is the rate at which you WANT to get paid. This could be you, standing in your full worth. This could be you adjusting your pricing from partnership to partnership because you are assessing results and being smart about what you bring to the table. This could just be what you need to make to break even on your side-income goals. Your IDEAL RATE is the first rate you want to bring up when negotiating.

Your ACCEPTABLE RATE may be slightly below what your ideal rate is, but this rate is still worth your time. It could be that you recognize other value in this opportunity, whether it be association with a particular brand or the way you can re-leverage the partnership. It could be that you truly like the brand or the people and are willing to offer some earned media value alongside your rate of pay. ACCEPTABLE RATE is usually what you may offer if a brand cannot meet your IDEAL rate - it’s your negotiated rate.


Your MINIMUM RATE is the absolute lowest amount of money you will accept before the partnership is no longer worth your time no matter WHO the brand is. It’s the point where a brand offers you $75 for something that is going to take a day on Saturday and you say “it’s just not worth my time”. Min rate can differ personally depending on how you value your time and what your individual need is. Your MIN rate may be lower if you absolutely need the money. It could be higher if you have less time or aren’t as dependent on the money. Minimum rate is your last offer to a brand before deciding whether to pass or accept a deal - it’s your final negotiation.

There are AT LEAST 10 DIFFERENT factors that go into a rate. And I say at least knowing there are probably a few more that are situational or I am simply forgetting.


In one way or another, whatever approach is used to calculate or find a rate, the following is USUALLY considered to formalize rates for each unique partnership.

  • INFLUENCER’S METRICS: This is the always the top and typically first calculation that goes into determining price. The catch, is that the metric of FOCUS and how it affects the price is completely determined by the GOAL of the brand (more on that below). Following (audience size), engagement rate, quality of engagement (types of accounts engaging with you, yes we can see this), conversions/swipe-ups, saves/bookmarks, views / view rate, listens/downloads are all considered in scaled pricing.

  • BRAND’S GOALS: There are at least 9 different values that influencer marketing brings the table beyond sales (link). I find that some brands - just focus on sales. Others may understand 2-3 values, while some understand all 9. The truth is, the more VALUE that the brand can receive from their influencer marketing program, the higher the acceptable price. (I’m going to come back to this).

  • ASK: Similar to time, the ask is a key determinant in cost. The most that it asked of the creator in terms of amount of content, type of media, specific location, product use, etc. This could also include any “experiences”, events, training, phone calls, prep time, meetings, on-sites, etc. The more that is asked of the influencer, the higher the rate.

  • TIME COMMITMENT: How long it’s going to take you to complete an ask. The higher the time commitment, often the higher the rate should be. The cost of a quick or raw Instagram story frame showing product is not going to be expected to be charged at the same rate as a feed post which is more intricately set-up. Formal video content which has higher time commitment is not equal to that of an Instagram post. Same goes for any other time commitments such as on-sites, traveling, events, conferences, collaborations, etc.

  • QUALITY: Expected quality is expected to scale with rate. If a client asks for a messy Instagram story, it’s not the same quality (tied to time commitment) as a more formally shot photo or video. If a brand is looking for an “everyday user look” it’s not the same as a “curated look” - it lacks skill. Conversely, the higher the quality the higher the price is expected to be.

  • EXPERIENCE: Experience, whether it be evident through the quality of creative or the number of brand partnerships also matters. As agencies, we look to see past examples of brand partnerships, as it helps us to determine capability of ask and expected return. The more experienced and evident it is that audience engages with sponsored content from your feed, the more we are willing to pay scaling higher rates. The less experience, the more we are on the lower end of rates based on other metrics like following and engagement.

  • THE “MARKET” NICHE / COMPETITION: The amount of peers or ease of finding someone similar to your account can affect cost. The more niche and unique you are in what you do, typically the higher you can justify your costs - we also price this way to clients knowing that to bring creators on board, we need to offer higher incentives in niche markets. If there are plenty of other influencers in your space who look like you (and I say this because attn: the color of your skin should be a reason you charge MORE as brands/agencies favor diversity in their campaigns and will pay a premium for it), rates may be have to be on the lower end or more competitive. There are a lot of things that can distinguish you from other influencers, so differentiating yourself through your content, interests, topics can help build “niche” that can bring in higher rates.

  • RIGHTS: How a brand will consider using your content and for how long also layers into a partnership rate. Generally most brands will ask to re-share your content on their social media channels organically and with credit. Organic rights often do not have a substantial increase to any base rate. When brands begin talking about use in other materials such as website, print, e-mail marketing or putting paid spend behind content such as Facebook or Instagram advertising (from their channels) additional fees for such usage should be considered.

  • EXCLUSIVITY: Best practice for your own personal authenticity is not to include competitor products within back to back posts - with a few category exceptions like makeup or clothing where this is a bit more acceptable. Most brands will ask for a week buffer before considering a competitor partnership - some brands will ask for more. When the ask exceeds your own personal buffer, you should be considering additional fees that scale with the amount of time in which you are asked to only exclusively promote a brand - or are prohibited from working with a competitor.

  • MATERIALS / STIPEND: Some brands get creative with their asks or sponsored content. In one particular campaign we did a top brand, we asked influencers to do an under $300 room makeover for a child to show off our client’s bedding. That $300 to be used for a makeover was layered on top of the influencer rates to pay for any necessary props or materials needed to create content. Other examples of stipends include meal or allocations for onsite, gift cards or reimbursements if you are asking an influencer to purchase something in order to promote it, etc. Stipends and material costs should be added on top of any paid rate for your work.


3 Approaches to Pricing


As I mentioned earlier, there are approximately 10 different angles for how brands will measure the value of an influencer partnership. They are: Advertising, Viral, Content Creation, Personification, Correlation, Connection + Proof, Endorsement + Affiliation, Retention + Loyalty and Direct Sales. I am not going to go into depth about what each mean (you can read up on that here) but I will lightly mention that beyond Advertising and Sales, other values speak to how a particular audience views influencer content vs. some other kind of online ad such as social media ads, display or more traditional print, audio or video ads. There are some values that are completely unique to influencer marketing psychologically which makes it a little easier for brands to justify higher cost to influencer marketing when they are directly compared. This explains why even with the market calculations below, brands may accept even slightly higher rates and still be pleased with outcomes - they are accounting for the value that ONLY influencer marketing can bring to the table.

I find that only highly skilled and experienced brands and marketers are aware of the full spectrum of value that an influencer provides - thus the larger majority of brands are favoring the top two: Sales and Advertising, or some mixture of 2-3 combined. As I mentioned above, the more aware a brand is of ALL value, the more the brand can justify and accept higher costs.


For this reason, I’m choosing to outline 3 different approaches to pricing that align with different, but most popular brand goals and values.

  1. Advertising Value is used for those brands who are placing higher value on the created brand awareness of distributed content and benchmark it against other advertising methods.

  2. Freelance Value is used for those brands who are partnering with influencers as media creators. In these instances, high focus is placed on skill, expertise, content style and visuals and creation as the distribution of such content is secondary.

  3. BVPP is Brand Value Potential Profit. I like to use this for brands who are highly focused on potential conversions and sales OR for nano/micro influencers for who the advertising value formula is unfavorable.


My suggestion is to calculate your IDEAL, ACCEPTABLE and MIN rates using all approaches - you will end up with 9 rates. You can use and reference these rates when you have an idea of how the brand is measuring success.


For the sake of this exercise, I am going to use the same example and calculate a rate so you can see the variation between what is returned.


@INFLUENCERBOB

50,000 followers

8% engagement

Male, LGBTQ+ Black

Fashion / Lifestyle

New York, NY

1% typical conversion/ swipe-up rate

30% typical reach of audience



Advertising Value


Advertising Value is the most common way that brands attempt to measure the brand awareness created by influencer marketing. Ad value is typically measured by CPI (Cost Per Impression) or CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) and success is indicated by comparing to industry benchmarks and/or other methods of advertising. Your rate, when approached from ad value, must be competitive with the industry and competitive with other methods of advertising - unless there are clear additional reasons for it to be inflated.

Target CPI / CPM Ranges:

IG/ Facebook: $5-10 CPM/ $0.005-0.01 per impression

YouTube: $15-30 CPM / $0.015 - 0.03 per view

For @INFLUENCERBOB to calculate his rate for Instagram, we can look at 0.005 x 50,000 potential impressions = $250 (low end) to approximately $500 (high end). He can ask for a minimum of $250-500 and still be competitive with target advertising value.

RATE = AUDIENCE SIZE x TARGET COST PER IMPRESSION


Could @INFLUENCERBOB ask for more? Given nationality and sexual orientation Bob ads diversity to the campaign, meaning he is more niche. He has average engagement for his following. On niche alone, Bob can ask mid-to-high in his range to meet brand goals per feed post.

What makes this price justifiably increase?

  • Higher than average engagement

  • Ask & Time Commitments: Bob would potentially increase this if the brand asked for more than 1 piece of content, a story, a link, a carousel post or an increase to the number of times Bob “hits” his audience with content.

  • Quality / Experience: If Bob has a unique style, experience and high-end quality above those peers at his metrics.

  • Rights / Exclusivity: If the brand was looking to use content past organic social sharing or prohibit competitor posting behind Bob’s personal buffer.

  • Fees/ Stipends: If the brand was asking for specific props, backgrounds or travel.

  • The brand's recognition of value beyond advertising

Bob can set his IDEAL at $650, this would account for the higher end of the CPM target (~$10) and account for his niche and some quality and experience that is above average. His ACCEPTABLE can be around $450-500, which still makes him competitive with CPM and still is worth his time to pursue. His MIN rate may be $300, it is still in line with CPM targets, but anything below $300 may not be worth his time.


Pros/Cons of Ad Value


(+) Easy, formulaic math for a base

(+) Keeps potential results competitive with the industry, brand likely to be happier with result

(+) Usually the minimum of what influencer can ask for to be competitive and good argument point to bring to brands concerned about results at a pay rate

(+) Keeps influencer marketing competitive with other ad methods which keeps brands investing in influencers

( - ) It does not scale down appropriately to micros. Scaling this, let’s say in half would place someone with 25k following at $125 which is a lot of time and ask for little pay. Micro/Nanos needs to consider an adjusted formula which considers their time.

( - ) It’s not the “highest rate” approach because it doesn’t consider other values that influencer marketing brings to the table over other kind of advertising

Freelance Value


Freelance Value is another common way to measure the worth of one’s time. When approaching rates from a freelance perspective, we look primarily at the hourly cost of the time commitment against similar non-influencer freelancers. Let’s say that the going rate for a mid-level photographer is $40-50/hr or $320-400 per 5-hour shoot day and about 2-3 hours of editing / compiling, uploading, etc.


RATE = (TIME x HOURLY RATE) + (TARGET COST PER IMPRESSION x AUDIENCE SIZE)


@INFLUENCERBOB’s content is equivalent to a mid-level photographer in his space and the brand is very focused on aligning with well-skilled content creators. He calculates that to produce 2-3 photos for the brand to choose from for him to post, it would take him about 2-3 hours of shoot time and 1-2 hours of editing, approvals and working with the brand. (~5 hours total). At a rate of $40-50/hr Bob can be charging about $250 for his time.


However, Bob has one up on any photographer in that his influence gives him distributing. If he is posting on his page, he can also layer in costs for distribution.


To layer in distribution pricing, we go back to using Cost-Per-Impression. Bob can add an additional $250-500 for his distribution, bringing us to a range of $500-750 from a freelance value perspective.

What makes this price justifiably increase?

  • Higher than average engagement

  • Niche

  • Ask & Time Commitments: This would scale the number of hours and increase his base price by his hourly rate.

  • Quality / Experience: The higher quality of photographer, the better resume, the more justifiable it is for a higher hourly rate.

  • Rights / Exclusivity: If the brand was looking to use content past organic social sharing or prohibit competitor posting behind Bob’s personal buffer.

  • Fees/ Stipends: If the brand was asking for specific props, backgrounds or travel.

  • The brand's recognition of other values beyond quality/media

Bob can set his IDEAL at $750, this would account for the higher end of the CPM target (~$10) and account for his niche and some quality and experience that is above average. His ACCEPTABLE can be around $600, which still makes him competitive with CPM and still is worth his time to pursue. His MIN rate may be $500, it is in line with minimum distribution, but also assures that Bob is making no less than his targeted hourly rate that is in line with other freelancers.

Pros/Cons of Freelance Value


(+) Is mathematically more based on experience and quality in comparison with peers and the industry

(+) Assures a higher value worth on your time

(+) Good for nanos/micros who need to assure that they are being paid adequately for the work going into what they are creating for a brand - where Ad Value falls short

( - ) Can be risky if a brand is not aligned with measuring by and paying for quality and experience of services similar to freelancing because it returns higher than average advertising metrics and is usually a higher end rate (Make sure this is transparent for best shot at win-win partnership)

( - ) Requires both parties are up to date on market rates for freelance media development


Brand Value Potential Profit (C) (BVPP)


Brand Value Potential Profit (C) is a personal solution that I created to address a few gaps that Ad Value and Freelance value couldn’t address 1) the sales or conversion goals of brands and 2) the value of the inexperienced nano/micro influencer.


BVPP requires a little imagination and estimation.


BVPP = [Your Audience Reach x Your Conversion/Swipe-up/Click Through Rate] x Profit Made from Sale


@INFLUENCERBOB reaches nearly 30% of his audience, or a total of about 15,000 people per post. Of those 15k, he has a conversion rate of 1% - meaning he will convert about 150 toward a specific goal.


Let’s say that his client sells clothing that retails for about $20. If he sold 150 items at $20 a piece, the BVPP (potential profit) is about $3000. Even if the brand only makes 50% of the sale in profit, that’s a value of about $1500.


Will 150 of those converted swipe-ups buy? No. Some buy, but others can now be retargeted, may have joined an e-newsletter, now have brand awareness and other value. Even if 1/2 of them buy, it puts the potential profit at approximately $750, meaning that so long as Bob’s rate was under $750, the partnership was favorable. The lower Bob prices his services, the more potentially favorable the partnership is.


If Bob’s rate was slightly OVER the $750 mark or his sales fell slightly under but rate stayed at $750, it may still be favorable as some brands also have costs for acquiring customers built into their marketing practices because they consider other factors like retention, loyalty and volume.


BVPP is helpful when you have an incredibly engaged audience and proof that you have enough influential power to bring positive benefit to brands - even if you have a small amount of followers. At only 1500 followers, I once converted 14% of those I reached on a story to a brand page I tagged. These kind of metrics help build strong cases for fair payment even when the brand is in a stage of growth where they are hyper focused on building sales, web traffic or other outcome outside of “brand awareness”. This also opens doors to more brands to have favorable partnerships, which opens more opportunities for influencers and creators.


Bob can set his IDEAL at $600, this would put the brand up by about $150 and help lower the risk of lower than average conversion. It would make the partnership potentially profitable which increases long term brand potential, can be re-leveraged to other partnerships and provides win/wins. His ACCEPTABLE can be around $450, which still makes the partnership potentially profitable, but even further mitigates risk. His MIN could be $300, where anything lower is just not worth his time.


We go very deeply in BVPP examples and how to balance out value in The Creator Elevation Digital Workshop.

What makes this price justifiably increase?

  • Higher than average engagement / conversion

  • Niche: Brands (smart ones) account for this with marketing. The harder it is to reach a particular audience, the more it typically costs to market there - so if you are in a particular niche, it can help justify additional costs.

  • Ask & Time Commitments: This would scale the number of hours - however, with brands looking solely at sales potential be mindful. Balance the authenticity of the content needed to engage audiences with the need for the rate to be in line with potential profit. Tell a brand if they are asking for too much content that substantially increases your time to a point where your rate increases too much beyond potential profit.

  • Rights / Exclusivity: If the brand was looking to use content past organic social sharing or prohibit competitor posting behind Bob’s personal buffer.

  • Fees/ Stipends: If the brand was asking for specific props, backgrounds or travel.

  • The brand's recognition of value beyond sales


Pros/Cons of BVPP


(+) Its helpful to creators to understand, in a quantifiable manner, how much an influencer’s recommended sale or traffic can impact a brand

(+) It helps nano/micro influencers understand their power to impact a brand beyond their reach, with more focus on the end goal

(+) It uses metrics you, as a creator, have access to or can measure (conversion) that measure beyond just an impression or view but an actual engagement or action (brands love this because it’s easier for us to claim effectiveness)

( - ) It’s still a bit risky as sales are not guaranteed or set in stone. Beware of overhyping and under-delivering. You don’t have to tell a brand about the method you use to calculate rate.

( - ) It’s imperfect because it relies on estimating sale and profit margins, which you, as an influencer, typically won’t have access to. But even with imperfect estimates, it’s still provides monetary brand impact that can help justify rates.

Conclusion


Let’s revisit @INFLUENCERBOB’s rates.


AD VALUE

$650 (IDEAL)

$450-500 (ACCEPTABLE)

$300 (MIN)


FREELANCE VALUE

$750 (IDEAL)

$650 (ACCEPTABLE)

$500 (MIN)


BVPP

$600 (IDEAL)

$450 (ACCEPTABLE)

$300 (MIN)


No matter the approach, the calculations and ranges of rates are fairly close to one another, meaning you can even consider the average or median rates without having to re-calculate this for each individual partnership. (DO, however, make sure you consider the variables that affect the base rate)


As a 50,000 audience niche influencer on Instagram, Bob can be charging in a range of $300-750 per post, still considering positive outcomes. For brands with full understanding of values beyond sales, advertising and content - this price point can extend even further. For brands with less understanding, higher price points could put the partnership at risk of unfavorable outcome. It's my belief that you should care about the value which you bring your “clients” or customers as a content creator. It’s the favorable outcomes that build long-term business, referrals and grow in opportunity as a creator.

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