One of the hardest and most uncomfortable things to determine is how much you should be charging as an influencer. You can likely get by for a while just letting brands pitch a price to you. But eventually, if you really want to start treating content creation as a business, you’ve got to set up pricing.
If you think about your craft as a business, it seems simple. You’re selling something. That something is your content, voice and influence. Just like every other business in the world, your goods need a set price.
True, price negotiations will often take place between brands and influencers. If you want to participate in price negotiations, maybe you’d give a discount to a brand you love, then that is completely up to you. But negotiations need a starting point, and more importantly, a stopping point. Here’s what you need to consider.
1. Your experience
Just like any job, the more experience you have, the more money you can make. So if you’re just starting out, you probably can’t ask for the same amount as your favorite blogger who has 500,000 followers and ten years of experience working with brands. You’ve got to be realistic and fair. What would you be willing to pay you for a post?
The good thing about starting out low is that you can likely build your experience quickly. Reach out to brands who likely have a smaller budget, and start building your client base. Once you have a few campaigns under your belt, raise your price by 20-30%. Every time you’ve gained a substantial amount of new experience and expertise, raise your prices again until you reach your goal.
2. Your expenses
Based on your experience level that you identified in the step above, determine your starting wage. Your pricing really comes down to your expectations and needs. What would you expect to be paid if you were starting a brand new job in a brand new industry?
Consider looking at average salaries for copywriters and content writers in your area, and use that as a starting point. Keep in mind you’re self employed, you need to bake in some extra dollars for the time you spend finding your own clients, managing your own payments, making your own coffee, paying special taxes, taking a vacation now and then, etc.
So for instance, if entry-level writers in your state make around $30,000 a year, your starting hourly wage could be $15/hour. But you’re self-employed, so you need to bake in about $10 more an hour to get by. So now you’re looking at $25/hour to start.
3. Your time
Next, you need to consider how long it takes you to do your work. It’s really important to be realistic and fair. Don’t inflate these numbers, and don’t skimp on them either. If you have no idea, do some detailed time-keeping for 2-3 weeks. Record how long it takes you to write a blog, research, update your social profiles, get your readers engaged, etc. After 2-3 weeks, take an average for each task. Some gigs will take longer than others, and that’s fine. It should work out at the end of the year (if it doesn’t, you need to reevaluate your prices).
So let’s take our starting wage from #3. You’re currently thinking you can start at $25/hour. But most brands are going to ask for price per campaign or post. After 2-3 weeks of detailed time-keeping, you know that on average, it takes you 2 hours to research and write a blog post. So you’re starting price for a sponsored blog post is now $50. Easy easy.
4. Your numbers
Ultimately, brands are looking for influencers with high numbers. They’ll be more likely to pay more if you have a strong KPI (Key Performance Indicator: marketing speak for the most important metric used to evaluate the performance of an initiative or campaign).
They’re looking at things like your: followership, site traffic, social followers, social and blog engagement and more. If you’re numbers aren’t incredibly high yet, that’s fine. Just make sure that’s reflected in your prices.
Similar to the impact of your experience, start small and increase your pricing by 10% or so as your numbers gain strength.
Setting your prices takes a little time and research, but the good news is you have the ability to change them whenever you need to. If you think you started to low, adjust for next time. If you think your high pricing is hurting your ability to get clients, lower them and see what happens.
Of course, if you join Find Your Influence, we can help you figure out all of this stuff and make sure you get paid appropriately. Check it out for free.