Are you afraid to ask brands for payment? If you’re looking to overcome your fear of asking to be paid as a blogger, this blog post is for you.
In 2016, I decided that I was going to take blogging and Instagram more seriously.
By that point, I had my blog for about 2 years and I was inspired to take my blog to the next level as became more involved in the Seattle blogging community. One major realization I had was that other women around me were building careers off blogging. I didn’t realize the women in Seattle blogging community were already making money off their blogs.
At this time, I was doing only gifted campaigns.
I was so confused about how to approach asking for money as a blogger that I didn’t see any success in asking for payment until the following year. When I did try to ask for help about pricing or how to ask for money, the response I usually heard back was “just throw out a number and see what the brand says”. While I know people keep their finances private, I knew that keeping the dollars out of conversation between bloggers was all hurting us in the long run.
It wasn’t until summer of 2017 until I landed my first paid campaign. I had reached over 10,000 followers and a brand agreed to pay me $250 for 4 photos. It took me over a year to get comfortable for asking brands “what’s your budget for this campaign?” It took time and practice to get comfortable with being turned down. But I realized that once you overcame your fears around asking, asking just becomes a part of the business transaction.
If you’re a blogger who’s experiencing the fear of asking for payment, this blog post is for you. I’m sharing:
6 tips to help you overcome your fear of asking to be paid as a blogger:
1. Accept your worth
Before you ask a brand for their budget, you have to take a step back and accept you are worth it. I’ve heard a lot of bloggers say, “I should be grateful that this brand wants to work with me”. While most of us are already grateful of the brand opportunities, you should also accept your worth.
If a brand is reaching out to you, they’ve probably recognize that you have an established audience that you’ve built. Brands might recognize your unique point of view or aesthetic. Brands wouldn’t reach out to you unless they saw something valuable in you.
Take a step back and ask yourself how you deliver value to your audience.
2. Create the worst case scenario and resolve it
One thing I feared when I first started asking for payment was that brands would get angry with me for asking. I also feared that brands would turn around and say they didn’t want to work with me again.
If you’re experiencing fear of asking to be paid, write out the worst case scenario and then resolve it. For example, if the brand says no and they get angry, you probably didn’t want to work with that type of brand partner anyway. Brand collaborations are collaborative – where both the blogger and the brand work together to produce content/deliverables that align with their goals and audiences.
3. Usually the worst thing that can happen is a brand says no to your ask
I’ve learned from the last few years that the worst case scenario is usually just the brand saying “no, we don’t have budget or we can’t meet your rate.” Brands turning down your request for payment isn’t because they want to be mean to you or they hate you.
Brands usually say no because they truly can’t meet your rate. You have to remember that influencer marketing budgets are usually just a segment of the marketing budgets. These marketing budgets sometimes have to support other marketing efforts like direct mail, newspaper ads, billboards, and other forms of digital ads.
4. People don’t see you as greedy for asking
I’ve heard from other bloggers around their fear of asking to be paid is that they’re worried that people will see them as greedy. I’ve heard of other bloggers say, “Well the brand is already gifting me X,Y, and Z, I don’t want to come off as greedy.”
People will not think of you less for asking or think of you as greedy if you ask for payment.
A majority of society ask for payment in exchange for goods of services. If you take the time to hire a photographer, write the blog and social copy, design the Instagram story fliers, send the content into the brand for approval, and more, you are producing a service.
Your time is worth money.
Your opportunity cost of creating content for a brand could be spent somewhere else.
Creative agencies who produce photos, videos, and marketing campaigns for major brands absolutely ask for money. The agency has to hire photographers, models for the photos, copywriters to write and edit the social copy, and more to produce brand campaigns. Asking for payment is a part of the industry. Brands should expect you to ask what their budget is.
5. Create a template you can use over and over again
If you aren’t sure how to ask, I recommend creating a template you can replicate over and over again. I’ve included a few different templates in 7 Ways to Ask to be Paid for Brand Collaboration.
One of the templates I mention in the blog post is:
A brand reaches out to you about a campaign. The brand is asking for an Instagram post, an Instagram story (with 3 unique frames), and they want a link in your bio for 48 hours.
“May you please share what the budget to produce the one Instagram post, 3 unique Instagram story frames, and share the link in bio?”
6. Practice makes perfect
Asking is like any skill. The more you do it, the better or more comfortable at it you’ll be. I highly recommend asking every company or brand who reaches out what their budget is for their campaign. Even if it’s a small company and you don’t think they have budget, ask to be paid. If the brand comes back and they don’t have budget, you can determine whether or not you should say yes or no to the brand collaboration (there’s a great infographic included in the linked blog post).
What other tips do you have to overcome the fear of asking to be paid as a blogger?
For more blog tips, you can also check out:
Thank you for reading!