Are you a content creator or blogger working with brands? If you’re looking for tips on how to negotiate with brands for brand campaigns, this blog post is for you. I’m sharing 7 negotiation tips for bloggers to use on their future brand campaigns.
When I first started Emma’s Edition 2014, I had no idea that I would end up working with brands. In 2016, I landed my biggest brand/blog opportunity and became a style ambassador for American Eagle Outfitters. I was at 2,000 followers on Instagram and barely posting 1-2 a month on my blog. But after that opportunity I realized that I could work with brands.
I sought out to build my blog, Instagram, and learn as much as I could about the influencer industry these next few years. One of the biggest things I’ve learned from the last few years as a content creator is how to negotiate with brands for blog/Instagram collaborations. I used to be terrified of negotiating and asking to be paid. But over time, I realized you CAN negotiate and to not be afraid of it because it’s all a part of the business.
Here are 7 Negotiation Tips for Bloggers & Brand Collaborations:
Negotiation tip #1: Start asking for the budget
When’s the last time you asked a brand, “What’s your budget for this brand campaign?”
If you aren’t asking every brand who reaches out to you what their budget is, I would recommend making this your first step. Negotiations require questions, answers, and compromises. If you aren’t asking, you aren’t negotiating. If you aren’t comfortable asking, you need practice.
Start asking every brand who reaches out to you: “What is your budget for this brand campaign?”
At first, this might feel EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I remember feeling so intimated, worried, and uncertain about asking brands what their budgets for brand collaborations were. But over time I learned that it was a part of the brand + blogger relationship process.
Negotiation tip #2: Know what you can negotiate on
A lot of brands might come to you ready to gift their skincare, beauty, home, kitchen products, or even clothes. But before you agree to those gifted items, you should know you can negotiate on a number of things including:
If you’re still building your brand and audience and focused on gifted campaigns, you can always request MORE PRODUCTS. I recommend turning gifted campaigns to long term relationships.
For example, if a beauty brand reaches out wanting to gift products to you for the month of May, I would ask to see if they would be interested in a longer-term gifted partnership. Not every brand collaboration has to result in payment. Some brand collaborations can be focused on building relationships. If you have a gifted brand collaboration from May-June-July, you’ll have time to build a positive relationship with a brand and you have products to create content on.
I’ve personally turned gifted brand campaigns into paid brand collaborations by working with brands in a gifted capacity at first. I’ve shown brands that my high-quality content, engaged audience, and my personal brand voice fit well with their brand.
You can ALWAYS ASK FOR MORE MONEY. If a brand offers you an initial rate of $100 for 1 Instagram post, you can always ask for more money depending on the following deliverables:
If a brand wants a quick turnaround time for a brand campaign (less than a week), YOU CAN CHARGE MORE. If a brand wants your drafts due by the end of the week but they got the product to you on Wednesday, you can negotiate and adjust that timeline.
If a brand gets me the product in the week, they want me to deliver drafts for approval, I always ask the brand to extend the timeline out a few days. I work full-time and I create content on the weekends so I can’t support creating content the week when the content is due.
If a brand request that you don’t work with any competitive brands for a month, YOU CAN ASK FOR MORE MONEY. If a brand ask you don’t work with any brands in the same category (example: no beauty brands for month), you can ask brands to lay out specific brands you can’t work with. Eliminating an entire category for an extended period of time means you forgo future brand opportunities.
Number of Deliverables
If a brand wants (2) blog posts, (3) Instagram posts, (12) IG stories for half of what your normal rates are, you can ask the brand or PR company to cut down the number of deliverables. You can also propose the number of deliverables you think would best represent the brand on your feed and blog.
Negotiation tip #3: Share your stats
Being a content creator and influencer is a lot easier when you aren’t afraid to learn your metrics and stats. If you’re producing content, you’re seeing how it performs with metrics like reach, impressions, engagement, and more.
If you want a brand to talk to a brand, you need to bring your metrics to your table. Brands are businesses who are motivated to drive sales, acquire new customers, generate leads, and build brand awareness. Brands measure and track their performance with metrics (key performance indicators or k.p.i’s for short).
One of my negotiation tips for bloggers is to make sure your media kit should include your Instagram, social media, YouTube, podcast, and blog stats.
Here are a few metrics to include on your media kit and brand collaboration negotiations:
- Unique visitors
- Unique sessions
- Number of pageviews
Negotiation tip #4: Share previous brand collaborations
I learned in business school that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. This applies to the influencer world. A brand wants to see that you’re able to come through on your promise (usually in the form of a signed contract) and produce the agreed upon number of deliverables.
I highly recommend linking back to previous brand collaborations to show brands what type of content you can produce for them. If a brand is requesting a blog post as a part of the brand campaign, I make sure I link a sponsored blog post so the brand sees my images, writing style, and that I can actually produce a blog post for them.
Negotiation tip #5: Restate the number of deliverables the brand is requesting
One of my biggest tips for negotiating with brands as a blogger is to restate the number of deliverables the brand is asking BEFORE you ask for your rate. You’re acknowledging that you understand what the brand wants and you’re also setting up the question to be paid.
Example: “For (2) blog posts, (2) Instagram posts, and (3) unique Instagram posts, I would charge between XXX-XXX. May you please let me know if the brand can meet me at this rate?”
Negotiation tip #6: Negotiate – ask for your rate
After you’ve shared your stats, previous brand collaborations, and more, it’s time to ask to be paid. If you aren’t sure how to ask to be paid as a blogger for a brand collaboration, I recommend checking out: 7 Ways You Can Ask to be Paid for a Brand Collaboration.
Negotiation tip #7: Don’t be afraid to walk away
If you and the brand can’t meet in the middle for money, number of deliverables, exclusivity, and more, don’t be afraid to walk away. If you’re an influencer, blogger, or content creator trying to make your side hustle a business, you don’t have to say yes to every opportunity – even if it’s paid. You should be saying yes to opportunities that make sense for your brand and business.
Before the end of 2019, I walked away from a $4,000 campaign. If you want to learn more about that, I recommend reading: It’s okay to say No to a brand collaboration.
If you’re looking for more tips and email templates to negotiate with brands, I highly recommend checking out my course:
I share 10 email negotiation templates, 3 bonus email templates, 3 real life examples, and tips on negotiating & pricing. I used the same email templates to secure $40,000 in revenue from my blog and Instagram in 2019.
What negotiation tips for bloggers working with brands do you have?
For more blog and brand collaboration tips, I recommend reading:
Thank you for reading! I hope sharing negotiation tips for bloggers for future brand collaborations was helpful!