We are talking about the internet's biggest secret today: How much do bloggers get paid!
This is a hot topic that I get asked about OFTEN but most bloggers won't give actual numbers because it's similar to discussing someone's salary at their corporate job. BUT for the purpose of education and helping you set your baseline rate, we are getting into the numbers today.
We’ve been talking a lot about pitching lately, and I’m super excited for my Pitches to Riches resource to launch next week for you! It’s an in depth digital course that shares the exact framework you need to use to start pitching brands and landing paid brand deals. I’ve been self-employed for about 5 years and this is the framework I have used to secure paid brand deals with UNDER 10k followers for years. It works, and you need to learn it now! During the pitching process, you NEED to have a baseline rate that you are ready to share during negotiations.
Today though is all about rates. You’ve made it through the pitch, a brand wants to work with you and asks you what your rates are. DON’T CHICKEN OUT NOW!
You’ve worked so hard to get here to give up now and tell them that you charge $50. NO MAAM.
You need to have a baseline rate that you can spit out of your mouth without even thinking about it! It’s just a starting point, so even if it’s an informal conversation with a brand, you can say something like well my baseline rate for one post is $500 but I normally do a blog post and instagram package deal so it would depend on the campaign and what the brand is looking for. BOOM. Doesn’t that sound so much better than “well it depends”? Yes!
Now, negotiating your rate is always involved, and it’s a great plan to try to have the brand throw out their number first, as in what is their budget for the campaign. BUT you might need to do it sometimes. so what do you tell them?
Here's how to calculate a reasonable rate for one Instagram post. Then you can build a package off of that.
The old rule of thumb to calculate your rate was to look at your total follower count and take 1% of that number as your rate. For example, if you have 10,000 followers...10,000 x .01 = $100. So $100 would be your rate. Let me tell you, I have less than 10k followers, and I charge (and get paid!) a lot more than that.
The NEW baseline rate formula equals out to about 5% of your follower count. So, if you have 10,000 followers...10,000 x .05 = $500. That's much more in line with a reasonable rate to produce quality content for a brand.
In this podcast episode, I break down all of the considerations that go into your rate and how we ended up at 5%. Things like cost of photographer, props, ingredients for a recipe post, your time, and even a little wiggle room for negotiation can all be factored into your rate.
This isn't a one size fits all formula but it does give you a great place to start and find out what works for you. Most women in the blogosphere, and especially micro-influencers, have a hard time asking to be paid for their work!
Of course, you need to make sure you are really able to deliver what you’re promising to the brand, and if you need more help around that topic, definitely go back and listen to episode 9: are you ready to pitch brands?
This baseline rate in our example is for one Instagram post; usually you'll create a package of media coverage for a brand, not just one post.
If it’s a large package, it could include things like photo rights, video creation, large amounts of deliverables, and you’re not quite sure what to do, always price it much higher than you think it should be. Brands will negotiate and you can figure out what makes sense for both of you, but that way you can at least have a conversation about it without agreeing to a low number and then doing a ton of work for free!
I always remember this example from my own life a few years ago: I'm sharing the details in the podcast (listen to the last 5 minutes or so!), but I'll give you an overview here: a brand reached out with a large package of deliverables they wanted from me, including photo rights. I wasn't quite sure what to do...I ended up pricing my package at $4,000! I knew that was a little outrageous, but I knew they would talk to me and negotiate. SURE ENOUGH. They asked why my rate was so high and we were able to negotiate a completely different package. They shared their max budget with me, and I was able to negotiate different deliverables based on what I thought was reasonable.
BUT WAIT. I also found out that a friend had worked with them for the same campaign. But she told them she would charge $650...I told them $4,000!
My friend ended up doing a lot more work and getting paid $650, while I did less work, negotiated photo rights, and got paid MORE!
I'll never forget that example and I hope you don't either! Your work is so valuable to brands! Think about all of the money they would spend on a commercial photographer, videographer, studio space, models...tens of thousands. They can pay you.
I hope today’s episode is helpful for you in learning how to price your work! If you liked today’s episode, I would love for you to subscribe to The Blogger Brunch podcast, and we’ll see you next Wednesday!