Digital Marketing

How to Negotiate with Influencers like a Boss?

Don’t we all know it? You just realized another influencer campaign. After a first analysis, you assess:

The price was too high compared to your results. You want to slap your hands in front of your head.

Let’s be honest. You’re a tiny bit depressed. Influencer successes are a come-and-go for you personally.

The truth is:

Decision-makers face several hurdles while realizing influencer campaigns. One of the most crucial challenges is negotiating with social media stars. Most marketers are unsure how they should proceed to achieve their company’s marketing goals.

This guide will explain concisely how marketers can improve their negotiation efforts, so both sides can walk away happily from the negotiation table.

Determine your Budget

Deliberate how much money you are capable and willing to spend on influencers. Let’s say you are a small start-up realizing its first influencer campaigns. You probably do not have the same budget as a Fortune 500 company.

However, you can still increase your revenue if you use your budget well. Therefore, ask yourself the following questions to determine an appropriate influencer marketing budget:

  1. How much money do you have available for marketing purposes if you deduct all of your costs?
  2. What revenue percentage do you want to invest in influencer marketing?
  3. Have you realized influencer marketing cooperations in the past? If so, how were your results?

In my personal experience, companies should not overwhelm themselves by investing too much money at an early stage. It is better to gain first-hand experience in influencer marketing before investing thousands of dollars.

Ensure, that you set yourself a monthly, quarterly, and annual budget. If you exceed the monthly target, you can compensate it with fewer expenses in the following months.

Decide on the Required Services

Before you approach influencers, you need to decide which type of cooperation you would like to realize. Do you want to collaborate on:

  • a story,
  • feed post,
  • or video content?

This choice affects the campaign costs. Moreover, some content types are better suited to particular marketing goals. For instance, marketers focused on increasing sales concentrate on story cooperation.

You can add and track links by using stories. In contrast to story cooperations, feed posts and video collaborations are useful when focusing on the brand’s name recognition.

In addition, you should consider whether you intend to use the influencers’ images on other channels as well. In this case, you need to arrange an agreement on compensation in return for content usage rights.

Maybe, event participation is beneficial for your brand as well. The influencers’ attendance could add a certain something.

You probably realize:

There is not one perfect solution for all brands. It depends on your vision, industry, and product.

These considerations help you in the next step: determining the characteristics of the perfect influencer.

The perfect influencer differentiates for every company. Some marketers require influencers to have:

  • hundreds of thousands of followers,
  • immediately generate dozens of sales,
  • or include a 100% overlap of the brand’s and influencer’s audience.

Other companies prefer working with niche influencers with just a couple of thousand followers or intend to augment their name recognition. In the end, you are the deciding vote:

Which characteristics does your perfect influencer have?

Influencer Pricing: What to Expect

The costs for influencers depend on the scope of cooperation as well as the channels. For instance, an influencer collaboration on Twitter is significantly cheaper than on Instagram. In the following lines, you will find an overview of cost factors.

Aspects such as the current reach, time investment, and engagement rates influence expenditures.

In general, you can use the following costs per thousand as a benchmark for the mentioned social media platforms. However, prices can fluctuate due to demand, reasons for being an influencer, and more.

Instagram Story: $40 to $60
TikTok: $40 to $60
YouTube: $50 to $100
Facebook: $20 to $40
Personal website: $60 to $100
Twitter: $5 to $12

7 Negotiation Tips for Your Success

Negotiation skills are decisive to achieve a compromise that benefits influencers and companies alike. In the next few paragraphs, you will get an overview of negotiation tips that move your business forward.

My six tips are:

  • Ask open questions
  • Obtain several offers
  • Propose the first price
  • Sweeten the deal with bonuses
  • Foot in the door technique
  • Be prepared to leave the negotiation table

Ask open questions

Listen, listen, listen: This is especially crucial for negotiations. Questions offer you to learn about the interests and desires of your collaboration partners. You can find out what personally matters to them.
This helps you to provide them with offers they cannot reject. A win-win situation for both sides.

Obtain several offers

One of the most important tips is to inquire about collaborations with several influencers. The more influencers are willing to work with you, the more choices you have. Thus, you have more room for negotiation. This tactic allows you to achieve your marketing goals much more easily.

Some influencers demand outrageous prices. Other influencers view their social media presence as a hobby and are more inclined to offer cost-effective solutions.

Propose the first price

Scientists like John Oesch of the University of Toronto confirmed that the first mentioned price influences negotiations. They even state that “first offers have powerful effects on outcomes.” (source: columbia.edu)

Hence, if you propose a lower price, you influence negotiations in your direction. Astute negotiating parties put a concrete number forward.

Sweeten the deal with bonuses

Even if companies cannot pay huge amounts of money, they can persuade influencers to enter cooperation. Discover what is most important to them. Some influencers are willing to work for free products, VIP tickets, or exclusive event invitations.

Other influencers might reduce their price if you offer them such opportunities.

Foot in the door technique

The foot-in-the-door technique refers to a small gesture of goodwill. Let’s take an influencer with 100,000 followers as an example. He demands $1000 for story cooperation. You inquire whether you can agree upon a price of 800$.

In the next step, you propose two-story cooperations for a total price of $1,600. Thus, you saved 400 dollars for another collaboration.

Be prepared to leave the negotiation table

Sometimes it does not make sense to continue negotiating. Different visions for cooperation and ideas regarding pricing may make this endeavor no longer worthwhile. Therefore, set yourself some red lines, so you do not spend money needlessly.

You need to accept that some influencers are not a good fit for your brand. Either they demand an exaggerated monetary compensation or your values do not align.

Negotiation with Influencers: Conclusion

Proper preparations are necessary to negotiate well with influencers. The above-mentioned tactics aid you in achieving your marketing goals for a fair price.

Relax! You do not need to be anxious. If you follow this guide, influencer negotiations will become a breeze for you. Get to know the influencer, and find out what is important to them. Then you do not have to slap your hands in front of your head.

You can show the influencers a happy smile due to your successful cooperation.

Are there any negotiation tips missing? Write a comment and let me know.

Suggested:

What are the Qualities of a Good Influencer?

How influencer marketing can help your digital marketing initiatives?

Niklas Hartmann

Niklas Hartmann is the author of the book "How to Become a Successful Influencer." He is an influencer marketing expert with more than 8 years of experience.

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