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How to Negotiate with Influencers

Last editedMar 20222 min read

Influencer marketing is a great way to expand the reach of your brand, but getting the right influencers on board requires a keen eye for negotiation. Before you start the drawing up terms with your influencer of choice, make sure you read our thorough guide to how to negotiate with influencers.

How to negotiate with influencers: a guide

Approach influencers as equals

Influencers are savvy business people who’ve successfully built their own brand. Every successful influencer has driven web traffic, built up a large online presence and created a web-based community. When it comes to using influencer marketing, it’s important that you view the influencer as an equal and a collaborator. After all, your return for investment depends on the delivery and performance of the influencer. If they have a positive working relationship with you, they will approach incorporating your product or brand into their content in the most thoughtful, creative and impactful way. This will ultimately lead to the highest conversion rates.

Choose your influencer reach

Before you find your ideal influencer, you need to decide on what scale of influencer you want to work with, ranging from huge macro influencers with a very large following, down to nano influencers with relatively few followers but high engagement rates. Below is a brief explanation of the three influencer reach categories:

  • Nano Influencers (1,000-10,000 followers)

Nano influencers have fairly small audiences, but tend to see a lot of activity and engagement from their followers and viewers. These audiences typically form a community united by a shared niche interest. For this reason, nano influencers tend to have more persuasive power over the audiences.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that most nano influencers are fairly new to the game. This will make them lower cost investments, but may also mean they’re less experienced in pushing a product.

  • Micro Influencers (10,000-100,000 followers)

Micro influencers have a large enough following to give your brand high visibility, whilst also being small enough to have high engagement rates and highly responsive viewers.

Some micro influencers will promote your campaign in exchange for free products and discounts, however most will expect a modest to moderate charge for their services. 

  • Macro Influencers (100,000+ followers)

Macro influencers have a very large reach and are often parallel to celebrities in terms of influence and media presence. This means that a well-delivered post by a macro-influencer could drive a great deal of traffic and hugely increase sales.

However, the downsides of opting for a macro influencer is that they come at a high cost. Plus, since their follower base is so wide reaching, they tend to have less active engagement with their content, resulting in potentially lower conversion rates. 

Beware of fake influencers

Judging an influencer by the follower count can be misleading, as “fake influencers” can buy followers in order to falsely manufacture engagement. These tend to be easy to identify, however, as their engagement rates are low and any comments they receive come across as disingenuous. 

Decide on your compensation strategy

As a small business or startup you might not be in a position to pay high influencer fees. However, this shouldn’t deter you from working with influencers as there are several ways to make it a more affordable option.

Firstly, you can see if your influencer of choice would be happy receiving free products in exchange for their promotion. Smaller nano and even micro influencers are often open to this kind of compensation.

You can also ascertain whether or not an influencer will take sales commission in place of — or in addition to — an upfront sum. If the influencer is confident in their ability to generate sales, this can be an attractive option from their side.

Whatever your compensation approach, make sure you’re honest about your budget and expectations from the get go so that you don’t waste any time negotiating with an influencer that is simply unaffordable.

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