Partnering and Negotiating with Brands as a Content Creator
The Business of Creating blog series.
The Business of Creating blog series is brought to you by TrovaTrip and Creative Juice.
As a Content Creator, partnering with the right brands will become increasingly important to your growth. But not every brand is right for every Creator. Is your niche around awesome, wanderlust hiking content? That crypto company that keeps DMing you probably isn’t the vibe. The company promising free $3 hair ties in exchange for product promotion? Kindly kick rocks. Focus on fit and finding a brand whose values, products or services feel authentic to you and the reputation you’ve worked so hard to create.
But saying “no” to business, especially when just getting started can feel scary. So we’ve teamed up with our friends at Creative Juice to provide you with guidance on deciding which collabs are good collabs, and how to know your worth when stepping into negotiations. This key information is just a piece of our collaborative blog series, The Business of Creating, which was designed to make running your business as a Creator a bit easier. Be sure to check out our other helpful resources on deciding on the best business entity for your brand and navigating your taxes and cash flow as a Creator.
Partnering with the right brands.
When assessing whether or not you want to partner with a brand, ask yourself these questions:
- Will my audience be a fan of the brand?
- Does the brand fit my niche?
- Do I believe in the brand's products and values?
Once you’ve found the ideal brand you want to work with, it’s time to make your move. Take a tip from the person who’s profile pic is a bad angle of a cat and, yes, slide into their DMs. Yep, we said it. We meant it. Sliding into a brand’s DMs is a great way to get on their radar. They can easily click on your profile, see the awesome content you create and the loyal following you have cultivated
Knowing your worth, aka negotiating effectively.
Just because you reached out to a brand, doesn’t mean you have to agree to the terms they give you. Once you have their attention, it’s time to negotiate. Ask them about their goals for the partnership and content, and what their budget is to achieve them. Having a baseline for budget can help you adapt your negotiations or clue you in when it’s time to walk away.
As a helpful starting point when pricing your brand partnerships, Creators typically earn $100 per 10k followers (based on 2022 data). Use this cheat-sheet to find where you might fit:
- Nano influencers (1k - 10k followers): $10 - $100 per post
- Micro influencers (10k - 50k followers): $100 - $500 per post
- Mid-tier influencers (50k - 500k followers): $500 - $5k per post
- Macro influencers (500k - 1m followers): $5k - $10k per post
- Mega influencers (1m+ followers): $10k+ per post
But don’t forget — follower count isn’t the only thing that matters. You may have some extra bargaining power if your audience is highly engaged, or if you can offer a unique perspective to the content that no other Creator can. You can also ask for a contingency plan on how incentives align if your post outperforms the goal or goes viral.
Bottom line, the most important part of negotiating with brands is to value yourself! And you’re worth every penny.
If you believe in a brand but they are a start up with a lower budget, or you just really want to work with a company because they are on your bucket list, you can always add or remove deliverables so that you and the brand can reach an agreement that works for everyone. These partnerships are meant to be just that — partnerships. So know what levers you can pull to get closer to an agreement.
Better yet, partner with a brand you don’t have to negotiate with. With TrovaTrip, you get to set your own earnings by selling spots on a trip, then take your community traveling with you! We even provide you with a survey tool so you know how to price the trip within your audience’s budget, while maximizing your earnings. Learn how to host your own trip here!
P.S. When working with brands, use Creative Juice’s seamless invoicing tool, so you can generate and schedule brand invoices. No more chasing down overdue brand payments!
Key contract components for Creators.
When signing a creative contract, you should always carefully review the contract details. With brand-Creator partnerships, for example, keep an eye out for exclusivity and non-compete clauses which can prevent you from working with other brands in the same or similar industries. You can use exclusivity as leverage to negotiate your rate up, or ask that these clauses be removed to keep your options open.
When it comes to getting paid, many brands' standard payout terms hover around net-30 (30 days after the invoice arrives, which arrives after the work is all done) or all the way up to net-90 which can feel like a long time to get paid. To get paid faster, think about adding a service fee, up-front expenses, request payment per deliverable or ask for incentives when reaching engagement milestones.
Want expert help on this one too? You can always ask Creative Juice to chase brands for you with their scheduled and detailed invoicing tool to help make sure you never miss a payment again.
Get out there, collaborate, and negotiate!
Key learnings? When it comes to brand partnerships, trust your gut and focus on fit. If it doesn’t feel right to you, it’s not going to feel right to your audience. And when you’re in conversation with a brand you do feel passionate about, know your worth and come prepared to #humblebrag about what you bring to the table. Remember that partnerships should always be mutually beneficial and that you and your dream brand should strive for something that feels good together.
Now take these tools, make a target list for your top brands and start reaching out. Once you sign that dream deal, the nerves you’re feeling now will be a distant memory.
Read more in the Business of Creating series:
- Choosing the Best Business Entity as a Content Creator
- Partnering and Negotiating with Brands as a Content Creator
About Creative Juice
Creative Juice is funding, banking and automated business tools for Creators. Creative Juice's ambition is to make Juice banking and financing accessible for all monetizing Creators. Founded by fintech leader Sima Gandhi and Creator business vet Ezra Cooperstein, Juice creates financial opportunities for Creators to scale their businesses. The platform offers personalized funding to supercharge Creator growth, banking that manages Creator income, expenses, invoicing and bookkeeping and community to connect with fellow Creators. For more information, visit getjuice.com.
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