As a “seasoned” blogger (considering myself one since I’ve been blogging since 2012), knowing your worth seems to be a bigger and bigger discussion every year.
The blogging industry rapidly grew overnight, and over the last few years, bloggers in all different niches have taken a stand on their worth. There have been so many horror stories of bloggers being treated unfairly when it comes to getting paid for their work. While I’ve been charging for my work since 2014, it took THREE whole years (almost to the day) to realize just how much I’m worth.
Back in October of 2017, a really great company reached out to me to be part of a Black Friday campaign with a retailer I love. In full disclosure, I had worked with the brand in the past. I was absolutely ecstatic that they wanted to work with me again (seriously, a blogger’s dream nowadays). I was asked to quote them a rate based on the scope of work. This was by far the largest scope of work I’ve ever dealt with in my blogging career (up until that point), so I was definitely having trouble setting a rate. I didn’t want to come across as greedy, but hey, at the end of the day I needed to consider the time, effort, and fees that I needed to put into creating great content for the brand.
I sent over my rate…and they accepted without question. It was actually a shocking moment for me. Normally when I send my rates to a brand or agency, there’s a bit of negotiating that needs to be done. This usually meant that I was taking below my rate. So the fact that this brand didn’t even question my rate made me feel SO good about myself! It meant the brand believed in my content, and felt I was worthy of the rate I set myself!
I decided in that moment, I was going to look at my business much differently. Why would I waste my time and effort working with brands who didn’t want to acknowledge my worth?! EH NAH.
WHAT I LEARNED
I learned a lot from that point on. Instead of immediately accepting a lower rate or going back and forth with a brand/agency about lowering my rate, I do one of two things: Negotiate to a rate I’M HAPPY WITH or simply say “Thanks but no thanks”. I’m comfortable enough with my negotiating skills that I know how to position myself in a great way. And I’m also very well aware of my worth as an influencer. It’s about damn time that brands also know my worth. AND PAY UP.
I also learned that it’s OKAY to say no to partnerships. Sure, sometimes it’s crappy and I get bummed about not being able to close a deal, but at the end of the day, my brand integrity is worth more to me than a dollar amount.
TIPS FOR NEGOTIATING
When I first started blogging, I said yes to EVERYTHING. This obviously wasn’t the best business practice, but hey, I learned a lot about myself and my brand (including what my readers respond to best).
My biggest tip is to not be afraid. These brands need you a lot more than you need them. Stand your ground. Don’t do it for yourself. Do it for your brand. Do it for what you’ve built.
Another tip I have is to always go above and beyond. I’ve created some really great relationships with brands because I always try to go above and beyond for them. I want them to know I value their partnership SO much. Whether it’s an extra social media post or excellent communication throughout the partnership, I want to make sure I’m doing the most for the brands that are willing to pay me.
2018 is a big year for me and The Champagne Edit. Not only am I being smarter about my partnerships, I’m also learning more and more about my worth as an influencer. There’s no better feeling in the world than being proud of the brand you’ve created…and having others want to work with YOU.