Trying to figure out the best way to negotiate with brands on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, or any other social platform? When it comes to negotiating brand deals as an Influencer you need to keep some important things in mind. You need to know the value of your audience, the niche/industry your most associated with, & the core values of your personal brand.

Knowing the information above, you can start to determine what brands you should & should not collaborate with. As well as, you can figure out what to charge for promotions or ad space on your social feeds. Allowing you to start negotiating deals with brands that align with your values & bring value to your audience.

For example, take a look at Ryan Kaji (Ryan Guan) is a nine-year-old kid who loves to play with toys. In and of itself, that statement is unremarkable. After all, which kid doesn’t like to play with toys? So, why is Kaji special? Over 26 million people like to watch him play. As of 2019, Kaji is YouTube’s highest-earning star.

Kaji’s level of success is rare. That said, influencers with strong negotiation skills can also land impressive endorsements or sponsorships. From training to preparation, here are a few tips that influencers can use to win the best brand deals.

7 Tips to Negotiate with Brands for the Best Endorsements

negotiate with brands

1. Consider taking negotiation skills training

Pitching to brands and trying to get paid what your worth can be tough. Even if a company makes the first contact, you still have to sell them on your talent and rates. Consider taking negotiation skills training to become an effective dealmaker. There’s a lot you can learn that you can use to secure an impressive brand deal.

For example, you could learn how to attractively position the value of your talent. Also, should conflicts arise, you’ll know how to successfully navigate discussions with greater ease. Brands come in different sizes and with different marketing campaign needs. Persuasion tactics and strategies are rarely one-size-fits-all. Negotiation training can guide you on the best approach. 

2. Take the time to prepare

Before entering a negotiation, be well prepared. Preparation can help you derive maximum benefit from your meeting. Also, you may be able to enhance your ability to persuade the other side if do your homework ahead of time.

Showing you’re well prepared is also a positive reflection on you. It shows that you take your work seriously and that you’re likely to handle the campaign in the same way. 

Negotiation trainers recommend thinking about the following as you prepare:

  • What do you want to achieve? Thinking about this ahead of time helps you avoid getting less than you are worth. 
  • Which negotiating strategy and tactics can help you achieve your goals? Persuading others can be tough. Improve your chances of success by working on your approach before you meet with the brand. 
  • How do your goals tie in with those of the company? Knowing what the brand wants to achieve can help you create a win-win situation. 

For more tips on how to get ready, check out this negotiation preparation checklist. Remember, don’t just prepare for large influencer contracts. Skillful preparation can benefit brand deals of all sizes.

negotiate with brands

3. Thoroughly vet the brand

Centra Tech is a cryptocurrency firm. In 2017, the company sold $32 million of cryptocurrency in an initial coin offering (ICO). Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and rapper DJ Khaled both had signed endorsement deals with the brand. 

Recently, U.S. prosecutors found the firm’s founders guilty of fraud. As a result, Mayweather and Khaled are also being sued by investors.

An influencer’s reputation could boost the reputation of the company they work with. However, the reverse is also true. A company’s reputation could rub off on an influencer, whether positive or negative. So, be sure to vet the brand as part of your homework to avoid damaging your future reputation. 

Check out what the brand’s customers are saying. Also, find out if the brand’s voice is aligned with yours. The more you know about a brand, the better you can tailor your approach.

4. Create a rate card

Your rate card (or rate sheet) is an important piece in the negotiation process. First, it implies experience and professionalism. Second, a rate card shows you know your worth. A well-thought-out rate card is also a great negotiation starting point. 

Rate card information allows brands to have an idea of how much the brand might have to invest in the campaign. Not only do rate cards save time, but they also ensure that the influencer is not undervaluing themselves. 

Negotiation trainers recommend that influencers have two types of rate cards. The first is a general card that gives brands an overview of all your services and rates. The second needs to be specific to the brand. 

Influencers can craft their brand-tailored rate card once they know the campaign’s requirements, budget, and expectations. A project-specific rate card helps avoid any confusion on either side.

negotiate with brands

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5. Be transparent and show that you’re trustworthy 

In negotiation skills training, you learn that trust is an integral part of successful outcomes. Social media is fraught with misrepresentation, so it’s important to be vigilant about how you’re coming across online, as even the perception of shady behavior can backfire.

For example, make sure you fully adhere to your country’s guidance on sponsored content. While most influencers know that paid-for content needs tagging with “#sponsored” or “#ad,” many influencers forget that, in some countries, even gifted items that you haven’t been paid to promote need declaring, too.

Brands want to work with you because of your ability to influence their target audience. Today’s consumers are savvier than ever and can tell when an influencer doesn’t appear fully genuine. 

Neglecting to be transparent with your audience – even inadvertently – means you’re likely to lose your followers’ trust. You could also damage your reputation. Your reputation is often your strongest negotiation leverage, so guard it well.

6. Be confident

Influencers who appear confident and can express themselves well are often more likely to find success. Influencer marketing campaigns have different types of goals. For example, the company could be trying to build brand awareness or increase social engagement. Before a brand hires an influencer, they need certainty that the influencer can deliver on those goals. 

Just like negotiation, confidence is a learnable skill. If you’re confidence-challenged, negotiation trainers recommend preparation, planning, and practice to help you feel more self-assured. Believing in yourself and having the skills to back up what you say can also give you a confidence boost. 

negotiate with brands

7. Communicate effectively 

Effective communication skills can impact the outcome of a negotiation. When you discuss a brand deal, you want to ensure that your position is well understood. It’s also important to hear and understand what the other person is saying to avoid any misunderstandings. Your communication ability is crucial in both instances. 

Trust – or the lack of trust – can impact heavily on the mood of the negotiation. Oftentimes, when people believe in each other’s intentions, negotiating tends to be more cooperative. Strong communication skills are one way you can increase trust when discussing brand deals.

Clear and concise communication is a skill. As with other skills, you can improve how you communicate with training and practice. So, if you’re looking to get a brand deal, consider taking a class to refine your speaking and listening skills.


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