Influencer marketing has seen immense growth in the past several years. In fact, it’s expected that companies are going to spend around $13.8 billion in 2021 on these marketing efforts alone!
That’s a huge chunk of money!
And while influencers know they can make money working with brands, the million dollar question always remains — “How much should you charge as an influencer?”
Now, let me preface this post by saying that no one can give you an exact amount to charge because there are tons of factors that go into figuring out what payment is fair.
That being said, I’ve been in the brand side of influencer marketing since April 2016 (and was an influencer myself before that!). Over that time, I’ve acquired a ton of insights as to what some average rates are and what costs more, and today, I’m sharing that info with you!
Ready to get started? Let’s jump in!
How Much Should You Charge as an Influencer?
This Popular Method Can Help Establish a Base Rate
One of the most common rates I see recommended for influencer payments is $10 for every 1,000 followers.
That would mean that if you have 10,000 followers, you would charge $100 for a post (with Instagram usually being the platform brands prefer).
Now, this base rate doesn’t take into account anything else I’m getting ready to share, so don’t think that if you have 10,000 followers that you should be asking for only $100!
(I know some of y’all were probably freaking out by seeing that low amount! Trust me — I’ve got you covered.)
Think About the Content Requirement
Before anything else, think about the type of content you’ll be creating for the brand.
Are you creating one image and caption to post on Instagram? If so, then your rate is going to be significantly different from an influencer posting a video on Instagram and TikTok.
Personally, I see video rates increase anywhere between 30-50% off the base photo rate because of the additional time it takes to shoot and edit them.
It’s very rare that I see a brand ask for influencers to post on just one platform, so you should immediately be thinking about how much you want to charge for any additional posts you make, even if you are using the same content.
For reference, I’ve seen influencers in the 10K-50K Instagram follower range charge anywhere between $50-$250 for Instagram Stories, depending on how many frames are requested and if they need to be video.
Consider Your Niche
Some niches are naturally going to take a bit more work than others. For example, food and recipe influencers are going to charge a higher rate because they have to buy ingredients, create concepts, and test them out.
DIY influencers are another niche where I’ve seen higher rates due to the amount of time it takes to create the end product.
In these cases, I’d consider calculating out an hourly rate for how much time you have to work on concept creation and production and then add that into your base payment.
Take Engagement Rate Into Account
Although some brands still aren’t looking at this metric as closely as they are to your follower count, this data is extremely helpful in validating your payment, especially if you have fewer followers.
If you can demonstrate consistent and authentic engagement that isn’t from an Instagram pod or some similar group, then you can typically get away with charging more.
Now, this is where it can get a bit hairy because everyone has a different idea about how much to charge.
Personally, if I saw an influencer who had 25,000 followers but an engagement rate between 6-8%, I wouldn’t hesitate to pay them $500 for a post with a Story.
Factor in Any Exclusivity
While I believe that it’s good business to avoid working with any competitors for at least a short amount of time before and after you work with a brand, I do think that influencers have every right to charge more when a brand requests longer exclusivity.
Typically, if the brand requests that you extend exclusivity for 30 days or beyond, that’s when I would start to increase your rate.
Some influencers charge a flat rate while others choose a percentage.
So if you have a payment of $250 and decide on using a flat rate, I’d recommend charging around $50 extra for 30 days of exclusivity. This would also translate to charging 20% of your base payment.
Is Product Being Offered?
I once worked with a guitar company who provided every influencer with a free guitar + a yearlong subscription to virtual guitar lessons.
I think the entire total came out to around $500 or something per influencer, which is practically an entire payment!
In this case, we did provide some additional compensation to the influencers, but it was at the absolute base rate because the cost of the product was so high.
A lot of brands don’t end up sending $500 in product, but if they do send you something of value, consider factoring that into your overall cost, especially if you’re in tight negotiations.
For example, if you’re asking $500 and the brand is offering you $400, would the product be enough to make up the difference? Could you potentially ask them for additional product if they have absolutely no room to budge?
Timing Matters (in More Ways Than One)
There are two things you’ll want to consider when thinking about how much to charge as an influencer in regards to timing:
- Is the brand asking for a quick turnaround on the content?
- What time of year are they asking you to post?
For influencers who have 50K or fewer followers, I recommend adding at least $100 for any quickturn requests (usually one week or less). If you have 50K-100K followers, you can increase that to $200.
You also want to think about the time of year the brand is requesting you to post. If it’s in the middle of the holiday season, you’ll probably want to increase your rates as a lot of influencers are busy sharing their own gift guides and affiliate links during this time.
I’ve seen influencers increase their rates anywhere from 15-25% during these peak periods!
Let’s Walk Through Some Examples!
Whew, that was a lot of information to take in! At this point, your head might be spinning, which is why I wanted to take some time to provide some examples so that you can answer the “How much should I charge as an influencer?” question a little more effectively.
Follower count: 10,000
Engagement rate: 4%
Content request: One Instagram photo, one Instagram Story, and one Tweet
Product: $20 worth
Turnaround time: Flexible
Time of year: Non-busy season
In this case, the base rate the influencer may be starting with is around $100. (Again, some influencers choose to increase this rate which is fine! Use a base rate that you feel comfortable with but that’s also fair to the brand. Ultimately, if you’re going to ask for more, make sure you can show the brand why you’re worth it.)
For the Instagram Story, the influencer is charging $100 and $50 for the Tweet.
In this case, the influencer will charge $250 for the content and also receive $20 in product.
Follower count: 30,000
Engagement rate: 7%
Content request: One Instagram video, one Instagram Story, and one Facebook post
Product: $100 worth
Turnaround time: Flexible
Time of year: Non-busy season
The influencer has a base pay rate of $300 and has put a 30% increase on that due to this post including video, bringing the base rate up to $390. This influencer also has strong engagement, which the influencer believes accounts for another 15% or so. That brings the rate up to $450.
The influencer has also chosen to charge $150 for the Story as it will contain video, and then another $50 for the Facebook post.
In this example, the influencer will charge $650 for the content and also receive $100 in product.
Follower count: 40,000
Engagement rate: 3%
Content request: One Instagram photo post and one Instagram Story
Product: $50 worth
Exclusivity: 30 days
Turnaround time: Flexible
Time of year: Holiday
The influencer may start with a $400 base rate here and then immediately add $100 for the exclusivity increase because it’s the holiday season, bringing the rate up to $500. And since it’s the holidays, they’ve also decided to put a 10% upcharge, which makes the new rate $550.
The influencer has chosen to charge another $100 for the Instagram Story.
That brings this payment up to $650 for the content in addition to the $50 in product.
“How Much Should You Charge as an Influencer?” The Answer Will Always Vary!
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when you’re trying to decide how much you should charge as an influencer.
Don’t be afraid to alter your rates if you find they’re too low or too high! As you work with more brands, you’ll start to get a better feel about what rate feels comfortable to you.
Do you have experience working as an influencer? How much do you typically charge, or what factors do you take into account when deciding on a payment amount?