We are all well aware that within the working world, there are pay gaps. There are large discrepancies between how much men are paid in comparison to women, for the same job. At times, men are even paid more for lower-responsibility jobs than women in higher positions.
Is that just ‘life’ and we all move along and get over it? Well, no, it’s not. We are progressing (at a slow speed) to improve and reduce the pay gap between men and women, and the more senior males that come out and talk about the pay gap, the better.
This post may be inspired by my recent read Ladies Get Paid by Claire Wasserman, but let’s roll with it.
Now that we’ve fought the patriarchy for two minutes, let’s move on to a different pay gap – one in the form of influencer marketing.
Related post: 15 Influencer Marketing Trends to Expect in 2021
You’ve been exposed
Thanks to a lovely Instagram creator, there is an Instagram account dedicated solely to exposing the pay gap in influencer marketing. If you’re not already following, or aware of the account, I recommend giving a follow to learn more about the discrepancies within the industry.
This account has amassed almost 50,000 followers and acts as the messenger for influencers to voice their concerns or queries and creates discussion and transparency surrounding questions about payment and working with certain brands.
The account posts conversations on their grid, hoping that followers will be able to help out and offer advice or experiences with the brand or with how much to charge for content creation.
How much am I worth?
Putting a price on yourself or your work is hard. You don’t want to undersell yourself but you don’t want to oversell yourself and lose out on a partnership either.
Since I’ve started to make a little bit of dollar from my blog, I’ve had brands and companies reach out to ask what I charge for certain things. And guess what? I have no idea what I should be charging. How much is a link worth? How much is a guest post worth? How much is a sponsored post worth?
When it comes to full-time jobs, it’s often hard to know what salary to ask for too. I have no idea what my peers are earning in the industry and talking about money with others and their work is frowned upon. So how do I know if I’m earning too little? I recently wrote about this in a blog post, How Much Am I Worth?
For influencers, how do they know how much to charge? How do they know what the standard rate is in their niche? I can see why a lot of influencers find this hard to do as each is its own individual case. Follower numbers, engagement rates, style of content, is all individual, so no two prices can really be the same.
So, how much do I charge?
Is there a cheat sheet for how much influencers should charge for their content? Not that I’ve seen.
As I said above, every influencer is its own stand-alone case. Every influencer, even in the same niche, will have a different number of followers, a different style of creating content, a different level of engagement and a different way of engaging.
So how do we put a price on our content? You take into consideration how much time and energy it’s going to take for you to create the content, how many people the content will reach, how many sales your content is going to produce and the brand awareness you will create.
A more structured form of cost comes from working with brands and companies to create content for them. For example, a brand might come to you because they like your editing skills and photography/videography skills and enquire about content creation for their own socials and website.
This is where you can have a flat rate for photos, videos, blog posts etc. for brand partnerships. It’s hard as an influencer to know what to charge and it’s also hard as a brand or agency to offer payments because the influencer marketing industry is still so new and not many people really know how to put a price on social media content as it’s kind of just plucked from mid air.
The racial influencer pay gap
Like in the work place, racial discrimination in terms of salaries is evident. We’ve seen the brand campaigns that only feature pretty caucasian models, but there is no room for that in the marketing space anymore and the public will be very quick to call you out on it if you continue to follow this promotion route.
The Influencer Pay Gap Instagram channel highlights the differences in what people of colour are offered in terms of payment compared to their white counterparts. And it’s pretty shocking.
Related post: Why Brands Need Diversity in Marketing
Brands must know what they’re doing
If a brand wants to work with influencers, they need to have an influencer marketing team and people that know what they’re doing. They need people that want to work with influencers and value influencers and what they can do for the brand.
What a brand doesn’t need is someone that doesn’t see the monetary value that an influencer can provide and asks them to work on a gifted or complimentary basis – that won’t pay the bills.
Brands need a team of people that know how to approach influencers, how to word emails, how to create relationships with influencers and how much influencers and their content is worth.
What you don’t want, is something like the below. This is a great example of how not to approach an influencer you want to work with.
How to approach influencers you want to work with
After you have completed all of the necessary research – there’s a lot to be done – you can approach the influencer via email or DM, however they prefer.
Before reaching out, you will want to make sure this influencer is the right fit for your brand. Do they use your product? Do they talk about products within your niche? Do they receive a lot of engagement on their posts? Do they engage with their followers? Do they create good quality content?
If yes, and you are certain this influencer is a good fit for your brand and product, then reach out to the influencer saying you would love to work with them in the form of a collaboration/promotion (longterm relationships are much better than one-offs).
Introduce your product, why you think they would like it or resonate with the brand and tell them what you would like from them in the form of content.
After this, you can ask for their rates and maybe examples of previous collabs they’ve worked on and metrics from their social channels – most influencers have media kits so this shouldn’t be a big deal.
When they come back with their rates for the content you’ve asked for, make sure you’ve done your own research to know how much other influencers charge for this kind of content and how much other brands are paying similar-sized influencers.
Of course, it’s always worth paying extra for quality content so don’t undercut the influencer.