Micro influencers share their rates for sponsored posts and explain how they avoid getting low-balled

<p class="copyright">Ashley Jones</p>

Hi, this is Dan Whateley, filling in for Amanda Perelli who is on vacation this week. Welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the influencer and creator economy. Sign up for the newsletter here.

This week, my colleagues Amanda Perelli and Sydney Bradley looked into what “micro” influencers — creators with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers — can earn from brand deals on Instagram.

These lower-follower-count influencers aren’t as well known, with many only working part time as digital creators. But they’re also a big draw for brands who can pay them less for sponsored content while still getting high levels of engagement on posts. 

Setting the right rates can be tricky for these part-time creators. Some micro influencers told Business Insider that they’re frequently low-balled when it comes to compensation. Brands will offer them “gifts” or free products rather than a paycheck in exchange for their content.

“I always tell my clients that when you are in negotiating with brands, you want to make sure that you aren’t low-balling yourself,” said Britney Turner, a micro influencer with around 27,000 Instagram followers, who is also a content creator coach.

Sydney and Amanda spoke with four influencers who had under 50,000 Instagram followers about how they set their rates when negotiating paid sponsorships with brands.

Read the full breakdown here.

Addison Rae Easterling is one of WME's clients. <p class="copyright">Fanjoy</p>
Addison Rae Easterling is one of WME’s clients.

Sydney spoke with WME’s Carolyn Moneta, who spearheads the Hollywood talent agency’s “Digicomm” team, about how the agency negotiates brand deals for its talent.

The company represents top digital creators like Addison Rae Easterling, David Dobrik, and Lilly Singh.

Moneta said that most of the partnerships that come out of Digicomm are six- to seven-figure deals, with some even culminating in eight-figure exits for talent.

Here are some questions she and her team ask of brands and collaborators:

  • What are the broader career-driven implications of pursuing this opportunity?

  • What is the positioning of this brand in the product category? What are industry trends and historical context telling us, etc.? WME will discuss this with the talent and their manager (if they have one).

  • For digital creators, they need to evaluate why the brand is engaging. Is it because of who the creator is and what they stand for, or is it because of the measurability of their channels? (WME prefers the former when it comes to answers here.)

Read more about WME’s step-by-step playbook for negotiating a brand deal, here.

<p class="copyright">Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for In The Know Experiences)</p>

A representative from Beverly Hills confirmed to Business Insider that the city was “investigating” the popular influencer mansion Clubhouse after reports emerged that the house had recently held a large gathering.

The investigation was first reported in the Beverly Hills Courier on August 21.

Clubhouse, which was launched after cofounder Daisy Keech (6.1 million followers) left another popular creator group, The Hype House, earlier this year, is an influencer group and physical house in Beverly Hills. It’s one several popular influencer content “collab” houses in the Los Angeles area.

Clubhouse rotates its members as a part of its business model. Keech and others recently left the group, and new members like influencers Katie Sigmond (649,000 followers) and Teala Dunn (3.3 million followers) joined.

Other LA-based influencers have recently caught the attention of local governments for throwing parties during the pandemic. Sway LA members Bryce Hall and Blake Gray were charged with a misdemeanor by the city, which alleged they had violated its “Safer LA” health order and its “Party House Ordinance.”

A spokesperson for Clubhouse said that the group was working with Beverly Hills to resolve the situation, and said that they weren’t “aware of any on-going investigations.”

Read more about the investigation here.

Instagram Reels <p class="copyright">CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images</p>
Instagram Reels

With TikTok’s ownership status in limbo, competitors have been pushing hard to court its users in the US.

But TikTok remains the short-form video platform of choice among influencers, according to a new survey of 875 US-based creators by the influencer-marketing agency Obviously.

68% of respondents to Obviously’s August survey said they were using TikTok. About half (52%) of influencers told Obviously that they were using Instagram’s Reels. Those two were out in front by a wide margin.

Just 7% reported using Triller, and less than 5% named Byte, Dubsmash, and Likee as apps that they use.

See the full list of short-form video apps that influencers have adopted, here.

More creator industry coverage from Business Insider:

<p class="copyright">Brianna Nichole</p>

This week from Insider’s digital culture team: 

<p class="copyright">Lorenzo Bevilaqua/Getty Images/@megatronraid/Twitter</p>

Here’s what else we’re reading:

  • “The stigma of the starving artist is going to fade away,” said Jack Conte, CEO of the creator-membership platform Patreon, after announcing that the company raised $90 million (by Todd Spangler, from Variety)

  • TikTok workers who are suing the Trump administration said they feel “anxiety,” “anger,” and “rage,” after the president’s recent executive order (by Bobby Allyn, from NPR)

  • TikTokers are flooding the app with Christmas cheer (in July) (by Kristin Merrilees, from The New York Times)

  • The British government paid influencers to promote its COVID-19 contact-tracing program (from BBC News)

  • BOA Steakhouse, a West Hollywood restaurant, has become the main watering hole for social-media stars (by Taylor Lorenz, from The New York Times)

  • The question of who gets to own TikTok’s prized algorithm has thrown a wrench in deal talks (by Liza Lin, Aaron Tilley, and Georgia Wells, from The Wall Street Journal)

Thanks for reading! Send me your tips, comments, or questions: [email protected]

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