How to Negotiate Influencer Compensation: A Guide for Brands

Get to know different influencer compensation types

Thanks to their ability to connect with people creatively and efficiently, influencers are already present on almost every online platform. Over the years, influencer marketing has grown to be a multi-billion dollar industry, attracting users and brands equally. Businesses don't spare time and money to work with new social media stars to grow their recognition and get their products in front of people. But how can brands compensate influencers for their work? What factors should businesses consider when they begin negotiating payment terms and rates with creators? This article will explore various types of influencer remunerations, aspects that affect creators’ fees, and best practices to negotiate fair recompense.

Let's get right to it!

What Factors Impact Influencer Payments

Influencer compensation options are as varied as influencer types. However, before you begin speculating on how much a creator will charge for their videos or how Instagrammers will be paid, you must consider several factors.

  • Audience size and the level of engagement: It goes without saying that the larger the influencer's audience is and the more likes, shares, and comments their content triggers from the public, the higher their fees are.

  • Influencer’s niche and target audience: Influencers who are authorities in a topic or create in a highly sought-after niche or reach a specific target audience will ask for a higher price.

  • The type of platform and content: Creators who have a large following on popular platforms, such as Instagram, can set higher fees than those who have a similar following on lesser-known platforms. Video or graphic content requires more time and resources from the influencer, which can again increase their rates.

  • Length and scope of partnership: Businesses can work with influencers in several ways. The length of the collaboration - whether it's a one-off collaboration or a long-term working relationship - and the number of posts that creators write and share can sway the amount of money brands spend on influencer marketing.

  • Creator’s performance metrics: Naturally, businesses have to take into account the impact of an influencer’s content. As we discussed earlier, engagement plays a crucial role in driving up prices. However, a high reach or conversion rate may also result in higher fees.

  • Exclusivity and content usage: Influencers can charge a higher fee to compensate for a potential financial loss if a brand asks them to work exclusively with them. Exclusive content usage rights allow brands to use and reuse the creator's content but restrict influencers from posting it on their own social media platforms. This may lead to higher influencer rates.  

Types of Influencer Compensations

Influencer remuneration depends on the industry and budget, as well as what the brand and creator see as appropriate.

Among the most common types of influencer settlements are:

  • One-time payment or flat fee

  • Commission-based remuneration

  • Brand partnership or sponsorship

  • Free products or services

One-time payment or flat fee

A flat fee is a prevalent, easy, and straightforward way to pay creators for their work. One-time fees can be decided based on the popularity of a niche, audience size, or engagement. It’s the best option for a one-off collaboration or paying smaller influencers, but businesses have to evaluate its drawbacks. For example, it may not give enough incentive to the influencer.

Benefits of a flat fee:

  • It’s simple to calculate, making it an easy solution for both the creator and the brand.

  • Thanks to its predictable nature, it facilitates campaign planning and budgeting.

  • Compared to commission-based earnings, it’s cost-efficient and less risky.

  • Due to its flexibility, businesses can opt for one-time payments even if they create a long-term collaboration with an influencer.

Downsides of a flat fee:

  • One-time payments may not provide enough income and motivation for creators to work with businesses more than once.

  • One-off collaborations may not allow the influencer and the company to develop a relationship.

Commission-based remuneration

During these partnerships, businesses can offer a share or a percentage of the sales produced by influencers' content. It is frequently applied when the company’s goal is to boost conversions and sales and thus the influencer promotes a product or service.

Benefits of commission-based compensation:

  • Inspires influencers to work harder and create engaging content that motivates people to act.

  • It provides constant earnings to influencers - depending on their performance, of course.

  • Businesses don’t have to pay creators in advance without seeing the results of their work.

  • It may imply a deeper commitment between the influencer and the brand.

Downsides of commission-based compensation:

  • It’s more difficult to keep track of revenue and calculate influencers' income in advance.

  • Commission-based campaigns tend to generate short-term gains. However, they don’t strengthen the brand-audience relationship.

  • The overall success of the collaboration is determined by the influencers’ performance.

Brand partnership or sponsorship

In sponsored promotions, influencers promote a product or service several times throughout a long-term working relationship. Both parties can agree upon a flat fee paid after a post is published or commission-based cooperation. Sponsorships are most profitable for businesses that work with influencers who have a large and engaged following.

Benefits of brand partnership:

  • Because of their long-term nature, these collaborations enable brands to increase their recognition on social media. 

  • In this campaign type, both sides have ample opportunity to engage with users, thus increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome.

  • Sponsorships are especially helpful for smaller influencers to grow their audiences since they’ll endorse the brand for an extended period.

Downsides of brand partnership:

  • Negotiating, planning, and managing long-term brand-influencer cooperation proves to be challenging in comparison to a one-off campaign and it may involve various compensation types.

  • For this arrangement to work, the brand and creator must have mutual respect and trust, as well as an in-depth discussion of conditions.

Free products or services

During a product seeding campaign, businesses can provide free products or access to services to influencers so they can market them to their audiences. This is a common collab type if brands want creators to promote commodities that are hard to monetize. Such campaigns are more likely to attract influencers with fewer followers.

Benefits of product seeding:

  • Since the influencer is paid with the free product instead of money, there is no financial commitment on the brand’s side.

  • It has some flexibility since brands can decide whether to do a one-off or ongoing collaboration.

  • Product exchange is a win-win situation because the influencer gets to try out services and products and can create content about it, while the brand gets social media hype.

  • Product reviews are often part of this type of cooperation, which leads to posting authentic content.

Downsides of product seeding:

  • As opposed to one-time or commission-based payments, the creator does not have actual income.

  • Some influencers might not be motivated enough to create captivating content if they’re not financially compensated.

  • If businesses decide to work with nano-influencers, their reach will be significantly lower.

Tips for Negotiating Influencer Compensation

The budget you allocate for your influencer campaign will pay creators and cover other expenses, such as the use of various tools. To avoid overspending, think about your goals and the ROI you expect from the collaboration. As you begin negotiating with influencers, remember the following tips.

Determine your budget

The first step is to establish how much money you can spend on paying influencers. As you negotiate influencer fees, keep an eye on your budget, but make sure to offer a fair price. Evaluate these factors first when determining your budget:

  • Your marketing goals: Goals help you decide which campaign to choose. For example, boosting sales requires different marketing approaches compared to growing brand awareness. Once you know what you want to accomplish and chose the collaboration type, you can estimate how much budget you need to set aside for influencer remuneration.

  • The creators’ audience and engagement: The influencer’s audience size and engagement can all affect your spending. You can count on public figures and celebrities with large audiences and opinion leaders with high engagement to have higher asking prices.

  • Length and type of partnership: In general, the longer the cooperation is and the more content the influencer has to create and publish, the more you’ll spend.

  • Resources: To plan and manage your influencer marketing campaign, you can use additional resources and online tools. So it's worth allotting a specific amount for this as well.

Be sure to align your budget with your overall marketing strategy and offer fair compensation to influencers.

Evaluate the influencer's value proposition

As a next step, examine the influencer’s unique assets that set them apart from other creators and add value to the collaboration. These include the follower number, engagement, niche, target audience, type of content, and platform.

  • Follower number and engagement: The content of an influencer with a large and active audience is perceived by a lot of people, which results in high reach and engagement. These factors increase the value of the influencer.

  • Creator’s niche and target audience: By collaborating with experts in a niche with a similar target audience, brands can achieve greater results.

  • Content and platform: Instagram is an extremely popular social media platform that many people use regularly. In today's society, image posts generate a higher number of interactions among users, so companies are better off teaming up with creators who are active on such platforms.

  • Extra skills and experiences: Influencers with significant expertise and experience on a topic could increase the esteem of the brand.

Make a fair and appropriate offer

Influencers will spend considerable time and effort preparing the content and interacting with users, which can enhance a brand’s credibility and authority. Thus, influencers must receive a proper settlement for their efforts, be it a flat fee, sponsorship, free products, or commissions. Additionally, adequate remuneration enables businesses to forge strong relationships with influencers and work with them in future campaigns.

Negotiate terms and conditions

Once an influencer accepts your offer, you can move on to negotiate other conditions of the partnership. These include the number of deliverables, the length of the campaign, key metrics you want to measure, and payment terms. If you plan to work with a variety of influencers, negotiating can take time. Even so, it's worth the effort to understand the creator's position and discuss these points to reach a satisfactory agreement.

As soon as this is completed, it is strongly recommended to draft an influencer contract and an influencer brief that incorporates all the details and terms of the collaboration.

Ensure transparency and honesty

The foundation of a long and successful working relationship is honest communication and transparency. Companies need to disclose all information and be upfront about their commitments and conditions.

Best Practices for Negotiating Influencer Settlements

It is critical to remember that influencers and brands have different needs when it comes to agreeing on proper compensation. Successful negotiation requires reconciling these demands and conditions and agreeing on a fair and beneficial agreement for both parties.

Best practices for brands:

  • Don’t over-promise during payment negotiations. Stick to your budget!

  • Be straightforward and sincere in your communication.

  • Evaluate influencers’ value and offer a fair recompense.

  • Discuss intellectual property rights and content usage issues.

  • Be flexible and open to adjustments.

Best practices for influencers:

  • Understand what value you can deliver during the collaboration.

  • Think long-term and develop a good relationship with brands.

  • Consider the brand's budget constraints.


In summary, negotiating fair remuneration for influencers is an essential component of a brand's influencer marketing strategy, as it ensures that both sides benefit from the partnership. Businesses and creators should weigh the advantages and disadvantages of various payment options before starting the cooperation. As long as brands are mindful of the factors and best practices described in the article, they will be able to compensate creators adequately and build long-term relationships.

Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 137.4M+ account database.
Anna is an influencer marketing expert and content marketing writer at HypeAuditor. She enjoys discovering new social media trends and features.
Topics:Relationship Management
March 20, 2023
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Anna is an influencer marketing expert and content marketing writer at HypeAuditor. She enjoys discovering new social media trends and features.
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Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 137.4M+ account database.