Ever wonder if you can negotiate blog campaigns? The answer is, of course, YES. We fully believe that one of the best ways to maximize your income as a blogger is to negotiate the best possible deals. Unfortunately, we've heard from many bloggers that they hate negotiating and aren't sure how to do it. So they just don't.
Or it turns into something like this.
Here are five tips to help you improve the way you negotiate blog campaigns.
Money isn't the only currency when you negotiate blog campaigns.
When most bloggers think about negotiation, they think about trying to get the highest possible price for their content. We fully support the idea that bloggers should be paid (and paid well) for their work, but, remember, money isn't your only currency in a negotiation. Instead, it is one of many factors that you should consider.
Other things that you can use as negotiation points:
- Deadlines – Can you negotiate a different due date for the deliverables? If the content is expedited, should the price be adjusted?
- Deliverables – Your content should always influence your pricing. You know your audience better than anyone and, if there are deliverables that you think won't be as well received, negotiate for different channels or a different approach. Remember, your client wants to see success and you know how to achieve their goals.
- Intellectual Property – Who retains the copyright rights to your content? Do you retain the rights? Does the brand get a license to republish? Make sure you fully understand these rights. Don't forget that you can negotiate this, too! And if you won't retain the rights, consider whether or not it should impact your pricing.
- Payment Terms – Some brands will request up to 120 days to pay you after the completion of the campaign. Yes, four months! That's something that can have a huge impact on a small business. Don't hesitate to propose different payment terms; while some companies may not be able to accommodate the request because of how their finance departments are structured, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Set your negotiation strategies based on the parties.
Before you begin to consider your negotiation goals, you need to research who you'll be talking to. For bloggers, campaigns come from many sources and the campaign source can make a critical difference in your approach. For most bloggers, campaigns come from one of three sources: direct from the brand, an agency, or an influencer network.
Typically, you will have greater flexibility when negotiating a campaign directly with the brand. There may be access to a larger budget and, if the campaign is more individually tailored to you and your audience, there may be fewer hurdles when it comes to negotiating other things like the type of content, due dates, and intellectual property rights.
Agencies and influencer networks typically create campaigns for their clients and then they seek influencers to create the content. In these cases, there may be less room to negotiate, particularly things like due dates and intellectual property, because these details may already be set between the agency/network and the brand.
We do want to dispel the myth that you can't ask for higher compensation from an influencer network. If the rate proposed by an influencer network comes in below what you want, you can request more money. However, in some situations, the budget may not be flexible, so don't be upset if they are unable to accept the higher rate.
Don't negotiate until you consider the other side's pain points.
Way too often, you may think, “I'm just a blogger negotiating with this multi-million dollar company.” And that may make you feel powerless. We need you to shift this limiting belief.
Before you start any negotiation, consider: why the client is coming to you? Your clients want to work with you for a reason and it's up to you to find out what that is.
Always find out how the brand is measuring the success of the campaign. This will help you determine their pain points. Once you identify the other side's pain points, you can most effectively negotiate for yourself because you know exactly how you can solve the problem.
Get on the phone.
We know. We know. You work online. Ugh, getting on the phone is the worst. Why can't they just use email for everything? We've seen bloggers say that they won't get on the phone. If you refuse to get on the phone for a quick call, you may be costing yourself a deal.
When it comes to negotiation, you can accomplish more in a ten-minute phone call than you can in twenty emails back and forth. Talking directly with a client gives you an opportunity to build rapport, gather information, and ask the right follow-up questions.
Even if you hate getting on the phone, we recommend it, if you can. (Here are some tips to get the most of that phone call.)
Set your walkaway point.
Before you begin bargaining with the other party, write down your walkaway point. This may be a certain amount of compensation or any of the other currencies that we mentioned above. Now, the hard part: once you set your walkaway point, stick to it. Don't get caught up in the fear of potentially losing money. If this isn't the right campaign, you need to walk away.
Keep in mind that even if a negotiation doesn't end in a deal, you can still have a positive outcome. If you build a good relationship with the other party, they may come back to you with a different deal. Or, especially if it is an agency or network, it may be a deal with another client that is a better fit for you.
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