Working with Brands

5 Things I’ve Learned from Landing 5-Figure Brand Deals

Slightly Savvy is an influencer's sneak peek behind the scenes of the PR world, built to deliver the most transparent PR insights to bloggers + influencers who want to transform their blog into a business.

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As of recently, I’ve dived into some higher-level influencer partnerships…we’re talking four and five-figure brand deals for these influencers, which is amazingly fun for me to be a part of AND an incredible learning experience.

It also just so reinforces the idea of bloggers and influencers having true, true businesses.

When you start talking about brand deals in the 5-figure mark, things definitely change. 

The dynamic shifts, things feel VERY serious, and both parties usually get really invested in the outcome.

I’ll also disclaim there are definitely some more pessimistic things that pop up when you’re working with that much money

Today, I want to share 5 things I’ve learned from the past few months of negotiating + landing 5-figure brand deals for bloggers + influencers.

1. Stats between bloggers are NOT created equal.

I’ve learned that just because two influencers both have 200K YouTube subscribers does absolutely NOT mean you are going to get the same results from each of them.

This has never really been more apparent to me than right now.

Just because on paper a blogger has the same number of followers, fans, page views as another does 100,000% not mean they will deliver the same results.

In fact, most likely there are going to be vast differences.

For example, Blogger A and Blogger B both have 200K YouTube subscribers, Instagram followers…

Blogger A might drive over 10,000 shares on a post. Blogger B might drive 300 shares.

Blogger A might drive over 500 clicks on a brand’s website link. Blogger B might drive 50.

But they have the EXACT same amount of followers.

Why is this great news for you?


And true engagement within your community is going to become more and more important as huge discrepancies like this continue to occur.

2. Influencer rates are still the wild, wild west in some ways.

While there are some industry standards, rates for things like video are still all over the place.

At any given moment when I’m looking for influencers, I will get pricing estimates from $500 to $25,000.

As I work more and more with a wide range of bloggers, I’m seeing a HUGE variety of pricing. I really think it’s up to you as the blogger themselves to set your own pricing, make it fair for the value provided, but then stick to your guns.

Do you think you are pricing your brand collaborations at what they’re really worth?

Download the first three pages of the pricing guide and worksheet (exclusively available in Summer Camp) to get started on building your own pricing structure.

Just drop your email address at the bottom of this page + it’ll zoom to your inbox!

3. BUT brands are starting to want to pay for REACH, not followers.

Just last week, Social Fabric announced that their campaigns will be based on the amount of reach a blogger gets, not necessarily their follower count. This is a huge change because previously people with 1 million Instagram followers could get paid for a reach of 1 million.

But as bots, buying followers, and other shadier and controversial types of growth on Instagram occur, brands don’t want to pay for a fake follower count.

What does this mean for you?

  • Buying followers will literally HURT you – not only will it not help anymore, it’s actually going to be a detriment to your account.
  • Micro-influencers will GAIN popularity – if brands are paying for reach instead of followers, it’s MUCH better to have 20% engagement with 10,000 Instagram followers than 2% engagement at 50,000.
  • Don’t freak out about your follower count-if anything, focus on your engagement.

Focus on creating the best and most relatable content for your specific audience. A more engaged audience is always going to be more valuable than a vanity metric.

4. Negotiation is key.

To be honest, a lot of brands want to see how much they can get away with for free. So when they email bloggers asking to work together, but then they “don’t have a budget,” it’s not necessarily that they don’t have money to pay you.

It’s just that they are trying to get as much marketing for free as possible.

And in some ways, I can’t even really blame them for that.

But, if you are operating your blog as a business, then you can ALWAYS respond to “sorry, we don’t have a budget” with some negotiation.

5. Everybody has a price.

Maybe one of the more pessimistic things I’ve learned but it’s that everyone has a price.

Everyone has a price that they will do pretty much anything for.

That blogger who did an ad on a drugstore skin cream that you KNOW she would never use? That YouTuber who promoted some workout supplement you’re pretty positive she’s NEVER tried before?

Definitely not calling anyone out; those are just super generic examples.

But what I’ve learned is when BIG money is involved, everyone has a price.

When numbers get in the 5’s gets much harder for people to turn it down.

Now, I’ve also learned that in these specific scenarios there is typically some pretty swift backlash.

An audience is typically super quick to call out a blogger for being fake, disingenuous, or selling out… the backlash is REAL, and I see it a lot.

And typically once the checks have been signed, posts have been posted, the blogger sits back, and maybe has a slight twinge of regret at partnering with that brand or promoting a product that she doesn’t necessarily believe in (or honestly, maybe not).

And again, I’ve seen this first hand, too.

Still want to grab that Pricing Worksheet? Of course you do.

So guys, there’s my optimistic + pessimistic breakdown of things I’ve learned form negotiating 5-figure brand deals.

Overall, it’s just SUCH a different world when that much money is being thrown around.

Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek behind the scenes, and don’t forget – if you think you need to work on your pricing structure as an influencer, then you probably do.

Drop your email in the pink-orange box below, and the first 3 pages of the 15+ Pricing Guide available in Summer Camp will be sent to you. 

Get started on breaking down your specific pricing.



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