You get excited as you see an email come through with the subject line: “Brand Collaboration with your Blog”
You swiftly open the email and read it through. This brand wants to send you a product you’re interested in for a blog post and social media mention. They’re asking for your media kit. You attach it to the email.
But then you quickly realize you should be paid for your review. After all, you spend hours writing and shooting for your blog. So you attach your rate card to the email too.
Then everything goes downhill. The brand says they unfortunately don’t have a budget to pay you – but you know they do. You reply, firm in your worth. But the answer is still no.
Welcome to another failed paid opportunity. What happened?
Your rate card happened.
And today I’m telling you why sending your rate card make be costing you paid opportunities. Keep reading to find out what you need to be doing instead.
You Lose Negotiation Power
When you send a rate card, you’re losing negotiation power. You’re essentially saying: here’s my rate, you have to pay it. And you may be lowballing yourself, or you may be completely out of their budget. But it usually doesn’t leave room for negotiation. Brands will take a look at it, shrug, and move on to the next blogger.
But when you don’t send a rate card, you’re able to talk money.
And talking money isn’t a bad thing. In fact, you need to get used to discussing budgets, contracts, and words like: cost per impression.
I’m going to explain this to you, promise.
Keep your rate card handy (for your reference), but never send it, ok?
What You Should Do Instead
The next time a brand sends you an email and you’re ready for a paid collaboration, reply back with the following:
“This sounds like an amazing campaign. I love [XYZ BRAND/PRODUCT] and [USE/LIKE/FOLLOW ON SOCIALS] everyday! I would love to start a discussion on how I can help you spread the message about [XYZ PRODUCT/BRAND].
What can I help you with? Can you share what kind of specifics your looking for? Are you looking for a dedicated blog post or just social shares?”
Do you see how you never mention any rates? The last thing you want to do is say “Great, my rates are $100 for one Instagram post. Please send me the item and a check”
Ummm…no, it doesn’t work that way.
What you should do is ASK FOR SPECIFICS.
What do they want from you? Is it one blog post with all social shares? Just a social share? Just a snapchat? Will they give you product too?
Once you find these out, you can list the ASKS and look back at your rate card. How much do you charge for each? Tally it up, keep it in mind, then do the following:
Reply back with a draft proposal: A short email that states the collaboration objective, what you’ll give them (the ASKS), and your budget for participation. Give a starting budget.
Let’s say a brand wants one blog post and one IG post. If your behind the scenes rate card tally’s $100 for each, tell them you’re individual budget range:
“My budget for a single dedicated blog post ranges from $100-$200 depending on scope and details. My range for a dedicated IG post ranges between $100-$300. Let me know what BRAND has in mind and we can work from there”
You’re able to go above your rate card when you give ranges. This is a smart move. Maybe they’ll pay for just one, or all, or come back with even more. You never know…
Or give no ranges and straight up send a proposal with your highest rate. Let them know you’d like to hear more about their budget and are open to discussion (or getting more product as compensation for a lower budget) At least you start high and can always go lower (but don’t, you’re worth it).
Either way, don’t feel obliged to stick to a rate card. You can definitely have different budgets for different projects.
So will you get rid of your rate card? What questions do you have about negotiations with brands? Leave them below and I’ll answer them!