Digital Marketing

5 Things to Negotiate When Closing Deals with Influencers

When you want to run an influencer marketing campaign, there are a lot of moving pieces involved. You have to carefully map out your strategy, find influencers who align with your brand, and then activate them as collaborators in your campaign.

But before you can activate influencers, you have to explain to them what you want them to do for your campaign, and what you can offer them in return. And while some influencers may be happy to just accept your initial terms and conditions without a second glance, others will want to negotiate the deal. 

Keep reading to discover the topics you should touch on when negotiating with influencers.

  1. Incentive

One of the most important pieces of this puzzle is obviously the money. When collaborating with influencers, you have to know what you can offer them, and then negotiate if they ask for something more. 

Keep in mind that incentive in influencer campaigns can be both monetary and non-monetary. Non-monetary refers to products, services or experiences provided by the brand to the influencer free of charge. Products may be sufficient payment for nano and some micro influencers, who have up to 50K followers. But after that, you’ll have to offer a combo of the two.

Micro influencer @tarsilaogden showing off a gifted product from @downeaststyle.

When it comes to fees, you options, including:

  • Flat, one-time fee
  • Part upfront, and part after completion of the campaign work
  • Commission-based with a flat rate (ex: $5 per sale they bring in)
  • Commission-based with variable rate (ex: 5% per sale they bring in)

Before you get to the negotiation stage, you should know how much you can offer each influencer. Then, if you have to negotiate, you’re prepared to do so.

  1. Publications

The second most important part of the influencer negotiation equation is the publications your brand will receive in return for the incentive. Here, consider both the number of publications you want them to publish, but also the types.

For example, video content takes more time and effort to produce, so it’s more expensive than still photos. Photo posts that remain visible on the profile (like an Instagram post, for example) are less expensive than video, but still require careful planning, shooting, and potentially editing. 

Ephemeral content, like Instagram Stories, are less expensive publications. These don’t stay visible on the profile unless the influencer highlights them. Therefore, they can be less curated, and influencers can produce them more quickly and easily.

  1. Deadlines

Another important thing to negotiate with influencers is the campaign publication deadline. When do you need all these posts up for? Make sure that any influencer you collaborate with can meet these needs for the type of content you want.

When negotiating timing, keep in mind any fixed dates you have to work with, like product launches, your spring sale, Black Friday, and so on.  

Here, if necessary, you could always negotiate the content type, too. For example, if an influencer doesn’t think they can have 2 posts ready by your deadline, maybe they can give you 1 post and 1 story. Just negotiate incentive to go along with any of these changes.

  1. Guidelines

As a caveat, you should always give influencers creative freedom when they’re creating content for your campaign. They earned their followers, and they best know how to communicate with them. 

That being said, there’s nothing wrong with stipulating any publication guidelines you want them to follow. For example, say you’re a swimwear brand running an Instagram campaign, and you want your Instagram influencers to photograph your swimsuits at the beach instead of the pool.

Or, you may want influencers to include:

  • Brand mentions
  • Branded hashtags for your brand, campaign, etc.
  • Links to your website, or to pages of specific products, etc.
  • Instagram Shopping products
  • Influencer-specific discount codes

Micro influencer @caroemilie promoting a unique discount code from fashion brand @nakdfashion.

Finally, make sure you talk with influencers about how they plan to properly disclose the campaign content. Various government agencies regulate hidden advertising, so influencer collaborations need to be clearly marked when paid. Look into any guidelines that may apply to you, and when in doubt, get an expert’s help.

Mention all of this now, so that you don’t have any surprises or issues later down the line.


If you’re planning to reuse influencer content for your own social media accounts, you should bring it up during negotiations. First, you want to make sure the influencer agrees with that strategy. Work out what you’ll include in the reposts, like for example, a mention to the influencer’s account.

Second, you could use it as a bargaining chip in connection with incentive. If your brand has a substantial following, reposting influencer’s content could expose them to new followers. Therefore, this has some inherent value to them and can be treated as such.


Negotiating with influencers is an important step in setting up any collaboration, and ironing out any details beforehand will help avoid surprises later on. So at this stage, make sure that both parties are on the same page about the important details of the campaign in order to help it run more smoothly after launch.