If we had a dollar for every time we heard, “how much should I charge for an Instagram post” among Sidewalker travel influencers, we’d be in the Maldives right now, plopped on a floaty with a drink in hand. As some of you may already know, Sidewalker Daily works with PR agencies, tourism boards and hospitality brands, spearheading their influencer marketing initiatives. Yes, that’s right, it’s our job is to actually value and put a price on influencers’ content and exposure.
Let’s just say we know a thing or two about how much to charge for sponsored posts on Instagram.
But before we get all excited about charging the big bucks, it’s super important to first figure out if you’re even ready to begin charging. At Sidewalker Daily, we’re all about fair and honest business. We also understand that “fake it until you make it” can only take you so far. This industry is small, and if you’re charging for your “influence” but actually don’t have any, it’s a recipe for disaster.
When you get hired to do a sponsored post, it’s different than traditional content creation, because the brand is paying for you to post – which means: exposure, eyeballs, views, clicks (you get where we’re going with this). This is why you must always be honest with your analytics and your influence. Before you accept any payment, we highly recommend reading our article on “How To Tell If You’re Ready To Earn Money On Instagram” first.
If you don’t feel like your ability to drive clicks is there just yet, be upfront with the brand and let them know that you would like to produce a certain amount of photos for them in addition to posting on Instagram. This way you can post a few on your page, but also send them extra photos for them to post on their account because at the end of the day, every brand is always in need of good Instagram photos for their feed too.
And when you are not confident in the power of your influence, the key is to OVERDELIVER.
Asking the brand for a budget.
You should always start any sponsorship conversation with asking what their budget is (of course you should have a bottom line in mind because anything lower than that number is just not worth it to you).
By asking the brand for their budget first, you can (a) come up with a proposal based on their needs, (b) save yourself time from creating a proposal that is not in their price range and the most importantly (c) save yourself from missing out on extra cash money…what if they are willing to pay WAY more than what you were planning on proposing?
But what if they say there is no budget and they want you to do the post for trade instead? Unfortunately, free swag doesn’t pay the bills – but a little doesn’t hurt, right? Of course there are always exceptions if it’s a product or experience you need in your life! We’ve worked with celebrity influencers (2+ million followers) who have gone on trips for free because of all the perks that come along with them.
So ultimately, every partnership or sponsorship comes down what’s in it for YOU!
And if you’re negotiating with a tourism board or hotel that has offered to pay for all of your travel expenses, and you have another brand willing to pay for a sponsorship, then you’ll want to let them know that you’ll be bringing along a sponsor to pay for talent fees.
Just so you know, 9 times out of 10, tourism boards will cover flights, accommodations, transport, food, beverage and activities, but maybe nothing else outside of that. That’s why you’ll want to reach out to another brand (that aligns with the destination), to see if they are interested in having their products shot in the exotic destination, to help you get paid.
But remember to be professional and make sure the sponsor willing to pony up cash aligns with the destination you are headed to because otherwise it may cause issues. For example, asking an energy drink company to sponsor a trip to Costa Rica, would not make sense with Costa Rica’s farm to table ethos.
We’re big on press trip etiquette because we know how valuable fostering relationships are and how these trips can actually land you more jobs down the road.