- Social media influencer Jehava Brown spoke to Business Insider about how she determines her rates when negotiating with companies like Disney and Walmart.
- Brown said she just reached her goal of earning a six-figure income entirely off her brand, "Onlygirl4boyz," where she blogs about motherhood, food, travel, and style.
- She said typically the rule most influencers will follow when they first start out is to set their sponsored post rate at $100 for every 10,000 Instagram followers.
- Brown said after being in the space for a while, she now charges somewhere around $1,500 to $2,000 for an Instagram post and stories, and said that’s an average rate for someone with her follower count.
- Click here for more BI Prime stories.
As an influencer trying to break into the business, determining how much your content is worth to a brand can be daunting. Sure, Kylie Jenner earns estimated $1 million per Instagram post, but how much do you ask for if you have a tiny fraction of her 144 million Instagram followers?
For influencer Jehava Brown – who has 70,000 followers on her Instagram page, "Onlygirl4boyz," — figuring out what to set as her "ask rates," or rate of pay for a brand sponsorship on Instagram, wasn’t easy, she told Business Insider.
"It’s very tight-mouth in the blogger community on what people are making," she said.
Brown spoke to Business Insider about the scale she used in determining her rates when negotiating with companies on sponsored posts, and how she’s been able to reach her goal of earning a six-figure income through her work online.
The rule of thumb
Brown said after being in the space for a while, she now charges somewhere around $1,500 to $2,000 for an Instagram post and Story. She said that’s about an average rate for someone with her follower count, but knows influencers with similar follower counts who’ve charged an upwards of $3,000 for a post.
Before starting her online business, Brown stayed home and took care of her three sons. During that time, she consistently kept up with lifestyle blogs, which she said motivated her to start her own.
From day one of hitting publish three years ago, Brown said she took her blog seriously with the ultimate goal of making money.
After gaining her first few thousand followers online, she began researching how to determine what rates to ask in exchange for promotional content, she said.
Brown reached out to other bloggers for help, and said the "rule of thumb" in the industry for a sponsored Instagram post has typically been to price at $100 for every 10,000 followers you have.
"That feels undervalued now, but a lot of brands come initially with that," she said.
In a column for Adweek, the influencer marketplace company Activate said this scale is used as a general rule of thumb, but said other factors including "content quality, engagement rates, and agency fees, can also influence this cost."
After around six months of working on her digital brand, Brown started to earn money, she said. At first, the one-off sponsored post for $300 was exciting, she said, but once she began to realize what other influencers were earning, she started to raise her rates.
Tips for raising your rates
Brown has changed her ask rate by figuring in factors like being an "Amazon Influencer," how many sponsorship opportunities she currently has, and being a woman of color – all of which make her more valuable to brands, she said.
"I think brands are finally starting to diversify," she said. "There seems to be more black style bloggers than mom bloggers, so I seem to be getting a lot of requests because there are not as many options in this category."
Screen shot of Amazon’s "influencer picks" page.Brown said she’ll receive an average of eight sponsorship requests, via email, per week.
She’s worked with brands like Disney, Walmart, and Target on sponsored posts, and said in certain cases, she doesn’t charge a company at all. For example, in exchange for promotion on Instagram, Disney sent Brown and her family on a Disney Cruise Line trip, which was paid entirely by the company, including the flight and food. Brown didn’t charge Disney anything additional for the sponsorship, she said.
"That’s way over my value," she said.
Other factors, like "exclusivity," play a role into how much an influencer will ask, she said. Exclusivity is when a brand requests an influencer not to work with similar brands for roughly three months.
"That’s turning down a lot of opportunities, and people have to charge on top of that," she said. "If you don’t want me to work with anyone else, I’ll charge extra. I’m always asking, ‘what’s your exclusivity?’ and some will just take it out of the contract and not pay extra."
Brown said she spends time on the weekends taking photos for her social media accounts and during the week she’ll get work done before her kids wake up and after they go to bed.
"My goal this year was to hit six figures and most people don’t think you can hit that as a micro influencer, but I have this year," she said.
For more on the business of being an influencer, and a breakdown of how YouTube creators make their money, check out these Business Insider Prime stories below:
- $300 million Cameo hired a TikTok exec to lead its international expansion, as the celeb shoutout app looks to add Bollywood and K-Pop stars
- 3 big ways CBS merging with Viacom could help it fight Netflix — and one downside to the deal
- The financial adviser to the world’s top-earning YouTube star shares the tips he gives clients to kickstart their businesses