Influencer 101: How to turn gifted collaborations into paid collaborations

how to turn gifted collaborations into paid collaborations

As an influencer; negotiating rates, turning gifted collaborations into paid collaborations, and upselling your deliverables are important skills to develop in order to earn a fair income and establish yourself as a professional in your field.


Before you start negotiating, do some research on what other influencers in your niche are charging for similar services. Take into consideration your experience with creating content, engagement rates, and the size of your following when determining your own rates.

Here are some tips on how to do it effectively:

  1. Be clear about your services: Clearly outline the services you offer and the value they bring to a brand. Provide examples of past collaborations and the results they yielded.
  2. Negotiate respectfully: When discussing rates, be respectful and professional. Avoid being confrontational or defensive. Instead, explain why you believe you are worth a certain rate and provide evidence to support your claim.

Gifted Collaborations: 

Don’t accept gifted collaborations if they don’t align with your values or goals: If a brand is offering a gifted collaboration but it does not align with your values or goals, it’s okay to politely decline the offer. It’s important to protect your brand image and ensure that your audience trusts your recommendations. 

Here are some tips on how to politely decline a collaboration:

  1. Start with a thank you: Begin the email by expressing your appreciation for the opportunity and thanking the brand for reaching out.
  2. Be honest and direct: Clearly state that you are unable to participate in the collaboration, and provide a brief explanation for why you are declining. Be honest and direct, but avoid being negative or critical.
  3. Ask for a budget: Explain how you are not prioritizing gifted collaborations at this time but would love to connect when a budget becomes available or let them know your rates for the described deliverables are “x” is this something they’d like to explore with you. 
  4. Express regret: Express regret that you are unable to participate in the collaboration, and acknowledge that you understand the importance of finding the right fit for both the brand and the influencer.
  5. Offer alternatives: If possible, offer alternatives such as other influencers who may be a better fit, or suggest working together on a future project that aligns more closely with your values and goals.
  6. End on a positive note: End the email on a positive note, reiterating your appreciation for the opportunity and expressing your hope that the brand will consider working together in the future.

It is not necessary to mention all tips above in your email, select the ones that are most relevant to your situation. Here’s an example of how to turn a gifted collaboration into a paid collaboration with a brand you are interested in working with.

how to turn gifted collaborations into a paid collaboration email script

Upselling your deliverables:  

Upselling your work might be instinctive to a lot of people but it can be a bit scary when thinking about the brand’s reaction, but if you perform well and have done a good job then the brand will more than likely be happy to pay for more deliverables. They may even cut their influencer search short with the confidence that working with you will guarantee them excellent performance. 

  1. Offer additional deliverables: beyond the initial scope of work. For example, if a brand is interested in a sponsored post, you could offer to create a custom video or social media story series for an additional fee.
  2. Suggest multiple platforms: Suggest promoting the brand across multiple platforms to increase exposure and engagement. For example, if the brand is only interested in a sponsored post on Instagram, suggest promoting the post on your blog or YouTube channel as well.
  3. Paid advertising: If your content is performing well organically, you can always reach back out to the brand and ask them if they would like to run ads or whitelist your content to reach a more targeted audience for a monthly fee.  
  4. Long-term partnerships: Long-term partnerships are a great segway from a one off post. You can either let a brand know that you are not doing one off campaigns because they don’t perform well on your page with your audience, or if you agree to a one off collaboration and it performs well you can connect with the brand to continue the partnership.

Sign up to be apart of our exclusive roster so we can do all the negotiating for you! 

If a brand is already interested in working with you, these are the ways you can consider upselling your deliverables and working out long-term partnerships. With practice and persistence, you can become confident in your abilities to negotiate and establish yourself as a respected influencer/creator in your field. 

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