There’s been a lot of talk recently about influencers value, and the real cost of working with creators or talent.

How do you work out the right cost to charge as an influencer, and as a brand should you really invest X amount in someone posting about your product or services? It’s a minefield for many, and a topic I am being approached to problem solve more and more for my clients.

I spoke to Imii Mace, a microinfluencer who works with brands and in the influencer space full time on her thoughts and feelings on the topic.

“I’m a microinfluencer, with around 12.5k followers on Instagram.” A ‘microinfluencer’ is self-pronounced as everyday people with a good following. They are often more niche and specific to a certain industry or topic.

“On Instagram I tend to post lifestyle shots with an illustrative twist, just to break through some of the hustle and bustle of Instagram lifestyle influencers.

I also work full time in influencer marketing (it’s great to make a job out of something I love, right!) and actually came from a really traditional background (I have an MA in Theology).”

When a brand approaches you to work together, what are the steps you take, what’s the process?

“First I’ll check the brand – do a little bit of research. Often even the email alone is enough to tell if they’re serious or not (proper footers, mention of rates, etc.)

I won’t promote anything that I don’t/wouldn’t want or use myself.

Authenticity is key. I’ll then ask them for a brief and what their budget is – often they’ll come back and ask my rates and I’ll tell them.”

So any tips for working out your pricing as a influencer?

“My pricing is very middle of the road but does take things like usage and exclusivity into account.

You don’t want to be paid your minimum fee and then see your image on a bus later in the year.

I then ensure that I have, in writing, them agreeing to the fee for the deliverables they’ve requested, often in the form of an official contract. Once that’s sorted, I’m happy to crack on with the work!”

A really good point, do you know how your own brand, and name, will be used? Often brand campaigns are more than just a tag or post on Instagram… brands are looking for more and more from their talent.

Is it important to be picky with the brands you work with?

“Definitely! I think there’s such a negative vibe around influencers and what they will and won’t promote – everyone assumes that it’s all detox teas and tooth whitening.

It can be, to an extent, but that doesn’t tend to be where the engagement lies.

I won’t work with brands that I feel wouldn’t fit with me or my audience.

In the past I’ve turned down fast fashion, excessive packaging, nonsense claims, etc. It’s an influencer cliche that we turn down way more work than we accept but it’s true. You want your following to trust you more than anything.”

So any tips for how to price yourself? How do you make sure you’re not under or over valuing yourself?

“I tend to work on a pretty standard pricing system based on my following and engagement – everyone prices differently and there’s a lot of talk about people undercharging brands and ruining it for everyone else.

I think you just have to have the confidence to know your worth.

Brands are paying thousands for the campaign and you deserve to be paid well for the work you do. A good system is to work out hours it would take you to create, including sourcing and editing and everything involved and go from there.

For things like usage rights, I can charge up to three times by fee again depending on what they’re asking for. You’re creating assets for a brand that they would otherwise have to pay an expensive studio for.

Price yourself in accordance with your competition. As part of my day job, I’ve seen people with a following like mine ask for thousands because of factors like engagement rates and usage – don’t undersell yourself.”

Something that’s recently been suggested is a rate card for influencers, where a global body could set the rate and charges for brands to work with influencers. I asked Imii if she felt a rate card or standardisation for costings would help or hinder the industry?

“Personally I believe it would hinder the industry – cost is based on a lot more than just following and as ‘influencer’ is still pretty unregulated that tends to be where things go first.”

“But so many things have to be taken into consideration. If you have a high engagement rate, if your content is high quality, if influencing is your main bag or if you’re a presenter or author or journalist, if you model, if your niche is fresh/unique, etc.

Often examples of standardised rates go round Twitter and they’re laughable. I’ve seen examples of charging £30 for an Instagram post for someone around my following – in terms of hours that’s less than minimum wage (before tax!).

Brands can certainly afford a lot more than that.

Standardisation is pretty unrealistic, and seems weird when you compare the industry to other creative industries – designers and artists and marketers and musicians.

If you’re good at what you do brands will be willing to pay for it.”

What do you think of influencer marketing? Should there be further standardisation? You can also follow the lovely Imii on Instagram here.