So, you're a content creator. You've been churning out valuable content in the form of Tiktoks, Reels, static image posts, and more. People love your content, and you are monetizing your brand. Congrats! You’re doing amazing. But at some point, you must ask yourself - am I worth more?
It's not an easy question to answer, but it's important to ask yourself whether or not it might be time to up your rates. After all, if your skills and experience grow, you should be compensated accordingly, right?
Let's dive into some tips on when you should raise your rates and some common mistakes creators make in the process.
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When You Should Raise Your Rates
There should always be a legitimate reason behind raising your rates. Let’s say it again for the people in the back…. You can’t raise your rates on a whim, you need LEGIT reasoning to do so.
You might just want to earn more money, but that’s not a justified reason for charging brands higher prices. Always look at your skills and supply and demand.
Consider raising your rates under the following circumstances:
- Your skills or service have improved. If you can provide more value, raising your rates to reflect said value is reasonable. Maybe your engagement has increased, or you have significantly improved your follower count. Your content is much better now. You’ve invested in better equipment. Whatever the case, if you are going to improve a brand’s awareness, you should be compensated for it.
- Supply and demand have changed for your niche. If you’re booking yourself solid and turning away new brand deals, you’re in an excellent position to charge more. Raise your rate until you get the number of partnerships you want without declining new business. Like all other forms of business, supply and demand also apply to content creation.
- You’re testing a new rate to gain information. If you have never raised your packaging rates and want to see if it will work, go for it. You can try experimenting with new rates; just be prepared to lower them if brands are not yet receptive to your asking price. If they aren’t, don’t feel discouraged; keep working on increasing that value.
- If you want to reposition yourself as a top tier creator. There’s nothing wrong with positioning yourself as a high-end content creator, but be sure you can deliver that level and quality of service. You won’t last long if the caliber of your work doesn’t match the prices you’re charging. If you’re claiming high ROI, but brands don’t see the results, higher prices will shoot you in the foot. So ensure you’re delivering the highest quality of service possible. Think about how you can go the extra mile. Outdoing yourself will only improve your chances of getting excellent referrals in the future.
Frequently Made Mistakes
Great! Now that you know some legitimate reasons to increase your rates, we want to review some common errors creators make.
- Never raising your rates. If you never raise your rates, then you’ll eventually be undercharging. Over time, that’s a lot of money that’s not making its way into your pocket. This also hurts the market for other creators. If you deliver the same packages as them for a third of the price, brands will not be willing to work with creators charging their actual worth over time. So know your worth, and charge it. You deserve it!
- Not testing out higher pricing. New brand deals are the best place to try out new rates, as they don’t know your previous rates, to begin with. Make sure to keep your old clients at your previous rates while you’re testing cost increases; you can always bump them up later. If the new charge doesn’t work out, you’ll still have your old clients to fall back on. Remember, success as an influencer comes from trial and analysis. If you don’t test new rates, you’ll never make more.
- Raising rates beyond what’s reasonable. If you’re starting as an influencer, you can’t expect to charge the same as an expert. You’ll generally be more effective if you start at the lower end of your price range until your client base is sufficient. Then you can begin testing higher rates. This is especially true if you don’t have the following or engagement to back the rate you are asking. Over time, as your influence grows, you can raise your rates to match the best of them. But it takes time.
- Changing rates too frequently. Brands can’t budget for your services if you’re constantly changing your rates. There is no set number on how frequently you can change your pricing, but probably don’t mess with your packaging every month. If you have a repeat client, you want to give them plenty of time to process your higher asking rate to budget the new costs.
How to Increase Your Rates
If you don’t feel that you can justify raising your rates just yet, read on for some great tactics to increase your value as a creator.
- Improve your services. You should constantly try to add value before increasing your costs. The better your services, the more you should be able to charge without backlash. So think about your following. Are they a worthwhile audience for brands to tap into? How could you make your engagement rate even better? Remember the tactics you used to grow your following to where it is today? Don’t throw them in the trash! Continue engaging, commenting, going Live, and truly building a community. Only then will your influence grow.
- Always over-deliver. We mentioned this briefly already, but let’s dig deeper into why this is so important. Not only will you get great word-of-mouth advertising between brands, but you’ll also have a much easier time raising your rates when the time comes. Say you sell a package of 3 sponsored Reels to your favorite brand. Focus on creating the best quality Reels you possibly can. Yes, it may be time-consuming, but proving yourself as a worthwhile partner, in the long run, will benefit you more. Maybe even consider creating a bonus Reel for free. However, if you see fit to over-deliver, go for it. It will likely lead to more long-term work in the future.
- Get testimonials. Anytime a brand is happy with your services, ask for a testimonial. Put those testimonials in your portfolios, stories, and wherever future clients may see them. Just like you’re more likely to trust a doctor or a lawyer that your family or friends recommend, brands are more likely to use your services based on reviews previous partnerships give you.
- Genuinely care about your brand partnership's success. When brands can tell how much you care, you will likely keep their business and get referrals, so deliver your best content. Over-deliver even. Go above and beyond what is expected. Follow up with them about how things went. Offer solutions to any problems they may face. Their referrals can bring plenty of new deals to test out your new rates in the future.
It’s possible to set your rates as high as you want, but how do you determine what the marketplace will bear? The answer is simple- by testing.
Test different rates with different clients and see what sticks. Implement new techniques to improve your services. As your influence grows and your expertise becomes more valuable, you can start charging higher rates without hesitation.
Please remember that just because someone offers a lower rate doesn’t mean you have to take it. You are worth more than that.
Have you tried any of these tips for increasing your income as a content creator?
Let us know in the comments below or on our social media pages. And don't forget to buy our book, “The Micro-Influencer’s Brand Partnership Bible"! Learn the battle-tested creator career growth system that works regardless of algorithm updates.