How much should influencers be paid?

Chapter 4: Understanding the content creator market

How much money is being spent on influencer marketing?

When pitching and working on brand partnerships, it’s important to understand how much money is being spent on influencer marketing. This gives you the confidence to charge for your time and a general understanding of how the market works.

In 2022, influencer marketing spend by brands is expected to increase to around $16 billion. That’s an increase of $4 billion from 2019. In 2018 only 2 billion was spent. The budget spent on influencers is increasing and the amount of opportunities for good, professional content creators is going to increase.  It’s important to be as prepared for that as possible and take advantage of it.

Those willing to work for it and become an content creator entrepreneur are very likely to get great results

Over-performing sets you apart from your competitors.

In an earlier article, we spoke about math, and what a certain amount of views might be worth. In that example we used 90,000 views to create a rough value for those views.

The client objective of almost every campaign you execute will ultimately be to increase sales. If you generate the client 90,000 views, how many people viewing your content do you think might go on to buy in the next 3 months? Probably quite a few if you’ve got the right audience for the brand.

This is why brands spend money on influencers. If you make for example 100 sales from 90,000 views can you begin to imagine how valuable 100 sales is to the brand? Clearly if the product your promoting is worth $25 that’s a value of $2,500 in sales. If you make 1,000 sales it’s $25,500. Over-performing is certainly one way to make sure they use you, and also pay you more next time. Believe me, if you over-perform, they will track that and know about it.

This is something The Rock and Ryan Reynolds are exceptional at as content creators. Bothe have athlete mentalities when it comes to work, and when they sign onto a project they don’t just take their salary/payment and go home. They do everything they can to make sure the projects performs as well as possible, and so should you if you want to become a go to Content Creator for brands.

Check out Ryan Reynolds promoting Toon Blast. The campaign isn’t live anymore so you can’t see the original video, but he generated over 60 million views through his own channels across 10 different versions of content, getting the balance of entertainment / advertising right (important) and adding huge value to the brand through his channels. 
Having proven that he could get the reach, results and downloads of the game, his value for future campaigns in the industry skyrocketed as a paid ambassador. This led to 20th Century Fox welcomed and supported him and his channels as the central marketing platform for Deadpool. He was also offered a huge share in an already successful gin business in exchange for doing the marketing. The gin sold so well, he then went on to buy the company off the owners, and continue to do the bulk of the marketing organically through his social media, and utilising social media network (Hugh Jackman anyone?). 

It’s another way of understanding your value as an influencer entrepreneur and why you need to charge for your work, but it’s also good to understand why genuinely becoming an advocate for the product ongoing, fiercely, and generating over-performance is in your best interest. Even if the first time around you’re not quite being paid what you would perhaps like. If that happens, out-perform on the campaign, and show what you should be getting paid next time through the results you generate.

Another example is The Rock. When he gets a brand campaign he goes all out, and consistently got paid more and more after proving his value. He never lets a campaign fail and is an actor combined with a one man marketing machine.

When The Rock is hired now, a huge reason to select him above all others for the role is because of how well he markets the movie through his channels. The movie producers know if he gets involved in the movie he is going to make it over-perform. Even if it’s a bad movie he will get it to number one, cough, rampage cough.

The point is to always over-deliver. If you’re in danger of under-delivering, post again, or post on another channel, or get an influencer friend involved until you make up the metrics.

Jayden Rodrigues Content Creator
One of Jayden's secrets as a world class content creator and brand partner is that he never allows his campaigns to fail. If the client is posting purely on his TikTok Jayden will use other social media channels to drive traffic to a campaign until he beats his target by a distance, which is often set by clients.

The differing companies who will work with you and have the budgets to spend, on behalf of brands.

After receiving an enquiry or response from your proactive email, your negotiation and communication technique should vary slightly depending on the type of agency you’re dealing with. This comes with experience, but you can get a head start by understanding the type of buyer you’re dealing with.

PR agencies

PR agencies are generally employed by brands to gain exposure through “earned” means. One of the reasons brands employ PR agencies is to have them get the most exposure possible, in the biggest media outlets (influencers included) for the lowest cost.

You can expect them sometimes to approach you offering an experience, or product in exchange for a post. If you negotiate with them, generally they may have a small budget to spend, but rarely go over that unless it’s a high priority campaign and if you negotiate too hard they may instead just source another influencer.

In terms of things to bear in mind when running  a campaign for PR agencies it’s important to remember that they will usually care more about the quality of content produced and that the idea behind the content is on brand, than focussing on the amount of views or cost per view the campaign achieved.

They will have their own targets to hit, so it’s important to be as flexible and understanding as you can. They are probably talking to 20 other influencers at the same time for the same campaign so you can make yourself stand out by being negotiable, understanding, but clear in your expectations.

Marketing agencies

Marketing agencies tend to have larger budgets, and will generally spend a bit more frivolously. You can expect them to approach you with an actual budget in mind and also expectations on what that budget will achieve.

Depending on the offer and whether it’s in line with “the math” that we talked about earlier you may wish to take this, or renegotiate with them. I would expect marketing agencies to approach you with a fair and considered offer. The person you’re speaking to probably has plenty of data that they are looking at when approaching you and will  have probably done this a lot before. They will have a good understanding of the value you bring and what a reasonable rate for your influencer work would be. It’s important to be considerate of that, and see if you agree with their rationale before negotiating.

Often marketing agencies won’t bat too much of an eye at a slight increase in price, as long as you can back this up with rationale, or offer something additional into the campaign if there’s clear value for doing it. An example might be an extra post or adding in another social media channel. Marketing agencies will be very focused on the stats achieved by the campaign, so keep those reach, views and cost per view figures to mind and be ready to share the demographics of your audience and followers in the media pack we spoke about in an earlier article.

Media agencies

Media agencies usually have very big budgets, and will be thinking of running campaigns with influencers at scale.

You won’t be the only influencer on their list and these agencies should be a focus for any influencers with over 100k followers. They want the big results and might care even more about the cost per view stats than marketing agencies.

Be vigilant in the stats, your presentation format, and the expected results that a campaign through yourself will gain for them. If the cost per view is less than what the media agency usually gets, you could warrant some really big budgets.

Talent agencies

Talent agencies are a great idea to sign up for, provided you get the right one for you. If you sign a contract with a talent agency like Digital Fox Talent you will be expected to forward on all enquiries to them. They will then negotiate on your behalf which can be very useful if you aren’t confident in pitching yourself, working out the math, working out the value or negotiating in general.

In terms of gaining extra work, they will probably have fantastic clients on their books already, so it’s important to ask who they generally get campaigns from before you sign. Digital Fox Talent for example work with Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony, Electronic Arts, Marvel, LucasFilm, Universal, IMAX, 20th Century FOX, Amazon Prime Video, Topps, Ubisoft, 2K Games, Nickelodeon, Playstation, Comic-Con and more.

If the talent company specializes in the right industries and has clients that fit into your content strategy, getting signed by them can be a huge win for you as an influencer, and it can be a very effective partnership. Once signed on you can expect business to come to you through them without having to do any pro-active work at all, or indeed any negotiating/communication with brands.

Be wary to decide whether they have your best interests at heart, and whether you feel that you trust them. That’s really important. This can be mitigated by getting a tight contract in place to ensure it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, and it gives you a clear indication on how beneficial the relationship is to you.

Lastly on talent agencies, try to observe whether they are willing to give you their time, be patient with you, explain the business, explain how it helps you and what any barriers might be. Those who explain both sides of whether a contract is right for you, and are patient and fair in their discussions would be worth exploring as they can increase your revenues dramatically. 


Generating relationships with the bigger brands is tricky. These brands generally have talent agencies in place to manage partnerships with influencers and it’s in their interest not to go directly to talent. It saves time and money to go to an agency with an existing batch of relevant, tried and tested Content Creators.

When you do manage to get direct contact, negotiations with brands can usually be very quick as you’re dealing directly with them. They will be more focused on running an efficient campaign that delivers a good result than watching the individual dollars, negotiating too hard and trying to make a profit by running the campaign. The key thing here is to deliver a campaign that drives results for them. Those cost per views I mentioned before are useful to present here once you’ve finished the campaign.

All of these potential clients will provide you with a brief once an influencer campaign has been agreed with you.

To sum up

Understanding the market, and the business you’re speaking to will go a long way to creating a good, and profitable relationship for all parties. 

Reach out to Digital Fox Talent

Answering briefs can be tough, especially if you’re new to being a content creator. Talent agencies like Digital Fox Talent manage all of this for their talent team so if you think we can help, you can sign up here. For more advice, visit here.

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