Negotiation Tips to help you Master Creator Brand Deal Negotiations

May 19, 2023
8 Min read

Everyone sucks at negotiating- yes even the brands. We hear from creators all the time how they feel inadequate leading negotiations and guess what- brands feel the same way. Negotiation is a learned skill that you have to practice over and over again. There are entire master's level courses on how to do negotiation and the highest ranks in military operations are generally negotiators.

So toss out the notion that you (and only you) suck at negotiation, it's HARD for everyone- now add in the emotional complexity of getting paid for your work! 

That's why we brought in Eric Farber of Creators Legal to give y'all some insider tips on how to be a better negotiator. Eric has worked for over 25 years as a sports and entertainment lawyer with big names like Vernon Davis and the Tupac Shakur (RIP) estate.

So, let's dive into his insider tips and learn how to know your worth and multiply it in your brand deal negotiations.  

A good contract is a roadmap to a successful relationship.

1. Understand the Value of Your Platform

Before you even begin negotiating with brands, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of the value your platform brings. This involves analyzing your engagement metrics, such as likes, shares, comments, and views, as well as the size and demographics of your audience. These factors play a significant role in determining how much a brand is willing to pay for your endorsement.

Remember that your value goes beyond the numbers. The unique voice and perspective you bring to your content is an asset that brands are eager to tap into. Don't be afraid to highlight these qualities when discussing potential partnerships.

Check out our base rate calculator to see where you should start charging.

2. Research the Market Rates

To ensure you're getting a fair deal, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the market rates for creator brand deals. These rates can vary depending on factors such as your niche, audience size, and the type of content you produce. Research what other creators with similar platforms are charging for brand partnerships and use this information as a benchmark in your negotiations.

Keep in mind that market rates are not set in stone. If you feel your content and audience are particularly valuable to a brand, don't hesitate to ask for more than the average rate.

Hashtag Pay Me's benchmarking tool shows you exactly how creators like you are getting paid for brand deals, right now. Get access here!

3. Clearly Define the Scope of Work

One of the most critical aspects of a successful brand deal negotiation is clearly defining the scope of work involved. This includes outlining the specific deliverables (e.g., sponsored posts, Instagram stories, or YouTube videos) and any additional requirements, such as exclusivity clauses or content usage rights.

By having a well-defined scope of work, you can ensure that both you and the brand have a clear understanding of what's expected from the partnership. This not only helps avoid misunderstandings down the line but also allows you to justify your asking price.

4. Be Prepared to Justify Your Rates

When discussing your rates with potential brand partners, be prepared to justify your asking price. This means explaining how the brand will benefit from partnering with you and how your content will resonate with your audience. Use data and examples from previous successful partnerships to support your claims. Being able to confidently and persuasively present your value will not only help you secure better deals but also show brands that you're a professional and reliable partner.

5. Don't Be Afraid to Negotiate

Many creators make the mistake of accepting the first offer they receive, fearing that they'll lose the opportunity if they ask for more. However, negotiation is a normal part of the process, and most brands expect creators to counter their initial offer.

When negotiating, be respectful and professional. Clearly communicate your reasoning behind your counteroffer, and be open to finding a middle ground that satisfies both parties. Remember that negotiating is not just about the monetary compensation – you can also negotiate on aspects such as the scope of work, content usage rights, or the duration of the partnership.

6. Consider Long-Term Partnerships and Growth Opportunities

When negotiating brand deals, it's important to look beyond the immediate monetary gain and consider the long-term potential of the partnership. A brand that offers a lower rate but presents opportunities for ongoing collaborations, increased exposure, or additional perks may be more valuable in the long run.

During the negotiation process, express your interest in establishing a long-term relationship and discuss potential growth opportunities with the brand. This can not only lead to more lucrative deals down the line but also help you build a stronger and more diverse portfolio of partnerships.

7. Learn from the Masters: Books on Negotiation

To hone your negotiation skills, Eric Farber recommends studying the techniques of master negotiators by reading their books. Two highly acclaimed books on the subject are:

• "Never Split the Difference" by Chris Voss: In this book, the former FBI hostage negotiator shares practical negotiation techniques and strategies that you can apply to your brand deal discussions.

• "How to Negotiate Anything" by Herb Cohen: Cohen's classic guide to negotiation provides valuable insights and tactics that can help you become a more effective negotiator in both your professional and personal life.

8. Leverage Creators Legal and Exclusive Offers for Hashtag Pay Me Readers

Creators Legal is a full end-to-end contract management system designed specifically for content creators. With a project management dashboard and over 200+ specialized contracts for the Creator Industry, you don’t have to worry about the legal side of things. Creators Legal helps creators like you navigate contracts and brand deals with confidence.

As a special offer for Hashtag Pay Me users, Creators Legal is providing a free brand deal contract template via this Google Docs link: Click Here

Furthermore, use the coupon code #payme50 at checkout to get 50% off an annual subscription to Creators Legal.

Mastering creator brand deal negotiations is a crucial skill for any content creator looking to monetize their platform. By understanding your worth, researching market rates, clearly defining the scope of work, learning from master negotiators, and leveraging tools like Creators Legal, you'll be well-equipped to secure lucrative and rewarding partnerships that align with your values and goals. Remember, the key to success lies in striking a balance between your needs and the brand's objectives, so be patient, persistent, and always strive for a win-win outcome.

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