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How to Set Your Influencer Rate

A woman sits at a table holding a red smartphone in her left hand while punching numbers on a calculator with her left hand. A red notebook lies open close to her right hand. She is figuring out her influencer rate before giving a quote to an advertiser.

When most people think of negotiating a contract, they think of settling on a final dollar value. For the most part, they’re right. But there are two things you need to do before you can get to that final value. First, you’ll need to set a base rate. Next, you’ll need to decide what you’re willing to trade for, to move that base rate up or down. In this article, we’ll go over how you can set that initial influencer rate that you can use to start your negotiations. Our next article will show you how to move that base rate up or down based on what you’re willing to trade for.

Before You Start, Know Some Industry Terms for Influencer Marketing Contracts

We all instinctively know that, when you negotiate a business deal, you want to at least sound like you know what you’re doing…even when, deep down, you’re not so confident. A large part of sounding confident is using and understanding various industry terms.

So, let’s go over some vocabulary first.

What’s The Difference Between a Creator and an Influencer?

Creators make online content. A creator that makes something interesting can often gather a following. Then, they become an influencer—a creator with a following. As influencers, they can influence their followers’ thinking. Hence the name.

People tend to associate influencers with social media, but this doesn’t have to be true. A writer-creator with a popular blog can be an influencer too.

In marketing or brand deals, the industry tends to use influencer instead of creator.

In Marketing Deals, Influencers Are Divided into Tiers

To make it easier to talk about an influencer’s reach, the marketing industry breaks influencers down to several tiers. These tiers are defined by the number of followers. Here are the tiers and the follower count for each tier:

  • Nano-influencer: 1,000-10,000 followers; some sources say 1,000-5,000 followers
  • Micro-influencer: 10,000-50,000 followers; some sources say up to 100,000 followers; some say 5,000-50,000
  • Mid-tier influencer: 50,000-500,000 followers; some sources say 50,000-300,000
  • Macro-influencer: 500,000-1,000,000 followers; some sources say 300,000-1,000,000 followers
  • Mega-influencer: 1,000,000+ followers

As you can see, the terms are standard but the number of followers are not.

Just because you’re a nano or micro influencer doesn’t mean you’ll be less valuable to advertisers. Right now, advertisers are looking for certain types of nano and micro influencers.

The theory goes: nano and micro influencers have smaller followings because they work in specific niches. So, nano and micro influencers could be a perfect fit for a brand trying to sell into a particular niche. This means that as long as you’re in the right niche and your engagement rate is high, you might still command a decent rate for your services.

Your Influencer Rate Depends on the Type of Project, Your Industry, and Your Engagement Rate

As we already alluded to, in addition to follower count, your industry niche will affect how much you can charge per marketing deal. You’ll also need to pay attention to the type of project and your engagement rate.

The industry you work in will affect your rate, but maybe not in the way you think. It’s common sense that advertisers in the beauty industry will pay a price different from an advertiser in the financial services industry or the DIY home improvements industry. But there are a lot more beauty industry influencers than DIY home improvement influencers. So, if you’re that DIYer, you might not get a project very often, but when you do, you might be able to command a higher rate than your influencer tier suggests.

Your rate will also depend on the type of work you’re asked to do. It’ll take you less time to make a post praising a product than to make a new unboxing video about that product. So, it makes sense to charge more for the video than for the post.

Lastly, your rate will depend on the engagement rate of your followers. A big reason to advertise through an influencer is to ensure the advertising message sinks in. So, if you can show that your followers like or share your posts or comment on what you say, the engagement can assure the brands that their message will be heard.

You Can Get a Feel for Influencer Rates by Doing an Internet Search

Now that you’re aware of some industry terms and how influencers are roughly categorized, you can look closer at setting a rate for yourself. So, yes, you can type “how much should an influencer charge” into a search bar and your search engine will return a whole bunch of articles.

Some of these articles will even give this informal industry formula:

Influencer rate = $100 per 10,000 followers + ((extra factor e.g. video, product shoutout, etc.) x (number of posts)) + other factors such as actual expenses, IP ownership, etc.

Then the same articles will say that things still vary a lot, so they can’t give you an actual number.

There are also websites with surveys that give information about influencer pricing. For example, you can sometimes find relevant pricing on Statista. Statista is a general data/research site. It happens to have surveys on rates for Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook. You can get the general numbers for free, but for a detailed breakdown, you’ll have to have a paid account. Just type the name of the social media platform into Statista’s search bar, and you should see an available list of data on the site.

But apparently these publicly searchable numbers can be wildly off and change by the day. According to this Marketing Brew article, creators—at least on TikTok—can charge sometimes up to 60 times their listed rates on TikTok Creator Marketplace.

So, how do you get a better feel for the rate for your specific niche, tier, and the type of work? There are two general types of places you can look.

A Talent Agency Should Know the Most Current Influencer Rates

Famous people—mostly actors and athletes—have been endorsing products for a long time. The concept isn’t new, nor are the details in a typical marketing contract.

Talent Agencies Can Represent Influencers in Several Ways

When social media came along, actors and athletes tended to acquire a lot of followers. They tend to become influencers. So, it was a natural step for some marketing and talent agencies to branch into influencer representation.

Traditionally, talent agencies represent only the talent—i.e. the creator. You pay the agency from a percentage of what you bring in. So, when the agency negotiates a contract for you, they have a lot of incentive to get you as high a rate as possible. These agencies will want an exclusive relationship with you, so you can’t simultaneously work with other agencies too.

We looked through a lot of talent and marketing agencies when researching for this article. Influencer talent agencies do not always follow the traditional representation model. Yes, there are some who will represent only you and negotiate hard for you. But these agencies tend to want to work only with mega-influencers.

Many other agencies seem to claim they represent both you and the advertiser. Some just ask you to join their influencer network without giving you additional support. In these cases, make sure you understand how they’ll be compensated if you work with them. If they’re paid by an advertiser to work on a full campaign with a specific budget, then they might try to fit as many influencers as they can into the campaign. So, you can’t count on them to pay you the highest rate for your services.

In any event, just from the sheer volume of deals these agencies work on, they should have a good idea on the current market rate for different types of influencers. Whether they’ll be honest with you depends on the type of representation.

List of Influencer Talent Agencies

We did quite a bit of research and found various talent agencies that represent influencers. Then, we looked through their website to see if they represent influencers only, both advertisers and influencers, or only advertisers.

Here are some agencies we found that will negotiate marketing deals for you:

  • Viral Nation. Viral Nation says it represents and negotiates on behalf of creators. But the firm also represents advertisers, so be careful if you’re working with an advertiser they also represent.
  • Jabberhaus. Jabberhaus says it’s a talent-side management agency. But, if you read their website carefully, it’s not very clear that they would negotiate fully on your behalf. The “client list” on their About page only lists brands. And on their brief description of negotiation services, they seem to be working for both sides. So, if you consider them for representation, be sure to ask if they’ll push hard for you for the best pay.
  • Shade. Shade is a full-service talent agency focusing on black and brown creators. They do help you with contract negotiations as well as with other aspects of growing as a creator.
  • A3 Artists Agency. A3 is a traditional talent-side agency moving into creator management. They’re likely highly selective in who they’ll represent. But a traditional talent agency will almost certainly represent only influencers and not brands.
  • United Talent Agency (UTA). We include UTA only for completeness. They’re one of the biggest talent agencies in the world and are likely only interested in representing the uppermost tier creators. UTA represents talent-side only.

List of Marketing Agencies That Work with Influencers

The following agencies represent both influencers and advertisers. They might negotiate less hard for you, or maybe not negotiate for you at all. Instead, some of them will help you manage other aspects of your career. For example, they might help you put together a portfolio and your media kit (creator’s version of a resume—see this article for some examples). They might also help you pitch your services to advertisers and do other types of business coaching.

You can sign up for their network. But often there’s no guarantee you’ll be selected for a project.

Some of these agencies include:

This is a nonexclusive list. You might be able to find others simply by searching “influencer talent agency.” In fact, we’ve profiled mostly US-based agencies. If you’re in another country, it might be better to work with an agency based locally.

There Are Networking Forums Where Influencers Share Rate Information

Talent agency representation is nice, but not everyone qualifies. The agencies tend to want to represent mega influencers. They might not respond to nano or micro influencers. But every creator starts small. So how do you find a fair rate for your services when you’re small?

We’ve been able to find four creator networking sites/forums where creators share rate information. Some of them even have a publicly available rate calculator. The communities also share other information such as how to build a media kit, how to pitch to brands, and so forth.

All the networking forums we found are restricted. They vet you before they’ll let you in. Some of these forums focus only on one or two content platforms (most often Instagram). So, if you share your work on a platform one of these forums doesn’t focus on, try another forum.

These networking forums should have the most current and most specific influencer rate information.

Here are the forums. is a marketplace for creators and businesses. You can also network with and learn from other creators.

You can sign up for free, but they also have paid tiers that give you more messaging and brand campaign applications per month. has a rate calculator. Use the calculator to get some minimum numbers you can charge, but you can negotiate up from there. The calculator is for Instagram rates, but you might be able to find additional information like TikTok rates if you sign up and network with the other creators.

Hashtag Pay Me

Hashtag Pay Me is a creator networking platform where creators share pay data. They let brands join. They don’t seem to have a formalized marketplace yet for brands or agencies to post ad campaign opportunities.

Hashtag Pay Me has a rate calculator that gives you a base rate. You can negotiate up from there. The calculator only has numbers for Instagram and TikTok right now, however.

F*** You Pay Me

F*** You Pay Me (FYPM) is a creator-only research platform. The platform not only has pay rate information. It also has reviews of advertisers based on the creators’ experience.

FYPM is only for creators. Right now, advertisers can’t get in.

FYPM creators communicate through the FYPM app. Each creator who joins is required to provide a review of an advertiser they’ve worked with in the past. Reviews are anonymous.


Clara is another creator networking platform. There’s not a lot of information on the site—the home page is just a sign up page.

Both creators and advertisers are allowed on the platform. You can share pay data and review advertisers. The most information we were able to find are in their community guidelines. Otherwise, look at reviews of their app and their social media pages to find out more about them.

Knowing Your Influencer Rate is Important, But There Are Other Aspects to a Deal

For most business deals, finding a starting rate is one of the hardest things to do. But once you have this rate, you can move it up or down based on a lot of other things.

For influencers, some of these factors include follower count, engagement rate, and industry niche. But these are not the only factors to consider.

Influencer endorsement contracts are basically contracts for a specific type of service. Because creators make IP, these contracts have various IP components.

You can use these IP components to move your final price up or down. We’ll look at how you can do this in our next article: How to Negotiate an Influencer Contract, for Creators

Interested in starting and running a small business? Here’s the beginning of our step-by-step guide: What to do right after getting that great business idea.

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