We get asked this all the time. The truth is there isn’t an easy answer or a formula established to yield an appropriate answer. The price of a commodity is rarely fixed; influencer marketing isn’t much different. In 2015, when influencer marketing began to skyrocket, top influencers were bringing in 100K a year. Now, those same influencers demand as much for a single post. So does that mean: 10 mm followers = $100k per post? No. Nor does it mean an equation can be built from those numbers. And that shouldn’t trouble you! In fact, that’s the beauty of a free market. Someone will provide quality goods at a certain price—and someone else will eventually come around to provide the same goods at a competitive price. It’s up to you, the consumer, (or in this case, the marketer), to figure out if it’s worth it or not.

So! How do we figure that out, exactly?

Here’s a list of things to consider WAY before opening up your checkbook.

1) Acquisition of Views 

You, as a brand or marketer, are attracted to a certain influencer because they fit the bill. They attract the audience you’re hoping to reach and they seem to have a great level of engagement. Terrific. Now, spend some time studying their profile. Did they yield ___ amount of views right away or over a significant amount of time? If your campaign has time-sensitive elements to it, maybe the latter isn’t for you.

2) When Will Your Campaign Run?

We ask this only because there is always a premium during certain times of the year. Try booking a hotel in NYC during Fashion Week, for example. Rates are double, or even triple. Same goes for influencers during the holidays. Black Friday, Christmas? Forget it. Start on a random Thursday and develop a relationship with an influencer. Then parlay that into a decent rate over the holidays!

3) How Popular Is The Influencer?

If the social media influencer you’re after is quite popular, they’re likely getting loads of offers from brands. But you never know. Maybe they’re being incredibly selective, or maybe you stumbled onto an influencer who hasn’t yet piqued the interest of brands. Still, do your homework. Check out their profile. Vet them. Because here’s the thing: If they are doing tons of promotion, do you want to be just another brand on their profile? Probably not.

4) More Than Meets The Eye

It’s not just a post that you’re paying for …think about it. It’s insight into their audience and content creation, too. When you pay a carpenter, you’re paying for their time and materials. So brands/marketers, when you reach out, make sure your brief/pitch and deliverables are crystal clear. Have a conversation, too. Don’t just tell them what you want. Learn from them and come up with a plan together.

With that said, we’d like to offer one final tip, which is probably obvious to a lot of you—if not all: Start from the finish line. Come up with a budget. Don’t go over that budget. Find the number you’d like to spend; if you’re up for a bit of negotiating offer less than that and hope you land somewhere in the middle. Whether it’s 10 bucks a post or a cool 100K.