Determining a value for your work goes beyond setting a price for individual pieces of content. In this resource article, we address what content creators should consider before pricing their content.

 

Learning the Hard Way

The influencer/creator marketplace is no longer the wild west it was five years ago. In many ways, content creators now serve as full-scale publishing houses, by exclusively creating, distributing, and marketing content they create for their clients.

On our very first brand campaign three years ago, we made a considerable mistake. We mistakenly did not include the price of several key items (used in the photoshoots) in our fee proposal. We completed the project and asked the agency to reimburse us at the end.

Sadly, the agency said this was something we should’ve included in our proposal, and that it was too late to go back to the client with yet an additional cost. This meant we were out of pocket £80. Surely not a fortune by any stretch of the mind, but definitely a mistake that took away from our net earnings in the end.

We now carefully consider a wide number of factors into the calculation of our rates and fees. Depending on the assignment or campaign, any number (and often all) of the following areas will be meticulously addressed:

 

Amount of content (content bundles, etc).

Does the brand want more than a one-off post? If so, encourage your client to opt-in to more content by offering content bundles which create an ecosystem of content that could better serve the brand’s key campaign messages.

Offer brands content packages

In your client proposal, create two to three package options. Note that if the client were to contract you for each individual piece of content separately, they might pay up to 20% more. Don’t undervalue your work. However, by creating incentives around content bundles, you can encourage your client to opt-in to more content.

 

Completion timeline (time allotment for content creation and publishing)

Ask brands about content deadlines upfront. Additionally, ask about their approval process. If a client is unable to follow their own approval schedule, this could potentially affect your editing and publishing schedule, so make sure to communicate your expectations during initial negotiations. If the client has a tight turnaround, then super close deadlines should incur a rush fee on your behalf.

 

Licensing terms & usage rights (exclusivity, etc)

Does the brand require that the content you create only be used in relation to their campaign? Do they require the use of photo or video content across their own native platforms or in a print publication? Do they want to license any of your content for six months, one or two years?

Licensing guidance for creatives

If their answer is yes to any of these questions, consider adjusting (increasing) your fee to reflect their needs. Be sure to communicate your yearly renewal fees, and make sure you have a system in place to contact the client once the end of the year is approaching. We use Getty image calculator to get an average figure for licensing images.

Additionally, please review the contract terms carefully. Creative agencies often declare that by signing the contract, the brand automatically owns any content you produce. If you’re unsure about licensure terminology, have a look at Pixpa’s online resource that describes the differences between various types of image licensing.

 

Also, READ our other blog post on “5 Questions Influencers Should Ask When Working With Brands

 

Brand exclusivity (working with competing brands)

Does the brand require that you not work with a competing brand for any specified period of time? Typically, exclusivity beyond a two week period should increase rates.

We’ve often contracted with clients who do not allow us to use their competitor’s products for the entire duration of the content agreement (one year). Our final fee typically reflects this exclusivity clause.

 

Space hire

On some occasions, we’ve needed to hire out spaces to shoot specific campaigns. A recent brand campaign shoot required a space with large windows providing plenty of natural light in order to be able to shoot late into the afternoon during the winter. We rented an Airbnb for the day and shot two looks in winter daylight hours. We included the cost of the rental space in our proposal.

 

Plan for any props you may need to purchase (food, interior items, etc)

Select the colour palette and create a mood board (we use Canva and Pinterest for this) in advance.

Mood board pre-campaign

Final look chosen by client for campaign

 

We keep the tags on everything we purchase just in case we don’t use some items. This ensures those items can be returned.

 

Any special clothing you need to buy (seasonal, etc)

Certain campaigns might cause you to shoot offseason, and you may need to purchase several items so that the content looks fresh when you post it several months later. Include your looks on your mood board so you know exactly what items you have at home, and which ones you’ll need to source.

 

Transportation (public and self-driving)

We always figure out our transportation fees in advance. If we need to drive to the location, we use resources like this petrol calculator (UK).

 

Additional support team (food stylist, camera person, assistant, etc)

There is no shame in delegating parts of the campaign work to a hired team member, especially if the campaign is quite robust. This could also be a great opportunity to collaborate with other content creators who bring very specific skills. Carefully consider their role, however. If they’re essential to the campaign being completed successfully, then add their expenses into your fee.

Delegating creative roles to team members

In our fee proposal for an upcoming campaign, we communicated to the brand that we would have an assistant with us on shoot days, and that their admission into any themed attractions would need to be covered. Our final fee reflected budget allocation to pay our assistant for their time.

 

Leave budget for reshoots and emergencies (emergencies happen)

We look at this topic like having additional insurance. Don’t be the content creator who has to reshoot an entire day without the budget for it. It’s happened to us, and it hurts your pockets.

Like us, you could be at the start of a long term campaign relationship. You submit your content for approval, and then the client comes back to you with the dreaded “Do you have any other photos and videos…these are too ambitious!”

Trust us. For every three hours of shooting time, budget an additional hour to either overshoot and try shooting an additional look. Or tack on an additional half day for any mishaps or emergencies that may occur.

 

Revisions

Decide ahead of time what your revision policy is. It’s standard to offer one revision to clients. Have a fee for additional revisions, and make sure to communicate it upfront.

 

Calculate your tax needs (self-employment status)

Due to VAT in the UK, we add an additional 20-30% to our fee as self-employed freelancers. Depending on where you reside, carefully check your tax laws, and plan ahead.

 

Setting a Value for Your Work as a Content Creator

We realise that negotiation situations might differ across brands, industries and even jurisdictions. Therefore, please only use this list as a guide rather than an exhaustive checklist.

Regardless, we think that the above points can improve the quality of your discussions with brands and hopefully help you get better at setting a value for your work as a content creator.

Do you have any other points to share or any positive or negative experiences you have had working with brands where some of these points were (or could have been) helpful? Join the conversation in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!

 

Further reading: Check out the article we wrote about what questions creators/influencers should ask before working with brands.

 

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What areas to consider when setting pricing as a content creator

Co-Founders & Curators at HDYTI

Eulanda & Omo Osagiede are London-based freelance writers and award-winning social influencers who run the popular travel, food, and lifestyle blog HDYTI (Hey! Dip your toes in).