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5 Basic Rules To Adhere To When Negotiating With InfluencersPartnering with influencers in your marketing campaign is a great way to expand and boost your brand’s reach. However, the success of such partnerships is in the relationship between you and the influencers. Building a healthy relationship with the influencers comes with healthy negotiation, which can often be uncomfortable and tricky.

However, in all honesty, partnership negotiation should not be a complicated affair. In fact, the easier way to approach a healthy negotiation is when you adopt an influencer-first approach, putting their needs above your brand’s.

In this guide, we will show you five basic negotiating rules you need to adhere to for a healthy and successful influencer-brand partnership negotiation.

Rule #1: Always be kind and respectful

At the end of the day, the partnership should be about building a positive relationship with one another. If you carry the mentality that your brand is king, the influencer marketing campaign will not go far. You must bear in mind that negotiations are not solely transactional but more about building a relationship. Even if it does not end with an immediate partnership agreement, at least a good negotiation can still end with a positive relationship.

Influencers, KOLs, and content creators are easily misunderstood as content generators. They are more than that, and more often than not, they have developed their own branding and fan base. A good way to adjust your conception when negotiating with them is to see them as a new team member you are potentially hiring. Connect with them and get to understand their point of view.

Rule #2: Be ready with data

If you have not worked with any influencers before, chances are you would not know how much to pay each influencer. Rather than solely basing your rate estimation on factors such as follower counts, use a mix of data, such as:

  • Audience alignment: Are their followers who your brand looks for in your targeted demographic? An influencer with the right targeted audience will have more versatility in a long-term partnership.
  • Influencer attributes: What languages can they speak, where do they live, and what are their key interests? Ultimately, do their values align with your brand’sbrand’s?
  • Average engagement: An influencer with a high engagement rate would be beneficial for your brand. A high engagement rate does not mean generating a lot of new posts. It means audience interaction and involvement.

While data is a powerful tool to utilise when negotiating with influencers, know that it is just the tip of the iceberg. It always works well to be flexible and go slightly above your initial budget range if you know that the influencer has a unique pool of followers that your brand should not miss out on.

Another vital piece of data to prepare before negotiating with the influencer is your campaign details. For example, knowing what content type you are targeting, influencer brief, as well as usage rights are some information you need to let the influencers know beforehand.

Rule #3: Always communicate

Communicate clearly throughout the marketing campaign. Never leave the influencer questioning the partnership. Providing them with a firm sense of security during the negotiation is one of the factors influencers look out for. When there is transparent, clear communication, it provides them with the reassurance that there will be a good partnership.

Rule #4: Think creatively and be open to discussion

A partnership involves two parties working together to find common ground. If you find that the influencer is seeking a rate higher than what your brand has budgeted for, you can always ask them to break down their rates per deliverable to understand what they are prioritising.

For example, if their content strategy involves more Instagram Stories than in-feed posts, you might want to ask yourself if stories are necessary for your campaign. Hence, this is why we advise you to be ready with data so that you are sure of your campaign’s objective.

Going back to what we mentioned earlier about adopting an influencer-first mindset. When negotiating with influencers, always think from their perspective. They are, after all, experienced and aware of what their audiences are looking for. Rather than giving them the illusion that this is a one-off partnership, why not sweeten the deal by making it a potential long-term partnership? That way, you can bring to the table a higher degree of flexibility in terms of partnership rates.

Rule #5: It does not hurt to walk away but always leave the door open

There is nothing wrong with walking away from a negotiation if visions and numbers do not align. Furthermore, just because you are saying no now does not mean you are saying no forever. Remember, negotiation does not necessarily mean ending with an immediate partnership. It can also be a start of a positive influencer-brand relationship. As a brand, you can always offer opportunities for organic engagement by offering them merch or gifting them new launch products. And once your budget aligns with what they offered, you can always pick back up the conversation in the future.


Building a positive 1:1 relationship with influencers is all part of positive KOL marketing strategies. When there is a healthy partnership between the two parties, the campaign will flow naturally and successfully.

Nevertheless, if you are looking for assistance with partnering and negotiating with the right social media influencer, Kobe is here to help. We are an influencer marketing agency with the right connection and lots of experience in matching brands with the best-suited influencers for the best results.

Head over to to speak with us today!