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5 Brand Deal Pricing Mistakes (Don't Do This)

5-7 minute read

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Do you wanna know the most challenging part about negotiating brand deals when you're starting out?

You don't know what you don't know. You don't know if the price you're giving is too low or too high. You don't know if all the things they're asking for are okay to agree to. You don't know if the timeline they want is realistic. You don't know whether you're allowed to say no to things. Have you ever felt like that?

Well, if you have, You're not alone. When my wife and I started on YouTube over 10 years ago, that happened to us all the time. But you're in luck because there are five brand deal pricing mistakes that I see being made all the time. So if you like money and would actually like people

to pay you more money than you're currently making, then buckle up.

The first brand deal pricing mistake

One of the most common is not asking the brand what the goal of the campaign is. I'm not joking when I say that your rate can go from $500 to $5,000 once you find out what the brand is trying to accomplish and exactly what they're trying to get out of the partnership. Pretty much every single brand deal you'll ever do comes down to three types of campaign goals:

conversion

content repurposing

brand awareness.


A conversion-focused campaign

This is where the brand is trying to drive action, like sales, clicks, optimizing for a clickthrough rate, app downloads, etc.

If a brand is primarily interested in content repurposing, they're likely to care about the number of assets you can create for them. Can you make platform-specific cuts, like one for YouTube, and one for TikTok, and one for Instagram?


Campaigns Focused on Brand Awareness

Where they're going to be most interested in vanity metrics, like impressions, and engagement, and views.

If you don't know which of these things the brand focuses on, how can you possibly craft a compelling pitch during the negotiation? You're probably wondering, "Okay, after I figured out the goal, how should that change my pricing?" Well, that's precisely the type of thing I cover in my course "Brand Deal Wizard."

So click the HERE to stay updated on when enrollment for the next class starts.

So let's talk about the second brand deal pricing mistake, which I have the Due Rule. And I'm not talking about when the content is due, even though that is important.

And side note, why do creators always turn things in late?

Stop doing that. Seriously.

So Due Rule, what I'm talking about is D-U-E.

Deliverables, usage rights, and exclusivity.

When brands ask for your rates, you need to know how much work you need to do, right?

Which platforms are they interested in? YouTube? Instagram? TikTok? Twitch? Your blog? A billboard on a bench in Downtown L.A.? All of this really does matter.

Another thing to know is the medium that's going to be used. Do brands want photos or videos? Or maybe they want both, which requires a lot more or resources and planning. How many posts do they want?

If you find out that they actually wanna hire you to create content for them every single month, that's a lot different than a one-off collaboration. Don't you think your pricing should change to reflect that? Is your head spinning right now? Good!

Let me spin it some more 'cause we're not done.

Usage rights, right? Do they want to use your content for paid advertising, or do they just want to reshare it on their social platforms? How long do they want to do that for? Are they asking for perpetual usage, which means forever?

By the way, don't agree to that unless they want to, you know, drive a literal garbage truck of money onto your driveway and just kind of dump it there.

And perhaps most importantly, exclusivity. You need to know if you're not allowed to work with the brand's competitors, precisely who those competitors are, and for how long. What happens when you agree to a one-year exclusivity with a brand and nine months down the line, which is a long time, by the way, one of their competitors approaches you and wants to partner? You literally can't do it. And you just lost out on a paycheck. I know a creator who accidentally agreed to a five-year exclusivity clause on a free mattress. They weren't even paid. So paying attention to these things matters, and you need to price your deals accordingly.

Third brand deal pricing mistake

Stop negotiating against yourself. Okay, now repeat after me. Never will I ever say, "Well, you know, I usually charge X, but I'm happy to do it for X minus Y." I literally cannot tell you how many times I've seen creators do this. Give the brand your rate and shut up. And trust me, I understand, when you're starting out, you really want to close those first few brand deals. But all you're going to do is make it harder for you to get paid what you're really worth and more accessible for the brand to commoditize you. Have some confidence.

Fourth brand deal pricing mistake

Not offering multiple packages. Believe it or not, 99% of creators don't do this. Whenever a brand asks you how much you charge for, let's say, one I.G. post, one I.G. story, never, never, never spit back just one number. You need to have multiple packages priced differently. And yes, even if they don't ask for it. You have to remember that the brand is likely working with more than one creator at a time. So if they see that you can offer a package that gives them three posts instead of two, even if it's more expensive, what does that do for them?

It makes their life easier. That's one more minor email thread to manage, one less contract, one less briefing call, one less invoice. It just simplifies everything. So next brand deal, give them at least three packages, and then I want you to report back to me with what happens. Deal?

Fifth brand deal pricing mistake

Are you ready? Not walking away when you really should. Look, not every deal is gonna work out, and that's okay. There are many moving parts when it comes to sponsorships, many of which you have no control over. Even if a brand wants to work with you, they may simply not be able to afford you. Don't get angry. Don't be rude.

Be nice.

I have literally had brands who couldn't afford my wife's, and my rates come back to us six months later with a more robust budget. So I can guarantee you that this will happen.


The best brand deals are ones that not only pay your rate but also love your work. Don't make the mistake of setting a low pricing precedent. That's really hard to dig your way out of, especially if it turns into a long-term thing. Don't be desperate; play the long game and just trust that a better deal will be around the corner.

So what other brand deal pricing mistakes have you made in the past?


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