Instagram: I Guess I’m an Influencer Now

Instagram: I Guess I’m an Influencer Now

First of all: The fact that over five thousand people care about pictures of me and my computer completely baffles me

Second of all: Today I was approached by a company who wants to pay me to make posts about their company

Third of all: I’ve since had two more companies contact me (unbeknownst to them, unless they all hire the same people) asking me about marketing and prices. I guess 5k-6k is the magic number for people starting to pay attention to you.

My first thoughts were something like, “Did they message the wrong person?,” “Did someone’s cat take over their phone?” “Is this a butt-dial?” After I calmed down enough to figure out how to respond, I realized that there was a huge void of information on what someone’s supposed to do in this situation (despite the fact that this is a rampant practice).

How much should I ask for?

How much should they ask for?

Do we need a legal agreement?

How am I supposed to act?

Is this even real?

So I did what I always do in these situations: research.

The Research

I found an interactive map at that gives you the average prices for an influencer depending on gender, number of followers, engagement rates, location, and a few other categories. It seemed like for a following of my size I should definitely ask for less than $100 dollars.

I also read a lot of articles about people starting Instagram campaigns. Most of them are aimed at people who are trying to hire influencers, not people who are selling their photography/influence/opinion to others. I’ll tell you right now that most of those articles just go back and reference’s information because apparently they’re the only people on the internet who have tried to actually quantify this stuff. Or at least they’re the only people who have gotten any credit for it. Some of those articles reference people getting paid $25-$75 per thousand followers.

I like the idea of having a ratio of money per thousand followers agreement because saying this up front prevents what I’ve often seen in dog-sitting: the awkward “I thought it was less last time” effect when you decide you and your time are worth more than $10 an hour.

Their message was in my inbox, burning a hole in my brain, waiting for me to respond with an appropriate number that neither insulted them nor devalued me. You never want to be the first person to put down a number, but they’d already admitted to being new to this and I didn’t want to get into an awkward “No, you first” conversation.

The Execution

I settled on $10/thousand rounding down. It would put my first post at $50 and would allow me to say “Hey, I have 2,000 more followers than last time, that makes me worth more to you” in the future.

They originally wanted five posts over a two-week period and I recommended extending that so they wouldn’t just be advertising to the same 5k people for two weeks when they could advertise to an additional 1k-4k if they waited another month. They said they’d have to talk to their team, I said “Sure!” and laughed nervously to myself, hoping no one would realize that I was just toddler wearing grown up clothes pretending to know what I’m doing with a bunch of statistics.*

*To be fair to myself, I actually did do a lot of research and it’s a legitimate marketing tactic – it just feels silly (and awesome) to be getting paid to take pictures of myself in my pajamas on my computer

They countered with an offer of $7/thousand followers for two posts over a two-week period with the idea that if they wanted to continue doing influencer marketing after that we would up the price. I agreed because, hey, that is more than the $0/thousand followers I usually make when I post things (and they were giving me access to a tutorial for free). I also agreed to it because I personally don’t know how effective it’ll be for them and I’d love to develop a working relationship with them in the future.

I’m happy my first time was with a company that seemed equally inexperienced and I’m excited to see how it works out (hopefully for the best for both of us).

Now, I have some other emails to respond to.