You’ve put in all the work to create products for your handmade brand. Now, how do you get customers to actually see them and buy them?
One of the most effective ways big brands have created buzz and awareness is through influencer marketing. After all, people are less likely to buy something from a tv commercial (where they know they are being “sold”) than an influencer they already know, like, and trust.
Plus, by working with influencers, you check off a lot of boxes in most marketing plans:
- They create a testimonial that you can quote and use later
- You don’t have to hire an expensive model, photographer, makeup artist, etc. to create a similar lifestyle photoshoot
- You create more awareness and exposure for your products by using their audience (and save buckets of money in ads)
But how do you even get started? How do you know you’re not getting ripped off? And most importantly, how do you know a collaboration is going to be a good fit?
In this article, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know about working with influencers in 2021 to increase your exposure, your reach, and your sales. Influencer marketing might sound really intimidating when you first start, but at the end of this article, I really hope that you have some more clarity and a little bit more of an action plan so then that way you can start implementing the things that you’ll learn.
Is It Cost-Effective?
Influencer marketing can be really effective for growing the exposure of your handmade brand for a couple of reasons. With an influencer collaboration, you get a lot of different aspects of marketing all in one go. You avoid having to hire your own photographer to create professional and impactful photos or a videographer if you hire someone to create video for you. You also avoid the high price of hiring a model and also the ads in order for any of this content to have the exposure and reach to really grow your handmade brand.
Working with an influencer covers all of these in one go and saves you a ton of time. Plus, if you sync up with the right influencer, can save you a ton of money and make a really, really, really big impact on your overall business as a whole.
But before you start approaching influencers, it’s important to be able to distinguish what creates a good fit for you and your handmade business and what might not.
Micro And Macro Influencers
Influencers really can be categorized into two different sections, either a macro-influencer or a micro-influencer.
Micro-influencers have statistically been more impactful for small business sales than macro-influencers. However, it really is up to you and go with your gut because nobody knows your business like you do. A micro-influencer is categorized as any influencer on any platform that has anywhere from 1000 to 100,000 followers. A macro-influencer is anyone with over 100,000 followers.
Know What You’re Asking For
Now I think it is fair to note that whether we’re working with micro-influencers or macro-influencers, these people have worked really hard for their reach, their audience and the authenticity that they have built into their content. Just be sure that we’re always respectful and always kind, even if this brand collaboration doesn’t work out.
Also keep in mind that whenever you’re working with any influencer, there’s going to be a premium if you’re also asking for video, for multiple images, some kind of exclusivity, or for extra features.
For example, on Instagram, if you’re asking for influencers to share the link in their bio or do a swipe up feature in the stories that may come at an additional cost. Plus if you’d like some kind of exclusivity where you can use their photos that they’ve created on your own website, then that can also be an additional fee.
Get my free handmade product pricing worksheet here
Now, the numbers that I’m going to cover today are just averages. An influencer can charge more if they have more of a reach, more engagement or are in a more targeted niche.
For example, a lifestyle influencer might not be able to charge as much as an influencer that runs kid’s virtual art classes. The point being, the influencers in a specific niche have prime access to your audience and so they can charge more of a premium for that service. Before you make assumptions, just be sure to communicate with that influencer. They’ll all have slightly different prices based on their engagement, their reach, their audience and other factors.
What are the average going rates for influencers across the different platforms in 2021?
In 2021 at the time of this article, the average influencer on Facebook can charge about $250 per post per 10,000 followers. Meaning they could also charge $2,500 for 100,000 followers or $25,000 for one million followers.
Now it’s relatively easy to reach out to influencers directly on Facebook. However, Facebook also has a Brand Collabs Manager, where you can compare prices for different influencers, their reach, see their engagement, and make sure a collaboration is a really good fit. The program is totally free to use and will offer you some really great insight.
The standard rate for influencer marketing on Instagram is $10 per 1000 followers per photo. Now this means that if you ask an influencer to post a carousel post and have three photos, then plan on paying more per photo.
For example, if an influencer on Instagram has 10,000 followers, then they would be charging $100 per photo. If they have 100,000 followers, then they’ll be charging $1,000 per photo. Keep in mind too, videos, extra features, swipe-ups, links and bios, exclusivity, all of that can be extra.
On Instagram, if you’re a small business that doesn’t want to pay an influencer by followers but instead by their reach or their engagement (which can often be more successful and more transparent in the grand scheme of things) the average rate on Instagram is 250 to $750 per 1000 engagements. Meaning per 1000 comments, likes shares, all of that stuff counts as engagement on Instagram.
Next, let’s dive into YouTube. The average YouTube influencer fee is $20 per 1000 subscribers for a sponsored video. This means that if an influencer has 10,000 subscribers, there’ll be charging approximately $200 per video. If you’d like to take a more performance-driven approach to influencer marketing on YouTube, the going rate in 2021 is between $50 to $100 per 1000 views.
Also keep in mind that if an influencer’s earlier videos have lower views and their recent videos have higher views, their price is going to be what their recent videos received, not when they very first started.
As a small business owner, if you would like to work with YouTube influencers, I recommend checking out YouTube Brand Connect (formally FameBit until Google purchased it in 2016.) They connect influencers with small businesses and have a $100 minimum project and a 10% service fee after everything is all said and done. It’s a really great way to compare influencers, discover new talent and see if it’s going to be a really good fit for your handmade brand.
If you’d like to work with bloggers in 2021, which I totally recommend it! By collaborating with a blogger, your handmade brand will receive beautiful photos (often more lifestyle photos of your products being used,) you have a great testimonial that you can quote and use for later and it’s a really great way for your brand to get more exposure. As an added bonus, often a blogger will share their content across their social media channels making it really, really effective.
The average rate for bloggers in 2021 is $60 per post per 1000 views. Every blogger can have different rates, so just keep that in mind as you’re negotiating and working with these influencers.
How To Work With Influencers For FREE
But how do you work with an influencer for free? Often, when micro-influencers are looking for original, awesome content too to share with our audience, they will work with you as an affiliate. What that means is for every sale that they generate, they would get a commission. This can be really effective however if you’re going to approach an influencer with an affiliate marketing pitch, you really should also be willing to give them a free product in exchange for working with you. Often you can approach influencers and ask them to just review your product and take a look at it and see what they think. It can be a way for your small business to get the exposure and the reach without the big upfront investment.
Now again, this approach only works when it’s mutually beneficial and the influencer is really excited about your product.
Your emails can really go something like this:
“Hi, my name is Lisa and I make beautiful golden jewelry. Here’s the link to my Instagram page. I would love to send you two pieces of whatever you want if you would like to help spread the word about my company.”
Then it can go back and forth. And maybe they’re really excited about it, maybe not. Maybe they send you their rates and then you can go from there. But it’s a really good jumping-off point as a small business owner to get the conversation going and build more awareness and reach around your handmade business.
I hope that this article was helpful, impactful, and gave you a good jumping-off point. I hope it gave you some new ideas to grow the reach of your handmade brand!
If you are just getting started with your handmade brand or have sold less than 1,000 items, I recommend you reserve a spot in one of my upcoming free workshops!
In this totally free workshop, you’ll learn:
- The top 3 best-selling handmade items you can start making this weekend
- The formula top-selling business owners use to price their handmade creations
- How to do market research and decide if a project is worth selling
- The myths that hold most creative entrepreneurs back
Click here to join me for the next workshop!