The The PR Desk is a regular column on FBC written by PR professional Heather Travis to help food bloggers navigate the ins and outs of working with PR agencies and brands. This month, Heather explains how bloggers can ask for more money as part of her ongoing Show Me the Money! series.
In this next part of our Show Me the Money series, we’re exploring the topic of asking for more. More can be hard to ask for despite your inner Brittany screaming “GIMME MORE!” But unlike Brittany the rest of us should really ask more politely.
The conclusion to my last article was thus:
“You and only you can determine what you feel your services are worth. If you can clearly articulate the rationale for why and show solid proof (results), you can charge anything you want.”
And that conclusion is a very logical place to start this conversation about more. If you can clearly articulate the value you'll bring (and you have solid proof), asking for more to ensure you're paid the rate you feel is fair for your efforts should be easy.
A very typical approach to "blogger programs" is assigning the same compensation to each blogger participant for their efforts. As a brand manager this makes our jobs easier and helps us manage budgets, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for negotiation.
There's always room for negotiation.
How Do I Ask for More?
As the expression goes, “the answer is always no until you ask.”
Yes, of course, there's an ideal approach to how you ask.
No, you won’t always get more even when you ask.
Yes, the way you ask and your responses during negotiation will impact your future working relationship with the brand/agency/PR moving forward.
So with all that in mind, here’s my best advice on asking for more.
1. Pick up the Phone
You’ve heard me say this many times before. Pick up the phone and call the person who sent you the email.
2. Say Thank You
First things first… you just received an offer from a brand to work together in a capacity that made you happy (even though you may want more), so for that you must say THANK YOU!
“Hi PR person, it's blogger Jane Doe …. Thank you so much for your note about the exciting blogger campaign!” is literally the script I would feed you.
Thank you goes a long way and starts the conversation off on the right tone.
3. Learn More First
Before you ask for more, I encourage you to learn more first. Ask about the campaign and dig deeper.
- Do they have plans beyond the campaign?
- Do they plan on buying recipes or images after everyone has delivered?
- Do they have any special content needs you could fulfill in a unique capacity?
- What are their goals for this campaign and what are they hoping to achieve by working with you?
Only once you know this information can you prepare yourself for a follow-up request for more.
4. Follow Up (And THEN Ask for More)
I would never suggest immediately asking for more on your initial phone call.
The best way to conclude your LEARNING call is to say thank you again for both the opportunity and the time on the call.
Then let them know you’ll be following up in the next day or so.
Do not send your rate card!
When you do follow up (now is the time for email, friends), you say thank you again for your time, et cetera and then you can follow up with your ideal pitch for more.
For the love of Pete, DO NOT SEND YOUR RATE CARD!
A well thought out response clearly expressing you heard all the insights you gleaned on your phone call and how your brand will help them achieve the results is the only way to go.
5. Move on Accordingly
The response may be an immediate "No" because they have a policy, or they only have XYZ budget, or whatever.
Whatever their reason for no is, you must either choose to accept the original budget and move forward like the awesome-sauce you are, OR, you can decline. Do so politely, move on, and know it's just business.
If the answer is yes and you get your budget increase, give yourself a high five and then move forward like the awesome-sauce you are.
6. Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Throughout the entire process you always want to keep your eye on the prize. The prize, of course, is a long-term relationship with brands/agencies/PRs you love. A short email response saying, “Thanks for the offer, but here’s my rate card” is the quickest way to get removed from all future lists.
Keep your eye on the future, build your brand up by never bringing others down (by being unprofessional) and you will ultimately succeed.
- A Blogger's Guide to Determining Your Value
- A Blogger's Guide To Understanding Brand Marketing Budgets
- PR Desk: Money – Defining Your Value As A Blogger
Heather Travis is a PR professional and lover of all things creative. She has extensive experience developing and implementing integrated public relations and marketing programs for agricultural brands, producers and processors, as well as high end sporting goods. She’s a DIY junkie with a mean power tool addiction, and can often be found painting, refinishing, and scouring both junk yards and antique markets for her next fix … err, piece of content for her blog heatherinheels.com. Find Heather on Twitter @heathertravis and Instagram @heathertravis.