First of all, you have to get over feeling weird about asking for money. You'll never be a good salesperson if you do not ask for the sale.
I worked on Wall Street in my first job, it was a fucking nightmare, I hated it every day of my life. In our sales training that was the very first thing they talked about was asking for the sale and then shutting up. You ask for the money and then you don't talk. First person to talk looses essentially in negotiations. It was really uncomfortable but you do get used to being like, "Okay. Are you going to buy? Are you going to pay? This is what I want."
A lot of times- even when I have been pitched by influencers or by artists or any number of salespeople, whatever it might be, they tell you all these, "This is what I can do, I can do this, I can do that, I can do this, what do you think?" I'm just like, "What do I think about what? About what you do? You didn't ask for anything." You have to implicitly ask. Now, when do you ask? Is another question.
Should you ask a brand to pay you in the first e-mail that you send them? I would say, no. I know I harp on this a lot but we talk about sales process and you know it says relationship, validation, opportunity, execution. That's the process of a sale, so your cold e-mail, you're trying to get a relationship with them. They don't know who you are yet so you need to validate yourself. You need to try and build a relationship with them. You need to try and do something before you ask them for money.
One good way to get over that is, again, reach out to the brand, do the shop for a product, post for product the first time. Send them an e-mail afterwards, "This is what I did, my audience loved it, I got 20 DMs about it, I got this. I go this." Blah, blah blah. "Hope you liked it. Engagement was great." Et cetera. "You can use the photos," whatever and then, "Would love to work with you moving forward on paid basis. Do you have any projects coming up? Is there anything I can help you with? How can we formalize this relationship because I love the brand?"
If you initially feel awkward asking for the sale, you can kind of ask for the mini sale which is like, "Give me some product." Knock it out of the park, get that validation, reach back out to the brand and say, "Now, I've done a really good job, how about you pay me?" I know there's a lot of advice floating on out there, "Don't do anything for free, you're worth a lot." Blah, blah, blah. Obviously, if you watch the show you know I don't really agree with that.
Not that you guys aren't worth anything, it just most people aren't as special or valuable as they think they are. You have to hustle to get what you want. These brands there's a thousand influencers a week signing up for Fohr. Think, how many people are out there. You have to validate yourself if you're going to get money. If you have half a million followers and you've worked with every brand in the world, that validation is taken care of.
If you have 5,000 followers and no one's ever heard of you, you have to work a little harder. Two lessons. In conclusion is that you have to get comfortable asking for the sale. Force yourself when you meet with somebody-- Let me step back. Here's a good exercise. Next time you meet with a brand, let's say it's a coffee meeting, let's say it's a phone call, just ask them for this something. Explicitly ask them for something. It doesn't matter if it's product, if it's an invite to their next event or payment for a post.
Ask them for something, get comfortable with asking for the sale. Next, understand where you are in that process and if you need to validate yourself before you ask for money. Asking for money too early can ruin a relationship, just because people will be like, "I don't even know you, I'm not paying you."
- Asking for More Money, Negotiation Tips, Pitching Brands