Compensation and negotiation under the spotlight at impact’s iPX

As London prepares to host’s iPX partnership economy event on July 3, San Sareen, RVP, Influencers & Creators, EMEA, talks influencer compensation

Last year was New York City, next year is Austin, Texas, but this year,’s Partnership Experience (iPX) takes place high above London – on the 42nd floor, in fact, at Landing Forty Two, right in the heart of the City. And what better location than London’s financial centre to discuss deal-making – specifically, the compensation agreed between brands and creators, and the negotiations by which they arrive at it.

iPX, you may well know, is the annual gathering of partnership economy players, who come together to discover, build relationships, and exchange ideas. From keynotes to casual chats to cocktails while the sun sets, attendees flock to iPX for elevated insights from industry leaders, innovators, analysts, trendsetters and each other.

On the day, we’ll be discussing everything from building and maintaining long-term partnerships to innovation in the space and’s upcoming product releases, but creators will be a significant theme of iPX this year, and my own panel, Decoding influencer compensation & negotiation, goes to the very core of what makes creator partnerships tick.

Peeking behind the curtain

How creators get compensated is often a closed book, with neither party fully understanding the energy and effort the other puts in. This, alongside a lack of benchmarking or comparisons, often leads to fruitless, and even insulting, offers being put on the table, So we are going to change that. We’re pulling back the curtain and shining a spotlight on what goes into a deal and how compensation is negotiated from both sides.

The session will provide practical tips for brands and creators on arranging a deal that benefits all, helping both parties understand the factors that ought to matter to them, and explaining how to put across their key needs and wants before they commit.

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This should be a great session for a broad variety of delegates, including influencers looking to monetise their content and advertisers seeking to optimise their collaborations. To do the subject justice, I’m going to be joined by smart thinkers from both sides of the negotiation, namely content creator Adrian Valia and Júlia Salume, Influencer Marketing Lead at mobile and digital marketing agency Moburst.

Between us, we’ll be delving into compensation models like flat fees, affiliate commissions, and product gifting, understanding the merits and challenges of each. There’ll be insights into negotiation tactics, rates and contracts, all with a view to fair compensation and fruitful partnerships.

Negotiation sets the tone

It’s not too much of a spoiler to give a bit more insight into where we come from on this. We know, through experience and research, that compensation and the quality of a partnership significantly influence creators when they are choosing brands with which to form long-term partnerships.

So, for both sides, the goal is to create a mutually beneficial partnership in which content creators feel properly valued for their time and expertise. And where creators are happy, brands are in a far stronger position to get the outcomes they require.

There are a variety of ways to compensate creators, including flat fees, commission-based payments, gifting, pay-per-post, performance-based incentives, retainers or some sort of hybrid. Each one has its own advantages and limitations – you can read a lot more on how they all break down here – but there are a few rules of thumb.

How to get it right

The right compensation model depends on your program’s size, goals, and budget. Fostering open communication and negotiating terms that benefit both parties provides the best possible prelude to a powerful collaboration.

Not all creators, of course, favour the same terms. Creators prefer to negotiate compensation with brands instead of take-it-or-leave-it offers. 80 percent of creators consider clear communication about compensation important. Get it right up front and get it out of the way so that everyone can focus on what they do best.

Most creators and brands prefer a hybrid compensation model, comprising a flat fee with a performance-based commission. These hybrid models let creators know where they stand but also provide an incentive to keep them pushing for more. More than four out of five creators agree that they like performance bonuses and commissions but prefer them to be in addition to a flat fee.

Some creators may dislike payments strictly in the form of gifts or discounts. Creators are professionals, and free gifts don’t pay their bills, so always consider adding a fee or commission in addition to gifts.

Monthly retainers work well for long-term partnerships – because they engender a deeper relationship, provide creator security and give brands the benefit of long-term advocacy, which is especially valuable in industries such as luxury goods, automotive and high-end lifestyle services where consistent brand representation is critical.

We’ll be making these points and plenty of others on July 3, so be there at 2.45pm, and prepare to be well compensated for your time and attention.

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