Creators all want long-term deals, but are they willing to play the long game?

October 19, 2022
Danny Desatnik
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We all agree that creators should be fairly paid.

The time and energy effective creators put into their craft can’t be understated and should be met with equitable compensation.

“I want long-term deals and want to be paid what I’m worth”

We all do!

But here’s the hard truth: just because you have an audience on social media doesn’t mean you’re entitled to a long-term deal with the brand you’re working with. 

A long-term relationship is rooted in trust. In a brand deal context, it’s trust that creators will be easy to work with and trust that a brand’s investment is worth it. The relationship is built over time. Each new campaign adds to the trust battery. 

Followers can be achieved via nefarious means, so simply showing a brand your follower count or engagement rate doesn’t equate to trust.

Long-term deals come by playing a long-term game.

If you want to ink a long-term deal, start by looking at one word:partnerships. 

We create partnerships to use the combined resources of each party to reach a goal. A brand deal is no different. A creator offers content production and access to their audience in exchange for money. Brands want to reach new audiences and creators want to make a living. 

If maximizing your rate right from the jump, and looking for a long-term deal seems contradictory, it’s because it is. 

For a partnership to work, both sides need to feel satisfied, and sometimes that takes easing into. 

Maximizing your rate makes it harder for the brand to see a return on their investment. If they don’t see a return on their investment, they’ll try something else.

Getting the long term brand deal is a balancing act. It’s about acknowledging that the brand needs to see value as much as the creator needs to be valued.

There’s nothing wrong with maximizing your rate as a creator, but it’s important to understand brands often need to pilot new tactics, and creator marketing is still a relatively new tactic.

Before your next brand deal ask yourself three questions:

  1. Are you taking more value than you’re giving? 
  2. What can you do to build trust with the brand?
  3. Am I ok sacrificing long-term brand deal opportunities in exchange for maximizing my rate today? 

Chase what you believe you deserve, but maybe let them see what you can bring to the table first.But if you come out guns blazing, don’t be surprised when a brand doesn’t want to continue the relationship. 

Check out the most recent episode of the Creator Culture podcast:

Danny Desatnik is creator initiatives manager at #paid. He hosts the Creator Culture podcast.

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