Influencer getting paid

By

Lumanu Staff

May 10, 2024

Insights From 500+ Influencers on Getting (and Not Getting) Paid

There’s been a lot of attention given lately to influencers being paid late by the agencies and brands that they work with. Influencers are reporting being paid months, or in some cases even a year, late for work that they have completed. Delaying, or forgetting payment to influencers (or any contractor for that matter) is a poor experience. And in today’s environment with every person having a public channel to voice their frustrations, delivering one poor experience can spiral into them publicly harming your brand. 

In an effort to understand how the overall payment experience matters to influencers and how it impacts their future potential to work with a brand (or agency) again, Lumanu surveyed over 500 influencers. We wanted to dive a bit deeper to uncover and share what really matters to influencers when it comes to getting paid from brands and agencies. 

Some relevant information about the 500 influencers that we surveyed before we dive into the results: 

  • They have all worked with brands for paid collaborations within the past year - we wanted to make sure that the information that we captured was highly relevant and recent 

  • The respondents in this survey have been paid by either a brand directly or an agency, we did not delineate between the two in our survey responses 

  • In addition to being paid within the Lumanu network, 95% of the respondents have also been paid by brands or agencies outside of the Lumanu network for work completed in the past year

Without further ado, let’s dive into our findings and insights! 

Influencers Receiving a Late Payment is an Issue 

While we have been hearing and seeing more and more influencers and those connected within the space talk about late payments, we wanted to truly understand how big of an issue late (or non-payment) is. And our respondents told us that this is a big issue, as 48% of respondents said that they have been paid late for work completed this year. If you are an influencer who works exclusively with two brands for your monthly income, our data is telling us that one of those brands is going to pay you late. Knowing this,  you better prepare your finances accordingly if you have bills to pay! 

In examining this information a bit further, of those that have been paid late, over 61% of those paid late have been paid over a week late and 38.5% of them have been paid over a month late. Given that most influencers are independent 1099 contractors, they rely on getting paid on time to pay their monthly bills. As an employee of a brand or agency, imagine if your employer paid you over a month late. How would being paid late impact your ability to pay your monthly bills? It’s imperative that those that work with influencers treat influencers like “regular” employees and pay them on time. As we will dive into in the following sections, this will go a long way towards retaining them in the future to do additional work with your brand. 

Paying an Influencer Late Impacts the Ability to Retain Talent 

In order to build a strong social media presence that delivers impactful results for your company requires consistency. Consistency translates into when you post, what you post about and in the case of building out an influencer program - consistency in who is promoting your brand. So if a key influencer that you work with stops creating content and posting about your brand, you lose the potential of attracting and retaining their followers. And one simple way to ensure that you don’t lose any influencers that are part of your program is to pay them on time.

We asked influencers how likely they would be to work with a brand or agency again if they weren’t paid on time. They were asked to rank this on a sliding scale, from 1 (very likely) to 5 (not likely). And over 55% of influencers surveyed responded with 4 or above - indicating that they would likely not work with a brand or agency again if they were paid late. Another 22% of respondents indicated that they were neutral on the topic.

No matter what you think, influencers care about being paid on time and all it takes is one delayed payment for them to potentially abandon your brand and perhaps start promoting a competitor of yours. One brand that realizes the importance of treating their influencers the right way is Brumate. Jacob Beaudrie, the Associate Brand Partnership Manager at Brumate told us: "At Brumate, it's imperative that we treat the influencers and partners that we work with like customers. We want them to talk about Brumate to their friends and family. And Lumanu helps us deliver a seamless payment experience to them in a way that treats them like VIP customers. Lumanu helps us provide that VIP experience without crazy fees."

The age old adage “treat others, as you want to be treated” holds up here. It may sound basic but any influencer that you work with is a public figure for your brand so you must treat them as such - by paying them on time. 

Delivering a Strong Payment Experience Matters

Our findings clearly indicate that paying the influencers that you work with on time matters to them when they think about potentially working with your brand again in the future. But not only does paying them on time impact their overall decision making process as to whether or not they will work with your brand (or agency) again in the future, but so does delivering them a strong overall payment experience to them. 

We connected with Dan Albert, the Co-Founder and Partner at 456 Growth to talk a bit further about the overall payment experience. Dan told us that “A seamless payment solutions process must be rooted in consistency, user-friendliness, security, and often involves an educational element. The proliferation of micro-influencer partnerships at scale has presented a significant challenge for agencies and brands alike. Building consistent, scalable, and easily digestible payment flow processes benefits all creators." 

It’s easy for brands and agencies to overlook the onboarding process, but put yourselves in the shoes of an influencer who is working with five brands. They need to send W-9 forms to each brand and need to collect a 1099 tax form from each of the brands at the conclusion of each year. This can be a very time consuming and a stressful process for them to manage.

As a brand (or agency) working with an influencer, know that the overall payment experience that you are delivering to them matters. 85% of those influencers that we surveyed indicated that their overall payment experience with a brand or agency influences their decision to potentially work with a brand again in the future. And Lumanu helps you do just that, as Dan further told us that “Lumanu has enabled 456 Growth to navigate the challenges of a predominantly amateur and novice creator economy, delivering on our commitment to timely and effortless payments."

Delivering a transparent and seamless payment experience to the influencers that your brand or agency works with is essential as you build out an influencer program. Although an influencer may not be a prototypical employee of your brand or agency, they are public faces, so you must treat them with respect and care. And the best way to do that is to make it easy for them to get set-up in your system, pay them on time and deliver them all of the paperwork (i.e. a 1099 form) in a timely manner. Influencers are paying attention to how you treat them, so you need to pay attention to how you are treating them.

If you are looking to learn more about how Lumanu can help your brand or agency streamlining the onboarding and payment process for paying influencers, set-up some time to chat with our team here. 



By

Lumanu Staff

May 10, 2024

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.