How much does an experienced content marketer cost? Up to 0.10$ per fan

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In the nasty nasty world of algorithms that drive marketers on this crazy quest for the holy grail (quality content pushed out to the right audience at the right time), there’s almost no content that actually reaches the right audience without a certain budget behind it.

Whether you invest in an influencer or promote your brand’s Facebook or Instagram post, you have to put some money behind it to get the story through to the people that matter (to you). Sure, UNILAD maybe doesn’t promote their posts, or Buzzfeed’s Tasty, but your brand probably does. And should. There’s nothing wrong with that. So, what seems to be the problem?

No, this is not another article on the big bad Mark who forces you to actually spend some money. The trigger for this rant was actually an offer I got recently from an established beauty brand. They’re looking for someone to lead their digital presence and optimize it to drive results, with an emphasis on social media and influencer marketing and reached out to me.

Now, whether on the lookout for a new career opportunity or not, it’s never a bad idea to get a sneak peak behind the scenes of another brand, right? So, we hopped on a quick Skype call. Here’s a short summary of how it went down, after the whole introduction thing and polite greetings.

John: Well, I’ll go straight to the point. We’re looking for someone to create and implement a successful social media strategy and include influencers into this whole thing in order to reach a bigger audience.

Me: Sure, John. That sounds like a good approach and a good way to go with leveraging influencers and their own reach to increase your own fanbase.

John: Yes, exactly. We’ve seen your proven track record with that and believe you’d be a good fit. It’s very important to us that you have experience with the influencers from our two biggest markets.

Me: Thank you, and yes, I do. Could you tell me more about what your primary goals are at present point? What do you want to achieve?

John: Perfect. We’re at the point where we want to increase our fanbase. We want to reach out to our target group and we want them to stick with us and engage. We’re willing to pay up to 0.10$ per fan.

Me: Well, okay, that seems manageable with good targeting and content…

John: No, no, we don’t want to do ads! We want our fanbase to grow organically. If we wanted ads, we’d do that ourselves and wouldn’t hire anyone.

Me: Well what do you mean by paying 0.10$ per fan then?

John: Well, we would pay you up to 0.10$ for every new fan you get us…

Me: Sorry, maybe I got this wrong… You want me to do a strategy, content creation and manage your channels in order to increase your fanbase and you’d pay me 0.10$ for every new fan I get you? Without any advertising budget? I mean, do you do retargeting? Post promotion, anything on social media?

John: Yeah, we want you to create this really cool content that will drive our numbers up. We don’t want to spend money here, that’s why we’re willing to pay you. You create the content, push it out, do whatever you need to do and we pay you based on the results.

Me: Well John, I must say I’m not interested. And to be bluntly honest, I’m not sure any experienced content marketer would be.

John: I have a whole bunch of people dying to work with me and say they can do it!

Me: In that case I wish both them and you the best of luck.

While I’ve met a few Johns in the past, the thing that’s actually kind of scary is that John is not a person selling homemade scented soaps or lotions. This is not your no name startup. While bonuses based on results are more than welcome, willing to *hire* someone to set up a strategy and create content for several social media channels and manage a blog, without actually getting paid for it is ridiculous.

But, I’m sure you got some crazy offers yourselves. I’d love to hear them!