Hybrid payments: A path to higher-paying brand sponsorships for creators

You can earn more from your brand deals by using the hybrid payment model to maximize your income. Discover how this model works, what kind of content has the most earning potential, and how to propose hybrid deals to brands. 

money path
Jacquelyn White
Jacquelyn White
Content Marketing Manager
Read time: 13 mins

You’ll still encounter income fluctuations even as a successful creator who has secured a few brand deals.

So, choosing a payment model that works for you and the brand can be challenging. Flat fee payments give you a predictable income but no additional incentive. On the other hand, working exclusively with commission can make your earnings unstable. You could take on more collabs, but don’t want to face the overwhelm or burnout. 

So what’s the solution? The hybrid payment model offers the best of both worlds and appeals to brands, too. When negotiated effectively, you can land higher-paying brand sponsorships and deliver more value—a win-win situation. 

Below are four hybrid payment model types and tips on how to pitch them to brands.

Key takeaways from this blog
  • A hybrid payment model blends flat fee payments with performance-based commissions.
  • This payment method offers brands a predictable budget and an increased potential for higher returns.
  • Revenue sharing lets creators share a percentage of the revenue generated from the sales of products they promote.
  • Brands sometimes offer bonus payments when creators hit certain milestones.
  • Hybrid retainers include a monthly retainer fee for ongoing collaborations plus performance bonuses.

Hybrid models blend the best of two popular payment methods

Hybrid models combine flat fee payments with commission. You get the best of both worlds––guaranteed income and the potential for bonus rewards.

Usually, influencers receive a base payment for their participation with additional earnings tied to performance metrics, including conversions, sales, or engagement rates. 

For example, you could strike a brand deal with a flat fee and commission earnings from promo codes or affiliate links. This approach guarantees a predictable income and opens opportunities for additional earnings based on the performance of those codes and links. 

The final commission you earn depends on how effectively your content drives sales.

How do hybrid models benefit creators? 

With the hybrid payment model, you don’t have to choose between predictable flat-fee and performance-based pay. You know where you stand but also have the potential to earn further rewards. 

There are other benefits to consider: 

  • Financial stability. Hybrid models include a guaranteed payment (such as a flat fee or retainer), which gives you a consistent income and reduces financial uncertainty.
  • Motivation to perform. The performance-based component (such as commissions or bonuses) incentivizes you to produce high-quality content that achieves specific goals.
  • A common purpose. These models align your interests with the brand, often resulting in a more effective campaign. Since part of the payment depends on performance metrics, you both work toward the same definition of success.
  • Flexibility. You can adapt the hybrid model to your needs and strengths, setting you up for success.
  • Higher earning potential. A fixed fee does not limit you and can significantly boost your overall income from successful campaigns.
  • Long-term collaboration opportunities. Hybrid models can encourage brands to enter long-term partnerships with you when you consistently perform, resulting in more predictable income.

What to consider

Hybrid payment models aren’t suitable for every creator or campaign. Aisha Konneh, Creator Campaign Manager for impact.com Studio, recommends that creators consider two factors before suggesting the payment model:

  • Pay depends on performance. You must be confident in your performance abilities, or you may not achieve your initial revenue goals. 
  • Brands need financial flexibility. Your partner needs wiggle room to offer incentives, so the model may not appeal to companies with fixed or tight budgets. 

Crafting content for performance

You might need to tweak your content approach to boost performance. Flat-fee brand deals often focus on brand awareness, so you can simply read a script or plug the product into the content. But to drive conversions, your content needs to be goal-focused.

Natalie Van Dijk, Creator Account Manager for impact.com Studio, shares, “We’ve found that making content personal and authentic resonates better and converts more effectively. Your content concept should be strong overall, not just ‘I like this product, you should try it.’ A strong call to action is essential for driving sales.”

For conversion optimization, craft your content to create a seamless shopping experience. This provides value to your followers while increasing conversion opportunities.

Here are some tips from Van Dijk and the impact.com Studio team to help: 

  • List all mentioned products in the caption with SKUs and prices
  • Rename each link to reflect the product name for easy access
  • Support in-feed posts with Stories containing impact.com tracking links

4 different hybrid models to boost your income

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to hybrid payment models. Mix and match different fixed payments and commission elements to create a model that suits your preferences and campaign. 

Choose from these five different types of hybrid models. 

1. Flat fee plus commission

This model offers creators a reliable base payment for their efforts, plus the potential for additional earnings tied directly to their performance. 

Creators earn a percentage of the revenue from the products they promote, effectively sharing the profits. This approach aligns creator and brand interests––when the campaign succeeds, everyone benefits financially. 

For instance, a creator could receive a predetermined amount for a video and earn a commission for each sale that uses their promo code. This method secures a guaranteed income while incentivizing creators to maximize their impact—boosting visibility and revenue.

2. Tiered payment structure

A tiered payment structure means that reaching performance goals increases the final payment. 

For example, a creator could earn a base rate once their video reaches 10,000 views. If the video hits 50,000 views, the payment increases, then escalates further at 100,000 views. 

3. Bonus for milestones

Brands may incentivize creators with bonus payments for achieving specific milestones, such as reaching a certain number of shares, mentions, or hashtag uses. 

These bonuses reward notable visibility and engagement milestones, encouraging creators to drive more interactive and widespread campaigns.

4. Hybrid retainer and performance bonus

Under this model, creators receive a monthly retainer fee and performance bonuses for specific campaigns. This gives you the benefit of a stable monthly income along with the potential of additional bonuses. 

It’s a great way to collaborate with brands long-term while still receiving additional rewards. 

If you dig into your analytics, you can predict when to negotiate for this payment structure. 

Examples of the hybrid model in action

1. Premiere Gal x Envato Elements

Premiere Gal, a video editing creator, partnered with stock media platform Envato Elements

In a YouTube tutorial highlighting how to caption videos for social media in Premiere Pro, she plugs Envato Elements’ services and shares an affiliate link in her description. Viewers who click the link get 70 percent off their first-month subscription. 

Her audience has a proven interest in editing videos, so partnering with Envato Elements makes sense––people who regularly edit videos likely need stock media. 

2. Selae Thobakgale x GetSmarter 

Influencer Selae Thobakgale combines a sponsored post with a promo code in her partnership with GetSmarter. In this brand deal, GetSmarter paid a flat fee for her post along with a fixed commission on any sales she drove through her promo link. 

Her audience includes followers interested in self-development and leveling up their career, so a post promoting the University of Cape Town and GetSmarter courses provides significant value.

Image source: Selae Thobakgale

Sharing a post that resonates with your audience is important for performance-based compensation because it increases conversions. For Thobakgale, people will likely use her promo code, and she’ll drive revenue for both the brand and herself. 

How to propose the hybrid payment model to brands

Understanding the power of hybrid payment models can be a game-changer for securing higher-payment brand deals. But to reap all of the benefits, you need to know how to make the case to partners.

Successfully pitching brands on this payment method involves highlighting advantages, showcasing your predicted results, and being open-minded. 

Explain the benefits of a hybrid model 

Kick off your pitch by highlighting the advantages a hybrid model offers. 

Stress the higher potential for greater returns on investment. Explain that the performance-based payment motivates you to enhance your content quality, leading to better results. This also incentivizes you to promote the brand beyond the traditional sponsorship agreement, providing even more value.

Align your proposal with the brand’s goals. Understand what the campaign aims to achieve, how it fits into their overall marketing objectives, and what they value in a partner. Gather this information during your initial conversations with the brand on hand to shape your argument around these points.

Showcase the results of your previous work

Back up your proposal with concrete evidence of your success. Highlight key metrics, including your:

  • Audience demographics
  • Engagement rates
  • Outcomes of past collaborations 

Be prepared to present detailed data and specific examples demonstrating your ability to drive meaningful results. Show how previous campaigns effectively converted views into sales, reinforcing your track record of creating content that attracts viewers and encourages action. 

Having tangible proof builds a stronger case for why the hybrid model is beneficial, given your proven capacity to deliver.

Propose specific payment methods

Provide concrete examples of hybrid payment models that could work well for you and the brand to make your pitch more compelling. 

Outline a few options such as a flat fee plus commission, revenue sharing, or bonuses for hitting performance milestones. Explain how these models offer flexibility and can be customized to meet the campaign’s specific goals. 

This shows your understanding of various compensation structures and demonstrates your readiness to align with the brand’s unique marketing objectives. Highlighting this adaptability can enhance the appeal of your proposal and show your commitment to achieving mutual success.

Source: What brands want: building successful creator partnerships

Share your predicted outcomes 

To solidify your pitch, use data from your past collaborations to forecast the potential collaboration results. For instance, demonstrate how previous campaigns have successfully converted views into sales. 

Then, extend these insights to potential earnings for you and the brand under the new model. These predictions make your proposal more compelling by giving brands a clearer picture of what they can expect regarding return on investment.

Source: What brands want: building successful creator partnerships

Be open to negotiation 

Acknowledge that brands might have concerns or alternative suggestions about payment. 

Approach these discussions with a flexible mindset, listening carefully to feedback. Be prepared to adjust your proposal to address their specific needs and concerns. 

Willingness to negotiate shows that you value mutually beneficial partnerships. This collaborative attitude can make all the difference, helping you finalize a payment model that benefits both sides.

Get the best of both worlds with a hybrid payment model 

Now that you know how hybrid payment models work, you can move to the next step. Start by pitching a few brands on this deal type. Highlight that you’ll feel motivated to do your best work and that brands can create a predictable budget. 

Ready to enjoy higher income with hybrid payments? You can find brands open to hybrid compensation on impact.com / creator

Keep on learning with these additional resources:

FAQ

What brand deals pay the most? 

Brand deals that include hybrid payment models often pay the most. These arrangements combine a base fee with additional earning potential through commissions or bonuses based on performance metrics like sales, views, or engagement.
 

This setup allows creators to benefit from a guaranteed income while capitalizing on their promotional efforts’ success. As a result, campaigns that effectively engage and convert audiences can lead to significantly higher earnings.

What are the 4 types of sponsorship?

  1. Financial: Brands provide monetary support directly to creators in exchange for promotion of their products or services.
  2. Gifting: Brands offer goods, services, or resources as sponsorship. This can include free products, software tools, or other non-cash resources.
  3. Media: These involve promotional support, such as brands offering ad space or media exposure to help increase a creator’s visibility.
  4. Affiliate: Creators earn a commission based on the sales or leads they generate through affiliate links provided by the brand.

How should I negotiate compensation with brands?

Start by clearly understanding and articulating your value, including your audience demographics and engagement rates.
 

Present a well-defined proposal that outlines your expected compensation, such as a hybrid payment model combining a flat fee with performance-based bonuses.
 

Be prepared to discuss and justify your rates with data and examples of successful collaborations. Listen actively to the brand’s perspective and be open to adjustments—finding a mutually beneficial arrangement often involves some give and take.
 

Finally, maintain professionalism throughout the negotiation to build a strong, respectful partnership.

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