The new platform F*ck You, Pay Me (FYPM) has set out on a mission to improve the disparity between online brands and influencers to help content creators negotiate better pay or to avoid certain brands completely.
Set up by Lindsey Lee Lugrin, a social media businesswoman and equity analyst, and Isha Mehra, a former Facebook data scientist, FYPM aims to give influencers and content creators more power, transparency, and information when negotiating sponsored content, reports Taylor Lorenz for The New York Times.
Not dissimilar to Glassdoor — a platform where former and current employees can review the companies they work for — FYPM allows registered users to anonymously share information on how much they got paid to work with brands in order to help others use it as a tool to gauge and compare proposals received by companies.
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For Lugrin, the initiative grew out of her personal experiences in the past when she was offered an opportunity to appear in a Marc by Marc Jacobs ad campaign, where she was paid $1,000. Although thrilled at the time, she soon realized that she had undervalued herself after seeing her images appear on billboards and ads across the internet.
As most influencers don’t have an agent and operate as a one-man band when it comes to marketing, PR, securing deals, and delivering the content, negotiations often happen “through a messy mix of direct messages and emails and there are no standard rates of pay, either. This has led to brands having the upper hand,” writes The New York Times.
The disparity doesn’t just rear its ugly head through brands, both small and well-established ones, undervaluing creators and influencers by offering low rates of pay, Lugrin also noticed the differences in what was offered to male and female creators. According to research last year by Klear, an influencer marketing platform, the average is $476 and $348 per post for men and women, respectively.
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However, FYPM is not the first company to help level out the playing field for social media professionals. Others include Collabstr, which acts as a directory of available influencers and their set rates of pay, while some social media accounts — such as, We Don’t Work For Free and Influencer Pay Gap — share anonymous posts by influencers who have been burned by bad brand deals or have dealt with exploitative brands.
Although FYPM is still being tested and fundraising is ongoing, once registered, users can already filter brand deals by social media platform, location, niche, and brand category. The New York Times reports that so far, around 1,500 creators have shared more than 2,000 reviews of 1,300 brands on the platform.
While designed with influencers in mind, many photographers who suddenly find themselves negotiating with a large company for a commercial campaign often both praise their luck and curse their lack of knowledge. Photography often feels like a black box when it comes to commercial and advertising work, and many photographers greatly undervalue themselves in this context. FYPM could be the answer to at least providing some level of aid for photographers of all levels to negotiate with brands more intelligently, rather than going always in blind.