According to Blacks Law Dictionary, a contract is a written or verbal agreement between two parties to perform a performance(s).
A contract is imperative for anyone carrying out a business venture or exchanging a good/service. Influencers and brands often overlook terms and conditions in a contract; as a result, either or both sides might lose necessary resources, assets or even money.
What is the process before the Influencer Contract?
- Pinpoint and choose the Influencer you want to work with for the Influencer Campaign:
We have mentioned, in previous articles, the importance of doing the research before reaching out to the Influencer; you need to know about engagement rates and the Influencer’s audience/content before deciding to work with them.
- Pinpoint your Influencer Marketing Strategy and draft the email pitch you wish to send to the Influencer.
- If the Influencer agrees to work with you after the pitch, then it is now time to set the agreement/Influencer contract with/for the Influencer.
What are the terms and conditions I should consider including in a social media influencer contract?
Before signing a contract, you should read through it carefully; beyond the usual terms and conditions like:
- The names of the parties involved;
- The date of commencement of the contract;
- The type of work expected with potential due dates;
- The contract duration inclusive of potential termination details;
- The salary/amount the influencer is being promised (paid) and the payment structure and terms (invoice, what platform it is being paid through and during what period – monthly or weekly).
An Influencer Contract checklist comprises of but is not limited to the above. As simple as it may seem, as an influencer, you want to feel secure and comfortable enough to work with a brand/company because they make you feel safe and confident enough to want to work with them.
Other five key things that you should include:
- Including weekly, biweekly, monthly or bimonthly creative briefing sessions, especially if you are working long-term with an influencer, makes them know they have creative freedom. Meetings should also include conversations about insights and impressions to give the brand and influencer an idea about how the audience is receiving the posts and potential changes, if necessary, to make. You should also include due dates of the influencer-generated content, tasks or projects you agree to.
- Highlighting and detailing the type of creative content expected; is it a captioned post on Instagram? Or a daily video promotional advertisement for YouTube? Will the campaign include hashtags or other promotional campaigns? It helps to have this on paper so that nobody can claim, in the long run, that the expectations for the deliverables were unclear. If the agreement was x number of posts in this medium, then the expectation is x number of posts through that medium.
- There is a termination clause, but you should also include any potential consequences if the influencer fails to meet content expectations or publication timelines. With rising influencer ‘cancellation culture’ – where an influencer has a troublesome past – some brands have added clauses highlighting particular termination instances.
- Another essential clause is whether or not an influencer can work with other brands, an exclusion clause. It may seem obvious that an influencer would not be able to work with competitor brands, but it still helps to have it on paper so that, as aforementioned, nobody can claim that they were unaware of this factor if the brand has vital information that they do not want getting out then the influencer would need to include a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to ensure the same.
- On content ownership, or Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), are often overlooked. If you are not aware of what an IPR is, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) describes it as:
“The rights given to persons over the creations of their minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her creation for a certain period of time.”
This means that IPR is related to works, and compositions by an artist or a creative are intended to be protected so that other people do not misuse the original author’s work or try to pass it as their own. The brand/company and the influencer should establish/agree to who will retain the rights to the work(s) created and include that in the contract.
The contract should be a means of securing both parties’ interests and strengthening the working relationship between both parties by making it a collaborative effort. So, before you go over your final draft, ensure that you have gone over your Influencer Contract checklist.
You can use this free, downloadable contract template from the Influencer Marketing Hub website as it is or use it as a draft/example and customize the Influencer Contract to your preference.