I often hear from many content creators or influencers about their concerns in understanding and entering into contracts with Brands. I don’t blame them, reading certain contractual provisions can seem like you’re reading a different language. The truth is unless you’ve gone to law school, then reading contracts and knowing the various nuances in your agreements is likely foreign to you. Utilizing the help of a licensed attorney is the best way to ensure that you understand all of the terms and that you’re not putting yourself at a disadvantage.
My number one rule in collaborating or partnering with a Brand is to request a contract. You always want to make sure that the terms of your relationship are clearly laid out. Never agree to collaborate with a Brand without having a contractual relationship with them.
Some provisions to look out for include:
Payment Terms – Does the contract say when you’re going to get paid? Are you going to be paid in installments? How are you going to be paid? Many Brands use PayPal to pay Influencers, which is great because you have the option of taking the money out right away for a small fee.
Length of Contract – How long is the contract going to be for? Are you going to be sent products or outfits to advertise for a month?
Copyright – Who will own the rights to your images or content once you send them to the Brand? What will the Brand be doing with your content? Are they going to be putting it on print ads or just using it for social media? These are important considerations for your overall rate.
Exclusivity – Is the Brand allowing you to promote competitor brands during the duration of your contractual relationship? If not, then you’ll want to negotiate this in your overall rate.
Federal Trade Commission Disclosures – Does the Brand have any particular requirements when posting on your social media channels? On April 19, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) sent out more than 90 letters to individual influencers and marketers stating that they must “clearly and conspicuously” disclose their relationships to brands when endorsing or promoting on social media (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, Blog posts). To make disclosure both “clear” and “conspicuous,” influencers should use unambiguous language and make the disclosure stand out. For example, on Instagram, this means that posts should include one of the following hashtags: #Ad, #sponsored, #paidpartner, or #promotion. At a webinar that I attended last year, an official from the FTC stated that the safest hashtag to use is #Ad!
Governing Law – In the event an issue arises, where will the dispute take place? Is the Brand located in your home state or out of state? Are you going to be comfortable potentially litigating and going to court in another jurisdiction?
This is not an exhaustive list, but includes the key provisions to pay attention to.
If you’re a content creator working with a Brand and don’t understand the contractual provisions, I’d be happy to work with you through my law firm to advise you on your agreement(s). Use this link to book a consultation
I also sell a contract template for content creators to give to Brands in the event the Brand does not have a contract or if you want to have a contract to use as a guide to make sure that you’re covering all of your bases. You can find the contract template here.
*** Disclaimer – This post is for informational purposes only, no attorney-client privilege has been formed.