In a perfect world, every business transaction would go smoothly, without any issues or disagreements. But the world isn’t perfect and disputes can take place. To avoid an endless back and forth, it’s common practice for businesses to create written agreements at the onset. An influencer marketing contract clearly spells out the relationship, what’s expected of each party, and what happens should one side break the terms of the agreement.
As influencer marketing becomes more popular and prevalent, it’s become clear to brands that having an influencer marketing contract is the way to go. Here’s what you need to know about contracts for your influencers, and why having them can save you headaches and hassles.
Why Have an Influencer Marketing Contract?
One of the biggest reasons to have a contract with your influencers is it gets everyone on the same page when it comes to what’s expected of both parties. As consultant Shane Barker warns, without a contract it’s all too easy for an influencer to deliver B when your brand was expecting A. Without that contract, you have no recourse when the delivered work product doesn’t live up to expectations.
Another reason to have a contract with influencers is that writing everything down makes the project more concrete. It solidifies your campaign in the eyes of your influencers, letting them know you’re the real deal. It tells them that you’ll hold up your end of the deal as long as they hold up theirs.
Finally, a contract gives you a way to take action if things go wrong. If your influencer misses a deadline, you can cite terms of the contract as reason to pay that person less. You have the option of not paying the influencer at all if the work isn’t what you expected or what was laid out in the contract. In extreme cases, you might be able to take the influencer to court if things really don’t go as planned.
What Should an Influencer Marketing Contract Include?
It’s important an influencer marketing contract puts all terms in writing. It is much harder to prove the terms of a verbal contract unless you decided to record the agreement.
Other elements an influencer marketing contract should include are:
Influencer name/contact information
You want to make sure you’re making an agreement with the right person.
Description of the work
What does your brand expect the influencer to produce? What is the review process of the work? Do you plan on giving your influencers plenty of leeway when it comes to creating content? Anything having to do with the content your influencer will create needs to be clearly described in the contract.
Amount of work
How much work do you expect the influencer to produce? For example, are you looking for a post every day, every week, once a month? Include a clear description of expectations for work volume as well as deadlines and due dates. Also, include a description of what will happen if an influencer produces less work than agreed to or if that person is regularly late in submitting assignments.
How much will you pay your influencers? Will you pay a flat rate or based on content performance? When are payments made and how do you make them (direct deposit, PayPal, etc.)?
Include the start date of the agreement and an end date, if applicable. If the contract renews automatically, include that information as well.
Ownership of the work
Once the influencer creates the content for your brand, who owns it? Do you get full ownership or do rights to the content revert to the influencer after a certain period?
To keep the U.S. Federal Trade Commission off your back and to make sure you and your influencer are on the same page, it’s a good idea to have a clause that explains your expectations for disclosure with each post an influencer creates.
During the time an influencer works with your brand, can he or she partner with other brands or do you want exclusivity? The contract needs to spell out things like this.
Along with influencer-specific details and clauses, you’ll most likely want to include other standard clauses in your influencer marketing contract such as termination, indemnification and binding arbitration.
Who Should Write an Influencer Marketing Contract?
It’s very likely the creation of an influencer marketing contract will involve a bit of back and forth between the brand and the influencer, with each party’s legal team weighing in. It’s usually a good idea to have your company’s lawyer or legal team create the contract.
A lawyer is going to know exactly what needs to go into a contract and what types of phrases to use. The lawyer might ask your team for input to make sure it includes all the details of the agreement that are specific to influencer marketing, such as FTC disclosure details and the type of content you want the influencer to create.
Once you show the contract to the influencer, it is likely they will ask for some changes or try to negotiate with you. Whether you accept changes from the influencer or the influencer’s legal team depends, in part, on how strongly you want to work with the influencer. An influencer may ask for more money or might ask that a certain clause be removed from the contract.
How to Write Your Own Influencer Marketing Contract
When you begin to create your influencer marketing contract, it’s a good idea to sit down with a lawyer. Go through clause by clause of what you want the contract to say. You can find influencer contract templates online. However, to be certain your contract meets your needs, it’s best to create one with input from your lawyer.
Getting a lawyer’s advice and help with your contract creation also ensures the contract you and your influencer sign will hold up in the eyes of the court.