understanding influencer contracts

understanding influencer contracts

Before you agree to work with a brand - it's pivotal that you truly understand what they are asking of you. Use this unit to help navigate Influencer/creator/blogger contracts - and know what to look out for. 

what is an influencer/blogger contract?

what is an influencer/blogger contract?

When working on a paid collaboration with a brand - you should receive a written contract. It is very important that you don't simply skim, of avoid reading this. If you violate anything in a brand contract, the brand itself has the rights to cancel the collaboration, not use your work, or not pay you. Influencer contracts also often include information about what a brand will expect from you, and how they plan to use the content you create for them. This is worth reading, as the work they expect you to do, may not add up to how much they want to pay for. In this case, it may call for a bit of influencer negotiation (we will talk more about this in the next module).

So without further adieu, here is what to look out for in an influencer contract before you say yes. 

What to check in a contract

Creative Brief and Requirements

The most impotent thing for brands when working with influencers, is making sure they get exactly what they want from the relationship. The creative brief is essentially exactly what they're paying for. A creative brief might look something like this:

  • 1 x flat-lay including our Beauty products [brand name in clear view]

  • 1 x 1 min Story (4 x slides) using and talking about the benefits of our products)

  • Story to include Call to Action [Buy Now] with a swipe up to the link provided

It is important to read these terms, for many reasons. A few things you should consider before agreeing to these terms might include:

  • Whether you feel comfortable providing these terms

  • Whether you feel comfortable selling to your audience in this way

  • Whether the creative will look out of place on your feed

  • Whether you think the price quoted matches the time it will take you to create the content [if not, you can go back in and negotiate]

  • Whether you have the capability to provide these activities [for example, if a brand wants a 'swipe up' link in your stories, but you don't have this feature yet - you should let the brand know]

Usage and Rights

The next thing you should check, is how the brand intends to use the content you create - and how long they would like the rights to the content for. Here are some questions you should ask yourself regarding usage:

  • Am I comfortable with the way a bran intends to use my content?

  • Is the price right for the rights period? [If the brand wants lifetime rights to use this content, you might want to consider consider upping the price]

  • Is the way the brand is intending to use the content in-line with the budget? [If the brand is intending to use this content for their ads you may want to consider charging more - as they will actively profit off this content, and it will dramatically decrease ad creation costs for them]

Exclusivity

Another thing you need to look out for is their exclusivity terms. These terms can come in the way of you working with other brands, and as a result potentially reduce the amount you will earn. If a brand is looking for you to sign exclusivity rights [for example - not working with any other brands in the same industry for a 6 month period after posting] then you need to factor this into your costs. If a brand is looking for exclusivity, they are actively looking reduce their competitors share of voice in the market. This can produce great benefits for their profitability, but it can also dramatically decrease your earning potential with other brands. If a brand ants you to be exclusive to them, they should be paying for this luxury.

Consider how much being exclusive may set you back in terms of your earnings, and factor this into the budget and potentially a counter offer.

You can justify this by thinking:

  • how many collabs in this industry am I likely to be offered in this time?

  • How much money will I be losing as a result?

For example - let's say an underwear company is looking to book you exclusively for a 6 month period. You think it is likely you would get offered on average one similar opportunity monthly. For each campaign you may be charging £200.

Therefore 6 [months] x £200 = £1,200. The brand should be offering at least this amount in order for you to stay in profit.

Compare this to the amount they are offering, and adjust accordingly. You can negotiate in different ways, but always make sure you use the above approximation of loss as your justification. You can negotiate in three ways:

  • Asking the brand for more money for the agreed terms

  • Asking the brand to soften or drop their exclusivity cause

  • Asking the brand for a monthly rolling contract instead (content created each month and paid accordingly)

Dates & Payment terms

Perhaps the most important thing to check, is the payment terms - and any key dates (including completion dates). Some key dates you may need to look out for, include:

  • date of creation

  • date for pre-approval of content

  • Date expected to post

  • Timeline of when to post

  • Payment terms [how long after completion of tasks will the brand pay you]

Make sure that the brand has included this final point. If a contract does not include this - you may find it very difficult to get access to your pay in a reasonable time set, as there is no set date to hold the brand accountable for payment. If this is not included, be sure to highlight this in your response. These are also the payment terms that you will use in your invoice to the brand.

Expected Feedback

It is likely brands will ask for some feedback to analyse the success of their campaigns. They may require you to include screenshots of your total analytics/insights for the campaign, or specific insights, such as total link clicks, in an email in return. Make sure to take note of these and provide these in a follow up email. A brand may email you after the campaign requesting these. If they don't, then make sure to include them in your email when you invoice them. 

Other General Housekeeping

A brand may also include other 'general housekeeping' requirements for an influencer, in order to keep their brand seen in a favourable light. When a brand works with an influencer - their brand name is now associated with that person. As a result, it is likely that a brand will want you to not be involved with certain activities [if these are stated, a brand may also state the right to drop you, or not provide payment so make sure you do not violate these]. Some general housekeeping a brand may ask of you include:

  • Not using swear words, or offensive language

  • No use of drugs or drug paraphernalia

  • No showing of illegal activities

  • Not getting involved in social media drama

  • Not showing excessive drinking or dangerous activities

All of the above are good housekeeping tips for influencers in general. I would advise always keeping to these, whether a brand specifically asks you to or not!

final note on contracts

It is completely normal to negotiate with a brand after receiving a contract. A contract is simply what the brand is looking for from you in an ideal world. Brands know that this is not a final offer. It is expected that influencers may come back and negotiate. Please don't be afraid to negotiate. Negotiating will not result in you losing the work. It is simply a way of you knowing your worth, and coming to the best conclusion for both you, and the company.