Has your entrepreneurial spirit landed you the title of online influencer? In today’s digital market, those who are able to curate their content and garner a large following can make a lucrative career out of sponsorships, ad campaigns, appearances and more. As a constantly evolving addition to the business world, navigating contracts can be difficult for both the influencer and the company/entity wishing to hire them. At Paperclip Law, we’re happy to work with clients in the entertainment sector, including influencers, to help you create the perfect work environment that’s conducive to everyone’s success.
Below, we’ll cover 6 different aspects to keep in mind when working with influencer contracts so you can protect your livelihood and make sure that everyone’s needs are best represented. Read on to learn more!
First and foremost, one of your primary concerns with any contract needs to be liability, especially in the case of promoting a product or service. While we always recommend doing your due diligence and looking into any potential partners before entertaining a contractual agreement, you must ensure that you’re aware of any potential liability clauses you may take on as a representative of the brand. There have been multiple lawsuits over the past few years where influencers and celebrities have been named in proceedings against a manufacturer due to their endorsement.
Similarly, if you are an influencer who manufactures your own product or are approached to create one with a major distributor, you need to make sure that the third party you’ll be working with provides all appropriate disclosures necessary. Failure to do so can result in serious liability issues if anything goes wrong and leave you on the hook for some nasty repercussions.
2. Ownership of Content
Even though you may be doing a paid endorsement for a brand, you still own your content, right? Not necessarily! Pay extra attention to how content ownership and usage of content (more on that below) is laid out in your contract, as you may find yourself tightly bound and even heavily restricted as to what you can and cannot use without the brand’s explicit permission.
In the same vein, you’ll want to find out exactly how the company plans your content as this will likely directly affect your fee. For example, are they only using it for social posting? Do they want to turn into part of a digital ad campaign, or do they plan to use your images/videos/audio for a large scale multi-national marketing spread? Always make sure your client has clearly outlined how they will use what you give them, including platforms to be shared on, duration of use, and more.
3. Posting Control/ Posting & Sharing Guidelines
Similar to above, you’ll want to figure out what the terms for posting are, including who will have the right to post (you or the client), how much control you have over captions and hashtags, as well as any reposts or shares for public or private use. Much like the ownership of content, this should never be a grey area, and you’ll want to make sure the terms line up well with your overall objectives as a digital creator.
4. Who Provides What?
Another common point of confusion where influence/employer relationships are concerned is the ambiguity over what is and isn’t provided for your services. For example, if you’re doing a paid promotion of a hotel, are you expected to bring your own wardrobe and props, or does the hotel want you to wear certain colours to line up with their branding and use existing items for a more authentic feel? If you’ll be going to a restaurant, are you paying for part of the meal, or is it covered as part of your overall compensation? Clarity and transparency are key when it comes to a successful contract, and if you don’t know what you need to provide/what to expect while working, both sides need to meet sooner than later to rectify this confusion.
It may surprise you to see payment as a listed detail, but there are countless influencers that have agreed to serve as talent and ambassadors for a brand, only to be paid “in kind” rather than financially. While exposure and free items are all well and good, you deserve to be properly compensated for your services and you need to make sure the contract reflects as such.
With this being said, it is important to remember that the brand themselves do need to ensure a financial return from your partnership. Unless you have an extensive following with proven conversion results from previous partnerships, you may be expected to foot a portion of the bill for extended stays, meals that go outside the basis of your work, and other non-essential expenses. As with any business partnership, the key to success is a carefully refined balance of wants and needs from both sides. As your influence grows, you’ll likely see more lucrative deals sent your way.
Finally, an additional aspect you’ll want to keep an eye out for in contracts is the potential for commission. If you’re promoting a brand or service, for example, you may be given a specialized code to offer to your audience and collect a portion of all sales. Otherwise, if your image or recording is being used “in perpetuity” you may be able to arrange for continual proceeds to come your way for a specific duration of time or find other ways of additional compensation. Be sure to inquire if this isn’t outlined, and never sell yourself short!
Ready to Reach New Heights?
There’s never been a better time to take advantage of Vancouver’s ever-growing influencer market. Learn more about how Paperclip Law can help you tackle the ins and outs of brand promotion by contacting our team today!