If you’re a blogger/ influencer or simply working a on paid project, whether it be a collaboration or a sponsored post you best believe you’re going to want to have a contract in place. Brands are going to have their best interest in mind, so you should do yourself a favorite and look out for yours.
Instagram has morphed into a business for many of us! The days are gone where Instagram was a meant to be a shrine for family photos and candids from your cruise vacay (leaves those for Facebook). Nope, now your latte flat-lays and OOTD’s can bring in some serious cash! That’s right, your avocado toast you just snapped a photo of can actual turn into a career, and because brands and money are involved you need to protect yourself.
First things first, it’s LEGAl protection. When you enter into a campaign whether it’s a collaboration or a paid sponsorship you’re agreeing to a work relationship. Without a contract you have no control of a brand last minute them ditching you or even worse, neglecting to compensate you after you’ve spent days or even weeks on a project for them, and not to scare you but they will and it DOES happen to the best of us.
Contracts demand professionalism from a brand. The second you attached that document to your email you’re telling the brand, “Hey, I know what I am doing and I’ll looking out for my OWN brand.” Brands 9 out of 10 times love this kind of assertive behavior because then they know they can truly trust you to be professional, on-time and worth every penny!
What to include in your contract
How many posts and where they’ll be posted:
This is no place to be vague, so be as authentic as possible. You could include a statement like, “2 to 3 Instagram posts to be featured on the influencer’s feed. The post will fit the influencer’s aesthetic and features product in focus organically.” You’re letting the brand know that though it’s their product but, it will need to naturally fit YOUR feed and showcase naturally and honest to your audience. Nothing is worse than landing on a beautiful Instagram feed to see they slapped a sponsored post in the middle that is not cohesive at all to their brand.
Most brands have special launch dates, special sales and specific campaign deadlines they’d like to meet, so make sure you’re open and concise in the contract on when those particular dates are. You don’t want to have an “up in the air collaboration”. You’ll want to discloses how long you’ll need to curate the content, will the brand need first review before posting? What’s the exact posting date?
I love when brands let an influencer or blogger have full creative range but of course, it makes sense that they’ll want you to sprinkle in a few keywords, phrases, codes or hashtags! This is normal and should not be discouraged. As long as you sound natural and not like a used car salesman, then you’ll be golden! All these details should be outlined in the contract as well.
This in my opinion, is the most important! When and how are you getting paid? Most brands use lingo on contracts called, net-30, net-50, net-60. This refers to how long the brand has to pay you– 30, 50 or 60 days. They vary and you are going to want to make sure you know how long it will be until you’re compensated. You’ll want to figure out how your money will be processed? Lots of brands write checks or simply pay through Paypal but make sure all this information is disclosed in your contract.
Intermission pep talk:
If you’re reading this than the odds are that YOU are a blogger or influencer and guess what that means? You’re a business owner. I know, seems crazy right? But you are and you deserve to be treated like one. I know the subject of money and contracts can sound a little awkward if you’re still a small blogger but if you’re using your time and energy and equipment and hello....PLATFORM! To market a brand? Well, my dear, you best believe you should be getting compensated. Do not belittle yourself or your worth! If the brand agreed to work with you than that simply means you have something they want: your killer content and engaging audience.
Who owns these photos? Are you giving the brand free control of these images? I would suggest adding that the brand must credit you when used on their social media platforms. You could even throw in that you require your content being reposted by them! This is especially beneficial to you if they have a large following.
Make sure when posting sponsored posts that you’re always disclosing this information to your audience. This is the low and it’s been enforced by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). If a brand is against you disclosing that you’ve been compensated by them, you might want to rethink this partnership. You don’t need to shout from the rooftop that “x amount of dollars were thrown at me!” just a simple, “I’ve teamed up with / I’ve partnered with / My friends at (insert brand name) or simple #ad #sponsored will do the trick.”
Last but not least! You can use sites like https://www.docracy.com/ to download free contract templates and edit them to best fit you for each opportunity!