Why it’s OKAY to Negotiate Your Contract

Are you a blogger/influencer? Do you work with brands? Well then, you probably have seen a contract or many…

Even though a contract may look daunting, please DO NOT SKIM & SIGN! You could be signing away creative rights or losing out on some serious cash baby!

It’s vital that you understand exactly what the agreement states.

The more you start to understand your contracts, the better this industry as a unit will be!

If you’re a blogger do not feel like you are boxed in! You have a voice and if they’re willing to work with you - then they like YOUR vision, brand and creativity so don’t devalue yourself.

Here’s a little cheat sheet list I found on the good ol’ interwebs to better how explain the important terms you often seen in blogger/influencer contracts!

Terms to Know before reading any blogger + influencer contracts

  • Perpetuity – eternity, everlasting, foreverness, infinity

  • Likeness / Right of Publicity – an individual’s right to control and profit from the commercial use of his/her name, likeness, and persona, referred to as the “individual’s identity”

  • Influencer Content – means all text, files, images, graphics, illustrations, information, data, audio, video, photographs and other content created or provided by Influencer

  • IPR – means all intellectual property and proprietary rights throughout the world, including, without limitation, all copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents, moral rights, and other rights protecting data, information or intangible property throughout the world.

  • Scope(s) of Work / SOW – the statement of work you’ll be required to complete. project-specific activities, deliverables, and timelines for an influencer providing services to the client

  • Work for hire – all deliverables shall constitute a “work made for hire” made solely for the benefit of the Advertiser. Meaning, the employer is considered the author/owner of the copyright even if an influencer actually created the work. The employer can be a firm, an organization, or an individual. In my opinion, I would run from this.

  • Copyright – a law that gives the owner of a work (like a book, movie, picture, song or website) the right to say how other people can use it. If you create your own content then you hold the copyright. If you hire a photographer or videographer for your campaign, they are the copyright owner (absent work for hire agreement or copyright assignment).

  • Exclusivity – influencer works exclusively with the brand and cannot work with any competitors of the brand for a set period of time.

  • License – a contract in which the photographer/influencer grants specific rights to the client who wants to use the image for a specific amount of time, also known as usage rights. The original owner retains the copyright of the image. The contract stipulates the terms on how, when, and where the licensee can use that photograph.

  • Commercial Rights – enable the buyer to use your images for commercial purposes in communications designed to sell their own products or services such as a catalog, brochure or on some other form of advertisement.

  • Non-Commercial Rights – things like personal websites, blogs, school newsletters and other media where your image will not be used specifically as a part of a for-profit/money-making activity.

  • Exclusive Rights / Serial Rights – when you grant exclusive permission to use a specific image to a client. You may or may not want to do this since “exclusive” means you will not be able to resell that image at a later time.

  • First Rights – permission to use the image first off and then you are free to resell your image at a later time. This typically applies to publications, newspapers, and magazines.

  • Non-Exclusive Rights – mean that you can sell your images to more than one person or entity. Make sure that you include a clause wherein your client cannot further resell your images.

  • One Time Use – the right to use your image one time only, for one specific purpose to a client.

  • Unlimited Use – exactly what it sounds like. It’s a very broad grant of rights that permits the client to use the photo(s) across all media types and parameters (e.g., territory, duration, etc.).

  • Ownership – the brand wants to be able to use and own your content in future marketing efforts. That may include everything from a banner ad on the web to a billboard in Times Square. And yes, the brand can even resell or license your content for money to another party, and keep the proceeds.

  • Usage – where the brand can use influencer content and the length of that use.

  • Dates – The influencer is assigned to make certain posts on certain days. Once the work is done and the influencer has been paid, the brand revokes any right to use their trademarks. Seems pretty simple, except an influencer may want a portfolio or sell sheet of examples to show new and prospective clients. Any additional or ongoing uses of the brand trademark should be included in your contract.