When it comes to working with brands, it is important that you learn to ask for what you want. Most brand contracts are written to protect the brand NOT you so it’s important as a content creator to speak up for what you want and stand firm on your requests. Negotiating the right terms in a brand contract is essential for ensuring both parties get the most out of the deal. Here are 5 key things that every content creator or influencer should negotiate in a brand contract.
The payment clause should clearly outline the amount and method of payment for the services provided by the content creator or influencer. This should include the total amount you will be paid for all work (if you want to negotiate a percentage up front this is the time to do it). You also want to include when you will be paid (Net 30, 60, etc), How you will be paid (ACH, Paypal, etc.) When being paid via PayPal always ask for the brand to cover transfer fees. When negotiating payments, it’s also important to discuss what happens if you don’t get paid. I STRONGLY suggest adding a late fee clause to all your contracts.
Ownership of Content
This clause should specify who owns the content created by the content creator or influencer. If the content is to remain the property of the influencer, then the brand should be given a limited, non-exclusive license to use the content. Look for terms like “in perpetuity” this is a fancy way of saying the brand will own your content FOREVER and is allowed to use it however and for however long they want. I strongly discourage content creators from agreeing to “in perpetuity”. Instead, agree to 18 months with the right to negotiate terms if they decide they want to extend usage.
Content creators and influencers should insist that any content they create is properly attributed to them. This clause should clearly state how the content will be credited and where the credit should appear.
Termination of Agreement
This clause should specify the conditions under which either party can terminate the agreement. It should also specify the process for terminating the agreement and the timeframe for doing so. I also like to include wording that says I will be paid at least 50% of my fee for any drafts submitted prior to the termination of the agreement. You should be paid for work you completed regardless of if the content went live or not.
Drafts and Revisions
Some brands will “revision” you to death. That’s not too bad when you’re just editing text but when you get into editing and doing revisions on videos it can become EXTREMELY time-consuming. My policy is I will allow one draft and one revision. Any changes you need need to be addressed in the draft stage. Additional revisions will be charged at 25% of my rate. I NEVER agree to reshoot unless I completely missed the ball and didn’t follow their brief. If you followed the brief and they just decided to go another direction, that’s not your fault.
Working with brands can be a great way to make a lot of money as a content creator but it’s important to ensure that your needs are met and that you’re getting a fair deal. Remember rarely are brand contracts written to protect YOU, that’s your job. You can’t be afraid to ask for what you want and stand firm on your terms. By negotiating the five key items outlined above, you’ll be better equipped to get the most out of your brand contracts.