I love to make things and to shop and pull separate pieces together to form one cohesive look. I love to shoot photos and give direction, to write and share my thoughts, tips, and insight. I am what they call a creative. What I am not is into the legal stuff that comes along with being a creative influencer. Well at least that’s how I felt in the past.
Contracts have always intimidated me. I never really asked questions when I was asked to sign them. I would just go over my contracts, briefly, and sign. Even when I had issues with certain aspects of the contract (i.e. a 60 day pay out as opposed to a 30 day pay out,) I would just shrug my shoulders and sign. After a few seasons of being unhappy with the kind of care and compensation I was getting for the quality of work I was delivering, I decided to take a more proactive approached to protecting my work, my time, and getting what I know I deserve.
The art of negotiation
I must say it’s not as bad as I had imagined. Once I became educated on the art of negotiations, did some research on industry standards, and really began to own my true value as a woman of influence, negotiating deals, and signing contracts came easier to me and I am ready to share some of my process.
Before you sign on the dotted line make sure you read everything. If there is anything you are not comfortable with let your brand partners know. Don’t be afraid to make your request, and only agree to what you are comfortable with. I just signed another major contract and made a whole bunch of requests. All of my requests were met without question. You have to keep in mind that you are the talent and more than likely the brands will oblige. They sought you out and want to work with you; hence they are willing to make the adjustments to the contract to suit you as the influencer.
Here are some key points to consider before signing your next blogger contract:
Rates. Charge your worth. If you are just starting out and still developing your unique style, and getting used to working with brands, at least go with the industry standard. As your resume increases and your work develop, you can raise your rates accordingly.
Exclusivity. Be sure to read the terms of your agreement. Some brands specify exclusive use, time frame, and how and when you can work with other brands during a specific period. Make sure that you are not signing up for something that will limit your work with other clients. Negotiating is key.
Draft Submissions. When drafting blog posts and turning them in, some brands will ask for revisions. Be specific about the number of times you are willing to edit and revise a draft. This will save you time and money if you are working with an editor.
Email Responses. Time is of the essence when it comes to business. Make sure that you are fully aware of the brand’s expectations and that they are aware of yours. The more specific you are about response time, the better you’ll be with maintaining deadlines.
Pay Outs. This, my friends, is a big deal. You want to make sure you have your money and not them. As a business you have to have money in your account. As a small business you don’t have time to wait around to get paid. Make sure your payouts are specified down to the date and time (i.e. Payment made by 12pm (est), August 1st, 2018.)
Usage Fees – A brand may ask that you post their content on platforms outside of social media. If that is required, you should request an additional usage fee. Do not undercut yourself my missing out on opportunities to earn more. You deliver, they pay.
Your time, effort, creativity and platforms are valuable. At the core of most fear over negotiations is a need to own your worth. When you realize that your work is worth paying for, get confident in your ability to ask for what you want, and just start asking, you will never be intimidated by a contract again.
I hope you find this helpful. I want this to be an on going conversation and would love to answer any of your questions. Just leave your questions or comments in the comments below, and I will answer them in another post and on my Instagram stories.
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