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How to Write the Ideal Influencer Contract (+ Free Template!)

8 minute read

Influencer marketing is a booming $21.1 billion industry, with more and more brands tapping into the power of online creators. With such high stakes, the right paperwork to protect your brand is key. In this article, you will find out why you need an influencer contract (and what can happen if you don’t have one!), the key components, and expert tips for drafting an effective influencer agreement.

Plus, we've got you covered with a free downloadable influencer contract template, making the process easier than ever. 

Disclaimer: the information provided in this article is for general guidance and is not legal advice. It is advisable to consult with a qualified legal professional to review and customize any contracts or agreements you use to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

What is an influencer contract or influencer agreement?

Influencer contracts are legal agreements that establish a mutually beneficial relationship between brands and influencers. These contracts serve as a roadmap for the partnership, ensuring both parties are on the same page regarding deliverables, compensation, and obligations. By clearly defining the rights and responsibilities of each party, influencer contracts minimize misunderstandings and potential conflicts.

Do you really need an influencer contract?

In a word, yes. As the saying goes: trust is good, a contract is better.

Imagine this: you’re the influencer marketing manager at a cool apparel brand. You decide to collaborate with a popular content creator, LisaLou, who has a loyal following on Instagram and TikTok

LisaLou begins showcasing your brand’s latest collection, generating engagement and interest from her audience. However, as the collaboration progresses, unforeseen challenges start to pop up. 

First, there’s a dispute over compensation, with LisaLou requesting a higher fee than originally agreed. Then, confusion ensues regarding the exclusivity of the content, as LisaLou features similar products from competing brands. And who actually owns the content, anyway? The lack of clear guidelines and obligations leaves both parties feeling frustrated, and their once-promising partnership begins to crumble. 

Without proper documentation, misunderstandings and disputes can jeopardize the success of even the most promising collaboration. 

A well-crafted influencer marketing contract ensures clarity, protects each party's interests, and facilitates a smooth journey toward shared goals.

What should you include in an influencer contract?

Here are the main components of an influencer contract. Be sure to include these vital elements so that your agreement is effective.

Parties involved

It sounds obvious, but the first step is to clearly identify and define the parties involved. This is crucial for establishing any legally binding agreement. Without this component, there may be ambiguity regarding who the contract applies to, leading to potential disputes or challenges in holding the right party accountable. 

For example, if a brand collaborates with an influencer but uses their Instagram handle instead of their legal name and address, it becomes difficult to enforce the terms of the contract or seek remedies in case of a breach.

Scope of work and deliverables

To put it in simple terms, what do you actually want the influencer to do for your brand? What kind of services and value-add are you expecting?

Defining the scope of work and deliverables is essential to ensure that both parties are on the same page when it comes to content and influencer marketing performance. Without a clear understanding of the expectations, the influencer may publish content that doesn't align with your marketing goals or fails to meet your brand’s standards. 

Let’s say you engage an influencer to promote a product in their Instagram story. If the scope of work hasn’t been clearly defined, they may produce content that doesn't fully showcase your product's features. This lack of visibility for your brand is likely to result in a less impactful suboptimal campaign - which is why the scope should be clearly defined in the contract.

Compensation and payment terms 

Establishing clear and agreed-upon compensation terms is crucial to avoid misunderstandings and disputes over payment. Without a well-defined compensation structure, there may be confusion about the amount, timing, or method of payment, potentially straining the relationship.

For example, if the contract fails to specify the agreed-upon fee for a sponsored post, the brand may pay less than what the influencer expected, leading to frustration and a strained partnership.

Content ownership and usage rights

One crucial aspect to address in an influencer contract is the ownership and usage rights of the content created by the influencer as part of the partnership. 

For instance, many brands like to use influencer content on their owned channels. You might be thinking, “Of course we can use the content, it shows our product!” But this isn’t an assumption you can make if you haven’t clarified who owns the content, and how it may be used.

Furthermore, if the contract lacks a provision stating that the brand has exclusive rights to use the content, the influencer may retain the ability to license the content to other brands, diluting the brand's exclusivity and potentially causing brand conflicts.

Clearly outlining the rights and obligations of both parties helps protect their interests and ensures there are no unpleasant surprises later on.

Duration and termination

When should your collaboration begin? How long do you plan to work together? And what happens if one of you wishes to discontinue the collab? These are all things you need to think about when putting together an influencer contract.

If the contract does not specify a termination clause with a notice period, one party may abruptly end the collaboration, leaving the other party without sufficient time to find a replacement or adjust their marketing strategy.

Defining the duration of the partnership and the conditions for termination helps establish a clear timeline and allows both parties to plan accordingly. Without these provisions, either party may find it challenging to exit the partnership or may unexpectedly face the termination of the agreement. 

Confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses

Confidentiality and non-disclosure are arguably some of the most important parts of any influencer agreement. 

Influencers are privy to your brand’s marketing strategy and often find out about new campaigns and product launches before the information is made public. Unauthorized disclosure could harm your brand's reputation or even allow competitors to gain access to confidential information. 

So, be sure to include confidentiality and non-disclosure clauses that protect any sensitive information shared during the partnership. 

Payment and Payment Terms

In other words, show me the money!

Most, if not all, Influencers want to be fairly compensated for their work. How much it costs to work with an influencer depends on many factors, including experience and account size. You will need to negotiate a payment that strikes a balance between the influencer's expectations and the brand's budget. 

Once you’ve agreed on the fee, don’t forget about the payment terms. It’s common for influencers to ask for an upfront deposit. On the other hand, brands should ensure they don’t pay the influencer too much before they have seen any return on their investment. Consider also how you will pay the influencer, such as via bank transfer, PayPal, or credit card.

It’s important to agree on a payment process that works for both sides.

Expert tips for drafting an effective influencer agreement

Whether you’re drafting your own influencer agreement from scratch or customizing a template, there are certain things you will need to take into account to ensure it’s effective. Here are a few tips and tricks from the influencer marketing experts at Storyclash:

1. Use clear and specific language. 

Legal English (or whatever language you’re writing the contract in) doesn’t have to be pretty. But it does have to be clear. Use precise and unambiguous language in the contract to avoid any misinterpretations or loopholes that could lead to disputes in the future. 

2. Take stock of the potential risks and liabilities.

Conduct a risk assessment. Feel free to be very pessimistic and consider all what could go wrong in a worst-case scenario. Consider aspects such as intellectual property rights, content usage, confidentiality, and liability. Then, you (or a lawyer) can think of clauses to mitigate these risks. 

3. Seek legal advice.

If you’re not a lawyer, it’s probably best to talk to someone who is. Legal English is a bit of a minefield. With brands investing more and more in influencer marketing, it is worth ensuring you have a solid legal foundation in place.

That said, an influencer contract template can be a helpful starting point. While it is advisable to seek legal advice to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations, we have a handy free template for you to customize and use as you wish.

Grab a free influencer contract template

Drafting a whole influencer contract from scratch can be time-consuming. So, here is a handy template to get you started. 

This free template, created by industry experts at Storyclash, the leading AI-based platform for influencer marketing, provides a solid foundation for influencer partnerships. 

The Storyclash influencer contract template is designed to save you valuable time and effort. It covers all the essential components we discussed earlier, including:

  • Parties involved 
  • Scope of work,
  • Compensation
  • Rights and obligations
  • Terms of termination
  • Confidentiality
  • Payment

By starting with this template, you can have a solid framework for your influencer agreements, which can be easily customized to fit your unique requirements.

Remember, while the Storyclash influencer contract template is a helpful resource, it is crucial to involve your legal department or seek legal advice to ensure that the contract meets all legal requirements specific to your jurisdiction.

Legal professionals can help review the template, identify any potential gaps, and make necessary modifications to protect your brand's interests.

Download the influencer contract template for free here.