How To Review Contracts



image via Pinterest

Wohoo! A brand wants to work with you! It is a great opportunity, the brand just wants you to sign an agreement to formalize everything. Before you sign on the dotted line, carefully read the entire agreement. Here are some things to look out for:

Who is the other party? Is it a small local brand? A PR agency? Or a big corporation? If you enter into an agreement with a big corporation that owns several brands, they could potentially use your content for any of their brands (depending on how the contract is written). Make sure you understand who the other party is, and how they intend to use your content.

How can the other party use your work? Is your agreement for a specific project with a specific brand? Or is it more general? Can they reuse your content and/or photos however they like?

How can the brand use your image? Can they edit your image? I know of one blogger who collaborated with a handbag designer, only to find that she received a digital nose job on the brand’s website. You may want to add language to the agreement saying that images can’t be altered for reasons other than color correction, or that you have final approval.

Look out for clauses allowing secondary uses of your content and the ability to sell your content without entering into a new agreement with you. This language may be in the agreement to give the brand flexibility, but it means that the brand could reuse or sell your content and/or image for other purposes without getting your permission, or compensating you.

Never be afraid to ask questions. The fact is that for the sake of convenience, many companies use template agreements and they may not be tailored to your project. Suggest edits if parts of the agreement don’t seem to match the way the project was explained. It is generally in the benefit of the brand to have a more general contract in place that gives them lots of flexibility, but this could lead to bloggers being taken advantage of. Work with the brand to narrow the agreement until you are comfortable. Sometimes the easiest way to suggest edits to an agreement is to print out the agreement, pencil in your comments and suggestions, and send it back. This is a good way to start the conversation with the brand. Always make sure you understand what you are signing before you sign it.

By: Kit Graham