How Long are Most Influencer Management Contracts? | Influencers Agreement
How long are most influencer management contracts? If you’re an influencer and you’re starting to get bigger, at some point, it’s likely that you’re going to want to reach out to a manager, an agent, a marketing agency, it’s all kind of grouped into the same thing. And then you’ll establish a relationship where they will go out and find deals to bring back to you and then negotiate the compensation and essentially just kind of assist you in growing your business as an influencer. Now, before you establish that relationship, an influencer management contract needs to be signed that details the responsibilities between the manager and then the talent, the influencer. If that is not in place, I can promise you, there will be a discrepancy down the road and without a contract in place, those types of issues can magnify greatly.
Need For Influencer Manager Agreements
Now, one question I get frequently is, how long is a management contract? Many influencers are concerned like, I think this person is good. I’m interested in them becoming my manager. However, I don’t necessarily know them, and I certainly haven’t worked professionally with them. And so, if I don’t like them, but I sign through your contract, what do I do? In any contract, there’s going to be some language that states how long it lasts. Most influencer contracts or at least influencer management contracts are somewhere between one to five years. And that just simply means the contract will go on for that time. And then there’ll be language that states that it either will automatically renew if neither party terminates the agreement or if it’s a fixed term, it could just simply end if there’s no renegotiation after the end of that period.
Now, in every management contract, there usually is, but absolutely needs to be a section that’s called without cause termination. So, there’ll be a term section that says how long it lasts and then a termination section that lists how the contract can be terminated. There are four common ways a contract can be terminated. One, as I stated before, if it’s just a fixed term and it’s not renewed, it just ends. Two, by mutual agreement. If either party is like, this isn’t working out, regardless of the rest of the contract terms, we just want to move on, and wash our hands of the situation. You can mutually agree to terminate the agreement. Three, breach of contract. If one party is not following through with the responsibilities of the agreement, the other party can provide them with written notice that they’re in breach of contract. Other topics of interest include:
And then if that party doesn’t fix the problem, or doesn’t cure the breach, then the party that’s not in breach can terminate the agreement immediately. And then the most common way is without cause termination. And it just simply means that either party can terminate the contract, at any point, for any reason, with a certain amount of notice to the other party. Normally, it’s somewhere between 30 to 120 days in most influencer management contracts. Meaning, let’s just say you have a 60-day notice requirement, then you would provide written notice to your manager that just states, per the agreement, I’m giving you 60 days’ notice that I am terminating the agreement. Then you would work out those 60 days, and at the end of the 60 days, then you would be free to find a new manager or agent and move forward. Although the term of your contract, I mean the length of the contract could be three years, you still can get out of it at any point within 60 days or whatever the notice amount is in your contract.
So, you’re not stuck for three years. You do have the option to terminate the agreement. Now, it absolutely needs to be in there. If you don’t have language that states you can terminate the contract without cause, you need to speak to someone who understands that and can put it into the agreement. You have to have options if it’s not working out. If you’re with an agent or a manager who is just simply underperforming and not bringing you the deals that you should be getting, you can’t stick around, you must cut ties and move on to someone better. And without cause termination will allow you to do that. A couple of considerations after the contract ends: even though you can terminate the contract without cause, there very likely is going to be language in the contract that states any of the deals, so any of the sponsors that the manager brought to the influencer during the term of the contract, that manager is going to get paid their commission percentage for usually a year after the contract terminates.
Influencer Contract Negotiation
Let’s just say you reached a deal with the skincare company and the manager brought it to you. Well, even if you terminate the agreement, you’re still going to have to pay that commission percentage back to that manager for a year after the contract ends. Even if the brand wants to continue the relationship, and even if you have a new manager, that new manager is not going to see a dollar of what that old deal made by your old manager was, because there will be some kind of provision in the contract that states you’ll have to pay them the percentage for a year after the contract ends. Why is that? Well, most managers don’t want to bring someone a great deal, and then that person terminates the agreement and then avoids having to pay the percentage of the commission back to the manager for bringing them that deal. I mean, that just makes common sense.
Now, a couple of things that an influencer can do, you can either shorten that period you’d have to pay back the percentage, you can lower the percentage over time, so maybe if it was a 20%, then it’s like 20% for the first quarter, 15 for the second, 10, 5, step it down. But you need to protect your interest as well. If you have terminated the agreement with a manager, it is for a reason and I can just tell you, just on an emotional level, it feels bad to have to continue to pay your old manager when they’re not even assisting you anymore. So, that’s how long a normal influencer management contract is, and the ways you can get out of it.
Influencer Marketing Management
What is the best way for an influencer to find a manager? In any influencer’s career, as they grow, there will be a point where it would make sense for them to bring in a professional to assist them with their career. And let’s make a distinction between what a manager and an agent is because within the influencer industry, it’s different than maybe outside of it. For the most part in California with actors, there are some laws that dictate what an agent and or manager can do. And so, there are caps on the percentage that an agent can take, they must be through a licensed agency in order to negotiate. Whereas a manager, at least normally, is thought to assist the actor in day-to-day duties, and manage their career. In the influencer arena, at least at this point, no laws exist that dictate the definition between the two.
I find for social media influencers, they look at agents and managers as the same thing, so the term could be used interchangeably. When you do want to go out and find an agent or manager, there are a couple of places, at least initially, where you can find them. If it’s an actual agent, it would be through a talent agency. There are some individual agents out there, or maybe they just identify as an agent where they’re not part of an agency because they’re not required to, or they also could be a manager. Most of them are maybe in a smaller agency or management company, but they’re not necessarily known as an agency. So, when you are looking for a manager, you need to think about, alright, what type of person do I want in this role?
Well, one, you want someone with at least some experience in the industry. The entire benefit of having an experienced manager is they’re going to have relationships with brands, they’re going to know what the industry-standard rate for a YouTube spot, Instagram post, some sponsored TikTok video, something like that. Whereas if you have someone who has never done it before, for instance, I frequently have influencers say, well, my friend thinks they can handle it. Okay, but there needs to be some level of expertise to really jumpstart the influencer’s career. And that can only be done through someone who has experience in the industry. I’m not saying it’s impossible for someone with no experience to do a good job, but probably unlikely for a couple of reasons.
Influencer Agreement Process Helped by a Manager
One, the manager will also have contacts with attorneys or whoever, that can assist in contract negotiation and review. The managers, as I said before, will also know where to direct the influencer as far as, alright, you don’t want to work with this brand, or you do want to work with another brand. The best place to look for a manager that can really help your career is first with your fellow influencer friends. I mean, most influencers have influencer friends. And so, if you have friends or other influencers that you know that have management, ask them, who have you used in the past? Who do you use now? Are you happy with them? Have there been any problems now? Once someone gets big enough, they will have people reach out to them as well.
And if you’re going to discuss potential management opportunities, then you need to ask some very specific questions. Who else have you worked with? Did you have contracts with them? What is your commission percentage? Do I have to pay you after the contract ends? What brands have you worked with? These are all things that someone should be able to answer if they’re going to be an asset to the influencer and not someone who’s just trying to figure it out. Also, many influencers are, I don’t know if “concerned” is the right word but are reluctant to pay. Usually, 20% is the going rate for a manager in the influencer industry. They don’t want to pay 20% of their compensation to a manager. But if you have a good manager, that person should bring vastly more than the 20% you’re paying them, as I said before, with knowledge of the brands and the pricing and that type of thing.
Yes, if you’re using someone who’s not good at their job, it could be a total money sink for you and not worth it at all. But if you hook up with someone who really knows what they’re doing, it can skyrocket an influencer’s career. Not only the sponsorship opportunities but the career management as well. Like you want to transition from this, into this. Do you want to make personal appearances? If you’re an athlete, are there some camps associated with which you could start running? There are just a ton of different opportunities that most people, when they’re starting, just don’t understand are out there and a great manager can assist them with that.
You could look online, but if you are going to do that, they should have a client list on their website and then maybe reach out to those influencers and say, hey, I’m interested in using them as management. What are your thoughts? I do find that some of the websites are not up to date. If you go on there and you’ll see a whole list of people, and then if you contact them, they’re like, no, I don’t work with them anymore. So, you need to be careful as far as that goes. If it’s just purely a solo person, that’s something to be a little bit concerned about as well. Like one thing that you absolutely want is responsive. If you contact your manager and they don’t get back to you for days, that’s not someone you want to work with.
I mean, everyone’s busy, so they can’t get back to you within a minute. But if you text your manager, they better get back to you relatively quickly. An influencer deserves that just like me as an attorney. If I am contacted by a client, I can’t sit on it for a week. I get back to them because they obviously have a question that needs to be answered quickly. It’s just a good business to do that. So, anyway, those are the avenues to find representation. If you’re an influencer, it makes sense to do it once you hit a certain point and they can really assist your career.
Influencer Contracts and Payments to Manage
Do influencers pay their management? In short, yes, they absolutely do. It would be strange for a manager to work for free. Let’s first talk about management in the industry. There are some clear distinctions between the influencer realms as far as management goes. An agent, an agency, a management company, and a manager, as far as social media influencers go, are pretty much the same thing. Now, in the acting arena in California, there are guilds, there are unions, and there are laws that dictate how much an agent can charge an actor. Those simply, at least at this point, don’t apply to social media influencers. What I’m talking about management, I mean, anyone who is assisting the influencer in facilitating sponsorship opportunities, personal appearances, anything like that.
Then there also is going to be some exclusive relationship between the two. Let’s say an influencer has hit the point where they want some professional representation, they find a management company. That company is going to present the influencer with a contract, and it’s usually going to be called an exclusive management contract, exclusive management, something like that. And then in that contract, it’s going to dictate the terms of the relationship. And then obviously, one of the main parts of that is the payment. A normal percentage of commission for a manager or management company for an influencer is around 20% of whatever they bring to the influencer. So, if they facilitate a 30,000-dollar-a-year deal with a food prep company, then the manager would get 20% of that 30,000 whenever it’s paid to the influencer. That’s a standard amount.
Many Influencers Need a Manager
Now, it could vary, certainly could be less, it could be more. But if you’re talking with someone and they’re saying, oh, I take half or 40%, they’re just trying to take advantage of you. That’s crazy. Now, two things to think about: as I said before, these are going to be exclusive management contracts, meaning, they’re going to be the only company/person that can assist the influencer and facilitate deals. So, if an influencer has an exclusive management contract and a friend, another influencer, or a brand reaches out to them directly, they’re going to be required by the contract to send that to their manager. And then that manager will then negotiate/facilitate the deal and take a 20% commission.
So, you can’t get out of paying your manager the 20% for any deal that you utilize while under the exclusive management contract. I mean, the reason why managers do that is they don’t want an influencer to, I guess, funnel deals through a third party, just to avoid having to pay their manager anything. There also will be language in the contract that states the influencer will still have to pay their manager after the contract terminates, which is a surprise to many. If a manager brings someone a deal and then let’s say it’s a one-year deal. If the influencer terminates the agreement, the manager will state, or at least the management contract will state, that the influencer will still have to pay 20% of whatever that manager brought them, usually for a year after the contract ends.
Influencer Contract Include
Contracts do need to have rules and stipulations to them, and there are certain things that all talented influencers should expect to come in any contract that they take on. That is to say that not everything that is noted in a contract has to be looked upon with suspicion. It is best to evaluate on a case-by-case basis. Here are a few ideas that you would expect to be in influencer management contracts:
- Terms of Employment (of the manager) – There should be definitions of what the manager’s responsibilities are and what they need to do for their agent in order to remain employed by that influencer. This is to say that it is vital that the manager has everything spelled out for them in precise detail to ensure that they know exactly what is expected of them in meeting the terms of their contract. Failure to place these specific terms in their contract could leave too much room for misunderstandings, and no one wants to put themselves in that position.
- Objectives That Must Be Met – The manager needs to bring in a certain amount of business for the influencer for their services to be worthwhile at all. A contract that details those objects can be a very powerful contract indeed. After all, it is always nice to know that everyone is shooting for the same targets in these situations.
- Compensation Structure – There are numerous ways that compensation may be worked out between influencers and their managers. If a manager sees that they are likely attaching themselves to a superstar influencer, they may be more prone to look for ways to cash in on what they see as a lucrative career ahead. Thus, it is entirely possible that a manager will seek to earn some share of the future profits that the influencer generates in the course of their work. Influencers should be somewhat wary of this as they don’t necessarily want to give away too much of the equity that they have in their own future earnings.
These are all typical terms in influencer management contracts that one might expect to see. The last point about compensation structure is one that should be paid particular close attention to simply because this is where some managers will try to slip in clauses that entitle themselves to more than they are honestly worth.
Is it Necessary to Have a Lawyer Look it Over?
You are not legally obligated to have a lawyer look over your influencer management contracts by any means, but you should certainly consider doing so in order to avoid any outcome that you don’t want to see. It takes a short period of time and a small amount of money to get a lawyer to look over what you need them to, within the contract that you are working on.
When you do hire a lawyer like this, you can ask them to kindly review the contract that you have received from a manager line by line. The benefit that you get from this is to have an attorney sign off that everything looks legitimate to them. Instead of spending excessive amounts of time worrying about what may or may not be contained within a contract that you might be signing, why not spend that time working out the details of how you will construct your next videos for social media?
It is more challenging to be a social media influencer than many people believe, and it takes a lot of work and concentration to pull off. This is impossible to do if you are always worried about scanning through every contract.
How We Can Assist Today
There are plenty of things that we can do to help you out. When dealing with a contract with a manager that you might want to hire, we can help. Here are a few of the things that we offer to everyone who schedules an appointment with us:
- The chance to look over every piece of information contained within a contract
- A one-on-one meeting with you to talk about the features of the contract that you are proposing
- Recommendations for suggested edits to your contract to make it more applicable to the situation that you find yourself in
- Formatting recommendations to ensure that all elements are included in a standardized way that you can use again
Do Influencer Managers Have Contracts? | Need for Safe and Fair Influencer Management Agreements
Do influencer managers have contracts? In short, they better have. Suppose you are an influencer and have decided that you’ve reached a level where you think some professional representation would help you move forward. In that case, you’re going to look for an agency, a manager, a management company, or an agent. It’s all the same in the influencer realm. Outside, in other industries, like with actors, some legal definitions and laws, especially in California, dictate the different roles a manager, or agency, can have. They must be licensed through an agency. There’s a cap on the percentage they can take. Whereas in the influencer arena, at least as far as the date of this blog, it’s a gray area.
Influencer Marketing Contract Concerns
And there’s not a lot of regulation of the industry. Most of any management is all lumped into one big pot, even though they might be called something different. Suppose you have reached a point where maybe you found a social media influencer manager or an agency you’re interested in associating with. In that case, there will be, or at least they will require, an exclusive management contract between them and you. That influencer contract will dictate all the terms of the relationship between you and the manager. The length of the agreement, how to terminate it, the commission percentage or flat fee paid to your manager, and what happens after termination. There are some things you’ll have to continue paying the manager after the agreement ends. And there’s language in there about that.
What if There’s a Dispute?
What happens if there’s a dispute? Where is that dispute heard? It’s called the venue. The responsibilities of the manager, of the influencer. The entire point of a contract is that if there are some disputes, it should be spelled out in the contract as far as somebody is in breach. Is someone not doing what they said they would? In that scenario, a contract helps avoid and resolve disputes without going to litigation or arbitration or depending upon what’s in the contract. If you find someone and they say, you know what, I don’t want to make this a formal thing.
Let’s just handshake, verbally agree to the payment, whatever, that’s an enormous red flag, and no influencer should go into that for a couple of reasons. In almost any management contract, there will be some language stating that after the contract terminates, the manager will still receive a percentage of any deals they brought to the influencer for a period. Usually a year.
Content and Brand Language in Influencer Contract
Now, if you are an influencer and you’ve received a management contract, it needs to be reviewed by an attorney. It’s just reality. Some say, ah, I don’t want to throw down the money. When I review many employment contracts for healthcare providers and physicians, we can save or gain hundreds of thousands of dollars for these physicians. And they’re concerned about spending a tiny fraction of that on a review. If you’re doing it the smart way, you need to get a review from somebody. That person can assist you in knowing, alright, what is an average percentage? What should the language look like? As I said before, all the things that you should be concerned about. If a manager brings you their influencer contract, it will be slanted towards the manager.
That’s just how it works. And so, influencers need to push back, and everything is up for negotiation. The good thing about negotiating for influencers is that the influencers have leverage. You could choose anybody and the manager. Although they can bring a lot to the table, they also stand to make a lot of money off the influencer. And so, influencers have some leverage in making changes to the contract.
Aim to Reach a Compromise When Signing a Contract
If a manager gives you an influencer contract and they give you a take it or leave it offer, you need to leave it and move on. There should be no take-it-or-leave-it offers when it comes to an influencer management contract. You need to make sure that you’re comfortable signing the agreement.
Usually, in a good negotiation, both parties feel aggrieved in some way. So, both parties had to give a little bit. But if you get to that point, that usually means it’s a good compromise and probably a decent agreement for both parties. So, yes, there absolutely needs to be a contract between influencers and their managers.
Reviewing All Contract Documents With an Attorney
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel whenever you intend to sign an influencer contract with a brand. With the help of your influencer management contract attorney, you can easily review every contract that comes your way. Instead of starting entirely from scratch each time, you and your attorney can look for some of the most critical elements of each contract. And ensure that they contain the ones you are looking at now.
Ultimately, you will save a considerable amount of time by hiring an attorney who can review the most critical elements of any contract you are signing. The lawyer is trained in contracts for social media influencers, and you will always know that you are signing something that will hold up in court. Frankly, this is what many people are after when they start to look at the process of signing social media influencer contracts.
If you want peace of mind knowing you have an influencer contract that will serve your interests, please get in touch with us for more information about how to get started.
What Should an Influencer Agency Contract Include? | Agency Influencer Agreement
What should a contract between agents and influencers include? What needs to be in that influencer agency management contract? Before establishing any working relationship with an agent, a manager, an agency, whoever it is. An influencer contract that dictates the relationship’s terms needs to be in place. It should also contain the length of the agreement, how to terminate it, the agent’s and influencer’s responsibilities, what happens if there is a dispute, and examples of contract breach. Then obviously, the payment structure between the influencer and the agent.
Percentage Commission for Social Media Influencers
Typically, it would be a percentage of whatever the agent brings to the influencer. 20% is an average. Some of the most important terms in the influencer contract will also include what happens after the it terminates. Almost any agent will require some language in the agreement that states the influencer will have to pay the agent. Even after the contract terminates for a period, for any deals that the agent brought the influencer. Let’s say you are an athlete, and you have a sponsorship opportunity with maybe an apparel company. If the agent got you that deal, and even if the apparel company wants to continue the relationship, the athlete will usually have to pay 20% back to their agent for a year. That’s because agents don’t want to bring an influencer deal, then they terminate the relationship and get out of having to pay the commission to the agent.
Obviously, I would consider that reasonable and fair. Now, if the percentage is extended indefinitely, meaning the agent says, if I brought you this deal, you owe me 20% forever, that’s not reasonable. And that’s not something I would sign if I were an influencer. There must be a cutoff date, and you could even tear down the percentage over time. But that’s one thing that will likely be in the agreement. And that usually is negotiated.
Influencer Contract Deals Based on Historical Metrics
Another aspect that I find people miss frequently is that you’re going to have deals with a set amount, and it’s based on historical metrics. You will have to provide these metrics to these companies. How many views do you get on a video, and what’s the average duration people watch them? What’s the interaction, and the subs versus non-subs? All that data goes to these companies, who decide on a reasonable sponsorship opportunity price. Well, if you have a deal based purely on metrics, you don’t know what you’re going to make until the video has been out there and calculations completed.
Your agent is always going to have access to all your content metrics. They will have access to your Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, or any of those things. Well, if a relationship ends, you almost always revoke access from the agent to those accounts. But if you have a compensation structure based purely on metrics, I can promise you the agent will want access to ensure they’re being paid correctly.
A Social Media Influencer Can Always Negotiate Terms with an Agency
Usually, there is a dispute if it’s not written in the influencer contract. So, there needs to be somewhere in the contract determining what will happen in that scenario. Suppose there is some deal based purely upon metrics. How will the agent access those numbers and understand that they’re accurate without full access to everything the influencer has? Because influencers are absolutely going to want to bar their past agents from getting into their current numbers.
You can always negotiate any term in an influencer contract. There’s nothing that’s ironclad, especially for an agency contract. Influencers and content creators have the leverage in these negotiations. The agent is going to make money off the influencer. And so, the influencer does/can exert some force in getting favorable terms.
If this is an excellent professional agent, there will be a limit to how much they want to change. They’re also treasured if they do a great job. And there’s always a push and a pull. But don’t think that if the agent says this is a take it or leave it deal, you need to leave it. There has to be some give and take in any contract negotiation. Alright, that’s what people should include in an agency influencer contract.
Needed Contract Language and Difference from Brand Ambassador Agreements
What should an agency contract between an agent and an influencer include? What needs to be in that contract? Before you establish any working relationship with an agent, a manager, an agency, whoever it is, there needs to be a contract in place that dictates the terms of the relationship, and what should be included in that agreement would be the length of the agreement, how to terminate the agreement, the responsibilities of the agent, the responsibilities of the influencer, what happens if there is a dispute, what are some examples of breach of contract and then obviously, the payment structure between the influencer and the agent. Normally, it would be a percentage of whatever the agent brings to the influencer.
20% is an average. Some of the most important terms in the contract will also include what happens after the agreement terminates. Almost any agent is going to require some language in the contract that states the influencer is going to have to pay the agent, even after the contract terminates for a period, for any deals that the agent brought the influencer. Let’s just say you are an athlete, and you have a sponsorship opportunity with maybe an apparel company. If the agent brought you that deal, and even if the apparel company wants to continue the relationship, the athlete is going to have to pay 20% back to their agent for normally a year. That’s since agents don’t want to bring an influencer deal, they terminate the relationship and get out of having to pay the commission to the agent.
Obviously, I would consider that reasonable and fair. Now, if the percentage is extended indefinitely, meaning, if the agent says, if I brought you this deal, you owe me 20% forever, well, that’s not reasonable, and that’s not something I would sign if I were an influencer. There must be a cutoff date, and you could even tear down the percentage over time as well. But that’s one thing that will likely be in the contract. And that usually is negotiated. Another aspect that I find is missed frequently is most of the time, you’re going to have deals with a set amount, and it’s based upon historical metrics.
You will have to provide these metrics to these companies like how many average views do you get on a video, what’s the average duration that people watch the video, what’s the interaction, and the subs versus non-subs, all that data goes to these companies, and then they decide of what is a reasonable price for the sponsorship opportunity. Well, if you have a deal that’s based purely on metrics, meaning, you don’t know what you’re going to make until the video has been out there and calculations have been completed. Your agent is always going to have access to all your metrics. They’re going to have access to your Instagram, your TikTok, your YouTube, any of those things. Well, if a relationship ends, you’re almost always going to revoke access from the agent to those accounts. But if you have a compensation structure that’s based purely on metrics, I can promise you the agent is going to want access to make sure they’re being paid correctly.
Usually, there is a dispute if it’s not written in the contract. So, there needs to be somewhere in the contract that determines what’s going to happen in that scenario. If there is some deal that’s based purely upon metrics, how is the agent going to get access to those numbers and understand that they’re accurate without getting full access to everything that the influencer has because the influencer is absolutely going to want to bar their past agent from getting into their current numbers. You can always negotiate any term in a contract. There’s nothing that’s ironclad, especially for an agency contract. The influencer has the leverage in these negotiations. The agent is going to make money off the influencer. And so, the influencer does/can exert some force in getting favorable terms.
Now, if this is a good professional agent, there’s going to be a limit to how much they’re willing to change. They’re also very valuable if they do a great job. And there’s always a push and a pull. But don’t think that if the agent says this is a take it or leave it deal, you need to leave it. There has to be some give and take in any contract negotiation. Alright, that’s what should be included in an agency influencer contract.
Consultation with Chelle Law Attorneys
If you are in need of a manager, you’ll need to ensure any potential contract is quickly reviewed. Therefore, we highly recommend that you contact us in order to start the process. It takes a while to get things just right, and this is why we want you to start the process by calling our offices today. It is the best and only way that we can start working on your case.
Influencer Management Contract Questions?
Contract Review, Termination Issues, and more!